Google Adds Search By Similarity To Image Search

Google has introduced a new experimental refinement tool that lets you click a “similar images” link beneath image search results and see a new screen of images with similar color, shape and other visual elements. The new tool has been released in Google Labs and isn’t yet available in standard image search results.

The similar images refinement is the latest in a series of tools Google has introduced to make image searching easier and more precise. These refinements include an a face filter, “exact size” filter, search suggestions and a color picker.

Image search is “harder” than text search, because true computer vision isn’t anywhere near as developed as text-based search and retrieval. The new search by similarity feature combines both analysis of images for things like color, shape, texture and so on with tagging and other techniques.

Google’s not the first to launch a similar images feature. In December last year, Microsoft added a “show similar images” capability to Live search.

Some other sites that let you search based on image similarity include, a shopping site that lets you visually compare products, Polar Rose, which detects and matches the faces in your Flickr photos and Tin Eye, a site that lets you upload an image as your query rather than typing in search terms.

Want to know more about computer based image retrieval? See my Teaching Google To See Images from April of last year.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Features: General | Google: Images | Google: Labs | Top News


About The Author: (@CJSherman) is a Founding Editor of and President of Searchwise LLC, a Boulder Colorado based Web consulting firm. He also programs and co-chairs the Search Marketing Expo - SMX conference series.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide