Image SearchI mainly search for images online when I need a web design inspiration or if I want to decorate a post of mine. Some recent image search engines and search engine applications seem really impressive to me. They offer a wide variety of interfaces, filtering and sorting options that I personally enjoy playing with.

So the big question (like with other search types) is: what should the image search look like? The image search giants (Google images, Yahoo images and even Flickr) represent rather a poor example of image search usability (to my mind). Luckily we have a number of good examples (still none of them is perfect):

1. Picitup offers really interesting filtering options (that overall work):

  • show faces;
  • show landscapes;
  • show products;
  • set color preferences.

Picitup image search engine

2. Flickr based Tag Browser will show you related tags to your search term giving you more ideas to explore:

Image Tag Browser

3. Picsearch advanced search provides a variety of filtering options:

  • by file size;
  • color (black and white, color or both);
  • image type (animated or not).

4. Imagery is Google image based tool that basically does the same as Google but in a much more easy-to-use way: it offers advanced search options at the same page, each image size and dimensions, and image source page (when hovered over).

Imagery - Enhanced Google image search

5. Exalead (known for integrating facial recognition technology) allows for a number of useful filtering options (and besides it shows the exact number of available results for each of them):

  • searching for faces;
  • grayscale or color;
  • wallpapers;
  • layout;
  • file types.

6. offers a really great interface showing the list of images to the left and the image preview and characteristics to the right. The search is enhanced by quick filtering options letting you choose the color option (black and white or color) and image size. Image search

7. Oskope visual search integrates data from a number of services: Yahoo image search, Flickr, Fotolia. It has a number of presentation options (grid, stack, pile, list, and graph) and scale grade enhancing your search experience. It also shows each image information (date and username for Flickr, size and dimensions for Yahoo image search) and source link when hovered over.

Oscope visual search

To cut the long story short here is a summing up table (the criteria are based solely on my personal opinion):

SE / Criteria Presentation Search accuracy Search options Speed
Picitup simple moderate varied fast
flash moderate (Flickr tag-based) none slow
Picsearch simple high few fast
Imagery simple moderate-high (Google-based) few moderate
Exalead simple high few fast user-friendly high few fast
Oskope flash moderate (Flickr and Yahoo based) varied moderate

Post Image: Not the End of this Story

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and

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  1. Nice article, never knew that so many good image SE’s existed :$
    I have bookmarked some of them and will use it the next time 😀

  2. I’ve spent many late-night hours having fun with tag browser – it can be addictive. Thanks for pointing out so many other image SEs, but I’m going to have to buy a LOT more coffe now!

  3. You really know this space… extraordinary article… I have it bookmarked to reread and use as a reference

  4. I just LOVE the new Google Maps search with integrated Wikepedia and Panaramio photos – magnificent job from Google


  5. As always, when lifting images from the web, there are copyright issues to take into account.

    Personally, if I have the time, I create my own images. But I’m a designer. Most people aren’t…

  6. I agree, where is your column ‘Creative Commons’/ Licence

    because then you could also try to review, istockphoto and

  7. It appears you’ve found a lot of alt tag stuffing SEOs! Not least of which are my competitors, lol.

  8. Great list Ann, and good to see you posting again (keep it up more often!)

    I would add this Flickr tag browser, which I found to be more practical than the Flash one, even if it doesn’t look as fancy:

  9. sweet reason says:

    At, I found 19 versions of this image on 33 pages. Many had a flower in place of the sign.

  10. Check out, they have updated the site and it’s much better – Shape search, search flickr for creative common, image layouts, visual history and favorites.

  11. clipping path services says:

    Great list. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. beautiful article , deserve to be bookmarked

  13. great list, thanks for sharing

  14. free seo tools says:

    very informative article, thanks a lot for sharing

  15. This image enhancement is really great and more necessary that you have described here. i actually flowing this website. thanks a lot fro this best idea

  16. What an idea! Really I like it and follow your image enhancement work. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

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