Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tips for Better Image Searching in Google

Google is an amazing search engine, but it does more than most of us know.  

I recently completed a  Power Searching with Google Course and learned about search features embedded into Google that most of us don't know about or use.  It always amazes me to find the many not so well known features in Google applications that help me to be a more efficient and productive Googler.

Here are three quick tips to help you (or your students) with your next Google image search.

Filter image results by color, similar and image size

Trying to find your old mathematics text book and you can only remember the color of the cover?  Researching a historical figure for a school report?  Need a thumbnail image for your web page to refer students to a textbok online?  Using these tips to filter images can help.

1.  In a Google search bar type in what you are looking for and click on IMAGES to do an image search

2.  Scroll down until you see the color chips on the left side of the page and choose a color to help you locate the specific type of image for your search  (You may also be able to choose color options at the top of the search window by clicking SEARCH TOOLS)


  • Choosing a color brings up images with that as the dominant or background color in the image
  • Some colors produce results with implied context
  • Selecting black and white tends to produce archival images or line drawings
3.  When you see an image that may be similar to what you need, mouse over the image and then select similar
  • Choosing similar will give you a lot of related images and helps narrow your search
  • Choosing similar along with a color will narrow results even more


4.  Once  you locate the image you are looking for, mouse over it and select more sizes, to select the right size for your project
  • Choosing more sizes gives you multiple copies of the same image in different sizes and quality
  • Smaller sizes may be better for thumbnails and where image size is restricted, larger sizes may be better quality
Here is a video example of these search tips in action: