Why Google’s New Search By Image Function Can Help Prevent Scams

Why Google’s New Search By Image Function Can Help Prevent Scams

Google’s Search by image function allows users to search by inputting images into the search bar,  but the main question that many people are asking is “In what situation would I use the search by image function?” Personally, I have been waiting for years for this feature. It’s not something that I need very often, but it is quite useful.

One of my favorite features of the search by image function is the ability to find and identify scam artists.

My wife and I own two Yorkshire Terriers, Bella and Bubby, and our little pups are adorable! Unfortunately, because they are so cute, scam artists use pictures of Bella deceitfully. Pet scam artists prey on the tender hearted and lonely, usually single older ladies and widows. We did all we could on our own website to help people understand the Nigerien pet scammers who were and are using our sweet Bella’s face as bait. My wife and I felt a responsibility to help people realize that Isabella is not for sale and to report the ads that use Isabella’s picture. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been enough stop these people.

We have always felt so powerless to fight this epidemic, because we don’t have the time to search for all yorkies for sale, on every website. It has been so hard to track down who is using our images that we gave up, until now.

(Note to Google Image & Webmaster Teams: It would be awesome if Google Webmaster Tools

had some sort of report for similar images found on other websites.)

With this one picture of Isabella, for example, I was able to find 205 webpages that use her image. Some of the web pages are from my own website, people using the picture for their own blog posts, and people saying how cute she is. But when you use the image in conjunction with the word classified to filter out all the harmless sites, we get a shocking 181 web pages full of con artists using her picture (see search results image on the left).

Thankfully many classified ad websites have a method for submitting spam and scam ads, so this search by image function has been very helpful. What are ways Google search by image has helped you out?

Colton Miller
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Colton is the Director of SEO Strategy at Boostability testing and defining the products and processes that make Boostability's customers successful. He has been a part of Boostability for over 7 years. Colton loves hanging out with his family and gaming. He runs a personal blog over at www.coltonjmiller.com where he discusses gaming, life, and SEO.