15 Best Image Search Engines to Find Photos Online

By 22-01-2008   BloggingGoogleSEO

This list of best image search engines will help you find interesting photos in the easiest way possible. What to find a great photo or perfect celebrity picture?  You will learn about hidden preferences, unique features that will make you searches images like a professional and actually find the best images possible. Check out these best picture search engines … and lets see their test results on Jessica Alba.

Google Images Search

Google Image Search is probably the most common image search engine you might have used. Gives you thousands of image results very fast. But a limitation is you need to click to the image source page to see the full size image (Power it up with Google Image Ripper to get no more thumbnails and load full size images directly). You can sort images by JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG, sort by b&W or color, with an option for extra large images. You can also search news content and faces too!. Use more filters to stop that NSFW image with moderate filtering or strict filtering.

image search engines

Bing Image Search

Bing Images searches through all images of your choice and is one of the best photo search engines online. One cool option is to search “Showing only images of your desktop size” to find that ideal wallpaper even if you do not know your display settings. Another cool feature is you can drag images from the search results to a scratchpad and create a photo collection. Find related results. You can adjust a slider to see smaller thumbnails and fit in more photos.

Yahoo! Image Search

Yahoo Image Search will find photos and clicking on images will take you to the source page with a framed interface, with an option to mail to a friend. You can opt for color and b&w by quick links. Select photo size with a wallpaper mode too which gives you images on all usual desktop sizes. It gives related searches too at the bottom of results. Its also powers the AlltheWeb search engine.

Ask Images

Ask Images Search will search your desired images and suggest ways to expand or narrow your search for better results. A unique preference is finding buddy icons. It will suggest related information from Wikipedia, videos from Youtube, news, profiles and more.


PicSearch claims to index 2 billion images on the web. All images are output-ed as thumbnails and click through to a framed page with the original source. Selecting the preferences you can select only animations only. You can also sort images by various image sizes based by pixels (Test <50px). And they are family friendly images by default, which cannot be changed.

Exalead Image Search Engine

Exalead will let you change the background to black or white. Then you can customize it to find few prefixed size desktop wallpapers. It can also search faces. You can again choose color or B&W and image sizes. You can click on options to view direct image links with no frames. Or click the image to browse the images and their source sites in frames.


Pixsy will let you search and extract images from popular free image hosting services Webshots, Photobucket, Sevenload, SuperiorPics, ViewImages etc. Switch the media type to Images in the drop down options. Clicking the image will take you to the framed page, where you can browse images, and see source page. You can email or save to ‘My Pixsy’ too.


Flickr Images – Its the top image sharing community on the web sharing their best photos with you. Many unique photos can be found, many personally photographed and with copyrights reserved. You can browse in detailed or thumbnail view. Another option is to sort by View: Most relevant or Most recent or Most interesting as judged by the community. Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, which means you can use their content with some rights reserved.


Photobucket is a huge resource of great images. It is a free online image hosting service that gives webmasters a free alternative to host large images, saving their server bandwidth. Most images might not have a copyright notice, so beware before reusing.

Getty Images

Getty Images Search – They are famous for those unique stock photos you find on magazines, newspapers and corporate new blogs worldwide. Browse through their huge collection and find unique images not indexed by other search engines. In the multiple options, select only Editorial Images (All Editorial, All time). You can also sort by Horizontal or Vertical. Register to get price quote.


Corbis is another popular huge database that provides stock Images. You can search through Rights Managed, Royalty-Free images. You can search by Photography and Illustrations too. But you need to register with Corbis – to license the best images available, view and download large images with no watermarks, use personalized lightboxes to store and share your favorite images and license and download images online. Free stock photos can also be found at Clipart.com, FreeFoto, Stock.xchng


Imagery is my favorite image search engine due to the intuitive interface. This has a cool tabbed search interface to browse your searched images. Just keep searching new image terms, which keep compiling in new tabs, click to load full size image at the bottom or in new window. Loads 20-100 images at a time in ajax-y fashion. Best for research and keep collecting all your search images easily. You can tweak preferences to select JPG, GIF or PNG, sort by size, sort by black and white, grayscale or color and of course get safe for work images too.


Webshots is another huge photo sharing community where people upload their choicest photos and share them. Lookout for copyright issues in these photo album collections. They have a desktop software to have fun with your wallpapers and screensavers.

Warning on Usage – Image search engines help you find the best photos and images online, but that does not make them yours to crop, edit and photoshop. Many of these images you find are copyrighted and for personal use. Some photos are shared with limited creative commons licenses and some rights reserved. Enjoy these best search engines for images but lookout for the copyright notices and if you are allowed to reuse them.

50 comments on “15 Best Image Search Engines to Find Photos Online

  1. Vikram says:

    This is an Excellent Compilation. I didnt know about many of these Image sites. This is very helpful indeed, and now I have many options to scout for images for my blog posts!

  2. Syahid A. says:

    Very unique compilation. I am going to try Imagery based on your recommendation.

  3. Debby Banning says:

    This is a great list. I thought I was already aware of most of the websites to obtain photos from. I have bookmarked this post and I will definitely refer back to it again.

  4. Gauden says:

    Stumbled Upon this page and I love this list, thanks. I agree that Flickr and its support for Creative Commons is a great resource. I am working on a way to browse and search for interesting images with the CC license on Flickr and browsing easily among them. Here’s the interface http://www.slidebay.com/Lookups/pixIndex/ — hoping this is in topic and useful…

  5. brent berrett says:

    the slidebay interface is cool.

  6. Greg Aldrich says:

    I added a metasearch capability for images to Widow.com some time back. You can search Google, Yahoo, MSN, Picsearch, and more all at once with Widow Metasearch’s Image Search.

  7. a1hitko says:

    For some reason the your desktop size and scratchpad options on live image search arent showing up for me. I don’t even hav the options for them….there’s a blank space where they should be. Hav any idea why??? Plz tell me why.

  8. Iren says:

    There is another image search engine – Picollator. It is able to search images by content and find pictures containing similar faces.

  9. Alex says:

    Good compilation. However, nothing is about true image search. I mean image search by images, not by text. I can mention at least two new engines focused on the real image search: http://www.like.com for shopping and http://www.picollator.com for anything.

  10. annie says:

    I have always used google to search for images as I wasn’t aware that there are many other image search engines.

    Will definitely bookmark this page.

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