Image Search “Google Tricks”

So you search for images as well, you say. I know I do. I find the search for images to be something of an obsession for me. I especially value those photos I am able to find that are of the German Expulsion or the area around Elbing in the former West Prussia, where my mother grew up.

In keeping with my earlier article on Google Search Tips, I thought folks might appreciate some hints on Google search tricks for images. So here are a few.

Firstly, it is important to note that the syntax for image searches is really not very different from the syntax for any other type of search. What follows is a rather complex search string for an image of “Preussen” or (Prussia in German).

preussen site:commons.wikimedia.org “in the public domain” “jpg – Wikimedia” OR “jpeg – Wikimedia” OR “png – Wikimedia” (You might want to try this out on Google.)

Other options and syntax that we could have added to our search string include:

  • searches for image filetypes e.g.; elbing filetype:png or jpeg|jpg|gif|…
  • searches for images of a desired size we could add &imgsz=small or to get a different size use any of the following terms instead of small – medium|large|xlarge|xxlarge|huge
  • if we only wanted a sketch or human image we could have added to our search string &imgtype=face|lineart (where face would yield a person and lineart a sketch/ drawing)
  • and should we have been concerned about the copyright we could have added &as_rights=cc_publicdomain other options available include cc_attribute|cc_noncommercial|cc_nonderived (where cc is a creative commons license)

As you might imagine the variations are essentially limitless. Hopefully you will try a few of these variations and see how the searches result in different images. The bottom line is that this should help you see fewer but more valuable images. Good hunting!