The SEO Project

Reverse Image Search (Link Reclamation)

Joshua HardwickJoshua Hardwick

If you have images on your website (that you own the copyright to), other websites are probably republishing them without your permission.

Many times, these websites not only use your images without permission, but don’t even link back to your website as the original source.

For example, Infographicpedia.com has embedded an infographic from Quicksprout on this post

infographicspedia

…but haven’t linked back to the original source.

Reverse image searching essentially allows you to find any websites republishing your images without permission.

Then you can reach out to them and ask them to credit you with a link.

Note: This technique works particularly well for infographics, but can work for any images on your site.

Here’s how to do it:

    1. Find all images on your site (that you own the copyright to)
    2. Do a reverse image search for each image on Google Images
    3. Reach out to those republishing without linking back to you

Start by browsing each page on your website and look for any images that you own the copyright to; this includes:

When you find an image that meets the criteria, right-click on the image and select “Search Google for Image”

search-google-for-image

Google will now show you every website making use of your image – you can then click through to each result and check whether or not they’re linking to you.

If you find a site that isn’t linking back to the image source (i.e. your website), make a note of the URL and domain in a simple spreadsheet, like this:

spreadsheet-permission

Note: If you can find contact details for the site, add them too.

When you have a list of URLs/sites that are using your image(s) but not linking back to your site, reach out to the webmaster to let him/her know about the issue.

Here’s a template you can use:

“Hey [NAME],

I just noticed you used one of my images in your recent post here: [INSERT LINK TO URL].

I’m glad you liked the image!

Obviously, I have no problem with you using the image on your website (more the merrier!), but I just wanted to reach out briefly to request that you link to the original source within your post.

Here’s a link to the original source of the image on my site: [INSERT LINK TO YOUR SITE].

Please let me know if you’re able to do this.

Thanks,

[NAME]”

Tip: If they don’t respond, try following up a few days later with a slightly more “direct” email letting them know it’s a copyright issue.

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