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What is Visual Search and Its Differences with Image Search?

Last updated: Aug 25, 2022

What is Visual Search?

The term visual search is no longer a foreign thing to internet users today. This type of search technique that uses visuals is considered easier and more accurate in comparison to searching using descriptive text.

Visual searching uses the application of artificial intelligence to help users search images by directly using visuals of the objects. The technology makes it easier for users to see the visual representations of the products that they look for.

This technology to search visuals online is very useful for sellers who primarily operate their business on e-commerce. By using such a tool, users can look for objects accurately as it helps them identify products that will lead them to the store.

Not only for searching for products but the visual recognition tool can also be used to interact with potential customers. With the accuracy of the result, they can get the right information regarding the brand of the product as well.

Such a tool for visual searching gives benefits to business owners. Its role as one of the SEO tools today is essential for business needs. For that, you will need to consider several things related to the use of visual searching on SEO which is:

  • Implementing sponsorship for business
  • Presenting the brand to potential customers
  • Marketing the products through the official website


The Differences between Visual Search and Image Search

After knowing what visual searching is, you must know its differences with image search. Although they both sound similar, they are technically different. Such a tool to search visuals is categorized as a sensory search that involves texts, sounds, and visuals.

Even though both image and visual searches focus on object searching, they both operate differently. To use image search, you must write down texts that include the descriptions of pictures. However, visual searching can do that by only using the picture uploaded by the user.

The way visual searching works is to combine computer vision and the technology of machine learning. This tool uses computer vision to see the object and interpret the information from machine learning.

Elements Used for Visual Search

After knowing the general information about visual searching and its differences from image search, let’s continue with the information concerning the elements recognized by this technology. Today, visual searching can be done easily as it gives accurate results in a short span of time.

There are a few examples of visual search engines that are generally used today namely Google Lens, Bing Visual Search, dan Pinterest. For Google, the searching is done by identifying pictures and interpreting them using the information from several sources to get the accurate result.

To use Google's visual search engine effectively, you can inspect several elements that can be detected by the  AI technology below:

Face of Buildings

The identity of a building can be seen from its face. Google can recognize a building based on its characteristics. It works by interpreting the sentiments and the number of visitors who come to the place. 


Google interprets a logo as a whole instead of a letter per letter. In other words, Google can detect logos without the help of text at all. The information for the interpretation is provided by Google Merchant, Google Business Profile, and other sources.


Landmarks can be recognized easily by Google Maps. Including such a picture of an iconic landmark can help AI technology visualize the location of a particular place better.


Visual search is a tool to detect texts or pictures that can be interpreted by users with the help of Optical Character Recognition. Make sure to use fonts that are easily read so the texts can be recognized and interpreted by the machine.

Knowledge Graph

This feature from Google is used to categorize and tag pictures. Knowledge Graph has a significant effect on visual searching on the SERP. For that, you must upload the most relevant picture that can portray your brand image the best.

The Benefits of Visual Search on SEO

Understanding what visual searching is can give you insights related to the search technique on search engines today. Through visual searching, you can find your business potential by optimizing the pictures of the products to promote your business online.

There are several benefits that can be gained from visual searching, which are:

Building Connections with New Customers

Finding products online can help you gain new customers. Why is that so? Customers today tend to trust a brand and feel connected emotionally with the visual that is displayed on the screen.

Connecting with Generation Z

The technology of visual searching can connect you with the new generation. Today, customers from Generation Z often find new products on social media. After that, they will proceed to buy the products directly on the e-commerce site.

Selling Products with the Help of Algorithms

With the help of visual searching, customers with particular preferences can be connected with the products you offer. The algorithm can give potential buyers recommendations and leads them to the website of your store.

Increase the Revenue

Visual searching can give your business increased revenue. Surely such profits can only be gotten after you optimize the on-page SEO on the pictures of the products on your website or the other e-commerce platforms.



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