Did you know that there are other ways to search content on various sites apart from just plain text? Search engines and some websites allow you to search for different content using images and videos. This is helpful for situations where you can’t describe what you are looking for but can show the engines what you need or if you’re checking if someone is using your content illegally.
The reverse image search is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is upload an image to a search engine, and it will provide you with related results.
But how do you perform a reverse video search? Do you also need to upload a video?
In this article, I will discuss what reverse video search is, different situations why you would need to do this, and how to reverse search a video using different search engines and sites.
What is a Reverse Video Search?
As the name implies, reverse video search refers to determining the origin of a video by uploading the output to a search engine. It allows you to look for anything on the internet by using a video as your search keyword.
This process works similarly to a regular internet search. But instead of analyzing the keyword you have input, it uses the color and pixels of the video you uploaded and gives you the exact copies available online or any related search results.
Since this method of searching is fairly new, the results are not as accurate as text searches yet. However, this can be a helpful process in this day and age of technology where plagiarism and exploitation of various content are rampant.
Why Reverse Search Videos?
If you are a content creator or a brand that regularly publishes video content, it’s a must to ensure that your materials are not being replicated online. While some may say that copying is the highest form of flattery, it’s not the case with digital content. You want to ensure that your content is protected from any improper use.
A simple reverse video search using search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, etc., shows you how many times your video has appeared on the internet and which websites are using it.
From there, you can check for any malicious usage and take action.
Another reason to use reverse search for a video is to explore related content. If you are looking for ideas, you can use this method to search for similar videos for inspiration.
Have you found an interesting video that you want to apply to your brand and check if your competitors have done the same?
This could be what you need.
Video reverse search isn’t only for content creators or businesses. Regular users can take advantage of this too. For example, you can use this to look for full video versions.
Some social media and file-sharing sites have file size restrictions, limiting the length of videos users can upload.
That’s why some users can only share clips or bits and pieces of a video. If you come across one of these and want to check out the full version, you can do a reverse video search.
How to Do a Reverse Video Search
There are different ways you can perform a reverse video search. Some search engines will only allow you to upload a screenshot of a video rather than the whole video file. This may seem similar to reverse image search, but don’t worry. You will still get the results you are looking for.
However, to get the best results, you need to choose a distinctive frame when taking a screenshot of the video. Do not just get a random frame. This will help the search engine narrow down the search results and help you find the original video faster if that’s what you’re using this for.
You can also do this for YouTube videos. If you see a clip that interests you, but there is not much information about the video, by simply using a screenshot, you can use that to reverse search a video.
How to Take a Screenshot.
Depending on your device, let’s look at how to do this.
Using a Mac:
- Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 5
- Adjust the size of the image you desire.
- Make any adjustments using the options tab.
- Select capture.
I like using this because if I accidentally let go of the keys when I’m not ready, it won’t take a screenshot of something completely irrelevant. However, if you are still old school, using Shift + Command (⌘) + 4 still works.
Using Windows 11:
- Simply hit the PrtScn Key (if on a laptop, you might need to press Fn + PrtScn). This takes an image of your entire desktop.
- The image is now placed on your clipboard.
Sometimes though, you might want to take a shot of just one window. In this case:
- Press Alt + PrtScn
- Paste it into Paint or Word and then save the file.
Are your screenshots ready? Let’s start doing a video reverse search.
Using a Reverse Video Search Engine or Independent Websites To Try.
If you want to search for stolen videos, Google is the best platform to use. However, for those looking for the original video source, Google may not be your best option. Nevertheless, it’s still worth a try.
To reverse video search using Google, follow the steps below:
1. Go to Google Images and click the camera icon found on the search bar.
2. After clicking the camera icon, you have two options to share your video’s screenshot. If you have the actual file with you, click upload an image. If you only have the link, you can paste it into the box provided. Make sure that the screenshot of the video is clear and of good quality.
3. Next, click search. Google Images will run a visual search and recognition, looking for any similar video.
Lastly, Google Images will provide you with a list of related photos and videos. Just go through each of the search results and look for the video you are searching for.
If the reason why you’re performing a reverse video search is to look for similar videos you can use for content, Shutterstock is the place for you. This website is known to provide royalty-free images and videos that anyone can use for their digital content. Its database consists of more than 1 billion photos, vectors, illustrations, and videos, so you’ll undoubtedly find what you’re searching for. Here’s how you can use Shutterstock for your video search:
1. Go to Shutterstock’s video page.
2. On the search bar, click the camera icon found on the right side of the search button.
3. Drag and drop the screenshot or click the upload button to choose one from your local storage. After you’ve uploaded the image, Shutterstock will look for similar videos. Click the video you want from the results.
Note: Shutterstock is a digital content marketplace. If you want to download any resource from the website, you’ll have the pay for it. However, you’re free to use it commercially. This is ideal for video editors who need new content ideas or additional materials.
Like Google, Bing also lets users perform a reverse video search on its platform. The method is quite similar to Google Images. Using a screengrab of the video, you can search for the video source or check if there are any malicious usages of the videos you own through Bing. Here’s how:
1. Go to Bing’s Visual Search page.
2. Instead of a search bar, you will see a drag and drop section where you can upload a screenshot of a video frame. Click browse if you want to upload an image or drop the file into the section. You can also click paste image or URL if you have a link to the screenshot instead of the actual file.
3. The search tool will scan the footage you uploaded and search the web for any similar frame, color, or pixels, that match the screenshot you uploaded.
If Google and Bing can’t help you find the video you’re looking for, you can use third-party tools like Berify. This reverse video search tool allows you to find the original source of the video. At the same time, you can use it to check if your images and videos are stolen and being used illegally.
In addition to reverse video search, Berify also allows you to perform a reverse image search. Like the other two search engines, this website will search by image rather than the actual video file.
This means that you need to take a screenshot of the footage. You can also use direct links rather than images to perform a reverse video search.
Since it’s a third-party tool, its search and recognition process includes matching against all available search engines, making it easier for you to do a reverse video search.
So how do you reverse search a video in Berify? Follow the steps below:
1. Go to Berify’s website and register an account. While the site shows you the search bar and allows you to upload a screenshot even if you’re not logged in, the next window will prompt you to sign up before showing the results. To save time, create an account before you start a search.
2. Once you’ve set up your account, you’re ready to perform a reverse video search. Click the search box, look for the screenshot, and upload it.
3. Next, click search and wait for the results. Your results will be saved in your account, allowing you to view them whenever you need to.
One important thing you need to know about Berify is that it is a paid service. While it offers a free trial, the trial period will only last for three days and will require you to pay for the service after that.
But why pay when you can use other search engines for free, right?
Well, unlike Bing and Google, which only allow you to upload one screenshot per search, Berify allows you to upload multiple images at a time using a sitemap or through your social media accounts.
This gives the website a better look at the video you’re searching for, giving you more accurate results.
Some reverse video search tools use metadata, watermarks, and keywords to provide you with related results. TinEye uses image recognition technology that scans the color and pixels of every screenshot you upload.
Follow the steps below to reverse search a video or image with TinEye:
1. On your browser, visit the TinEye website. Make sure you have your screenshot ready.
2. Next, click the upload button to upload an image from your computer and press the blue magnifying glass icon. This will start the search.
3. If you don’t have the file with you, you can enter a direct image URL on the search bar, and press enter to start the search.
How to Reverse Search Videos Using a Mobile Phone.
If you want to do a reverse video search using your smartphone, you will also need a screenshot of the video. Follow the steps below if you don’t know how to take a screenshot on your phone:
- Android: Press and hold the Power and Volume down button until you see your phone takes a screenshot.
- iOS: Simultaneously press the Power and Volume up button to take a screenshot.
Once you have your screenshot ready, you can visit any of the above-mentioned sites using your phone’s browser. However, you won’t be able to see the upload a screenshot option on these websites since you will be redirected to their mobile version. To access the reverse video search option, you need to switch to the desktop version. Here’s how:
- Chrome: Open the website or search engine where you want to perform your reverse video search. Then, press the three dots found in the top-right corner of the app. Next, select the Desktop site from the menu to switch to the desktop version.
- Safari: In the app, visit any of the websites above. Once the site loads, click the aA icon found in the top-left corner beside the address bar. Then, choose the Request Desktop Website option to load the desktop version.
Is it Possible to Reverse Search a Video?
Yes and no. Sounds confusing, right? While the purpose of your reverse search is to find videos, you’re still using image search technology because you’re uploading screengrabs instead of the actual video file.
Reverse video search is still a relatively new approach to internet searching, so the results you’ll get won’t be as accurate as searching with keywords and phrases when compared to image search.
Now that you know how to perform a reverse video search, the only question is, which tool is the best for your needs?
If you need something that operates with larger datasets, Google Images and Bing Visual Search are great tools for both reverse image search and reverse video search.
TinEye is the best choice for image recognition since it uses color search, label matching, and picture tracking to provide a more accurate image and visual search.
If you want to use multiple images for your reverse video search, Berify is a superior affordable tool.
For video editors or anyone needing new content ideas or materials to use, Shutterstock is the best option.
And that’s it! You’re now equipped with everything you need to perform a reverse video search.
Let me know which one is your favorite!
It’s time to be the pilot of your life, not just the passenger.
Chris Bournelis is a blogger, search engine optimization, and content marketing specialist. He has been working in the online business since 2015. Join him here at ChrisBournelis.com for the best SaaS reviews and tips to get the most out of your online business.