Best Image Search Engines

This is a comprehensive list of search engines that allow users to find images online. Most of the web sites listed here allow you to download several types of files.

Some of them only list items from their own respective databases, while others aggregate content from multiple resources and display it in central location. Photographers, artists and graphic designers can also use many of these sites to share their products with friends and family, or list stock photos for sale commercially.

Top 10 Image Search Engines

Search EngineAlexa Rank*Unique Visitors**
flickr.com6414.5 M
photobucket.com18213.5 M
images.search.yahoo.comN/A22.7 M
images.google.comN/A4.3 M
imageshack.us2781.7 M
shutterstock.com3371.6 M
123rf.com4702.6 M
istockphoto.com537504 K
dreamstime.com10151.3 M
sxc.hu134154 K

*Alexa Traffic Rank (global). **Monthly Unique Visitor estimates from Compete.com (U.S. only). Updated for 2013; 2014 updates coming soon.


Summaries

For information on images.search.yahoo.com and images.google.com, please see the general search engines page.

flickr.com – Founded in 2004 by Ludicorp, Flickr was later acquired by Yahoo! Inc., and is currently one of the best online photo management and sharing applications in the world. The site allows users to upload their favorite pictures and videos securely and privately, then share it with others.

Photobucket.com – Founded in 2003, this website allows users to upload their content to be shared publicly with businesses and families. The web site offers free media hosting services.

ImageShack.com – Started in 2003, this site offers free image hosting, and photo and video sharing. Users can upload their content then share them with people who care.

Shutterstock.com – Founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer, Shutterstock.com is a microstock photography resource. You can use the site to search and select from millions of high resolution royalty-free stock photographs, imagery, and vector art. It offers subscription plans for frequent users and one-time credit options.

123rf.com – For an individual subscription fee, you can gain access to a ton of high-resolution images. Alternatively, you can purchase individual credits to download premium content as needed. Use it to search millions of HD files.

iStockPhoto.com – Started 2000 by Bruce Livingstone, it’s an online royalty-free stock image, media and design provider. Users can choose from vector illustrations, multimedia, flash and logos. Members buy credits to download the available offerings they’re interested in.

Dreamstime.com – Online since 2000, Dreamstime is a community-based stock photography website. It provides high-quality pictures and free content gets added regularly. There’s instant credit options available to purchase items on-demand, but it also provides multiple fee-based subscription plans for heavy users.

sxc.hu – Recently purchased by Getty Images, Stock.XCHNG is a popular free stock photo database. They offer one of the largest selections of free content made available by a community of professionals who like to share their work.

Keep in mind this top ten list of image search engines is based on Alexa Traffic Rank only; not necessarily which ones are best from a user’s perspective. If you’d like us to review another search engine missing from our one of lists don’t hesitate to send us the web site information via our contact form.

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