Pinterest: Tips for locating original images

If you’re having as much fun with Pinterest as I am, you’ve probably noticed that many pinned images don’t link back to an original source. Or worse, they don’t link back to any source at all!

It’s frustrating to find a great looking craft idea, but find that the image links back to a site that doesn’t actually have any information about the craft. Or a photograph of a gorgeous beach that you can’t wait to visit, but the photo is linked back to a tumblr page where the image was shared from someone else’s tumblr and so on, without any reference to the original photographer or the location where that gorgeous beach is. You get the idea.

So, some tips on pinning and finding the original source.

Don’t pin directly from a Google Images search

  • Problem: You click on the image to find the source and you end up at a blank Google Images search page.
  • Solution: If you find a great image in Google, follow that image back to the web page that it was found on. Pin from there if the page has useful information related to the image.

Pin from individual blog posts, not the main page of a blog:

  • Problem: Pinning an image from a blog’s main page will indeed lead you back to the blog. But what happens when the blog has lots of new content and the picture you pinned has been dropped off into the hidden depths of the blog archives? Right, you’ll have to search and dig for it.
  • Solution: It’s very simple to click on the title of the individual blog post and pin from there. That will lead people back to the exact post where that image was found.

Find the original image with Google Image search: 

  • Problem: Images are so easy to “borrow” and republish on tumblr, posterous and other web sites. But in the process, credit to the original creator of the photo has probably disappeared, as well as any context for the photo.
  • Solution: It’s remarkably easy to find the original source for a photo with Google’s Image Search. It works far more often than not.
  • Follow these easy steps:
  1. Right click on the photo whether it’s on Pinterest already or on some other web page.
  2. Find the option to view the image on its own.
  3. Copy the URL for the image. You’ll recognize it by the .jpg or .png at the end of the URL
  4. Pop that into the “Search by Image” option box in Google Image search.
  5. You’ll likely find lots of copies of the image. Look for one that has some useful information and looks like it’s the original source.