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Apologies if this is a duplicate. I've done a little research and it seems futile but thought I'd ask: Does anyone know a way to get all (or more?) Google Image Search results than the ones they provide?

I know that vague search terms return millions of results and therefore they cull many out, but I'm a psychopath and I want to see them all. Is this even remotely possible? Is there another way to do such a thing?

It seems like the results for vague terms have gotten fewer and fewer and I'm needing to use more and more specific terms to find varied results.

(Using Chrome on a MacBook, private results is turned off.)

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The issues with Google Image Search engine is that it aims for relevance by dropping variance. Firstly, it's important to understand how it works. An image uploaded to the internet needs to be indexed in two ways:

  • based on originality (image gets to be analyzed by a "smart bot" based on color, size, patterns, shape recognition, type, etc.)
  • based on similarity (image gets to be analyzed by a "smart bot2" and cross-referenced with already existing images in a database and further tagged with one or two category labels: "image is match" and "image is similar to...")

After indexing is done, the image will inherit "keywords" as a result of recognition to avoid showing off-topic results to enduser. The thing is that each keyword is a standalone phrase with assigned value in % based on the strength of relevance (that's why grouping more words in search box results in fewer results and also when you search for an image by uploading it or entering URL, Google will assign a "guess" with only top keywords, which means that the search will never show you all pictures simply because the search is not designed to do so)

So at the end of a day when you perform an image search and right under the search box, you will see a tremendous number saying "25,270,000,000 results (0.55 seconds)" its mostly always kind of a fake number, because you will get no more than 200 (max 500 but only after user requests it) results which are also filtered to exclude:

  • external duplicates (if the same image is 2+ times on the same site page)
  • relevance duplicates (shows only "best results" - see image below)
  • images that have issues with the law (see image below)
  • images that violate DMCA (see image below)
  • images that originate from SPAM, MALWARE, PHISHING sources
  • images that are hidden (if a user didn't disable Safe Search)
  • images that are blacklisted by Google (article)
  • images with different AR (basically all images that have a different aspect ratio than the image search reference. eg. you can miss all desired results if you search by your chosen image - let's say with weird ratio 9:7 - while all images indexed in Google are with ratio 3:4 - which is maybe the biggest downside of this search engine because it always obeys Aspect Ratio as the first criterion)
  • and a bunch of more

To summarize it: search results of an image are never full-relevant. Sometimes you will get your final desired result with a search phrase "gate poster" otherwise it could be "gate cover", "gate bluray", "gate dvd", "gate 2015" or even "自衛隊 彼の地にて 斯く戦えり" - you just can't have "ALL" image results, because there isn't anything that is "ALL", that's why there is a need to play with it to get there. And also is relevant to mention, that there are other image search engines that can do the job a way more differently, because they work on different standards and criterions. It isn't and never been "Google"-only... >> https://www.yandex.com/images/

notable extensions:

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    thanks this is very informative!! although to clarify (i think i said this wrong) something that was confusing me about search terms was that i would get MORE results for say "round mirror craigslist" than for "round mirror" which made no sense to me . . . ? i guess my real question is, is there a way to trick google into letting me see more than 500 results? seems the answer is no. i will check out yandex, i've tried other search engines before but found google to still be best, if flawed. thanks again :) – milpool Jul 22 '18 at 3:55
  • @milpool it all depends on your search words how many results you will get. sometimes it can be 500, other times 200, 300... there is no way to trick google to show you more by not changing a search term. – user0 Jul 22 '18 at 7:09

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