Why doesn't reverse image search work with social media websites?

Why doesn’t reverse image search work with social media websites?

It doesn’t even work with profile avatars.

Social media sites make their content hard to robo copy, and if the source image isn’t in google’s (or whoever’s) database, it’s tough to find.


There can be certain rules that guide the search crawlers, on how to treat images. Though is not on absolute terms, this can be done theoretically, however if the crawlers are aggressive they can parse the website pages either way.

One reason to make things difficult for crawlers, has to do with privacy regulations where things are all over the place now and there are lots restrictions to dictate how companies can use data or how to serve them.

The other has to do mostly that social media websites that want to promote exclusivity of the content for strategic purposes. They act like “internet-inside-internet” type of companies and want to retain their power and userbase by not making their data easily accessible and reusable.

So the bottom line if the job of search crawlers is made more difficult the better for the social media website, but the worse for search engine provides since they loose credibility.


Aside from user’s privacy settings… It’s a “war”. Social media platforms compete directly with search engines for ads revenue.