Basic information

How to use this tool for use/reuse assessment

Yandex is a technology company that offers a portfolio of online products and services, including a search engine that shares its name with the company itself. Yandex is based out of the Netherlands and serves audiences primarily in Russia. One of its products is an image search engine, which queries webpages for instances of an image. To complete a search, a user can select a file from their local computer (even dragging and dropping the image into the search box), enter the URL to the image file already on the web, or search using text for an image already on a website. Yandex returns results in a search engine results format, including the website title, image resolution size, image thumbnail, and a brief description of the website. 

Ethical guidelines

Practitioners should follow the practices laid out in the “Ethical considerations and guidelines for the assessment of use and reuse of digital content.” The Guidelines are meant both to inform practitioners in their decision-making, and to model for users what they can expect from those who steward digital collections.

Additional guidelines for responsible practice

None known.


  • Results from Yandex can act as data that practitioners can analyze to better understand what users do with digital objects in their collections. Yandex and other reverse image search engines can serve as one important piece to a multi-step assessment process. 


  • Yandex, like other popular reverse image search engines, is not always 100% accurate. This process may return false positive results.  

  • Yandex, like other popular reverse image search engines, cannot access content outside of HTML. PDF documents, audio, and video files placed on websites are not queried by Yandex.

  • Yandex, like other popular reverse image search engines, does not allow for batch searching. Practitioners must complete a manual search, one-at-a-time. This can be time consuming and suggests that this approach would not scale to assess a practitioner’s entire digital collections. However, TinEye MatchEngine is a fee-based reverse image search service which performs batch querying.

  • A comparison of reverse image search engines suggests that the index that Yandex uses to query images is not as vast or extensive as other image search tools (specifically Google Image Search) so users may find the best success when searching for popular, highly shared images in Yandex. This may be partially due to Yandex primarily serving Russian and other Eastern European users. 

  • Yandex does not make product documentation available for the public. It is unclear how the search algorithm operates.

  • Yandex uses Russian as its primary language. The web platform does not translate when viewed in Google Chrome or any other search engine. Additionally, it is not possible to copy and paste text from Yandex into a translation software. If one does not read Russian the user takes the chance of accidentally clicking on a malicious website due to language barrier. 

Alternative tools

Other reverse image search engines operate in similar ways: a practitioner submits an image to the search engine and it displays a list of results. No free reverse image search tools allow users to do batch queries of multiple images (see TinEye MatchEngine for a paid service that offers batch querying). Limited comparisons among reverse image search tool features and functions suggest that Google Image Search has a larger index in which to query. This can translate into a more diverse set of results. 

Additional resources

Adrakatti, A. F., Wodeyar, R. S., & Mulla, K. R. (2016). Search by image: a novel approach to content based image retrieval systemInternational Journal of Library Science, 14(3), 41-47.

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