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How COPYTRACK finds your images: A Sneak Peek Behind the Curtain

One of the most common questions we get asked is: “How does Copytrack find the sites that are displayed in my inbox ?”

We all know that the Internet is complex and that means search engines never actually search the complete internet. Some websites cannot be accessed by the public or found by search engines. To help you understand how COPYTRACK works, imagine us as a typically search engine, where the process would be:

  1. Search and capture content from the World Wide Web
  2. Create a search index to retrieve the obtained information
  3. Prepare the user’s request
  4. Provide information according to user request

Understanding Web Crawlers

Search engines generally capture new and changed content. This is done with the aid of so-called crawlers, also known as spiders or search robots. But what exactly are they? Crawlers are programs that systematically and continuously search web content and store relevant information. The collected information is processed and combined into an index. You can imagine this as a keyword index in books – it contains both index terms as well as information on where the origin of the terms lies. Practically a virtual index that stores billions of words and links to web content.

How does COPYTRACK search?

However, with COPYTRACK, the search is somewhat different, because with us the index already exists. It is composed of the image features of all customer images. This forms the core for crawling on the Internet. The crawler must “only add” the information “where” the images are found on the Internet. For this purpose, all images collected by the crawler are continuously compared with the COPYTRACK image index. Whenever there is a match, the image with the location is displayed directly to the customer. If you were to breakdown our process it’s this:

  1. Structure of the COPYTRACK image index from existing images on the customer database
  2. Continuous search of images on the World Wide Web
  3. Querying the images against our image index
  4. Display the locations of the images

Conclusion: It might look simple but it requires great technological know-how. With more than 1000 websites per second, our image search is highly efficient. COPYTRACK employs a large number of different crawlers, which analyse blogs, shops, message pages, popular social networks and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

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If you have any questions about uploading pictures or using the COPYTRACK contact us here: +49 (0) 30 809 332 910

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© COPYTRACK | Stefan Bär

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About Copytrack

COPYTRACK was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt. Our service is aimed at photographers, publishers, picture agencies and e-commerce providers. We enable free detection of stolen images on the Internet, as well as, international legal enforcement.
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