Gmail OCR Enables Image Searches, Expert Says

Gmail users may not know it. But they can use Gmail OCR to search for images contained in emails.

"I tried Gmail OCR search against different types of images and the results were fairly good," writes Amit Agarwal, in the Digital Inspiration blog. “Text recognition in Gmail works for both image attachments as well as inline embedded images.”

This can also be done with Evernote. Agarwal adds that “when you perform searches inside Gmail or Google Inbox, the results always contain matching images that contain the search keywords.”

As Agarwal describes it: "When you clip an image – be it a screenshot, a scanned business card, or a picture of the whiteboard – these tools automatically detect the text inside the image and make the image searchable."

It’s not clear what this means to email marketers. But consumers remember compelling images, and can search for them later. It’s another chance to get a marketing message in front of the customer.

Agarwal adds that “Gmail could successfully find matching text inside product manuals with small fonts, scanned book cover and a handwritten note but failed with logos and some street signs.”

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