Language Multilingual

Launched December 3, 2001
Closed No

Developer Andersson, Nils and Robert Risberg

Country of Origin Sweden

2001 - [...] Picsearch

Topic Image SeEn

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Robot/Crawler based, algorithmic search

Used SeEn Picsearch

Robot: psbot (Source)

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

»Picsearch was developed and founded in the year, 1999-2000, at Linköping University by two engineering students Nils Andersson and Robert Risberg, who were working on their Master of Science in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering. Their goal was to improve relevancy, create a larger index, and to introduce family-friendly and spam filtered results. The company was launched in 2000, and the first public version of the image search engine was available in September 2001, around the same time that Google launched its services.« Source

»Picsearch is a search engine for pictures and images and has many features which make it unique. It has a relevancy unrivalled on the web due to it's patent-pending indexing algorithms. Also, Picsearch has a family friendliness that allows children to surf in safety as all offensive material is filtered out by our advanced filtering systems. The site is also very user friendly as it's designed to be both simple, fast and accurate. Due to all of these features, Picsearch is perfect for fun, school, business and family!« Source

»PicSearch also powers the image search for many popular web portals including MSN, Lycos and« Source

Today (2014) they offer more than 3,000,000,000 pictures. Source


Critical points

»Censoring child pornography: In July 2007 the Swedish National Criminal Police started working with Picsearch to incorporate a special filter, which will block the visibility of 4000 websites with commercial child pornography. Introducing the filter on Picsearch and other search services, the police authorities are trying to make it more difficult for users to find child pornography. The initiative has sparked some discussion in Sweden and Japan as to whether or not the police authorities are extending their powers, whether the filter threatens freedom of speech, and whether the real reason for introducing the filter is to establish a precedent for denying access to other information as well.« Source

Features & Functionality

»As always, the firm uses patented technology for measuring relevancy and “family-friendliness” of manages. Family-friendliness implies an automatic filter on nudity, pornography and violence. The engine also deploys its own indexer and crawler (Psbot). Searchers have the feature to search from a huge directory. The resulting images appear as thumbnail and when clicked lead user to the original site.« Source


»Environmental policy: On the 22nd of March 2007, Picsearch implemented a new environmental policy making them the first carbon neutral search engine in the world. The Picsearch initiative was followed by promises from Yahoo in April and Google in June to go carbon neutral by the end of 2007.« Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Picsearch News Archive URL:
Klaus Patzwaldt: Picsearch – Bildersuchmaschine URL:
Radhakrishnan, Arun (2007): PicSearch : Intuitive Relevant Image Search Engine URL:
TASI (2003): A Review of Image Search Engines URL:

Created: 2013-02-16