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Seeing Is Believing

Visual search engines make it simple for shoppers to find your products.

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This story appears in the April 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Visual recognition and search company Riya has applied its matching to a new fashion shopping site called Like.com. The idea is that, when a shopper finds a fashion item he or she likes--a particular handbag or pair of shoes, for example--the search engine finds related products by examining the actual image. To get matches, users can do a keyword search, browse products or even browse items worn by celebrities.

Riya's technology works by studying one image and finding others that match it. add their merchandise to Like.com simply by adding item images, or they can work with their affiliate networks to get listed. E-tailers are charged for Like.com's service by the click, but a few merchants use a cost-per-acquisition model.

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