Taking Google’s New Image Search for a Test Drive

Last week, Google announced that they were going to make changes to their image search tool. They said it was going to be faster, more beautiful and more intuitive. Guess what – they were right.

Come along while I take Google’s new image search for a test drive.

Keyword: The Birds

At first, image search looks just like it did before the switch. But once you click on a photo, everything changes.

The chosen photo used to load in an iframe on top of the source page. This was cumbersome and didn’t always function as it was supposed to. Now, the rows split apart and the chosen photo appears in a wide, black bar that fills three-quarters of the screen.

Since you’re not being taken off the page, it’s faster and it should give webmasters more accurate pageview results. Be warned, if a lot of your traffic came from people clicking through to see a photo, you may see a huge drop off.

google image search

Here’s a closer look at the expanded box.

image search closeup

Underneath the title is a clickable link to the source page. That’s new and could potentially send a lot of additional traffic to your site (to make up for the traffic you lost due to the iframe removal.) The data block also shows the size of the image. After that it gets pretty redundant.

If you click the “More sizes” link, you get a page that looks like a sheet of postage stamps.

more sizes

It’s interesting to see how many website feature the same photo. A fact that could be disconcerting if you hold the copyright on said photo.

There are three buttons at the bottom of the data box. Click “Visit page” and you go straight to the source page. No frames, no pop-ups, it’s clean and smooth. Yeah. Click “View original image” and you get the photo in its native size, all alone on a field of black.

“Image details” is an odd duck. This takes you to a page that looks like traditional search results. It has links to sites with information about the photo, in this case the IMDB page for the movie. That’s followed by more thumbnails and then more detail on the sites that have the same photo.

The takeaway here, is that there are now four clickable links that connect the browser to the source page instead of two. Google says that their tests showed a marked increase in the average click-through rate with the new design. Sounds reasonable. More choices, more chances someone will click.

This new design makes images even more accessible and interesting. If you’re loading quality graphics on to your website, then chances are you’ll see a boost in traffic. If you want a little more, make sure your photos have descriptive titles with keywords and fill in the alt tags.

How would I rate Google’s new image search?

excellent by parylo00

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