INTERNET SEARCH GIANT Google has updated its image search function, introducing a redesigned Google Images results page that displays an inline panel so that it's faster, more reliable and creates an overall "better search experience".
Google associate product manager Hongyi Li said in a post on the firm's Webmaster Central Blog on Wednesday that the revamped Google Images is based on feedback that people looking for images on the website often want to browse through many images at once while looking at their metadata.
Google added that with the redesign image searchers will be able to quickly flip through a set of images by using the keyboard.
"If you want to go back to browsing other search results, just scroll down and pick up right where you left off," Li said.
Other improvements to the search function include more detailed metadata displayed underneath each image in results - as opposed to redirecting users to a separate landing page - as well as more prominent key information about the image displayed next to it, such as the title of the webpage hosting the image, the domain name of the website it comes from, and the image size.
"The domain name is now clickable, and we also added a new button to visit the page the image is hosted on," Li said. "This means that there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two. In our tests, we've seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website."
Li also promised that the removal of the "source page in an iframe" in the background of the image detail view will also speed up the experience for users, reducing the load on the source website's servers, and improving the accuracy of webmaster.
Though the update sounds like a welcome improvement, not all Google Image users are fans of the idea, as some commenters on the Webmaster blog have made clear.
For example, one commenter who goes by the name of "Kovah" said, "Are you kidding me? I'm blocking the Bing crawler already because Microsoft implemented a similar concept a while ago and now you are doing the same? I'm really disappointed and I don't think anybody will click on any links as you described."
Another commenter, Remi van Beekum, hinted that Google has copied from Bing's image search filter to improve its variant when he or she said, "So you saw that Bing has a far better image search, waited more than a year, copied the idea, tweaked it a little and now tell the world Google is so innovative? Google is getting way too arrogant, this might bite you guys in the tail someday."
But regardless of what the critics might say, users should see the updated Google Image Search feature rolled out across the search engine over the next few days. µ
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