Google is in the middle of announcing a major overhaul of its image search at a press conference in San Francisco.Those alchemists over in Mountain View have been fiddling with their search engine again and the product has been one of the biggest redesigns ye olde Google has received to date. Gone are the little captions and size measurements under each image……
Google is launching a revamped version of Google Image Search, which starts rolling out to users today.The announcement was delivered by Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search products and user experience, here at a press conference at the company’s offices in San Francisco. In a colorful room filled with journalists, Mayer and her team dived into the current technology underlying Google Image Search, but quickly turned their attention towards an array of new features that will greet searchers starting today.
Google’s image search feature, Google Images, has been a really useful way to search for images, and now the search engine giant has given it one of the biggest makeovers since it was launched back in 2001. The most obvious change will be its new tiled layout which will see all the text below images removed, resulting in more pictures being shown, not to mention instant scrolling between pages. A hover pane is now included that will appear when you put your mouse cursor over a given thumbnail image, giving you a larger preview without having to click on the image itself.
At the start of its press conference, Google demonstrated some of Image Search’s current features. One of those features is Similar Images, a tool that recognizes images and finds similar images. Google Color Search (find images based on color) was also demoed.Google summed up the current version of Image Search by saying that it is a simple interface with powerful tools. There are more than one billion page views a day, with 10 billion images indexed. However, the company believes that it can do better.
Thus the revamped version of Google Image Search. The new Google Images is a far more visual interface. Instead of lines of images with text, Google Image Search results now display larger thumbnails with very little text through a hover effect. Text information such as file names, file size and URL are now included when you hover over an image.The landing page has also been massively revamped. The familiar Google Images frames have been removed in favor of displaying a full size image on top of the destination website. Once you close the image, you are taken to the actual destination page, rather than a Google-framed website.
Keyboard navigation has also been optimized to facilitate faster scrolling between pages, by taking advantage of popular keyboard inputs such as Page Up / Page Down. The redesigned layout will be rolling out to most countries over the next few days, with many users in the United States already able to see and use it.
The revamped version of Image Search has already started its rollout and will complete by the end of the week. This update will only be available on “modern browsers” at the onset, specifically Chrome, Safari, Firefox 3.0 and up, IE7 and IE8.