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Google Bings Image Search

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Contributor:
David Silversmith
David Silversmith
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Google has announced the largest redesign of Google Images since 2001.  Lots of new features, many of which borrow heavily from their prime competitor Microsoft Bing

Google images gets 1 billion page views every day. People search for images for a multitude of reasons: shopping, to find out what something looks like, education, coloring books, entertainment, pornography - the list is endless. Ben Ling, Director, Google Search Products says that one of Google’s unique factors is comprehensiveness. Google had 250 million images when Image Search launched in beta in 2001 and now has over 10 billion images. Looking from a "what hot" perspective, the fastest rising terms of 2010 were Haiti, Kesha, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Avatar.

In the old image search, you'd see multiple pages of thumbnails with text showing the file name, dimensions, and a description associated with the image. Now you'll only see a collage of image results with larger thumbnails. Google's new features start with the fact that results are now shown on the screen without text/links — it’s all images. Users of Microsoft Bing will quickly recognize this approach as Bing saw images as the future of search back in 2009. 

Images also has better scrolling with the images loading dynamically as you keep scrolling down the page. You can now see up to 1,000 images on one page. You also get more information on the results page. Clicking an image gives a larger thumbnail preview, rather than opening it in a frame. This makes it much easier to quickly browser through multiple images. The snippet accompanying each image is also more detailed.

Google has also found a new way to monetize image search with the announcement of Google Image Search Ads. A new ad product that allows advertisers to run their own image as an ad on Image Search.  Similar to the rest of Google, these ads will fill the prime real estate at the top of the screen and they’re separated and clearly marked as sponsored links. Google has high hopes for these ads, expecting users to get higher value out of those ads thus translating into premium rates over text ads for the advertisers. For now, these ads will only appear on the page for Google Image search, but Ling said they’ll explore rolling the ads out to other Search products eventually.

Technically, Google managed to display more and larger image results without slowing load times and made it faster to find images for which you're searching. This update will only be available on “modern browsers” at the onset, specifically Chrome, Safari, Firefox 3.0 and up, IE7 and IE8. This continues the trend that Internet Explorer 6, while still widely used, is seeing the end of it's days.

All great features, and like updates to the search last October, this announcement continues the trend of Google adding bling to compete with Bing.

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