Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Google Image Search Gets A 'Bing' Makeover And We Hate It

Google's image search product just received one of its biggest makeovers since the tool launched way back in 2001. Among the new features are several items that remind us of the Bing search, which BTW we don't care for.

Included in the Google Image Search update are a new tiled layout, the removal of all text from below the images on the search results page, instant continual scrolling between pages with no load time in between and the addition of much larger thumbnails, which Google says have been designed for "modern browsers and high-res screens".

Here’s a full list of new items in this refreshed design of Google Images:
  • Dense tiled layout designed to make it easy to look at lots of images at once. We want to get the app out of the way so you can find what you’re really looking for.
  • Instant scrolling between pages, without letting you get lost in the images. You can now get up to 1,000 images, all in one scrolling page. And we’ll show small, unobtrusive page numbers so you don’t lose track of where you are.
  • Larger thumbnail previews on the results page, designed for modern browsers and high-res screens.
  • A hover pane that appears when you mouse over a given thumbnail image, giving you a larger preview, more info about the image and other image-specific features such as “Similar images.”
  • Once you click on an image, you’re taken to a new landing page that displays a large image in context, with the website it’s hosted on visible right behind it. Click anywhere outside the image, and you’re right in the original page where you can learn more about the source and context.
  • Optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through many pages, taking advantage of standard web keyboard shortcuts such as Page Up / Page Down. It’s all about getting you to the info you need quickly, so you can get on with actually building that treehouse or buying those flowers.
While most of the new design is cosmetic in nature Google has promised a few changes in the functionality department. The newer, supposedly better, search tool is now more capable of better refining search results based on context. Making it easier to look for pictures that contain flowers of a specific color, or animals of a particular subspecies.

Google promises the new “Similar images” tool will now allow a user to search animals such as the Snow Leopard and the new Google Images algorithm can recognize the difference between each subspecies, returning just those leopards of a particular subspecies. It can tell you the name of the subspecies in a particular image—even if that image isn’t labeled—because other similar leopard images on the web are labeled with that subspecies’s name.

Personally I like the functionality changes, most of which had already been added. The addition of a new 'size' tab that gives you the size information of a particular image is helpful as is the new results landing page you see once you click and image.

Unfortunately I can't say I like all the changes particular the cosmetic ones. The new tiled look can be cluttered at times and looks fairly disorganized particularly when viewing search results for people.

I'm not certain why Google has been adding in various changes throughout their sites like the new changes to the news sections, home page and other areas. I've always liked using Google for the simple design with a minimalistic feel. If I wanted something that looked clutter and disorganized like Bing I'd just go use Bing!


  1. What REALLY bugs me about the 'new improved image search' is that I go searching for a lot of rapidshare files... In the past, I got great stuff (and easy to find) from Google Image search... For example - just type in GIF Animator Rapidshare - and I'll find the full versions of the software... Or Stone Temple Pilots CD Rapidshare - and guess what! Now I can't see which are people's blogs (giving away free stuff) OR f----- spam sites, because Google has hidden all the details (unless I mouse over 1000 f------- images to reveal the details of their sites) .... Ghrrrrr... Not Happy...

  2. Anonymous11:32 PM

    Yeah I hate it too. It can be permenently fixed in Firefox - solution here:


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