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Google updates image search previews

Image search

Google updates image search previews

Following an extensive period of testing, search company Google has rolled out a new design for the previews box within its image search.

This update will solely affect desktop searches and will provide users with more context when they are searching and previewing images. The new preview box will open as a side panel instead of underneath the image, where it currently displays. Moving this panel to the side allows users to continue scrolling through the search results at other images without losing the information of the image they have already selected.

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Furthermore, as part of the user interface updates, users will now have a faster way to access other resources relating to an image within the previews, giving them more information about the image while still viewing it on the search page. For example, when a user chooses to preview an image of a certain product, Google Images will also show details about it, such as its brand, its price, and availability as well as reviews of the product. This gives users more information in one place.

As well as this, in the related images section, which appears below the selected image and its details, Google will now automatically add captions below each image’s thumbnail.

Google has been testing a number of variations of a new preview box for its image search results and has been doing so for some time. Last year, it tested a version of the preview box that appeared over the search results, making the box more prominent. After this, it tested another version of the box that also appeared as a side panel. It also started to trial an update called ‘shoppable ads’, that allowed users to make purchases from images they saw in the Image search results.

The announcement of the changes to Image Search were made through a blog post on Tuesday, August 6th by Google Images’ product director, Mike Repass. In this blog post, Repass highlighted that the update could be a good thing for businesses whose images appear within the search results as it can potentially lead to an increase in referral traffic. Repass stated that the interface could mean that users may visit a site to get more information or even to purchase a product they’ve seen.

Google has also confirmed that these updated are now live with Google Images for desktop users.

Alan Littler

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