Google Images Regains Details, Keeps Warnings

    February 21, 2007

About a month ago, Google Image Search started displaying its results a little differently; the makeover yielded a cleaner, but less informative, look. There was a low-level outcry from users, and now things are back to the way they were. That’s all good and well, and an important feature seems to have made it through the shuffle intact.

As reported on Tuesday by Ionut Alex. Chitu, “Google started to show warnings for search results that install malicious software . . . . If you click on a thumbnail from the search results, you’ll be sent to an interstitial that recommends to try another search result.” Chitu provided ample evidence of the warnings’ existence, including pictures of them. It’s safe enough to try his links, as well, if you decide to do so.

Now it’s Wednesday, the old Image Search is back, and those warnings are still in place. Had they been removed, not everyone would have missed them – some people resent the “babysitting” aspect – but it seems as if Google is standing firm on that change. Malware warnings are still present in the regular Web search results, as well.

For the moment, however, that issue isn’t a primary concern. Most folks are just happy to have the old Image Search back. Philipp Lenssen is running a poll on the matter, and 70% of the voters have favored the older design (10% preferred the temporary facelift, and 19% think both presentations need improvement).

Google seems to be striking a fair balance between respecting the wishes of its users and keeping those users safe.

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