Google: New Image Search Increases Clicks To Sites

    January 24, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google announced the launch of a new format for its Image Search. If you’re not already seeing it, you should within the next few days as it continues to roll out.

The new design displays the image’s metdata below the image in the search results, rather than taking users to a separate landing page. Frankly, this is probably something Google should have done a long time ago. Additionally, the title of the page, the domain name, and the image size are feature more prominently.

“People looking for images on Google often want to browse through many images, looking both at the images and their metadata (detailed information about the images). Based on feedback from both users and webmasters, we redesigned Google Images to provide a better search experience,” says associate product manager Hongyi Li. “In the next few days, you’ll see image results displayed in an inline panel so it’s faster, more beautiful, and more reliable. You will be able to quickly flip through a set of images by using the keyboard. If you want to go back to browsing other search results, just scroll down and pick up right where you left off.”

According to Google, the changes will benefit webmasters, as the company claims that in internal testing, it has seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting site. This is attributed to how the domain name now being clickable and a button they’ve added to visit the page the image is hosted on.

“This means that there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two,” says Li.

Source pages will no longer load an iFrame in the background of the image detail view, which makes the image-browsing experience faster. Again, Google probably should have done this a long time ago, especially considering the emphasis they’ve been putting on speeding up the user experience in recent years. Google says the move reduces the load on the source site’s servers, and improves the accuracy of metrics like page views.

Image search query data will continue to be available in Top Search Queries in Webmaster Tools.

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  • http://www.rankwatch.com Rank Watch

    The new google Google image search redesign is certainly more responsive and user friendly than the older one. This will truly be benificial to both users and the marketers. Seems like Google has some space near the images in the new design to display the ads and get some revenue out of it. That real estate for ads will certainly be in Google’s mind for the future.

  • Alex

    Google: New Image Search Increases Clicks To Sites = maybe true
    Google: New Image Search Increases Clicks To Sites = pure robbery = 100% true

    Why they don’t after click on some image forward visitor to source website ?

    Google is search engine…but now also content thief, content farm, copyright breaker etc etc…

    In the future, Google will not send visitors nowhere, everything will be just on Google.

    That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

  • http://www.9dotstrategies.com 9Dotstrategies

    We know that if your are visible on the top of search on images. Many will just hot link to your image but it directs to their site/link. Some SEOs are doing that just for image optimization which in my experience is proven.

    Google: New Image Search Increases Clicks To Sites = pure robbery = 100% true (i agree)

  • Alex
  • http://seopalbg.com/ Totio Filipov

    The new image search looks way better than the old one. However, I think this should have happened a long time ago. This update took a lot of time, more than it should have taken.

  • Ted

    Google: New Image Search Increases Clicks To Sites…what a lie…

    After the start of implementing the new image search tool, already is evident decline in attendance (for now -30 %) and profits (also 30%) – for now. Many users still don’t see now look of image search.
    Google can talk and write what they want, the statistics tell us that is lie.

    In same time bandwidth is increased !!!!! See the picture that I have included:


    Google, STOP STEALING our content!!!

    Same thing is with Bing, Yahoo…

    • Cat

      Same experience here… only page views are down by over 50%. This is pretty devastating to me as a small time photo publisher – in fact it will very likely put me out of business – and I’m a Google publisher!

      Maybe this increases click throughs for sites where the image isn’t the primary thing people want – but for photo publishers all this does is provide a way for people to download our content without ever visiting our sites.

      How is this not illegal?

  • j

    This new setup is a joke. More clicks? More clicks means more time taken to do research. This new change is a nightmare. It might be great for photographers and those who are only interested in the images, but it’s really bad for those who are looking for info written about the subject of the image. Before, all you had to do was hover over an image and tidbits of information about the image subject would appear. Now, the only information you get is the website and image size. So the only way to find out if that website is actually relevant to your research, you have to click on the image, then click again to go to the website. If it’s not relevant, then you have to go back and go through the same process over and over. This takes way too long and I can guarantee that if google doesn’t fix this problem, some other company will fill that void and that won’t be good for google.

  • http://2ndhomesuites.ca Ashley Hoober

    This was going to happen either way. I like it as long as it doesn’t slow down image search.


  • JackR

    Why would you expect anything less from Google? The changes are only meant to benefit the bottom line. Next up will be Google ads next to our hotlinked images.

    They have certainly crossed the line past thumbnail images and fair use with this one.

  • http://thepastmasters.biz iandenyer@yahoo.com

    I find the new system awful.. It’s ugly, as people have said, its bound to lead to more unwanted and intrusive advertising, most of all one can’t see the page behind the image anymore – something that allowed you to by-pass a visit to that page if I saw that the rest of the content was inappropriate/of no interest/as so often, not connected to the subject being researched… This is a huge step backward for researchers with limited time and who need to avoid visiting dead-end websites…

  • http://www.moviedeskback.com slavco

    No it doesn’t.
    I’ve had a 50% drop in visitors, and I still rank good in search results.
    So what I did is enable hotlink protection and now when people click the “view original” it takes them to my home page ( I have two sites, so I had to choose one).
    But the fact that this works is proof that Google is actually hotlinking my images and wastes bandwidth that I paid for, which means they are breaking the law.

  • Alper

    What a topic man! come on!

    How can it be good for webmasters? I do not need my domain name to be displayed on images search section of google.. I need that someone finds an image then because i show him/her this image, he/she comes to my website, then i can get profits. I do not want that i do the job and google gets the money thing.

    Then google should also have a section search-for-content, he should show everything on our websites, at the bottom he should give a link to our websites, is that also okey for you?

    You write all stuff, google shows every letter in it to the users, then do you think that the visitor will come to your website? Forget about it…

    • John

      Google sucks and has treated those of us with niche sites that made them like crap.

  • Oliver

    Hello do you actually own a website? Instead of promoting this you should start a petition against Google. Yet again they are stealing massive content and our traffic AGAIN declines.

    Panda wasn’t enough to please your shareholders now you want more? Forget it .. I can’t find anything on Google anymore and now they messed up Google Images too. Great! Google is really becoming the crappiest company in the world

  • Oliver

    I will switch to Yahoo and so will massive amounts of other people .. Marissa at least knows not to mess with their customer base and that’s THE PEOPLE not the shareholders or the AdWords advertisers.

    No one searching via Google = less Adwords income for google. Also their strategy to rank authority sites higher and derank all exact match queries is a joke. Way too obvious – it was a shareholder move and very unpopular with every webmaster in the world. I so would like to sue them for that, but unfortunately they are too big and can easily buy out of things. They abuse their monopoly! Go Yahoo/Microsoft bring Google down!

    My estimate for 2013: 10%-20% loss of search traffic for Google and massive gains for competition:

    the market is small but the competition doesnt sleep

  • Oliver

    Below is a case example of a site I manage and how greedy Google really is. Keep in mind we never engaged in spam linkbuilding and provide genuine content

    Before Panda April 26: 50,000 uniques per day – 55,000
    After Panda: 35,000 per day
    After Image Update: 28,000 – 29,000 and dropping quickly every day

    Revenue lost: x,xxx per month

    It’s frustrating and I would hate it if Google would get away with this AGAIN.

    Hey, it’s ok if they change the search engine (it’s their right), but they need to decide what they are: Pirates or a search engine.

    The problem I really have that their changes don’t really improve Google. Cutts and Co always say: “it was a great change”, but I asked a lot of people and they can no longer find anything on Google because they gimped the exact match queries and I often put search terms in quotes and not even that would help. It’s pretty ridiculous if you ask me, it’s like Windows 8: Massive budget and yet failed to create a 100% intuitive user experience

    They’re doing it for the profits and not the user, that’s for sure. Just a couple years ago this wouldn’t have been possible. Larry is a horrible CEO. You need to be really careful whenever you change a search engine and not kill a fly with a baseball bat

  • http://www.jodilynokeefe.com Nashua Indigo

    I was wondering what was going on with my traffic, today ai find out that people don’t have to visit your website while they are click on an image, the full images are showing up without a single click to your website, you will see the option visit website, but how many people are doing that after they can view the picture in full size direct in google search so that is explain a lot about decrease of traffic. I have no hotlink protection enabled and redirect to my site. Hope it helps to bring the traffic back

  • http://www.jodilynokeefe.com Nashua Indigo

    Google.de will show the normal version and has not google new search image … hmmmm why ?

    • http://kazantip-republic.com xapmc

      i think google.de will work the same way soon.
      the upgrade is probably still in progress.

  • http://www.mallforarts.com/ Adam

    “The new google Google image search redesign is certainly more responsive and user friendly than the older one.” You dont know what you tlaking about. My blog traffic drop down from google image search with 80% and you call this friendly?

  • http://pixabay.com/ Simon Steinberger

    The new image search leads to dramatically reduced visitor numbers for all kinds of websites. As co-founder of the largest public domain images resource (Pixabay.com), I may say, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s sad. As a blogger, you should inform people, and not simply repeat what Google promotes.

  • http://publicphoto.org/ ByREV

    as Simon Steinberger say, this is the biggest lie of the century from google. For public domain sites like me (publicphoto.org) trafic drop with 55% … this is pure theft. Google shamelessly steal traffic from us , which translates into money for them !

  • http://www.gunauction.com Manny DelaCruz

    This change to the way Google displays image search has resulted in a 75% drop in traffic from Google image search. It hasn’t increased referral rates – it’s the exact opposite! Users no longer have to click through to view the high-res version of the image, Google is displaying it for them. In essence, Google is stealing our content to display it on their own website, without referring the user on to us.

  • BillD

    I don’t see how this is not illegal.
    Google is stealing bandwidth afaict.
    I see a big class action lawsuit in their future.
    You can always robots.txt filter your images so they don’t show on searches.
    And it doesn’t even work.
    When I click on any of the links in Firefox 18+,
    it opens the image in the search tab and a new tab.
    It’s supposed to just open links in a new tab.
    So I think they have messed it all up royally.
    Typical Google.

    That’s why the Firefox Greasemonkey extensions is so popular
    and important. The new page format killed my userscript,
    and I don’t see a new one to replace it.
    So I suppose I’m going to have to write it myself and
    fix what Google screwed up. Again.

  • Ivan

    Webpronews.com is an unreliable source of information because they post whatever the online Powers That Be tells them to. Do you guys get financing from Google and other online conglomerates?

    Else, how can you justify the fact — and it’s a fact — that a site whose supposed intent is to provide news and information about the latest Internet developments make a point of shamelessly regurgitating whatever they find in press releases?

    Untrustworthy (dishonest?) is the word for you guys.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      I guess you missed the story on this we ran about all the people complaining about the changes.

  • http://pixabay.com/ Simon Steinberger

    We’ve finally created a sophisticated hotlinking protection against Google that mimics the behavior of FansShare image protection. So, if you got hit as well, here’s a detailed description on how to get back your visitors for now:

  • http://fanparty.ru/ aprihodko

    I have about 30% visitors drop with a new images search by Google at fanparty.ru


  • http://www.TWrqAffxyF.com/TWrqAffxyF Chiquita Fusca

    Wealthy and traveling anywhere and whenever I want with my doggie, plus helping get dogs fixed, and those that need homes, and organizations that do thus and such.