Today, Google revealed a new date-filtering feature for Google Images, which lets you search for recent images. On Google's Inside Search Blog, Google Images software engineer James Synge wrote:
Back in April, we introduced Google Images with date annotations, a change that added dates on image thumbnails to help you see which images are most recent. Now, you can use the new date filter in the left-hand set of tools to narrow your search to just images from the previous week.
For example, if you search for [space shuttle], you'll see images for shuttle launches throughout the years. If you want to see just recent images, like ones of Atlantis, the most recent NASA shuttle to launch, you can click "Past week" in the left-hand panel of tools to see images from the last seven days.
We recently ran an article by Michael Gray about how to optimize your images for search engine traffic. This new feature is simply one more thing to take into consideration.
Last month, Google revealed the most innovative desktop image search feature we've seen in quite some time when it announced Search By Image. While it utilizes technology from Google Goggles, the company's mobile app that lets you take pictures to search for things, it's quite different to be able to drag an image file into the search box to enter a query.
It just goes to show that while images have been a key part of search for quite some time, they are becoming an even more interesting part of the picture. I'd expect Google to continue to make progress in this area, particularly as it continues to photograph the world for Google Maps, and even business interiors.