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Is Google’s New Image Search Increasing Or Decreasing Your Traffic?

Is Google’s New Image Search Increasing Or Decreasing Your Traffic?

By Chris Crum January 31, 2013 | 71 Comments

Last week, Google announced a new design for its Image Search. It’s been rolling out, so maybe you have it by now. One thing that was interesting about this particular launch is that Google made a major point of talking …

Google Indexes Over 10 Billion Images
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Google launched a new version of its image search today (as well as a new ad format) and in the announcement, Google dropped a few interesting stats about its image search growth.

Google Image Search first came out in 2001. Back then, Google says it indexed around 250 million images. By 2005, the company says it indexed over a billion. As of today, it’s over 10 billion.

Google Gives Mobile Users a Link to Popular Images
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Google has introduced a new feature for its mobile Image Search offering. The feature is "Popular Images," and lets Android and iPhone users browse popular images (go figure).

The Popular Images feature comes in the form of a link just under the search box on the Google Image Search page. When clicked, it brings up a categorized list of image searches and corresponding images.

Google Experiments with a New Image Search Feature
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Google has launched a new Labs experiment dealing with image search. The feature is called Image Swirl, and attempts to deliver the user image search results in a different and more visual interface. Google describes Image Swirl:

Google Image Search Acknowledges Usage Rights

Google Image Search has caught up to – and gone beyond – Yahoo’s offering in the same arena.  Users of Google Image Search can now filter results according to usage rights, meaning they can more easily determine what pictures can be reproduced without the creator objecting.

Google Image Search Adds New Features
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Google has been working on a couple of new features for Google Image Search. The first one is the addition of suggestions for Google Image Search, which is basically just Google Suggest for the image search engine.

Google Changes Mobile Image Results Pages
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Google has launched new image results pages for Android, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices in the US, the UK, and Japan. With the new results, users can scan up to 20 images on a single results pageand get details for images of interest.

Text Ads Appear in Google Image Search

Google appears to be testing text ads on its image search. Michael Gray has a screenshot:

Google Image Search ads

Google Image Search Bests Others In Britain

In Britain, Google UK is king – no surprises there.  What’s interesting is that Google Image Search is also doing incredibly well, and a report from Hitwise (released earlier today) examines the relationship between the two.

New Google Image Search Categories

Last week a Google engineer told us “The next big thing for image search would be the ability to search based on visual concepts, such as a picture of a house on a mountain with a river in front of it.” And now, Google Images allows you to restrict your search to a specific category – albeit in an “unofficial” mode only – and one of these categories may well be powered by actual image recognition (as opposed to textual keyword analysis). Right now, the available modes are (at least) the following:

Google Images Regains Details, Keeps Warnings

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.

Google Reigns Supreme In Image Search
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Nielsen//NetRatings’ report on search share showed us more of the same: Google wins. But, what’s new in this report is that Google has been promoted from King to Emperor in image search, controlling almost 72 percent of queries.