Google has been making quite a few changes to Image Search lately.
Earlier this year, they launched a major redesign, which webmasters and photographers have been less than thrilled with. Google said that the changes would likely increase clicks to sites, but many have indicated that they’re experiencing quite the opposite.
Google has also altered the way it handles SafeSearch, which has made adult content a little harder to see, even for those specifically looking for it.
Last month, Google added a new personalized photo search feature, enabling users to find their personal photos easily from a regular Google web search. They also recently made it easier to find animated GIFs.
It’s clear that Google is placing a great deal of focus on Image-related searches these days, as further evidenced by a blog post the company released this week, discussing how it has improved photo search.
Google has now announced an additional change to Image Search, with the inclusion of a visual “related searches” carousel appearing at the top of some image search results.
“Let’s say you’re planning a trip to Maui and want to see images of the beaches so you can visit the best ones,” Google says in a Google+ post. “Try using Google’s related images at the top of the results and you can find the most relevant pictures for your destination. A search for [maui beaches] will show you tons of gorgeous beaches, but checking out those related images at the top of the results like Black Rock, Makena and Maui Beaches Maps will help you see more specific results. When you click on the related images query, you’ll see a snapshot of the results and you can click View all images to see even more and visit their sites to learn more.”
The feature is very similar to the Knowledge Graph Carousel Google released last fall for web searches:
This, by the way, appears to have been slightly redesigned since it was launched:
Alex Chitu noticed another slight difference in Google Image Search in that it is now showing navigation arrows on the left and right sides of particular images, enabling users to navigate through results in yet one more way.
“I’m sure that website owners won’t like this feature because it’s much easier to go to the next image result, but users will like it,” writes Chitu.
Some are already bitter about the huge redesign from earlier this year, so this could be a little additional salt in the wound.