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.