Yahoo has launched a new version of Image Search with a new tiled look on results pages. Images become larger when you hover over one of the image titles.
You can also sort images by three category tabs as they appear: latest, galleries, and Facebook. If you choose "latest," it will show image search results of trending topics, such as events, celebrities and news. This tab will automatically appear for certain queries.
The galleries tab will appear when results that include photo galleries from Yahoo News, Flickr, and Yahoo's OMG. The Facebook tab comes in when you connect your Facebook account to Yahoo Image Search, and it will appear when results include matches from your Facebook friends' name, photo album names or album descriptions.
"One of the most significant changes we’ve made to Yahoo! Image Search is the way images are displayed and navigated," says Yahoo's Girish Ananthakrishnan. "By clicking on any image on the search results page, the image will appear on a fresh page allowing users to browse effortlessly through full-size images with a simple click on the desktop browser."
Images play a very significant role in search engine visibility, and it's wise to keep abreast of any new features that the major search engines roll out. Last week, we looked at a report from Searchmetrics showing how universal or blended search can help marketers in visibility. The study looked at the top 100 results displayed by Google for a database fo about 28 million search terms over a four-month period. Image results appeared in 30% of all searches where universal search results are included in the top 100 listings. That's more than any other kind of universal search result other than video (more than maps, news, books, shopping, and blogs.
“We found that video and images are highly visible in Google searches when compared with other types of universal search content," said Searchmetrics CEO Dr Horst Joepen. "So it makes sense for marketers to increase the volume of video and image content they’re creating and to optimize it both on their own sites and on third party sites such as YouTube and Flickr.”
That's Google, but Yahoo and Bing also include image results on the first page as well.
On an interesting side note, Barry Schwartz is pointing to a WebmasterWorld thread, where webmasters are claiming that Google Images is doing a better job at determining original sources than Google web search.