Google announced today that better image search is coming soon which will provide not only a faster and more reliable image search, but also a better user experience.
In other words, the perfect blend of old Google (fast, reliable) and new Google (usable, pretty).
Old Google image search returned a grid of images, which users could click on to see larger, and click again to go to the originating site. New Google image search will show a large image with detailed metadata and and ribbons of other image results:
Above: Google image search, old and new
The good news for webmasters — and, presumably, owners of photographs and other images — is that Google will now be showing image metadata and the name of the website the image is from right on next to the image, with a link to the originating website. Google says there are now “four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two,” which Google says that in user testing has resulted in more traffic to the original hosting websites.
All of which means that Google is showing greater respect for the owners of images, which is good news.
The new image search is not yet live, so I can’t actually test it. One question that occurs is that while it’s clear that the image-by-image experience is likely better, the new image search might make it harder to quickly scan a large number of images to narrow down a search for a particular file.
One other bit of good news for those of us who like to keep our fingers on the keyboard: Google says that image searchers will be able use their keyboards to quickly flip through images.