Google Positively Bing-Like With New Image Search Capabilities

Showing it is not immune to influence from Microsoft, Google is increasing the density of its image search results page and adding the capability to hover the mouse icon over an image to automatically get a bigger preview of the image before actually clicking on it.

And, since searches are the financial lifeblood of Google, the company has included new advertiser-friendly features as well.

The new image search features were introduced via a blog post by Nate Smith, product manager for Google images.

With the new capabilities, a search for images will return a much denser tile layout than Bing, with the images shown at different sizes that best fit their original proportions. Like Bing, there will be no text accompanying the results.

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Up to 1,000 images will now appear on a single scrolling page. Users can scroll between images with standard Web keyboard shorts such as "Page Up" and "Page Down."

When a user moves the mouse icon over an image, a larger preview automatically appears. Clicking on an image takes the user to a new landing page which Smith said displays the image in context along with the website on which is it hosted. By clicking outside that image, the user is taken to the originating website.

Google has not forgotten its advertisers in rolling out the new image search capabilities.

"We’re launching a new ad format called Image Search Ads," Smith wrote. "These ads appear only on Google Images, and they let you include a thumbnail image alongside your lines of text. . . . We hope they’re a useful way to reach folks who are specifically looking for images."