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Google Images: A Redesigned Search Experience

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If you searched for an image on Google the last couple weeks, you may have noticed some changes. In late January last month, Google launched their redesigned images tool aiming to provide a better search experience, as announced on the Webmaster Central Blog. So what does this mean? What’s new?

  1. Image results are displayed in an inline panel.
  2. The source page no longer loads in an iframe.
  3. Info about an image, meta data, is displayed underneath the image instead of redirecting the searcher to a separate landing page.
  4. There are four clickable targets featured next to the image instead of two.

What are the benefits of the change?

Redesign upsides and downsides

The upsides largely outweigh the downsides with the new design, but webmasters are expressing their concerns over lower traffic levels, as well as the option for the searcher to obtain the high-resolution image without being directed to the hosting site. On WebmasterWorld, a webmaster had this to say:

“There is minimal traffic from image search on 4 websites i am tracking. The traffic remained is the actual search traffic, nothing from images.

When people get the full resolution image, they have no reason to click to go to the URL.”

Many webmasters commenting on the Webmaster Central Blog are saying similar things, and it will be interesting to see if Google implements another change to rectify the issue. But if your site doesn’t rely on traffic from images, the redesign will likely only improve your metrics.

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