Google Says New Image Search Interface Is Better For Webmasters

Jan 24, 2013 - 8:21 am 30 by
Filed Under Google

Last week we reported that Google was testing a new image search design - well, that design is now officially being rolled out to users.

In our post, we explained how webmasters are really not happy that Google is providing such a large preview of the image. It will discourage searchers from clicking from Google to the end site in order to see a larger version of the image. Google disagrees and says this is better for webmasters.

Here is the before and after shot of a search for [nasa earth] and clicking on a specific image. Note, you can click on any image to enlarge:


Google Image Search Design Old


Google Image Search Design New

Why does Google think this is better for webmasters? They write these reasons:

  • We now display detailed information about the image (the metadata) right underneath the image in the search results, instead of redirecting users to a separate landing page.
  • We're featuring some key information much more prominently next to the image: the title of the page hosting the image, the domain name it comes from, and the image size.
  • The domain name is now clickable, and we also added a new button 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. In our tests, we've seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website.
  • The source page will no longer load up in an iframe in the background of the image detail view. This speeds up the experience for users, reduces the load on the source website's servers, and improves the accuracy of webmaster metrics such as pageviews. As usual, image search query data is available in Top Search Queries in Webmaster Tools.

Do you agree?

Danny Sullivan has some more details at Search Engine Land.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google+.


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