Google will begin displaying images in a bar across the top of the screen, with a larger version of the selected image and its accompanying metadata in the center, the company said today.
“People looking for images on Google often want to browse through many images, looking both at the images and their metadata (detailed information about the images). Based on feedback from both users and webmasters, we redesigned Google Images to provide a better search experience,” Hongyi Li, an associate product manager, wrote on a company blog.
Currently, users must click on an image to select it. It then loads on a new page with a grayed-out version of the hosting web page behind it. Some metadata, including a non-clickable version of the hosting page’s URL, is displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.
The new format will bring image search more into line with Google’s main search results, which have gradually delivered more information on the results page itself, decreasing the number of clicks required of users.
Among the image metadata displayed in the new format will be a clickable URL for the hosting website, which Google said resulted in a jump in click-through rates to source websites in its tests of the search format. But he host page will longer load behind the image.
Users can also use the keyboard to flip through images, suggesting that the format will likely soon come to mobile devices, where they will swipe instead.
Google says it will roll out the changes “in the next few days.”
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