Google today announced updates to the image search experience on the desktop. The company is tweaking the way image previews appear when searching on Google Images, as the images now appear in a side panel on the right of the screen instead of a much larger panel right to the bottom of the selected image.
The update to the interface, though minor, goes a long way in improving the experience of searching for and comparing images, especially for those that tend to rely on the service for researching for images, such as students. The preview on the side panel is frozen while the search results are scrollable, easing the process of looking for similar images or comparing them with each other. Additionally, in case you do close the preview, hitting the back button on the browser brings back the last viewed image on the panel.
In addition to the previews themselves, the company is also introducing the ability to view more details such as brand names, prices, availability, and reviews for product image searches right in the preview. The company states that this feature will help improve engagement for retailers and publishers, as “people are more likely to visit a web page to get information to help them with a task, or to buy a product”.
This feature and the ability for developers to add information on their product images does seem like a predecessor to the company’s efforts to bring advertising into Google Images, something that it has talked of in the past and that is currently being tested with select users and retailers. Developers can head here for more information on how they can include product details in search results.