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January 24, 2013

Google Unveils Major Image Search Revamp Said to be Faster

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The look of Google (News - Alert) image search has more or less stayed the same since it was first introduced in July 2001. Sure, there have been some minor changes, most notably an update introduced within the last couple of years that made it so image data would be hidden until an image thumbnail was hovered over.

This week, however, Google has unveiled a significant revamp to its image search, which it says will allow for faster and better results. The new layout will display image results in an inline panel that allows users to flip through sets of images with their keyboard and, most importantly, view image metadata — the title of the page hosting the image, the domain name of the site it comes from and image size — without being redirected to the landing page we've all become accustomed to.

Selected images will now be displayed in the center of the screen, while all other results will frame that image above and below.

"Based on feedback from users and webmasters, we redesigned Google Images to provide a better search experience," wrote Hongyi Li, Google's associate product manager, in a statement.

While it will take some getting used to, compared to the grid of thumbnails that have been standard for Google image search since day one, this new method does cut down on the number of clicks needed to view an image in a larger size. Google also pointed out that not loading up the source page in a frame in the background of the image detail view will speed up the overall experience for users, while reducing load on the source website's servers.

Earlier this month, Google denied reports that it has been blocking Windows Phone devices from accessing Google Maps, pointing out instead that the service was never designed for use with the mobile operating system's Internet Explorer browser.

In December, the company stopped offering Google Apps for free to small businesses; meaning new small businesses wanting to use Google Apps will have to pay $50 per user per year to do so.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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