In brief: Google has overhauled its image search function with a new design and interface that makes comparing results easier.
From now on, instead of opening an information box around an image when it’s selected in the search results, it will appear in a side panel on the right. The rest of the results will still be scrollable, allowing you to compare this image with others on the page.
The side panel also includes a link to where the image comes from, the share function, and a series of related images.
The revamped system has an emphasis on shopping. Clicking on a picture of a purchasable product will, where applicable, bring up a price, the brand, whether it is in stock, a short description, and a review rating. There are also captions under the image, so you know what to expect before clicking on a link.
Google says the new design should be particularly beneficial for retailers and publishers, as the interface means people are more likely to visit a web page to get information to help them with a task, or to buy a product from a site.
One element that is still missing is the ‘View Images’ button, which allowed users to view a given image without needing to visit the website. Google confirmed at the time that the change was partly due to its settlement with Getty Images, and was “designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”