Google’s New Coloured Filter Buttons After running some tests early in March, Google has now rolled out a new addition to its image search: coloured buttons just below the search bar which, when clicked on, filter the images into categories. For instance, googling ‘SEO’ brings up filters like ‘advertising’, ‘social media’ and ‘infographic’. The idea behind this update is presumably to organise what has often been a chaotic image search experience. Hopefully, these filter buttons will end the days of scrolling through pages of images to find the one you’re looking for. The coloured buttons are attractive and simplistic, fitting with Google’s block-colour design and minimal clutter. This feature is fully functional in the US, though doesn’t yet seem to have hit Australia.
Similar to Pinterest This update comes as the latest in a series of new changes to Google’s image search. In early 2015, Google added the option to bookmark images and organise them in folders. While the company is always innovating their features and finding new ways to make searching a breeze, it seems the image function is their focus at the moment. These new changes reflect the immensely popular image sharing website Pinterest, which became a more image-focused alternative to Google’s search. Pinterest and its ‘pinning’ function allow users to organise their own catalogue of images in specific categories and share them with others. Because Google is such a versatile platform, probably the only thing that could cause it to lose business is other, more specific searching websites such as Pinterest for images, Youtube for videos and Amazon for shopping. Perhaps Google’s new image updates are a way to remain the top search engine in all forms. The importance of image searching Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, so image searching is a valuable and useful tool. An image can simplify a complicated slab of text or provide an example which clarifies the subject being discussed. In SEO, this is important. When searching on Google, the top search results are often next to pictures which advertise the webpage. Data has shown that people are more likely to click on a result with an image next to it. Images also stand in for the reputation of a brand. Every brand has an image we come to remember, because it gets more easily burned in our mind than text. When inserting images into an article, it’s important to place the image near to its relevant text. Consider the quality of the image and whether you really want a huge 2500×1500 pixel image the user will have to load before they get to see it. Most articles and blog posts need something simple and attractive to scroll past. You’re looking to spruce up your post, not initiate a Where’s Wally competition. Next for Google image search This latest update marks a growing interest in image search among from Google and its users. Google’s Photos app isn’t even a year old and already has 100 million monthly active users, so the mega-corporation certainly has influence over the images market. Will they continue to organise their search function and add features eventually dominating the market and swallowing up popular image searches like Pinterest? Time will tell.