Okay, so’ “Bing-ified” isn’t a real word, but I’m not sure how else to explain the new Google Image Search. When Bing was launched fourteen months ago, we discussed some of the interesting features in a MoreVisibility Round Table post to our YouTube channel.
One of the features that stood out to me at launch was the image search functionality in Bing. It’s one of the areas that Bing scored a clear victory and a better search experience over Google. Google Image search was very paginated and offered little in the way of segmenting results. Contrast that with Bing’s free-flowing, one page layout and filtering capability; it was a win for Bing.
Fast forward to July 20, 2010; Google announced a new interface for Google Image Search which seems to borrow heavily from Bing. In the official post, Google mentions “… some heavy-duty algorithmic wizardry…” to make it all work; which seems to hint that perhaps some of the technology is borrowed or leveraged between Google Image Search And Google Goggles.
If you’re not in the I-phone or Android set, Google Goggles is a smart phone application for the Android which allows you to search Google using an image taken with the phone’s camera. Hypothetically, if you are at the Miami Seaquarium and want to learn more about the dolphin you are about to swim with; snap a photo and Google could return more information about habitat, range, diet, etc. Currently, as with most Google Products, Google Goggles is in beta and the functionality above does not exist, yet. It will however, translate menus, search landmarks or tell you more about the bottle of wine on the shelf in front of you.
In their post announcing the new image search, Google mentions that it can even look at the spots of a leopard and return the proper subspecies. That statement reveals the awesome power and future of Google Goggles and image search. The possibilities are staggering, and the applications could help law enforcement or allow you to learn everything about your daughters’ beau with one click.
Google also announced that image search can be targeted separately for AdWords; so for advertisers there are some immediate benefits. If you’re selling image related products or “Free Lindsay Lohan” t-shirts; you can target those gawking at her in Google Image search.