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Seems like this is catering more for the whims of the developers than ease of use of the audience.
I'm glad someone else mentioned the lack of credit (reference, mention.. not sure how to put that clearly) to the originating site until mouseover. (What next.. send the user directly to the images URL, bypassing the page altogether?)
There's already Grease Monkey scripts written to put the results back to the original layout, along with bloggers telling how to adjust it for other browsers that can't / don't want to use Grease Monkey. So at least I'm seeing the old layout, but it really bothers me that my site isn't mentioned clearly (no mouseover needed) in the results. Terrible for usability.
There's been a lot of complaints about this all over the web, and not just web developers, most of the complaints I've seen have been from users of image search. Hopefully Google will listen.
I don't like to be negative, but this is... uh.
I mean there isn't a single thing i can think of why this look is for the better. The only praise i heard so far... was that it looked "clean"... well, i don't think it looks clean, i think its just looks plain empty :P
Heh... i don't know about you, but if they updated something within Image Search...
...why isn't it the data?
Our site has the same set indexed since we launched, about 800 images out of the 2300... and all the ranks are rock solid ever since last august. ( although i'm not so sure if an update would make us rank any better so i'll just shut my mouth for now :P )
Nearly everbody here is looking at this from the perspective of a webmaster. To understand why Google does things, though, you have to look at it from the perspective of a user.
From a user's perspective, this is great! If you are doing an image search, you are - big duh - searching for IMAGES. And that is what they show you, completely uncluttered. If you are searching for images, the more images you can see at once to select from, the better. And the less clutter to distract from the images the better.
One can argue that image search is just a tool for people to use to rip-off copyrighted content, and I won't argue with you on that. Perhaps that's all it is.
(Though there are some legitimate uses - you want to see images that were in the news, etc. You need to see what that refrigerator looks like, to see how it will go with your new kitchen, etc.)
Now, if they could select some relevant text that goes with the image, I'd be all for displaying that along-side or above or below the image - perhaps as an alternative view. (One thing I hate about Google is that for the most part, THEY decide what I want - they don't give me, the user, a choice.)
But if Google could find relevant text... OK, don't get me going in that direction...
The vast majority I have see here and elsewhere are complaining that the interface has been dumbed down at the expense of displaying important information necessary for determining which pictures are most relevant to your needs.
It would be a fairly trivial matter for them to put an new-or-classic selection box in the preferences, and I hope they do so. I'm certainly not going to hack my Firefox install as per their posted solution to the problem; instead I'm simply using Yahoo! image search more frequently.
BTW I was disappointed to do a survey and find that Yahoo! is the only search engine left serving up complete text with its images. All of the other main ones (MSN, Snap, Ask.com, Picsearch) suppress useful information in favor of pretty pictures.
I think besides human anatomy, image search per se is useful for identifying when abc talks about celeb xyz I have never heared of, or species xyz.
It is like the explanation from the BMW CEO about how they changed the gear shift system so something out of Star Trek to make room for larger cup holders.
Next they are going to remove the descriptions from SERPs. No really!
[edited by: Kufu at 12:38 am (utc) on Feb. 3, 2007]
a) porn archives
b) image theft
There are few - if any - honest legitimate uses of image archives.
You just contradicted yourself. Porn archives is a legitimate use of image archives ;)
Plus it helps explain google's change. The users of google images want porn and to steal images. The "clean" look helps us view the porn without the needless text. And those who are stealing images don't really care who owns the pictures. So even if webmasters don't like it, the real users of the system do.
There are few - if any? - honest legitimate uses of image archives.
I have heard and seen my people I know using image search and believe me they wouldn't have a clue or be interested in stealing anything.
a friend was offered a discount on a sony tv last week. he went to google images and punched in the model number to see it.
I believe there are many like him.