Google Announces a Slew of New Features to Make Searching Even Faster

It’s a well-known fact that Google is obsessed with speed. Heck, they created a whole new browser, and even developed an alternative to the http protocol to speed things up. Now, they have announced four new features for its core search offerings that it hopes will enable the user to find the information he wants faster than ever before.

Google Voice Search: Voice search is something that the mobile edition of Google Search has been capable of doing for quite some time, and now Google is introducing the same feature to the desktop edition also. This feature will leverage the new HTML5 speech input API. As long as you have a mic and a browser that supports HTML5 voice recognition (currently that means only Chrome 11), you will be able to search the web through speech.

Google Search by Image: Google has been doing image recognition for quite some time through its remarkably cool Google Goggles app. Now it is adding similar capabilities to its desktop Google Image search. Users will be able to snap pictures, drag and drop existing images, or paste the link of an image to get relevant results.

Google Images with Instant: Almost a year after successfully launching Instant, Google is incorporating the same feature to its image search engine. For now, Instant for Google Images will be restricted only to users who opt in for the experiment. However, within the next couple of months, Google will roll it out to all domains and languages where Instant is already available for Search.

Google Instant Pages: One of Google’s earliest attempts at speeding up surfing was its ill-fated Web Accelerator software, which essentially prefetched pages (loaded web pages in advance). Although poor execution ensured that the Web Accelerator died a quick death, it did succeed in demonstrating that prefetching, if done smartly, can be advantageous. Now Google is baking in something similar into Chrome. On occasions where Google is fairly confident that the first result answers your query, it will load the page in advance. Instant Pages is currently limited to the developer version of Chrome, but will be included in the next beta of Chrome.

Get Back The Old Google Image Search With a URL Trick

A few days ago, Google revamped their image search page by adding some cool features. The new Google image search provides a dense cloud of thumbnails which lets you look at lot of images at once. Just hover over an image and you are shown a greater sized thumbnail including the link to the website containing the image at the bottom.

Another feature worth noting is the automatic page scrolling, you scroll to the bottom of the page and the next search result page is loaded automatically in the same page. This is quite useful when are unable to find the perfect image and want to view more results quickly.

If you ask me, I am not quite comfortable with the newer design of Google Image search. The first annoyance is the automatic thumbnail preview, moving the mouse across the screen results in random thumbnails being shown. This can be a bit distracting, considering the fact that you prefer simpler things. Since I hardly look into deeper search result pages, the automatic page scrolling is again not required.

If you want to revert to the older image search interface of Google Images, you can click the “Switch to basic version” link at the bottom of the page.

However, here is another simple URL hack which will let you use the older Google image search layout. Just add &sout=1 in the search result URL and hit the return key.

That’s it, the older interface of Google Image search is back again.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the tip.

Google Image Search Simplified, More Like Bing Now

Google Image Search is definitely not my favorite way to find images and I have been using several other ways to download Stock images including the Creative Commons image search.

Google Image Search Simplified

The new Google Image Search refresh design provides a dense tiled layout which allows users to look at lot of images at once. In addition to that, it also provides users with Instant scrolling between pages allowing users to view 1,000 images in one scrolling page.

The new Google Image Search also provides users with a Larger thumbnail preview and also displays the full image when you hover over a thumbnail. Clicking on a image link will now take you to a new landing page which displays the large image in context with the website it was found on. And last but not the least, Google Image Search now also has optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through different pages.

Though these features are new at Google, they have already existed at Bing for a while. For example, Bing users will be familiar with the tiled layout and instant scrolling features. And yes, this is not the first time that Google has copied something from Bing. In the past, Google had also tried their hands at Custom backgrounds, which was again copied from Bing.

Google is also introducing a new ad format called Image Search as, which will appear only on Google Images. These new ads can include a thumbnail alongside the advertisement text.

The new changes are being rolled out across the world in the next few days, so you might not see the new interface right away. Nevertheless, it is definitely interesting that Google is finding a lot of inspiration from Bing these days. I wouldn’t mind that as long as my search results are not affected. What about you?

(Official Google Blog)

Google Updates Image Search For Android and iPhone

Google recently redesigned the Google image search for mobile. It is currently available for iPhone 3.0+ and Android 2.1 devices. The new Image Search experience is available in 38 languages worldwide. You can try the new version, just by going to on your device and tap on Images. Check out the features and demo video below.

google image search


  • Square thumbnails to maximize the number of images you get on screen at one time.
  • Optimized for speed so that the images appear quickly when you browse.
  • Easily browse through the images by swiping from picture to picture
  • Page buttons fade after a few seconds.

View Google Images Faster with clickGOOGLEview Chrome Extension

clickGOOGLEview-install-icon I think it’s safe to say that most people use Google Image Search when it’s time to look for images they want. There are many other image search engines, such as Imagery, Yahoo Image Search, Ask Images Search, MSN Live Image Search, AltaVista Image Search, but Google Image Search is the most widely known.

I haven’t seen very many complaints about the way Google Image Search works, but any trick I can use to find images there is always welcome. Now I’ll tell you about the latest trick I’ve learned. There’s a cool Chrome browser extension called clickGOOGLEview which lets you quickly see full size images you’ve found.

Normally while searching, you’ll see rows of image thumbnails for the search results.


When you click on a thumbnail, you are taken to another thumbnail image and a copy of the web page it is displayed on. You have to click a link labeled See full size imageto see the full size version of the image.


Once you’ve installed the clickGOOGLEview extension in the Chrome web browser, clicking on the image thumbnail on the results page opens up the full size image in a new tab. This saves an extra click and it also makes it easier to return to your search results.


Get the clickGOOGLEview extension.

That may not sound like a big time saver, but if you use it often, you will save big chunks of time. This is true, especially when you consider that you normally have to hit the back button in your browser to return to your search results.

If you use Google’s Chrome browser and Google Image Search, the clickGOOGLEview extension is something you’ll learn to love. If this extension isn’t something you need, be sure to check out our list of the Best Google Chrome Extensions and our reviews of other popular Chrome Extensions.

How to Add a Right Click Search to Chrome Browser

Would you like to be able to highlight a word or a phrase on a web page and find out more about it? You can make this possible by adding search entries to the right click (context) menu.

Recently, I’ve posted articles telling you how to Add a Right Click Search Menu to Firefox and Internet Explorer. You might think that I have a real searchaddiction. It’s not an addiction, it’s a real need that’s based on the desire to save time. I spend large chunks of time searching the net for the things I want to learn and write about.

Now I’ll show you how to add a context search menu to Google’s Chrome web browser. chrome

1. You must be running version 4 of Chrome or higher.

2. Go to the ChromeExtensions site and install Context Search.


3. To add your own custom search sites (providers), open the Extensions manager by using the Wrench pull-down menu.


4. Click on the Options button for Context Search.


5. In the preferences, you can add/remove and edit existing search providers. To add a new provider, click the Add newlink.


6. Here you can see how I’ve added my favorite search provider. Don’t forget to use the Savelink when you have everything entered. (read why I like Scroogle Search)


Tip: How do I get URLs like the ones shown above? I go to a website (such as Twitter) and perform a search there, using an easy to identify keyword (such as TESTSEARCH). Then I find the keyword and replace it with %s.

URL displayed in address bar after searching Twitter for TESTSEARCH

URL after replacing TESTSEARCH with %s

7. When you run across a word or phrase on a page, highlight it and you’ll see a little triangle beside the highlighted text. Click on it and you’ll see your search providers listed.


8. I’ve noticed that the little triangle doesn’t appear on some web pages. When that happens, right click on the highlighted text and you’ll see your customized search providers listed.


That’s all there is to it. Now you’re ready to beat Chuck Norris at searching. Oh, I forgot – Chuck Norris doesn’t search, the results come to him.   (bad joke)

Browse Related Images With Google Image Swirl


Google Image Search is a pretty good image search engine. However the way the images are displayed is pretty Plain Jane. Google has now introduced a new experiment in Google Labs called Google Image Swirl, which will allow you to browse related images in a pretty cool interface.

Google Image Swirl organizes image search results based on their visual and semantic similarities and presents them in an intuitive exploratory interface.

Give it a try at Google Image Swirl.

Google Image Search Users Don’t Like Watermarked Images

Watermarking images is a very popular way of thwarting image thefts. In the past, we have covered several and services which allow you to watermark images for free. However, if you are a webmaster, a recent post on the official Google webmaster blog might change your thoughts on watermarking your blog or website images.


Peter Linsley the product manager of Google Image search talks about some pros and cons of watermarking images.

Pros of watermarked images

  • Photographers can claim credit/be recognized for their art.
  • Unknown usage of the image is deterred.

Findings relevant to watermarked images (Cons)

  • Users prefer large, high-quality images (high-resolution, in-focus).
  • Users are more likely to click on quality thumbnails in search results. Quality pictures (again, high-res and in-focus) often look better at thumbnail size.
  • Distracting features such as loud watermarks, text over the image, and borders are likely to make the image look cluttered when reduced to thumbnail size.

Google Image Search like the regular Google Search is a huge traffic puller. The findings above or the cons of using watermarked images are definitely worth noting. The reasoning is also quite appropriate as images with watermarks are not that enticing when you actually view it in thumbnail format. However, these findings do not say that you should not watermark your images. Although, it is definitely worth knowing how users react to watermarked images.

Would you as a webmaster stop watermarking your images to get better search engine clicks in image search? It would be interesting to debate on this topic as image theft is rampant, however on the other hand every bit of search engine juice is always welcomed by a webmaster.

Download Multiple Images From Google Image Search

There may be lots of times, when you use Google Image search to find and use images in our research and blog posts, but what if you want to download several images on a page at once? In such cases you might have to open each image, and then click on the link to view the original image before you can actually download it.

Multi Image Downloader is a and which will allow you to download multiple images from Google Image search at once, using a handy desktop interface.


To download all the images from Google search, you will need to copy the URL of the image search and paste it in the input box provided. If you want to start downloading images from the first page of the search results, make sure to add &start=0to the URL. The application will throw an error if the start parameter is missing from the URL.

Tip: If you only want to download stock images, checkout the options you can use to download copyright free images from Google Image search.

You can choose to download images from multiple pages, by changing the page counter and also select the type of images you want to download. Once you have selected the options, click on the Get Image linksbutton to begin scanning for images to be downloaded.

Also Read: Download and Save Images Quickly and Easily in Firefox 

The application will scan all the pages and show you the links for the images, you can double click on the URL to open it in a web browser. If you do not like a image, you can download it from the list by using the delete button. To download the images select the folder and click on the Download button.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Multi Image Downloader would be a really good software if it had an option to preview images within the software itself. Right now, you need to double click on the images to view them in a external web browser. A preview option would make it much more easier to choose images you want to download.

Another annoying thing about this app is that, it is set to stay on top, which means that it remains in front of other windows, even if another application is active. The only way to hide the download window, is to minimize it.

It would also be good if the developer would assume that start is 0, if it is missing, this would save users from having to type it out everytime they want to start downloading images from the first page.

We are going with a low rating for the software as it misses a much required preview pane, it would be really very useful once that feature is added to the app.

Techie Buzz Rating: 1.5/5 (Average)

Download Multiple Image Downloader

Google Image Search Adds Filter By Licensing Option

There are millions of images spread across the internet, however not all of those are free to use, some images may require users to pay royalty before they can use them commercially.

does provide users with an option to search images with Creative Commons licenses which can be used anywhere without having to pay royalty to the image creator.

Google Image Search too will now have an option to search images and filter them based on the licensing.

image search usage rights

The new options are now available as a part of the advanced options for image search, however we could not see them yet, which means that Google will be rolling out these features slowly to everyone.

This is the first instance any search engine has added such an option to image search, Yahoo does have it but it’s data comes from Flickr.

So the next time you want to search for a free to use image, head to Google Image search.

Update: Google has gone live with this feature you can read more about the announcement; Find Creative Common Images With Image Search.

[via Google OS]