Announced last year, Google Lens received a big update at I/O 2018 with real-time search, smart text selection, and more. However, Google Images is the company’s original visual search product and this week it’s gaining a number of new features.
Over the past year, the Google Images algorithm has been “overhauled” to “rank results that have both great images and great content on the page.” Search is prioritizing the authority of the web page featuring the image, fresh content, and the physical location of the picture on the page.
So if you’re looking to buy a specific pair of shoes, a product page dedicated to that pair of shoes will be prioritized above, say, a category page showing a range of shoe styles.
Already rolled out on mobile, these changes are now coming to desktop this week where more complex tasks are possible. Google Images will feature more context, including captions like webpage title and suggestions for related search terms up top. There are also a handful of Google Material Theme tweaks including pill-shaped search bar and carousel.
Meanwhile, Google Lens is coming to Google Images. In the coming weeks, image results will feature a Google Lens icon to analyze an image and opens up a bottom sheet of similar items. Analyzed images will feature pre-selected points of interest, but users will also be able to draw and highlight relevant parts to perform a new search.
Google announced these new features at an event in San Francisco today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the company’s founding:
- Google Feed rebranded to ‘Google Discover’ and coming to mobile web, Search
- Google Search adds subtopics to filter results, Activity cards, and AMP stories