Google has performed a major renovation to the layout of its Image search results page and has consequently introduced a new advertising format specific for this service.
With an index that stretches up to 10 billion photos, the layout of the page has also changed into what has been described as a "dense tiled layout" to let users look at a lot of images all at once. On Tuesday the company said that this was designed to simplify the process of reviewing many images. Google is also increasing the number of image results to 1,000 per page.
There are keyboard shortcuts for faster scrolling and a new landing page that displays a large image in context with the website where it is hosted visible right behind it.
Google Images also now provides a new landing page after users click on a result. The page displays a large version of the image, with the Web page where it's hosted on the back plane. Clicking outside the image takes users to this external Web page.
Google has also spruced up things for advertisers by allowing them to insert an image into their text ads.
The new ad format, called image search ads, will only appear on Google images for now and are seen as the latest in a series of moves to increase revenue. The new picture-rich ads are expected to sell for a premium over text-only versions.
"The broadening of the availability of image ads on the site is potentially quite significant, especially to Google's bottom line," said Greg Sterling of industry news site SearchEngineLand.com.
Although it is starting to diversify, Google still makes most of its revenue from PPC ads, which are priced and ranked through a process in which marketers bid for search keywords.
Image search engines are one of the most popular vertical search engines, along with those for news articles and maps, and as such Google Images, launched in 2001, is a key component of the company's menu of search services.
The rollout of the new Google Images version will begin today and be completed in the coming days.
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