Yes, I noticed it too. Google always seems to be changing things on me. But, this new image search is nice, and there are some great new features to this image search that will make your life a lot easier (and faster). It’s all about efficiency. Right? The great thing about the new image search results is the lack of text data. All that is shown are the images–and, you can get a good idea of what kind of image it is (landscape, portrait, small, big, etc…) before you ever even click it. Google calls this a “dense titled layout.”
Now, you can simply hover over an image and preview it. The image and information about where it came from are neatly presented. This means a faster route to the image(s) are looking for. The old image results had a cluster of text data that most people never bothered to even look at.
Another great feature is the fact that the images are delivered in context to the page it was featured on. When you click the image, it loads the page and displays that particular image in a “lightbox” type display. It bothered me at first, but I quickly realized context around the images are usually just as important–and sometimes there are other images around that image that might tickle your fancy a bit more.
Less is more, right? Not in this case. Now there are over 10 billion images on Google’s image search, compared to 250 million in 2001.
Yes, Microsoft Bing has already had some of these features. But do they have Image Swirl? Nah.