Bring back the old Google Image search

I hate the new Google Image search. I used the old one constantly and A picture named 93px-Lesser_Ury_Lese#7700BF.jpg understood it well, because there wasn’t much to understand. You clicked on an image, and it went to a page with two frames. The one above gave a route to the original image, and the one below was the whole page the image was on. The new one is a montage of larger images. You get a preview with some links if you mouse over one, and if you click on it you get to another Google page on which a blurry version of the image is superimposed — in the manner of an unwanted opt-out ad — over the page with the image on it. You can get to the image directly, or the page’s own URL, by clicking on links in a frame column on the right. (This is the frame that used to be on the top.)

There are also more options on the search results page. That’s cool. But the thing with the preview is just ugly to me. And it reminds me so much of unwanted ads that I wonder how far the advertising-über-alles mentality of the commercial Web has infected Google itself, in spite of the Chinese Wall it likes to keep between advertising and the stuff it runs on.

My advice: keep the new layout on the results page, but go back to the old design on links from each result.

Meanwhile, I’m getting to like Bing’s better and better.

13 comments

  1. Steven Hodson’s avatar

    I am a big fan of Bing’s image search and use it all of the time. While I might be slightly biased :) I think that Bing has a lot of potential but people are not willing to give it a chance because it is a Microsoft property.

  2. Peter Bekel’s avatar

    You definitely have a point there. The interface is not optimal. I hope they’ll improve it. I like Bing’s better too.
    Another thing Google has to worry about are the search results themselves, I think. These are getting worse and worse. Sometimes the complete first page is filled with worthless results, just because some companies (f.i. content farms) are getting so good at manipulating Google that they end up high in Google, although their websites have nothing to do with the topic you’re looking for.
    What is your opinion on that?

  3. Andre Alforque’s avatar

    I like the new design for several reasons, but I will specifically address the items you mention.

    1. “I used the old one constantly and understood it well, there wasn’t much to understand.” The new design is more simple. When looking for images on images.google.com, the users are looking for images, not text or a webpage. The problem with using the old method was: the image may not be there anymore, as is often the case for Blog index pages. And from a technical standpoint, webpages may use JavaScript to break out of the frame (and in rare cases may harm your computer).

    2. “But the thing with the preview is just ugly to me.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. …and Google is largely based on Advertising. I like the fact that when I get to the results page I am blatantly shown the item I was looking for: the image. I no longer need to hunt for the image on the page.

  4. Rob’s avatar

    I came to the same conclusion: Bing has a better image search. Although, I felt like this prior to G updating their app. I also was queasy about using a MS property until i saw the results: relevant, higher res images, less paging.

    G’s improvements are decent, but it is clear they are not innovating in this area at this time, simply keeping pace.

    Now I need a hack for Chrome’s search bar.

  5. Hanan Cohen’s avatar

    Just wait a week or two for Google to introduce Google Image Search Classic

  6. Laiptai’s avatar

    Google’s new image search sucks indeed…

  7. Sheila Lennon’s avatar

    Yuck. I want the source to show.

    Half a workaround: Scroll all the way to the bottom of the image search. Click “Switch to basic version.”

    But you have to do it every time.

  8. Anthony Baker’s avatar

    There’s now a Safari extension promoted on the Apple site that forces Google Images to revert to the old view.

    It’s called Google Search Cleanup by Mark Frelink. Here’s the pitch:

    Miss the days of a clean, uncluttered Google? Google Search Cleanup transforms Google’s home and search results pages to look the way they did way back when.

    Cheers,

    Anthony

  9. Anthony Baker’s avatar

    Safari extensions site is:
    http://extensions.apple.com/

  10. Zoe’s avatar

    Same here, I want the old image search back!

  11. Gokken’s avatar

    @Sheila thanks for that tip! not sure about you but I do prefer basic version

  12. John Dillan’s avatar

    Weird…I’m still getting the old 2 frame “Image Classic” as I guess it would be called now lol. Maybe because I’m overseas right now?

  13. zinsen’s avatar

    I liked the old engine, bus the new one is even better. the search results are looking much better for me.

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