Google Image Search Markup

Image search at Google will improve through the use of schema markup.

Google Image Search Now To Use Product Schema Markup, Barry Schwatz, Search Engine Roundtable (Dec 14)

Quoted from Google: “Add markup to your product pages so Google can provide detailed product information in rich Search results – including Image Search. Users can see price, availability, and review ratings right on Search results.”

Categories in Google Image Search

Google has new filter buttons in the US version of image search – as seen in this posting at Search Engine Land Google Image Search launches colored filter buttons. The new buttons let the search filter by colour or category. This is not showing up in Canada, at least not in full. Colour does not show, but category does. In this search for daffodils, Google distinguishes between wallpaper, a poem, and a drawing.

Google Image Search showing categories Image Search showing categories

Reverse image search

Shutterstock, a great resource for finding stock photos, now supports reverse image search with a technology they call “unparalleled”. This capability will also soon be added to video search.

Shutterstock Unveils Better, Faster, Stronger Search and Discovery Technology Shutterstock blog (Mar 10)

“You can now upload an image of your choosing to Shutterstock’s site, bypassing the need to type a query into a search bar, and the technology will identify similar images in look and feel inside of Shutterstock’s collection.”

Impressive – see posting for details and examples.

Seeking alternatives to Picasa

Say it isn’t so – Google is forcing Picasa users to move to Google Photos. The Picasa desktop software for editing and organizing photos won’t be updated after March 2016 – and given past experience with Google, my guess is they will eventually close it.

Google Is Finally Killing Picasa, Sarah Perez, TechCrunch (Feb 13)

Google claims to be concerned about its users – but – “Meanwhile, there’s likely more concern from users about the data collected on Picasa Web Albums, which includes very specific metadata about their photos. Specifically, users may have tagged their photos for organizational purposes, as well as added captions. Friends and family may have commented on some photos, as well. It doesn’t sound like that metadata has made the transition to Google Photos, however.”

Exactly why would I trust Google Photos? It’s time to find something else but that might not be easy.

Best free photo editing software: 10 top programs you should try, TechRadar (May 14, 2015) – has Picasa on the list, but also Paint.Net – I could get used to using it for editing – not great for organizing.

Photo Editing Software Review reviews and compares several for-fee packages and recommends PaintShop Pro X8. Maybe it’s time to pay.

Reverse image search

Useful  “how to” from Ann Smarty on using reverse image search and why you would want to.

How To Use Reverse Image Search Search Engine People (jan 5)

These days I use reverse image search on a daily basis. At times it has been an introduction to awesome media I never would have known about otherwise. In other instances I have found some truly useful tutorials and learning videos, such as Photoshop demonstrations and lifehacks.

Pinterest in-Pin search

New and better searching at Pinterest – very “organic”. Use the zoom to bring up images that are similar.  Often these are the same image but saved to other boards, or they are similar design at an individual board.  Either way, it adds to visual searching as a search option.  Fun

Pinterest’s New Visual Search Results Won’t Have Ads, Ginny Marvin, Marketing Land (Nov 10)

The new in-Pin visual search adds an entirely new layer to discovery, and flips traditional keyword-based search on its head. It will likely have broad appeal to retailers and brands looking to reach users as they show active interest in specific items.

Images in the Knowledge Graph

There is more than meets the eye in Google’s algorithms for choosing images to show in the Knowledge Graph. Bill Slawski gives a summary of the patent.

How Google Decides Which Images To Show For Entities In Knowledge Panels, SEO by the Sea (Aug 16)

“The combination of image scores and quality scores for web pages that contain images of entities might be used to generate an image authority score.”

Hulbee – new alternative search engine

Announcements of new search engines are rare. From Switzerland comes a new search engine called Hulbee that promises privacy in searching (away from prying eyes in the USA) and semantic understanding of query and results.

“Leveraging semantic search algorithms, Hulbee provides users with a means to find what they’re looking for, even when they’re unsure of the precise phrase or term to input.”

Hulbee Launches Only Privacy-First Search Engine Secure From NSA, EU And Data Miners – PRNewswire (Aug 5)

“Unlike other search engines, which deliver results based of what’s most often searched, Hulbee is based on semantic search, which focuses on the meaning of the word and on various themes associated with it. After sifting through data in 33 languages, the Hulbee search engine presents a collection of words presented in colorful thematic tiles on the screen, giving users a broad range of choices rather than just the most popular selections.”

It’s attractive and seems serviceable for finding relevant search results. It had sufficient depth for the query I tried for Ontario history. People needing an alternate search engine might explore this.

The tiles display Hulbee’s view of concepts (described as a word cloud) . Word clouds have nearly disappeared from search, and I’m glad to see Hulbee revive this as an aid for refining the query. Don’t be unnerved, though, if you see an ad in the panel of concept tiles on the left.

Hulbee Search Engine

Hulbee Search Engine

Image database seems limited at this time but it does have controls for size, color, style, face, and aspect.

Translator on the menubar will be handy for anyone working in multiple languages.

Other collections are video and music. The shopping vertical is definitely meant for Europeans.