Google recently announced some promising advancements to its search features for Chrome users. In an effort to improve its user experience, the search engine says these advancements will shave significant seconds from search queries and save its users time in the long run.
Search By Image
Despite some of the naysaying, Search By Image is actually an interesting and innovative new feature. This application allows users to upload or drop photos into an image search field and Google will return as much information on the photo as it has indexed. Or, put simply, it lets you use an Image as your search term.
Whether it’s a weird animal, a photo you took on vacation or a piece of art you know nothing about, Google says Search By Image will help users find out more information on photos, quickly and easily. Facial recognition, however, is not currently part of Google’s plan.
What Search By Image Means For Your Content
Images are everywhere on the web. Users snatch them from blogs, websites and random image searches. They devour images from visual powerhouses like Tumblr, Flickr and FFFFOUND. The point is, images from your blog or website can end up anywhere on the Internet.
Since the main function of Search By Image is to return similar or identical images attached to URL’s with more information about them, applying a little brand consistency to the images or logos you use will make it more likely a user will find you or your company no matter where it is on the web.
In addition, consistently using your name, product, brand or other desired keyword as the alt text for your images will help Google return a result that is either a link back to your website or is related to you, your product or brand.Make sure the photos on your site are also named and tagged correctly.
Google explains images are currently matched using pixel analysis, but there is no doubt metadata is a consideration as well. You may not think it will amount to much, but being consistent and solidifying the taxonomy process for images related to your brand are simple steps that will act as breadcrumbs to drive traffic back to your website. So, if you haven’t already, use this as an excuse to put a process in place.
Instant Pages, the next feature in Google’s growing line of instant gratification features, is expected to roll out slowly over the next few weeks. The application starts pre-loading the first page of a website in its search results once Google is confident the site is what the user is searching for, so that you don’t have to wait for it to load once you click through to the website. According to Google, Instant pages can save a user anywhere between five and seven seconds on each search.
Five to seven seconds might not sound like much, but it presents a significant amount of time savings over… well, time. You can never get those precious milliseconds back again. At least that’s the angle Google is taking. And of course, that all of these efforts will eventually amount to a better overall user experience.
What Instant Pages Means For Your Website
Instant Pages presents a number of opportunities for your own website design. From a simple and engaging homepage, to a user-centered design that compels visitors to explore more of your site, websites must attempt more than ever to cater to the needs of an impatient audience. Make sure your site’s functionality, navigation and content strategy support a simple and straightforward user experience.
On that note, make sure your homepage loads as fast as Google is ready to hand it over in a preloaded search result. Remember, that is a matter of a few seconds.
The evolution of the instant web (propelled further and further along by Google) continues to breed a user group with shorter and shorter attention spans. With each step toward an instant user experience, your visitors will be trained to know immediately whether or not they’re clicking and staying on your website. And once they’ve made it there, they don’t want to waste any precious seconds looking for simple information. There is no option but to indulge them.