Flickr Photos Integrated into Yahoo Image Search

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Yahoo Image Search has added Flickr images into its image index. Now, Yahoo Image Search is serving over 300 million Flickr photos in its query results via a live feed from Flickr; so once an image is uploaded to a Flickr account, it’s available via Yahoo Image Search too.

The Flickr photos in Yahoo Search will be marked by Flickr account name, and searchers can click on the name to view and search all photos by that Flickr user.

Searchers can also type in the Flickr User ID in the Yahoo Image Search Box to view images uploaded by a specific Flickr member.

Vanity/Reputation Search Example :

The ability to search by Flickr images only is also given; here’s a site specific search for Chesapeake Bay. (just add to the search query)

In an effort to further brand and introduce Flickr to Yahoo Network members, the choice to search Flickr only photos via a shortcut or navigational link could be a strong tool.

Ideally, it would also be nice to also be able to search or rank images via tags and other attributes in Yahoo Image Search.

Use of Flickr Technology

The integration of Flickr into Yahoo Image Search is a nice step for Yahoo because of the usage of the live photostream feed. Yahoo Image Search could have simply indexed the Flickr images via a crawl, but by making use of the features of Flickr to serve live results and highlight user ID’s in the search results and functions, Yahoo has taken the approach which Flickr deserves.

It also gives Yahoo Image Search a jump on the competition, in terms of searching for Flickr images.

For an example, search Google Image Search for images from the domain, roughly 3.7 million photos are served. This is because the Googlebot is crawling Flickr and adding images to Google Image Search, not using a feed.

Since Google’s results are time restrictive and not live, images which have been deleted or moved can also be served in the results. This can’t happen in the Yahoo Image Search Flickr results because of the use of the live Flickr feed.

Privacy & Responsibiity

Flickr images which are now being served in Yahoo Image Results are currently only images marked as “Safe”.

“Safe” images are from users who are good at moderating their own content. Other Flickr filters include “Moderate” (possibly offensive photos) and “Restricted” (not safe for work).

Good move by Yahoo to prevent controversy, like that brought about by the images in Google Streetview. We’ll probably see much more of this as the growth of user generated media content expands beyond their initial breeding grounds and more into mass media.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Barry Schwartz

    I believe this is fairly old news…


  • Loren Baker, Editor

    No Barry, this is quite different than serving thumbnails on specificly hand targeted shortcut terms.

    The total image search integration and the use of live Flickr photostream feeds in the Y! index are the key differentiation points.

    As is the ability to highlight specific Flickr users in the Y! Image results. So, instead of static search results, what we’re seeing is a much more interactive form of community driven Flickr images now used in Yahoo Image Search results.

    Hopefully, this practice will transcend to the search shortcuts as well, but Yahoo has cut back on the usage of some shortcuts to concentrate on its verticals. Perhaps we’ll see something similar, but not identical to, Universal Search one day from Yahoo.

    This just went live at about 10 pm EST last night.

  • Patrick Altoft

    Barry the WPN article shows a screenshot of the images in the web search results. I don’t see that they mention the image search results.

  • Barry Schwartz

    Oh, I see. Thanks!

  • Ken Savage

    I too thought this was also in the news but I see that it’s the image search Loren is talking about. Nice stuff. Time to load up my tags in Flickr.

  • Nelma

    Time to delete all my tags.

  • Nik


    I’m wondering when (or if) these images are ever re-indexed? For example I have an image that used to be tagged with a particular term and is no longer. But when I search on those photographs still show up even though those tags are no longer there.