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 site:flickr.com 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 Flickr.com 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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