Google Wants to Index and Organize Web Images

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Yesterday, we told you that Google will be making Flash contents searchable in cooperation with Adobe. Now, we found through a video interview with R.J. Pittman, Google’s Director of Product Management for Consumer Search Properties, that Google will also be working on image processing technology to effectively search and organize the web’s trillion of images. Of course, we know the underlying purposes of this, as like other web properties that Google’s search engine crawls – monetization.

Where as currently, Google indexes photos primarily by text and other metadata, with Google’s planned image processing and visual search technology, the search engine wants to crawl the pixels comprising those images as well as scene analysis.

Mr. Pittman also mentioned about Panoramio, a web-based photo uploading site with geo-tagging feature that we don’t remember hearing about before.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
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  • andrew

    So how can proactive webmasters ready their images for this?

    I remember reading a post by Chris Pearson (of ) referring to alt text, title text and surrounding body copy, but with this new technology, is that enough?

    Or should we just hope that our images are “found?” Are there budding search engines to submit image laden pages to now?

  • SharkGirl

    Is this something that be of benefit to us, the owners of our images? I’m wondering if I need to put watermarks on all my images, because I don’t like the idea of Google (or others) doing whatever it is they’re going to be doing with our images.

    Making money on them? Do we get royalties? Isn’t that theft?

  • Sushubh is a potential acquisition target. their technology is pretty cool and it works!

  • Ken

    The direction with GeoTagging will be interesting to follow in the coming months as cameras in the near future will have GPS embedded in cameras and tagged in the meta of photos that are taken.

  • Jamp Mark

    Do you guys know how google indexes images? I know that they take alt, title and surrounding texts but I guess there’s something more.
    also for this new image processing, how would google know who’s the real owner?