The Problem with Google Image Search

Google keeps talking about the real-time web and that how quickly it can respond to “real-time” events. The moment Google algorithms discover breaking news (like the earthquake in Haiti or the Toyota brakes issue), it triggers real-time search and starts pulling tweets, news stories and even blog posts into the main search results.

This works nicely but there’s one area where Google is still lacking – image search.

ipad for web surfingSteve Jobs introduced the much-awaited Apple iPad to the world on January 27, 2010. The news was covered by almost every blog and news website, millions of tweets were written for the iPad and thousands of images and videos from that Apple event were shared on sites like Flickr and YouTube.

With so much excitement around the device, the disappointing part is that though a week has passed since we saw the first iPad unit, Google Images still has no clue about the existence of this Apple device.

Try a simple search for “iPad” on Google Image search and you’ll only see mockupsbut none of these images represent the official Apple gadget. Move to page 2 and you’ll find that the story is no different.

In this quick test, Bing did manage to find some images of the Apple iPad on the first page of search results but the top slots were still occupied by mockups.

The surprise winner here was Yahoo. It not only returned the best results for “iPad” but also had a section called “Recent Images” that pulled the very latest photographs of iPad from news stories. Google seriously needs to implement something similar for their “real-time search” as well.

Screenshot 1: iPad search on Google Images

ipad - google search

Screenshot 2: iPad on Bing Images

Bing Image Search for iPad

Screenshot 3: iPad according to Yahoo!

Yahoo Images - iPad

[tag google,tech,pic search]


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