Google on Tuesday announced that it is adding captions to images shown in search results. With captions in Google Images, the search giant aims to provide "better visual discovery with more context" on the image results page. The image captions will start to roll out globally this week on the Google app (Android and iOS) as well as on mobile browsers. However, there is no information on whether the feature will roll out to desktop browsers in future.
Last year, Google had started to show badges, such as "recipe" or "product", on particular results to help people discover images easily. Later, it also added the website's domain URL for each result to show where the image is coming from. However, with the latest announcement, Google is adding captions to image results, that will show users the title of the webpage where the image is published. This extra piece of information, Google says, provides more context. It essentially means that you can find out what the image is about and if a particular website would contain relevant content.
"Whether you're searching for ideas for your next baking project, how to tie shoelaces so they stay put, or tips on the proper form for doing a plank, scanning image results can be much more helpful than scanning text. Today, we're sharing more about new changes to Google Images to provide even better visual discovery with more context on the image results page," said Google in a blog post.
In the example provided in the blog, Google showed image results of "fruit that looks like a star". Google says that though the image results provide visual confirmation that the user found the right fruit, the captions make results instantly more useful with additional context. For instance, a user will now know that the searched fruit is called carambola or starfruit, and that it's popular in China without even clicking on one of the links. It also helps the users to select which pages they should click to explore further.
To recall, Google has been making quite a few changes in its image results. Recently, in a move to curb the lifting of copyrighted images from its platform, Google had removed the "view image" button from its image search results. It has also been making some announcements when it comes to search results on mobile. For instance, it recently announced some new tools to help mobile sites better their user experiences.