06 March 2012

Preview related searches in Google Image Search

So yesterday evening I was watching the to-and-fro about an update to tab handling in Safari 5.2. Fascinating stuff, especially for a Windows user who hasn’t touched desktop Safari ever since came out. Even so, I distinctly remembered that, in some iteration of Safari beta 4 for Windows, the browser already tested that behavior for tabs, that is tabs filling the entire width of the window, regardless of their number. And sure enough, I quickly found confirmation in this older article: Apple Safari 4 Beta for Windows.

On this occasion I noticed a small, but very visual change to ’s Image search. Instead of having plain-old boring links for related searches, Google now shows a preview of the first three image search results for that query when you hover over those links. A very nice way to help users compare their original query with the related ones and decide if they are better suited for what they were searching for in the first place. It looks like the experiment is running for some time now, as Google Operating System mentioned it about a month ago; but I only see the previews in right now, I have checked both with and Internet Explorer and neither one has been updated with this new feature.  Google image search preview related searches

I rather liked the extra-wide Safari tabs, especially because the active tab stayed wide enough to select or read the title even after opening lots of tabs, where other browsers would squeeze them all together. As far as I know, only Firefox can replicate that behavior with some tweaks.

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