Saturday, April 3, 2010

Show "Images from the page" -- when and why you want to use this

A friend just told me that he enjoyed reading my blog, but that "sometimes your posts are kind of long..."  

Sorry about that.  I even know that shorter writing is more easily read; it's just that my thoughts are sometimes in a longer format than is common for blog posts. 

But let me make today's post short and sweet.  

Images from the page:  Today I want to just point out one feature of Google search--"Images from the page"--which is a handy tool, if you know about it and know when to use it.  

Suppose someone told you that there's a sphinx (an actual, carved stone body-of-lion-with-head-of-person sculpture) somewhere in Palo Alto.  Is that true?  How would you find it?

You might plausibly do a search like this: 

[ palo alto sphinx ] 

And you'd get some results, and spend a lot of time trolling through them trying to figure out which was real, and which ones were just related pages without actually answering the question. 

You could then click on the Images tab to switch to Google Image search.  But it turns out that's not very useful either.  It still doesn't show you anything that looks sphinxy (!) or tell you where you might find one in Palo Alto. 

HOWEVER.. if you open up the options panel (by clicking on the "Show Options..." link)... 

.. you'll see the option to "Show images from page..." 

Once you do this, it will change the display on the SERP to show you images that actually are on the page... like this... 

And, near the bottom of the page, you'll see a real, stone-carved sphinx statue that's on the Stanford campus in Palo Alto.  

With this "Images from the page" option, you can quickly scan for items that you can recognize (or discriminate from false hits) very quickly.  

Consider using this option next time you need to find something that you (a) don't know quite how to describe, but can rapidly recognize when you see it, or (b) when you need to visually filter out all of the true hits from the noise that inevitably creeps in.  

Search on!  

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