Google "search by image" gets big overhaul

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

Google is constantly working to enhance your search experience.

Surely we've all experienced a time when we saw something - whether it was a landmark, an animal, a vehicle, etc - and wanted to find out more about it.

But how do you Google something like that? I mean, you can't just take a picture of something and run it through Google's algorithms, right? If you think I'm right, then you obviously don't know about Google's "search by image" feature.

But don't feel too bad. The search giant hasn't widely publicized it since it's still working on tweaking the nascent algorithm that makes it work.

One such tweak has just been implemented and makes search results much more specific. That's because the image search feature has just added Knowledge Graph functionality. The Knowledge Graph is a huge web of algorithms that help to predict the context of user searches.

So if you search for "Taj Mahal," the Knowledge Graph aims to figure out if you're looking for the building, the casino, or the musical group.

What this means for image-based searches is that if you upload a picture of a specific kind of flower, Google will now try to identify that specific flower instead of just doing a generic search for "flowers."

This is just one update to what is sure to be a continuously growing set of updates to make this the next big thing in search.

To search by image, users can take a picture with their phone and upload it to Google. Search results are then presented just as they do with any text-based Google search.