Monday, October 29, 2012

Google Pinterizes Its Image Search

Google Images' thumbnails are now much larger
at a set 180 pixels in height,
as shown in this unscaled screenshot.

I did a Google image search just yesterday. This morning, when I did it again, the array of images jumped at me. They were much, much larger.

They are measured at 180 pixels in height, and the even larger image that hovers over the thumbnail is now a relatively insignificant ~10% larger than the thumbnail itself. After you click to reach the actual website, there is a further intervening image that is near full-size (this is not new). Pin hags now have a choice of 2 large thumbnails hosted on Google, and a third, near full-size image that is hovering over the real one, but hosted by the content creator's website.

Pinterest's unique combination of wanton disregard for the creators whose images its users are feverishly scraping, and unfortunate success, has started a veritable conflagration of imitation that is changing the internet as we know it. And not in a good way. Where once citizen-publishers could turn a profit displaying their own images, there will be nothing but ashes left.

The latest Pinterest imitator is a heartbreaker. Google. It's a heartbreaker because Google is so large. It's not difficult to foresee a competition between search engines for who can display the biggest thumbnails without getting its wrists slapped by the law. Right now, competitor Bing's thumbnails are 75% smaller or less than Google's new supersized thumbnails. But for how long?

Bing Image search thumbnails haven't yet been pinterized.

How the other hand, it's easy to guess what Google might be thinking. Why not render Pinterest image collections even more pointless than they are now, by "improving" Google Image search? The downside is that the unashamed pinning from Google Images (which over-rides a site's nopin metatag, to add insult to injury) will be more rewarding to the pin hags, and that visitors can now spend more time on Google Images and have another reason to avoid visiting the creator's websites.

Pinterest forcing content creators to compete against their own websites was one thing. Now, Google is doing much of the same.

1 comment:

Leslie Hawes said...

Silly me. I always thought that the term "thumbnail" was derived from an image that was the size of your...erm...thumbnail, not the size of your palm.