Google, Yahoo Refine Geo-Results, Picture Search

Dennis Faas's picture

The major players in the Internet search market continue to add new tweaks to their presentation: Google is putting more emphasis on local results, while Yahoo has launched a refined image search feature.

Previously, Google would supply search results based on the location of the IP address. For example: searching for a "museum in Cameron, North Carolina," using a mobile phone would produce results towards the phone's current location.

Local Links Without Log-in

From now on, people searching from a computer will get their usual results, but for appropriate search terms they'll also get a map showing the location of local matches. This feature won't require users to be logged into Google as it works by looking at the IP address which identifies their computer and location.

That means it may not work for people using a proxy service such as those designed for anonymous web surfing. Users will also be able to easily tweak the results to show a different location. (Source:

Results Page as Pretty as a Picture

Meanwhile, Yahoo has revamped the way it shows previews of pictures found through its image search tool.

The preview page has been redesigned to clearly show both the image by itself and how it appears in the context of the relevant website. The page also displays a scrollable gallery of other images matching the search (meaning there's no need to go back to the results page), plus a list of suggestions for other terms that people have searched for on the same topic.

The image search page itself has also been revised to include additional filters: you can now be more specific about the size of image you are looking for (including options for finding images to use as wallpaper or even asking for a precise size in pixels), choose to only see pictures from Flickr (which may have fewer copyright restrictions), and even hunt for black and white pictures. (Source:

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