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November 3, 2008

Google Image Search Exposes Content Filters

Google Image Search lets you restrict the results using some content filters introduced in May 2007 directly from the standard interface. Until now, the options were available in the rarely-used advanced search page.

There are two kinds of filters:

* images from specialized search engines: news content shows images from Google News' index (news articles from the past 30 days)

* image analysis filters: Google uses face detection technology to find images that include faces and an interesting algorithm that finds photos.

I think the news content filter makes more sense as a Google News filter and it should be expanded to the entire News Archive. Microsoft's Live Search has three additional filters: illustrations, portraits, non-portraits that include faces, which are useful for some searches.


  1. Yes, but the main question about these filters is how well they work, not how many each search engine has!

  2. Is that feature useful enough to be on every result page? The "news" restriction, I don't know about that. The "face" restriction, perhaps something one would only rarely use. And the "photos" restriction doesn't really work as intended sometimes. E.g. searching for [mickey mouse] "photos" brings back cartoons (which is incorrect) or photos of cartoons (which may be correct, but perhaps not what was intended).

  3. If only moderate search worked

    "Moderate SafeSearch is on"

    result #2:

    result #12



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