Sunday, February 06, 2005

 

Google images on main results page for US based searchers

Various sites, in particular Aaron Swartz, are reporting that Google is showing image search results in with the main web results. These results show up to three images at the top of the results page.

However, as with Google Print which censors pages to clients located outside the USA, this feature looks to be only provided to US based IP addresses. Clients making the same request via the google.com website, but who are based in the UK or Germany for example, do not get to see these images.

The way to get round this is to use Google's own proxy service, via their translate service. Thus by asking Google to serve up the page after translation from German to English, you do get to see the page (in a very close approximation to) how the USA sees it. The popular example is a search for pepperoni. Since the page is in English in the first place, the German to English translation should leave the page unchanged - there may be other language pairs that work, that's just the one I tend to use.

(As an aside, why does Google so favour the number three - they show 3 Froogle results, three Google print results, and now three images? Just as I always set the number of results returned to 100 rather than the meagre 10, I want to be able to set the number of results in these special categories to a higher number - if they are going to intrude into my normal results, then let me set the preference to zero when I explicitly dont want them, or to a higher number when I suspect that they will show useful results).

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