Google has a handy filter that limits search results to sites with images, and displays a selection of the images for each site on the search results page. For many searches, I’m finding that turning this filter on makes it much faster to find the kind of site I’m looking for just by scanning through the search results. When I’m specifically looking for images, I often use this Site with Images feature rather than a Google Images search because I like having the images organized by site and presented with a little more context. It also helps me quickly identify a site with a historical or biographical slant, when that’s what I’m looking for. I also find this useful for travel searches, because even if I’m looking for information, I also want to see pictures, and for any sort of how-to search including cooking, crafts and home repair, because pictures add so much to those site.
You’ll find the Sites with Images filter in the left sidebar, under All Results. For some searches, you may need to click on More Search Tools to see this.
Here are some sample Google searches with the Sites with Images filter turned on:
Last February, Google purchased their first SuperBowl ad, the story of a romance told entirely in Google searches, starting with “study abroad paris france” and ending with “how to assemble a crib.” This inspired all sorts of parody videos, and a few months later Google introduced the Search Stories Video Creator, a simple tool that lets you create these videos very easily. You simple enter up to six searches into a form, choosing the type of search for each: Web, Image, Map, News, etc., choose background music from a menu, and you’re ready to preview your video, upload it to YouTube and share it.
Here’s a sample I made.
Admittedly, this is not much of a story, just a series of searches around a particular theme, but more creative librarians could have some fun with this. I have a couple of simple examples below. This could be a fun challenge for a group of kids or teens to try. It’s really easy and fast. The three videos I did here each took me between five and ten minutes to make. I did find that after you upload them to YouTube there can be a delay of several hours while these are being processed.
But what I really want is for all the library vendors to offer a simple tool like this to make it easy for us to make these search stories using our library catalogs, databases, ebook collections and more!
Today Google announced a new initiative to digitize backfiles of magazines and make them searchable through Google Books. They are featuring this on the main Google Books page with a rotating assortment of cover images, and you can limit a search to magazines on the Advanced Book Search page. Continue reading →