Google Image Search
-No 'on the fly' filtering
We've come to expect nothing but the best from Google and this one isn't too far from that. You read that right–Google is not the runaway winner in this category and some of its competitors give it a run for it's money. The quality (relecvance) of Google's results, as you would expect, is the best in business and the number (of results/images 'indexed') greater than anyone in this category as well.
Google's Image Search offers some unique options as 'advanced preferences' where it allows you to see results of only specific file types, ie JPEG, PNG or GIF. This can be useful if you're looking to use the images in an application that allows only specific file type(s).
It allows you to filter results based on image size (small/medium/large) as well as coloration (colour, b/w or grey-scale). But the color option is hidden inside the advanced options and there is no way to change it on the fly while viewing the results or for that matter any indication on the results page about the current value of the coloration filter. This is the one gripe we had with Google, but that aside, it is pretty much the leader in this segment. ¨
Yahoo! Image Search
-Index isn't as large as Google's
Yahoo! has been releasing products and improving their existing ones at a frantic pace in recent months. It's Image Search is just one example of the fine work that the engineers at Yahoo! have been doing. The quality (relevance) of results is as good as that of Google, though the number of results wasn't quite as large. Google is still the king as far as the number of pages (images) it indexes. It offers the coloration and size filtering options as well, with the latter having a convenient 'wallpaper' size option, which returns images of common desktop resolutions such as 800X600 and 1024X768. Now you know yet another source to get your daily dose of wallpapers. Where it really scores is in displaying the results by giving users the option to toggle the filter right next to the results itself. For eg, switching from b/w to colour images is as simple as clicking on a link right next to the results. ¨
+Several search options
-No safe search
Picsearch, if it isn't obvious from the name, is one of the more popular image-only search engines on the Internet. Though its index isn't as large as Google's or for that matter Yahoo's, it manages to come up with some good results. The presentation is neat and one unique feature, is the ability to filter out animated GIFs from your results. You can search for 'Images/Animations/Images or Animations' with the last option being default. Selecting the animations option does bring up some animated GIFs. Standard size/color filters are available as well.
One feature missing, though, is the 'Safe Search' that is offered by both Google and Yahoo! It allows users to filter adult content from their results. With that addition and a larger index, this could well be one of the players to watch in the future.¨
The fight between the two search engines -Google and Yahoo!- is too close to call any one a winner. Both of them have got the same rating in this shootout. Picsearch is amongst the better-specialized search engines and the one with a lot of potential to challenge the big two. One of the features we would like to see all the search engines implement is to sort the results on user specified criteria such as size, last modified etc in addition to the default criteria of 'relevance'.