Friday, November 23, 2007

The Irony Behind an Image Search Result

Google's image search engine has always returned many strange results, but universal search made this problem more visible. For some queries, Google shows three images at the top (or at the bottom) of the main search results pages. One of these queries is [RSS icon], which should obviously return the orange icon for feeds. But it also returns something else...

The irony is that the inappropriate picture was included in a post from 2005 that criticized Google's image search engine. Here's the full post [contains a bigger version of the image]:

I wanted to add an RSS icon to my blog, so I turned to the trusty Google images search: RSS. And what do I get. Certainly not the little orange RSS box (though if this really was the RSS icon, maybe people other than serious geeks would use the technology).

This goes to show that Google image search hasn't improved so much since then. Just because a page contains "RSS icon" twice in the neighborhood of an image doesn't mean the image shows an RSS icon.