Google has now announced captions are coming to images shown in Search. This is a rather straightforward feature as the captions are designed to do exactly what captions are designed to do – provide information on what it being shown. Although as this is a Search-related feature, it is also one designed to help direct searchers to relevant content.
To highlight how beneficial this small change will be Google accompanied its blog post with the image shown below. The left-hand side of the image denotes the current situation where the URL hosting the image is listed underneath the image – a relatively new feature in itself. However, the new look shown on the right highlights how captions are created by pulling the title of the article the image has been indexed from. Therefore providing searchers with an overview of the article, in relation to the image. For example, searching images for "apple" (the fruit) will now highlight more clearly whether the image is taken from an article that focuses on the different varieties of apple, the history of the fruit, or the many ways in which an apple can be used outside of being eaten.
In addition to the more everyday use cases, Google also points out this feature has the potential to be more informative in its own right. For instance the image shown below is in relation to the search term "fruit that looks like a star." One of the reasons a search term like this might be used is by those looking for a specific fruit they have seen, that is shaped like a star, but one they are unaware of by name. The new feature will help in this respect as the actual name of the fruit – in this case "carambola" – is displayed in some of the captions. Making it easier to identify certain objects and things without having to actually click through to different sites in the hope the name will be provided. In terms of the availability, Google states the new feature is rolling out this week for searches made through a mobile browser or the the Google app. The announcement did not specify whether this feature will make its way to Search on other platforms, such as desktop browsers.