Google Image Search now lets you sort by subject

For anyone who's had trouble trying to find the right image among the many displayed in a typical Google Image Search, you can now sort the images to help you better narrow down the right one.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Google Image Search now lets you sort by subject.
Google Image Search now lets you sort by subject. Google

Those people who use Google's Image Search to find photos and graphics should now have an easier time zeroing in on just the right ones.

Unveiled yesterday, a new feature in Google Image Search now lets you sort your images by subject. So instead of seeing just a random, haphazard gallery of images, you can organize them so that each row displays images specific to a certain topic or area.

As Google's official blog points out, the new feature can come in handy especially when you're struggling to find the right words or phrase to describe the image you're seeking. By choosing to sort images by subject, you can use a general word or term in your query, and then let Google suggest the right images from among a list of topics.

For example, let's say you run an image search for the world "apple." Without the sorting feature, you'll see just a scattered collection of images, including real apples, apple pies, the Apple corporate logo, and even pictures of iPhones and iPads. But if you select the option to sort by subject, which you'll find in the upper right corner, you'll instead see each row devoted to a specific topic related to apples. One row may show photos of red apples, another clipart of cartoon apples, another Apple's corporate logo, and another photos of a Mac computer.

If one particular subject strikes your fancy, you can click on the "more like this" link that appears in the top right corner of the row to display even more images devoted to that subject.

Google also suggests using the sort-by-subject feature to explore different categories or varieties of a general topic. So, searching for the word "dog" displays photos of different breeds of dogs in each row, including collies, dachshunds, beagles, and Great Danes.

The sort-by-subject feature not only helps you narrow your search, but it presents the image results in a cleaner, more organized display, potentially making it easier to more quickly find just the right image.

Google says the new feature will gradually make its way around the world to every language over the next week.