Google has made several enhancements to its own capabilities in an effort to make web search more useful, and to see off the increasingly strong challenge from Microsoft's new Bing offering.
In a blog posting yesterday, Google software engineer Lingyun Liu revealed that Google now places images next to maps and links when searching for locations in Google Search.
Clicking on any of the images will take the user to the photos layer on Google Maps where they can browse more geo-tagged photos, he said.
"Knowing the geographical location of a place is only part of the story," wrote Liu. "It's often just as valuable to get a sense of what the place is like, and there's no better way to do that than by looking at images of some of its most important sights."
Google also announced that users can now filter advanced image searches by Creative Commons licence, a useful tool for bloggers who want to make sure they use non-copyrighted works.
Google has also extended its Product Search tool for mobile devices to "all devices with an internet connection in the US, UK, Germany and South Korea".
"No matter what phone you use, just enter your product query on google.com and select the 'Shopping results...' link," wrote software engineer Eiji Hirai on the Google Mobile blog.
"Or you can start your mobile product search directly by creating a bookmark to google.com/m/products."
Microsoft's rival search offering, Bing, has been gaining traction since it was launched. According to the latest stats from market research fiorm Net Applications, Google is still way ahead with a market share of 81 per cent, but Bing is gaining on second placed Yahoo, with 5.3 per cent.
Phil Muncaster is news editor at V3.co.uk, a role he has fulfilled since January 2010. Previously he was chief reporter for IT Week, having also worked as a reporter and senior reporter on the publication from 2005.
Before IT Week, Phil worked as a researcher for the Rough Guide. Prior to his work in journalism, Phil spent three years teaching English in Japan.