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Image credit: Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch

Google tests Pinterest-like layout for image search

Naturally, there are plenty of shopping links.
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Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch

Google hasn't been shy about borrowing cues from Pinterest. Its latest effort, however, may be more transparent than others. The company has confirmed to TechCrunch that it's testing a new Image Search on desktop with vertical results that will seem familiar if you're regularly browsing Pinterest for ideas. Each image now has captions along with badges describing what those images entail, such as a product or a video. And it won't surprise you to hear that clicking on a picture provides much, much more than before.

If it's a product with ties to Google Shopping, you'll both find out whether or not it's in stock and receive a link to order it. There's a dash of AI-related technology involved as well -- you'll see similar and related items whether or not they're visually similar.

Google didn't have more to add regarding the test after Engadget reached out for comment. "We're constantly experimenting to improve our experience with Google Images and don't have anything further to announce at this time," a spokesperson said.

Despite the similarities, Google isn't strictly pursuing Pinterest. Rather, it's chasing after Amazon and other internet retailers. The company knows that it's tempting to simply jump to your favorite online store after finding an item that catches your fancy. This potentially heads you off at the pass -- you may be more likely to use the Google Shopping link in front of you instead of going through the trouble of launching another search. The problem, of course, is that this may irk searchers who had no interest in shopping and might prefer the existing layout.

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