It looks like Google is testing a new version of their image search preview function. Please note that you may not experience the same visual experience, as it appears they are only rolling this out to certain users (A/B Testing).
The old image preview was clunky and loaded the image’s source website, placing a preview overlay of the image over the website content, with options to view the original image, click through to the website, etc.
Their new image preview expands a large preview pane below the image, with a much cleaner look and feel, that still allows you to click through to the website it came from or the original image.
I think the main benefit of the redesigned feature is that it is MUCH faster. It is also much cleaner, with less clutter and more “hey – here’s a better look of that image you wanted!”
Unfortunately, there is no longer any sort of preview of what the originating website is all about. This could have a slight effects on the number of users that click through to a website and continue browsing it after previewing an image on Google Images. For some websites that are image intensive and get a lot of traffic this way, this could actually have a relatively serious negative impact.
What do you think?