‘Gmail’ Search Query Returns Unexpected Results in Photo Results

For some reason, typing ‘gmail’ as search query will yield unexpected results, Barry Schwartz discovered in his article at Search Engine Land.

Google’s Photo search, unlike the more prominent Image search, displays results culled from Picasa Web Album, a photo sharing website similar to Flickr. Picasa allows free 1 GB storage Google Account users. Google’s default image result is extracted from Google Images, a sophisticated search tool that allows users to fine-tune search results based on image dimensions, color, or type (clipart, photo, etc).

Yet, with Picasa search — also known in the above menu as photo search, results are pretty basic yet unexpected. Results may have little or no relevance — we never associate Google’s free email service with not fully dressed women. But basic in the sense that when you look at the results, ‘gmail’ can be prominently seen as the account email address of the one who uploaded the photos.

An easier way to replicate this issue is to go to Picasa Web albums and use the same query.

Not really a big issue, but just a friendly reminder about its impact if you try using this search query at work.