Word from Yahoo this afternoon that they're announcing a size increase, what they're calling an upgrade, to Yahoo Image Search database. According to the company, the database now includes an index of more than 1 billion images.
I wouldn't be suprised to see Google increase the total listed at Google Images soon. According to the site, they now index more than 880 million images.
In the past we've seen one company publicly announce a size increase and another company follows in a few days or weeks. Publicly announced pages totals can be useful but are often nothing more than a marketing tool.
Relevant results are what counts!
That said, I've found Yahoo Images a quality search tool quite some time. I also liked (even when the text database had problems) the image database that AltaVista offered.
The Yahoo! Search Blog has more info. It points out a new "cleaner" layout to image search results pages and mentions that Yahoo Image Search results include content from other Yahoo media sites like Yahoo Movies and Yahoo News. Including material from other Yahoo sites was first introduced in April.
By the way, I'm often asked if it's possible to search for only news images on the web. The answer is yes using Yahoo News. After entering your search terms, select "News Photos" from the pull-down menu that's located next to the search box.
It would be useful if an option to limit to only news photos was also offered on the advanced search page at Yahoo Image Search.