If a picture says a thousand words, why shouldn’t Google Images be a valuable source of information for consumers? To promote its image feature as a more valuable resource for searchers and marketers, Google today announced an updated Google Images design.

Rumors of a revamped Google Image design started last week when some searchers claimed they were seeing new image search results. Now, the company says it is offering all searchers a variety of image search tools, including instant scrolling between pages that display up to 1,000 images per page, larger thumbnails to make it easier to identify useful pics, optimized keyboard navigation and new landing pages that show the image in the context of its website.

Marketers can take advantage of this by optimizing their sites for image searchers with well-labeled pics. Google suggests including pictures are good practice for sites regardless of their features as “for many searches, the best answers [aren’t] text.”

To further help marketers capitalize on promotions where images speak louder than written words, the search engine is also introducing a new ad format called Image Search Ads. The tool allows marketers to include a thumbnail image alongside advertisement text.

This updated Google Image design is just the latest of Google’s advancements in the display ad realm. Earlier this month, Google unveiled an expanded Display Ad Network to promote display units as a marketing tool. These features may help the search engine gain ground in the display ad impression market, with comScore reporting it accounted for just 2.4 percent of display ad views in Q1 2010.