Google Image Search Changes Have Not Been Kind To Webmasters

    April 30, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Earlier this year, Google launched a new design for its image search, and ever since, there has been a substantial amount of backlash from webmasters claiming that the changes have decreased the amount of traffic they get to their sites.

Have you seen less traffic from Google Image Search since the redesign? Let us know in the comments.

Webmasters complaining about changes made by Google is nothing new. Every time Google releases a major algorithm update like Penguin or Panda, the outcry is everywhere. But, like it or not, that’s Google trying to better its algorithm, and ultimately improve its search results. You could also argue that any traffic one site loses, another gains. Somebody wins.

The Image Search story is a bit different, however. This is not an algorithmic change designed to point users to higher quality images or more relevant image results. It’s a cosmetic change, and while some users may find the experience to be an upgrade, it’s clear that many webmasters have not welcomed the redesign.

We got over seventy comments about the changes on a previous article we published. Not many were positive. In fact, most were from webmasters talking about the traffic they lost almost instantly. Here are a few examples:

“55% dropped for websites with images…”

“My traffic has dropped to 1/5 of what it was before the new Google Images search roll out…”

“My traffic was cut by half overnight…”

“My image based website has lost 2/3 of the visitors after the change…”

“Google image traffic has dropped by 50-70% on my site…”

We could go on. See for yourself.

That was back in January. It doesn’t appear that things have gotten much better.

Define Media Group published some findings from a recent study on Monday (hat tip to Search Engine Land). According to the firm, you might as well spend your time in other areas of search engine optimization and online marketing, and not worry so much about optimizing for image search anymore.

“We analyzed the image search traffic of 87 domains and found a 63% decrease in image search referrals after Google’s new image search UI was released,” explains Shahzad Abbas. “Publishers that had previously benefitted the most from their image optimization efforts suffered the greatest losses after the image search update, experiencing declines nearing 80%.”

“In the eleven weeks after Google’s new image search was released, there has been no recovery – which means for image search, the significantly reduced traffic levels we’re seeing is the new normal,” he adds. “In the aftermath of the new image search experience, image SEO has been severely compromised, and we have no choice but to recommend deprioritizing image SEO when weighed against other search traffic initiatives.”

Of course, there’s always the chance that your images could turn up in universal search results on Google’s web results pages, but even then, personalized “Search Plus Your World” results tend to get the emphasis when applicable.

It’s all made even more interesting due to the fact that Google pitched the changes as good for webmasters, indicating that they would actually drive more traffic to sites.

“The domain name is now clickable, and we also added a new button to visit the page the image is hosted on,” wrote associate product manager Hongyi Li in the announcement. “This means that there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two. In our tests, we’ve seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website.”

“The source page will no longer load up in an iframe in the background of the image detail view,” Li added. “This speeds up the experience for users, reduces the load on the source website’s servers, and improves the accuracy of webmaster metrics such as pageviews. As usual, image search query data is available in Top Search Queries in Webmaster Tools.”

It’s possible that some sites are seeing more traffic from the Image Search changes, and just aren’t being as vocal, but there has been an overwhelming amount of complaints since the redesign, and this new study is not doing anything to defend Google’s case.

Of course, Google is all about placing users first (even over webmasters), and they’ll continue to do what they think is best for them. From a user experience perspective, the changes aren’t bad. But that’s little consolation for those who now have to find other ways to get their content in front of an audience.

Do you see Google’s recent Image Search changes as a positive or a negative? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://www.styleartc.com Liz

    Yes the new change in google image search has cut traffic to my site, I would say by around 70% I feel like I’m giving google free content and I’m not getting anything back for it.

    • John

      Same here Liz…. They need to start paying us for content since they have screwed us in organic search in favor of all the huge companies. You know the thing they said would happen if we didn’t back them on stopping governments from passing treaties concerning the web . . . They did it on their own.

      • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

        They pay you for content? Do you pay them for traffic?

        • http://photos-for-you.com Jordan McClements

          The point here is that they are scraping *copyright* content (images) and not paying for it even indirectly by sending a visitor to your web site where you can get some sort of value from the visit (whether it be to get new work, sell images, or just make money from advertising).
          If everyone blocked the google image bot and sent DMCA take down notices, they would soon change their mind. But that’s not going to happen.

          • GS

            We need to lobby politicians and regulators.

        • Robert

          since no traffic from google, yes – they must pay us for content. For displaying our images on their side for example. For using reviews, etc. Otherwise coming soon User-Agent: googlebot
          User-Agent: google-images
          Disallow: *

          • GS

            Don’t disallow. Use a PHP anti leech script to superimpose an ad for your site on top of your images.

  • http://www.nivacity.com Tux Penguin

    It seems that Google no longer cares about the visibility of clients but focus more on their design..

    I don’t even like the new Gmail.. The new compose function Sucks..

  • Jade

    I think it’s a very positive change for users. If that forces webmasters to change their approach and/or content, that’s just new reality. Given that the entire internet culture and experience is constantly evolving, it seems selfish and egotistical for webmasters to complain about change. It’s exactly this type of change that’s provided them the very opportunities they’re currently complaining about protecting.

    Evolve or perish. It’s as true today as ever.

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      “Evolve or perish. It’s as true today as ever.”

      To a great extent, I couldn’t agree more.

      On the other hand though, image search now is no or little different than text search and anyone who didn’t see that coming might want to consider a different line of work. 😉

      Search results have always been about the results closest to the beginning having been judged to be the most relevant, is it that strange to think that image search wouldn’t be the same?

      • http://www.gbepackaging.com Bob Teal

        This is not evolution. This is Google making more money than our own Government collects from us. Our customers want low prices not a website that costs more than they spend. Are you dumb. You work for other people dont you!

  • Conran

    I work in adult media, and since the changes by Google I have only been using Bing. I don’t think I really use Google for anything more than occasionally checking my site stats – even that is becoming less relevant to me and I can use other services with more detail and relevance and an easier system.

    Google has gone too far with this one for me. They’re really angered the majority of webmasters in so many ways over the last five years, and they seem to forget that the one of the main reasons it became so successful was because it was the only company at the time to offer webmaster services. They no longer have that monopoly and webmasters are finding more reasons to hate Google than like it.

    Interestingly, I’ve seen a lot of webmasters looking at ways to BLOCK Google image search, because it is hotlinking their images and not giving anything back. Not only has Google lowered traffic because of these changes, but they’re draining your resources by hotlinking all your images to serve them to searchers!

    Bad moves Google, I think you’re on the way out!

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    What the change has made, which is visually apparent and which suggests the obvious recovery method, is to reduce at a glance the number of images shown at any one given point in time, sort of like there only being ten results on the first page of a text search.

    The obvious recovery method, contrary to what has been suggested which is to shift concentration away from images bringing traffic to a given site is to actually perform “image SEO” for the sake of the images themselves to ensure their better ‘ranking’ so that they then can be used to perform the task of “image SEO” that people mistakenly apply to images bringing traffic to their site instead of what exists now and should have before, images competing against each other to be the most visible and accessible to searches initially.

    If images are important to one’s site, they should have long ago been deployed in such a way so as to make their showing up as close as possible to the beginning of the images shown for a given search. Had that been done, no difference would have been noticed.

  • http://www.granitemakeover.com Granite Guy

    The old way produced a hit to your website when an image was expanded. That still did not mean that the user actually viewed your website. It produced an impression that would typically be of low quality. The new way simply eliminates this hit to your website. Kind of cleans up your hits a bit. people actually are now clicking through to find out whats behind the image.

    I personally liked the old way because it gave some sense that this image belongs to a website. Now that feels more disconnected.

  • http://www.marketsharewebdesign.com/ Kathy

    Just looked, same time period v. last year down 75%. I’m glad I don’t depend upon image search to bring paying clients to my site. But it’s very interesting that you pointed this out. I never noticed that decline in that portion of my traffic. I suppose this could have some devastating effects for some folks.

  • Robert

    google care only about searchers money, not about their experience. Visit google, click sponsor, bye. Same for webmaster – visit analytics/webmaster tools, add your site to big G able to scrape all your content (including images/snippets/unique texts) and bye bye. no traffic, your images displayed by google without any credit to webmasters, unique texts not work because today google trust wikipedia and big brands, it mean no traffic for small webmasters who cannot pay for trust links.

    • Robert

      i mean small webmasters who cannot get trust links from big brands and wikipedia, and cannot pay for adwords.
      Anyway, google destroyed total web economics now and enjoying to violate copyright rules at this time.
      But don’t worry, also google glasses coming soon. ‘Making less privacy in your life’ product with direct connection to top authority observers.

  • http://photos-for-you.com Jordan McClements

    Theft. Plain & simple.
    Google are far too big for their boots now.
    If you live in the USA, maybe you can take part in a class action law suit against them –


  • Mark

    It has ruined my website. 70% drop in traffic and revenue.

  • Alex

    “…like it or not, that’s Google trying to better its algorithm, and ultimately improve its search results. You could also argue that any traffic one site loses, another gains. Somebody wins…”

    Yes, Google does. And that have been the main goal of every update, including the image search.

    Yes, Google increased the number of clickable targets but “disabled” the biggest target of them all – the image itself. They might as well make 10 clickable targets still to the same detriment to the hosting website.

    Then they removed the background image of the hosting website, replacing it with the Google’s own search result page. Another line of navigation and potential interest severed.

    So Google pulls your images from your website, then uses them compiling its own search results page… Hmmm…
    It’s even worse than allegedly bad PiratesBay setup where they host only [magnet] links to torrents, here Google serves actual images.

    Where are DRM lawyers when you need them?

    • Robert

      >>> and google ultimately improve its search results.

      show me where??? 2011 google REAl search engines give one billion points to current big brands search engine google.

  • Yoda

    I don’t like it at all. It makes it appear that the photos belong to Google and not to the website on which they were grabbed from.

  • http://www.travelbild.com Olaf

    my traffic is at least 50% and I am sick and tired of Google changes.

    Its just another way to increase their advertising revenues..but why should anyone use Google Adwords when Google is cutting traffic anyway…Google is never listen anyway…whats the point

  • http://www.offrench.net Kilroy

    There are apparently solutions to bypass this.
    I have seen a script that breaks the iFrame (page in French). It used to work on the old display.
    It has been adapted for the new display, but without the redirect.

    Search for “Auckland” on Google images and click on this image

    Old display (redirect)
    New display (no redirect)

    • http://www.offrench.net Kilroy

      Check it on Firefox.
      On Chrome it does not do anything with the new display :-(

      But there may be more up to date solutions.

  • http://www.wildlife-pictures-online.com Scotch Macaskill

    It’s possible that the massive drops in traffic from image search are exaggerated. Under the old image search, when you clicked on a thumbnail, the image appeared with the relevant web page in the background. This was evidently counted as a page impression, even though there was no click through to the web page itself (as Granite Guy points out).

    Google’s new image search is nevertheless extremely detrimental photographers, artists and others who have image-rich websites. By not showing the web page in the background when you expand a thumbnail, there’s no incentive to click through to the site.

    At this stage in the process, in barely visible text, it says the image “may be subject to copyright”. Other than those in the public domain, all images are subject to copyright. If you view the full size image, there’s nothing about copyright, so the whole way image search is presented encourages image theft and discourages clicks through to the originating website.

    Image scrapers are further rewarded by changes Google made last year, viz:: “This makes it more likely that you’ll find highly relevant images, even if those images are on pages that are lower quality.”

    As a direct result of these changes, photographers’ original images no longer show up in image search, appearing instead on low quality blogs that simply take what they want, add a bunch of keywords, and are rewarded by Google as “highly relevant”.

    For Google to claim that the new image search benefits webmasters is not mere spin, it’s a straight lie.

  • http://www.brightermedia.co.uk Emily

    I have to say that I am so tired of google’s constant tweaking. I really think that if they keep pushing the owners of small business away they will end up suffering for it because the reason why the web is so great is because you can find small companies offering unique services or products. But they are all about money and so their service is beginning to suffer. I only use google now to check rankings – the results are littered with irrelevance because google has trained its bots to try to catch out those who build their sites for specific keywords – something that google told us all to do for a long while. For example, downgrading keyword domains overnight – should that be even legal after they made it so favourable to have these domains for so long. Now I look at the results – particularly for local suppliers – and in so many categories they are just rubbish. I hope google change and start to be a little kinder to the little guy. Not holding my breath….

  • John Owles

    From a users’ point of view, the new Google image search is terrible. There is now no indication of what the image is about. Click on an image and there is an overlay which contains no further information, just options to view original, sometimes some additional images, or visit the web page. Half the time, unless it is obvoius, we are non the wiser until we get to the wb page. A lot more clicking for no extra gain.

    If isn’t broke, Don’t Fix It.

  • Ryan

    Webpro news = Google apologists. It’s getting old.

  • http://www.gbepackaging.com Bob Teal

    Yes Google tried again to make the alga better but it is costing companies real money each time they do. It also is costing the government money as we lose sales so is the United States losing tax money. We made less this year thanks to goggle and we paid less taxes as well. We have a country in hot water and Google is cutting our sales just because our site is not what they want. If we more than doubled our prices then we might make enough to pay Google or do the upgrades they say our customers want but we would have no sales and the government would collect no taxes. Is this what we want as Americans. Maybe Google is making up for the lost taxes by paying the government more but thats good for Google but no one else. Sales equal Taxes and Google is cutting both. No wonder our country is weaker and means less to everyone. We work for our customers and not Google. We have the lowest prices and thats what our customers want. Thanks Google for weakening the economy.

  • http://www.dechtice.com Dušan Šalát

    Google’s recent Image Search changes are positive – Posledné zmeny v Google vyhľadávaní obrázkov vidím jako pozitívne, užívateľské rozhranie je prívetivejšie.

  • http://www.texasoutside.com Mike Sharp

    I don’t know why, but my traffic from Google dropped by 10% (20,000 visits) a month starting in January – could that be due to the image changes you mentioned?

  • Alec

    Personally I find the image search changes awful.

    Fail !

  • http://www.brightpathdigital.co.uk Steve Masters

    I don’t believe there have been large traffic drops due to the changes. What I have definitely seen is a big increase, across all sites, in search penetration. This increase is almost wholely attributable to more visibility in Images search results.

  • Tim

    As a consumer I can positively attest that I have visited fewer websites when using Google’s new image search. I do a lot of image searches. Now, after viewing the image, I simply click away without ever visiting the site. In the past, if the the image was interesting and the website in the background seemed like it could contain additional information, I would click through and look at the site. Now I rarely do.

  • http://www.Quantisoft.com Howard Deutsch

    Google’s image changes had minimal effect as compared with Penguin and Panda…especially Penguin. The more changes Google makes, the better Bing is as an alternative to Google.

  • http://fv2hac.blogspot.com Chader Max

    If you are a creative person why should complain?

  • http://www.kentuckyspecialfx.com Mike Bisch

    Our site has seen a 30 percent drop in traffic and 10 percent on sales since the image change Google did.
    For small retail business’s it is nearly impossible to constantly keep updating they’re sites week after week and making huge changes just to safe face with Google and even then your efforts usually are a waste.
    We have three companies that come up in searches for certain key words that are in no frigging way related to the key words they’re using but because they have a few paid ads with Google, then money hungry Google gives them a push way above us.
    Honestly Google has done way more damage than good.
    Every since panda its been down hill.
    Hince why most of our customers use yahoo now.
    I’m glad to see Yahoo and Bing hanging in there cause it wont be long before Google shoots itself in the foot.

  • http://www.teamfreelottomagic.com Whitney

    We had an increase, more of our images are getting picked-up and brought to the top for 3 of our Lotto related sites, plus Facebook, Blogger and YouTube video screenshots which was a surprise. With the discussion here maybe the minority but regardless… go Google! Also I like the new interface, the look, the function and the visit page button too.

    Who ever said Google was about the webmaster’s cash flow, it always has been and it will always be about the best experience for the people. Some of the comments here are just plain silly… Google is on the way out, Google should pay for content, Google is causing USA tax issues, Blocking Google image search. Geeesus, this is Google you’re talking about here not your next door neighbor Steve who borrowed your lawnmower and has kept it a bit too long so you’re going to “show him a thing or two”.

    I liked what Jade said… Evolve or perish. It’s about relevant content, it’s NOT about your free traffic. When Google builds a better mouse trap, you gotta retrain your mice or remain cheeseless.

  • Robert

    Next Google move will be for sites to pay them to display images, much like they did with their original Merchant Center (Google Shopping). Lure you in for free, get you hooked like a heroin drug addict then BAM you gotta pay for your next fix, (tying Google Shopping to Adwords).

    Google …just crash and burn already!

  • http://acesofww2.com joe

    As a webmaster I do not like the new changes … as a user I like them even less. Big fkn BOOOOOO Google. I’ve been checking out Bing and others the last few weeks, just to compare … jury’s still out

  • http://www.nex.net.au/~reidgck/ Graeme Reid

    Youtube videos made inaccessable because of google+ rejection:

    My videos of the
    dismantling the south Gippsland line beyond Leongatha, and
    those of the pulling up of the Central Australia Railway
    (one with over 330,000 views),
    were on youtube with about 200
    others of mine, under the ‘reidgck’ name, until last weekend
    when there became an issue with Google
    who obviously control youtube.

    Youtube entice people into, and now impose upon new members,
    a new fangled idea known as google google+ which requires
    people to put a lot of personal information in
    and some of the information they ask for is nothing short
    of rediculousness.

    But although it is probably mainly voluntery at present to
    enter the personal information they want, I decided that
    I did not really need google+ or want it either.
    But — When I attempted to delete google+, all the youtube videos
    were made unrecoverable and inaccessable to the public.

    It was not made clear that the youtube videos would become
    inaccessable if I deleted google+ although there was a sign
    that popped up indicating something to the effect that associated
    information to google plus would be deleted too; but,
    it didn’t indicate that this concerned youtube videos.

    So the videos were all ‘apparently’ deleted as well — as the
    home page with the youtube videos no longer had any on it;
    rather there was a sign on the page saying there were no
    videos posted as yet eventhough in the corner it said
    there had been about 770,000 video views on the site.
    and about 467 subscribers.
    (The 770,000 figure later changed to a Zero).

    so I took it that all had been deleted as the pop up
    sign previously mentioned, obviously meaning the videos too.
    When I checked the edit pages however, I found the videos
    were still there nevertheless, eventhough they were not on the
    main home page.

    I tried playing some embeded videos that were surposed to have
    been deleted, from a web site via embedded video system
    but for each one tried, a message came on the screen saying that
    — this video is private.

    That of course meant that the video had not been deleted.

    So as they were now permanently inaccessable to the public,
    and as they informed
    me they were deleted — which was obviously not true,
    I deleted all of them myself which was the proper thing
    to do as far as I am concerned, because if they don’t want to
    show the videos to the public, then I don’t want them
    to be there.

    After I deleted them, when I tried the embedded player
    again to play them, the message that came up then said
    that — this video has been deleted by the user.

    Nevertheless, they are likely in a cache anyway!

    I thought that youtube would be a good place to preserve
    the videos so that anyone interested can see them
    but as youtube is based in the US, and we are in Australia,
    the videos are obviously vulnerable and it seems, in the control of those who seem to place money and profits and the collection of personal information about people first.

    • http://www.catalyses3.com Ryan Lopez

      Google Does terrible things… They have been trying to take me email all morning.


      Refused to load the script ‘data:application/x-javascript;base64,LyohICRGaWxlVmVyc2lvbj0xLjYuMTgxICovIA…A2OEVDNEU0RDgwNjQ5M0QyNTVERThCMTdEMEIzNUVGRjlBNDc2MDJEMEE2NDQ4NjI3RDc1RTA2’ because it violates the following Content Security Policy directive: “script-src https://*.facebook.com http://*.facebook.com https://*.fbcdn.net http://*.fbcdn.net *.facebook.net *.google-analytics.com *.virtualearth.net *.google.com* *.spotilocal.com:* chrome-extension://lifbcibllhkdhoafpjfnlhfpfgnpldfl ‘unsafe-inline’ ‘unsafe-eval’ https://*.akamaihd.net http://*.akamaihd.net“.
      The page at https://www.taskrabbit.com/developer/cities displayed insecure content from sacore:inst-top.gif.
      Failed to load resource sacore:inst-top.gif

      This is Google’s solving TaskRabbits problems..

      • Hayton

        It’s McAfee SiteAdvisor, storing that Gif image on a server that does not support a secure SSL connection. It’s probably the SiteAdvisor icon which is displayed in Chrome’s address bar.

  • http://ebook-site.com Bryan Quinn

    Another nail in the coffin for many small businesses.

  • fred

    We have lost almost 90% of our visitors. We have decide to stop working at the site. We have been optimizing our pictures for years.

  • David McCannon

    Great for the user in the fact you can view images and never visit the website. If you use photos for building advertisements, it hurts because the new change cuts the amount of traffic you get substantially.

  • http://www.msinteractive.com Moonstone Interactive

    We have been using WebCEO as one of our SEO tools for years now (check it out, it’s pretty awesome) and around the end of 2012 even they have been deprioritizing image SEO in their Optimization tool. They informed us “…this [alt image tags] is an outdated requirement from search engines, and this advice is going to be removed from the optimization advices.” So we have been prioritizing around high quality backlinks and relevant resources and connections. We encourage everyone to deprioritize image SEO and stick with quailty resources and relevant links. Make good connections and stay SEO strong!

  • http://www.graciousstore.com Nina

    I’m not aware Google made any change in the image search algorithim as we did not notice any change in the traffic to our website

  • http://easywebsiteprimer.com Alex St Clair

    Thanks for an interesting article. I wouldn’t be too sure about Google putting users first. Surely Google puts Google first?

    Sometimes Google’s interests coincide with their users – perhaps not as often as they would have us believe. Then they put their users’ interests first!

  • http://www.deepripples.com/about/bill-bean Bill Bean

    I have one client who has lost approx 10k visits a month due to the change. Luckily, they have many more traffic sources. Thankfully, they understand that this ie one of “those” Google things.

  • Camille

    We have seen a 90% drop. Tired of fighting google who thinks it is god.
    Might have to close my business. I have been online for over 10 years.
    One more week of decreased sale and will have to start laying off people. Our normal search is great, but we are a decorative products company in which you have to SEE what you are buying.

    1)We had a tremendous amount of sales coming in from Pinterest and they
    have all stopped and I can’t figure out why. Anybody have any input?

    2)We also have our products on Amazon and have just now have seen a marked decline in sales. Do you think it is affecting Amazon also?

    Any work around for this mess. I have stopped using google as my personal search engine. We should all ban together and have a “NO google day” and let them feel what we feel.
    Am closing my adwords with them, and probably everything else. I don’t think they deserve our business when they treat us so poorly.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-alan-yeatts-jr/57/b46/b56 Robert Alan Yeatts Jr

    Image search has never really worked exactly right. You can attach any tag to any picture, even if the picture has nothing to do with the tag.

  • http://teeky.org Anup More

    Yes, definitely the redesign of images.google.com has decreased the number of visitors to my blog. Before the redesign I was getting around 2000+ visits from Google Images and suddenly I am facing a drop in the image search. Can you suggest a way to improve the images.google search results?

  • http://www.digitalinformationworld.com/ irfan

    Hi Chris Crum, great work, I want to ask one thing that what google consider about infographic as it’s also an image but long and informative, Do google image search deal both images and infographics in the same manner or not?

  • http://www.themusicmag.com The Music Mag

    I started peaking at around 1,000 hits a day in November 2012, I thought wow amazing. The results seemed steady, but around half of my visits were from google images.

    Since the change I have lost NEARLY ALL of my referals from google images, seeing a traffic dip of around 50%. It’s a big hit for a blogger.

  • Chris

    My theory why so many people are all reporting decreased traffic, it’s very simple really, before you could open the image immediately from the search.. Now you have to click the link, goto the site ‘where’ the picture is, 9 times out of -0 I can never find the actual image that originally came up, so I just don’t bother expanding the link. I wish they would change it back to the previous ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it version’

  • http://www.themodestman.com Short Man Style

    Hi Chris – nice write up. I was looking for a simple explanation of the changes. It seems like Google basically added one more click to get to a source image, right? I personally haven’t noticed the change in terms of traffic, but it must be tough for image/portfolio sites.


  • http://themedia3.com/ suresh

    This is quite a tragedy. I never noticed it before and till now. I’m just a starter with web promotion and google won’t be helping me…..:(

  • Sandy Wyatt

    I’m curious about the legality of presenting graphics at full resolution within a Google page, taken out of the context of the original web page. Doesn’t this violate copyright and/or completely disregard the publisher’s intentions? Google is great for finding the graphics, but they should leave the presentation to the publisher of the original web page and require users to go there to view full size graphic within the intended context, shouldn’t they?

  • GS

    Since the image changes back in January I’ve implemented an anti-leech script so that Google Image uses see a thumbnail but the full-size image has a very large invitation to visit my site. It’s a free ad.

    Also I have started cutting up large images to prevent hotlinking. This hasn’t reduced traffic at all. In fact people are more likely to click through.

    I urge all webmasters to do the same and cut off the supply of free content to Google at every opportunity. Google’s aim is to be a destination that people stay on and all built on the back of other people’s content.

  • Denise

    I just did a search in Google images for dog bandanas. The results display $ from X number of stores. I tried various searches using, large, velcro, etc. Etsy, Ebay and the like show up. Pretty much the same pictures no matter how I narrow the search. I have a website that is 10 years old where I make dog bandanas. Relevant does not figure into the equation evidently. Not one of my images showed up.
    Appears as though the image search is tied to PPC.

  • http://michiganspiders.blogspot.com/ K. J. Ester

    If peoples traffic to their site is cut by so much, doesnt this out right say the “users” dont like it? After all, arent they the ones who are not using the image search as much anymore?

    Myself, I hate it. In the past when I searched for an image, I could see the info for the picture by hovering over it. When searching for spiders, I dont want to have to go to the site to see what kind of spider it is. Now I have to because only the site name shows up. Before I could just hover over the arrows on the right to see what the site looked like. It gave me a heads up if the site was legit or had some kind of spam or virus behind it. Now my virus protector is always going off because I have to actually click on the site to go see it.

    The old way was far more proficient for me and I now often find myself going to yahoo or somewhere else rather than google for my image searches.

  • David

    I just did a few image searches and in all cases, I noticed the images were quite large. It’s often frustrating searching for usable images, having to select “Large” or “Larger than…” options, especially when looking for a lot of images. It’s too soon to say if this is just luck or dependent on the type of images I’m looking for but it would be welcome, if it is. I rarely look for small images so the hundreds of thumbnails and stamp sized images I usually find are like swarms of tiddlers when I’m trying to catch the big one.