I have decided to allow search engine indexing of image/photo file folders. I've always disallowed these directories via robots.txt, but now wish to "cash in" on their visitor potential since image searches have been adopted by more reputable companies.
I've removed the disallowed statements in robots.txt. Yahoo and MSN were quick to arrive at the harvest, but more than 2 months now and Googlebot-Image has yet to show. I've even enabled Enhanced Image Search at Google's webmaster tools thinking it might hasten an image crawl, but no joy.
Is there a Submit utility specific to Google Images somewhere?
I don't think there is. As far as I know, the imagebot only makes it's rounds once a year. I have some recent images from a site that is a couple of months old in the search, so I think it's already come around.
Google used to update their image search roughly twice a year, but I am not sure what sort of timescales they work to now. Also images may be picked up by more than just Google's imagebot as many different Googlebots have been doing double duties.
I am thinking of actually banning search engines from indexing images on at least one site. This is mainly due to myspace, forum and blog users hotlinking images. One particular image comes up number one in the SERPs and a lot of people hotlink to it!