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Can you get "child safe filtered" in Google Image because of hotlinking?

 9:51 pm on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I really dont understand why 95% of my pictures are filtered out, I also see other sites which have no adults or stuff like that on there pictures or text, but there images are also filtered without ANY reason.

Could this be be cause of hotlinking, if a site links to your images so it shows on there site, where there is mostly also some comments to the images, which could have a effect on the google moderate filter.

Can it really be that a hotling site can get you filtered out of google image, if so thats really bad.



 4:45 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

This sounds like a possibility, but what isn't, right? So how to test it. I guess you could make friends with an adult webmaster and get them to hotlink to an image that ranks well. Then you'll see if that gets your image filtered out at the moderate setting. I've never tested this, but it is an interesting idea.


 5:04 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see my hotlinked photos ranking in Google image search for keywords found only on the hotlinker's page and/or in their alt tags. If some of those hotlinker keywords were adult, it might get an image filtered. My images have been protected from hotlinking with .htaccess for years, but that and the resulting 403 errors don't stop Google from indexing the same image (same image url and everything) over and over again for each hotlinking page.


 11:21 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

well the site that is hotlinking, dont even have to be adult, I think a few "bad words" in comments can be enogh, but its sad that another site can get you filtered that way, be cause I really thing thats the case.


 11:59 am on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

did we find a solution, am I right that hotlinking can get you "moderate search" filtered from the google image, if so google really have to do something about it.


 12:14 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

What iridiax said.

Did you try *not* serving the image if/when hotlinked? I mean the pic would be indexed from your site anyway. It might drop out, reappear whenever Google tries to access it from that other site in question but they won't record co-relation data if a URL that's linked from any given site is simply... not there.

And the above example might go to show that your images will get indexed anyway, although without the context the hotlinking would give them. Not sure if Google would first record all the parameters of the co-relation and check the URL later with some referrer that'd render this tactic useless, but it's worth a try... My guess would be that it'll work.


 12:18 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

miamacs - I also have a htaccess protection, means when I come to the hotlinker site, no image is shown, but many of my images are on forums, blogs.. where people can come with comments, they dont delete those images, even if they are not shown.


 12:37 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mm... yeah but it's not like they're not shown, rather that your server acts as if they weren't even there, if the protection is set up properly. Meaning Google won't associate the two URLs ( the URL of the image on your site, and the forum comments ) for all they care, it's a broken link and that's that.


Since when has the .htaccess been in place?

You might need to wait for its full effects to play out... also what server response does it send when an image is hotlinked? 403,401,404? Heaven forbid it's a 200...?


If nothing else works, you can do the following.

Although you might have been doing it already, I don't know, for I've never asked, but you sure have a lot of problems with Image Search ( who doesn't though ).

Make all hotlinking requests redirect to an image that is... uh... *really* irritating. I mean extremely. Nothing offensive, just something no one would want to see on their sites. Like a few words of copyright notice... mentioning lawsuits and stuff *smirk*

A very simple, small ( so it'd fit even if downsized to match the various widths and heights provided in the HTML ) and low-color ( black, white, red ) image would do.

Alternatively make that pic a few (hundred) Mbytes in size.


It'll work like a charm, especially with a notice sent to those who've been doing it extensively. Believe me... I've done this before.


 5:15 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Im not that big a server dude, I have this in my htaccess

#enable rewrite engine
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^fdm [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^justanotheragent/ [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^www.mydomain.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^$
RewriteRule ^(.*) [mydomain.com...] [R=301,L]

the hotlinking stuff has been on for 9-12 month

Im not sure to do anything els, im on a linux dedicated


 6:21 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Your rewrites do not appear to prevent hot linking [webmasterworld.com].

And another example to stop hot linking [webmasterworld.com].


Edited 2nd URL to a better example.


 8:02 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

ohh that was the wrong htaccess, here is mine

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?google.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?live.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?MYDOMAIN.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?yahoo.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(gif¦jpg¦jpeg¦bmp)$ - [F,NC]


 8:26 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Looks better...

When did you first notice your images being filtered?
Before or after you added the hot link protection to your .htaccess?

Personally, I would wonder if somehow the hot link protection is preventing the images from displaying in the search results. EG Maybe you need to allow access to the SEs based on the requesting HOST, rather than REFERER (doesn't make much sense, but?)... OR need to edit the referrer line to be images.google.com, rather than www.google.com.



 8:43 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

it was before i added the hotlink protection, but also when I make a site:www.mydomain.com on google image I also see other domain names with images from us "hotlinking"


 8:47 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Interesting... but right now your hot link protection allows only www.google.com / or google.com as a referrer for the images to display, not images.google.com, which is where the Google Image Search is delivered from.


I would think about trying:
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://((www¦images)\.)?google.com/.*$ [NC]

Make sure to change the broken bar ¦ to a bar, or you will get an error.


 8:53 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://((www¦images)\.)?google.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?google.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?live.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?mydomain.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}!^http://(www\.)?yahoo.com(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(gif¦jpg¦jpeg¦bmp)$ - [F,NC]

like this, also thanks for you help


 9:06 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

hmm now i forgot, if you search with filter of, almost all my images are there so it can not be a htaccess problem, so I really think the trouble is this hotlinking and the text on those sites.

So i can only hope that google fixes this


 9:07 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

You could be more efficient like this:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://((www¦images)\.)?(google¦live¦yahoo)\.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?mydomain\.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif¦jpg¦jpeg¦bmp)$ - [F,NC]

Checking for a . means 'a character must be present for the ruleset to apply', and is essentially the same as !^$, which says, 'is not empty'.

The 2nd Cond checks for www OR images \. (literal dot) with the ? making the entire parenthesized string optional, followed by either google, live, yahoo then \.com/ (the / should always be present, since http://www.example.com (no slash) will be redirected to http://www.example.com/ when requested, so there is no need to make it optional (/)?.

The 3rd Cond checks for your domain either with or without the www.


Just read your last post... Bummer!


 9:26 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

what about this suggestion from miamacs

"Mm... yeah but it's not like they're not shown, rather that your server acts as if they weren't even there, if the protection is set up properly. Meaning Google won't associate the two URLs ( the URL of the image on your site, and the forum comments ) for all they care, it's a broken link and that's that. "

but how is that done, be cause as said my images are in the index, but only with filter off, so the trouble is really the hotlinkings and the text around it, i think


 9:33 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

What I am not sure I understand is:
If your images are showing for other sites in the image results, how is your site being filtered?
And, why are the images showing for other sites if the hot link protection is working?
And, how is your site being filtered when the ones with the questionable text are not?

Personally, I would look closer to home if this is the situation...
Maybe someone reported your images as being offensive?
Or, there is some text on your site, which could be considered offensive, even though seemingly benign?



 9:39 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

My site is ok - no what i mean is wheni make a search on google image "Moderate SafeSearch is on
" site:www.mydomain.com I get 59 results half of those are other domains like forums, blogs... on those sites there can be offensive text and yes hotlinking is working, be cause on those other sites there is only a broken image shown.

When I make a search for my site on google image with out the moderate filter I get 6000 images as result.

The reason I think the hotlinking is the issue is first be cause they show up on a site:mydomain.com google image search and I dont have any offensive text on my site.


 9:47 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess it is possible... Google could be seeing the reference to your image URL on a site with 'offensive' content, and then associate any reference to the image URL with the 'offensive' content and as an 'err on the safe side' result, filter all mentions of the image URL in question, even if present on a site without anything 'offensive'.

Are the results filtered for all the sites hot linking AND you site OR just yours? IOW Are the 5944 additional results all from your site, or are there some of the additional results from the sites doing the hot linking, which are also being filtered during the moderated search?



 10:09 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just a thought...

Have you thought to move your images to another 'clean' directory, which has not been hot linked since you have the hot link blocks in place?

Doing so should get your images re-spidered, and since you now have hot link protection in place, this should act as a deterrent to future hot links.

Personally, I would think about moving all images to a new directory (EG from /images/ to /new-img/), then do not redirect the old location of the images, let them go 404, and change the URLs on your site.

It might take some work, but a bulk 'find / replace' should be able to take care of the URLs on your site and you may get them back in the Image Search if they are only associated with your site.



 11:32 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

If I look at the google image results without the filter there is also other sites there, which is then also filtered when I search with filter on.

Your suggestion, about changing the a directory name, hmm I could do that on some of my not that popular categories, maybe i should try a single category, but Im afraid this hotlinking, is ruin the my whole site, means that if 20% of the hotlinking sites have bad text on it, the WHOLE site is filtered on google image, be cause not all my pics are hotlinked.


 11:59 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

You could get creative...

Since you are on a dedicated server, you could create independent sub-domains to host your images; One for each category.

Then use your file system mapping to get the images from the correct location through your current directory structure, or point the sub-domain to the correct location on your server, depending on what type of control panel (if any) you are using.

That way if some images are hot linked and the files from that sub-domain are filtered, the sub-domains which contain images that are not hot linked should be fine and show in the Image Results.


<img scr="http://HotLinkedImages.example.com/the-image.gif" />

<img scr="http://NotPopularImages1.example.com/the-image.gif" />

<img scr="http://NotPopularImages2.example.com/the-image.gif" />

If you can create and point sub-domains to directories in your main domain directory structure using your hosting software, it should be fairly easy.

If not you should be able to accomplish the mapping with mod_rewrite...
If you decide to go this route, the discussion should probably continue in the Apache Forum [webmasterworld.com].


Using sub-domains for loading some of your images will actually speed up your site load time, because it forces browsers to open secondary connections... A browser will generally only open 2 connections to a site, but using a sub-domain 'counts' as a new site and 2 more connections will be opened to load the images. I often use this technique to speed the load time of sites with large images.


 11:11 am on Nov 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have wrote to google about this, i used there spam report.


 12:11 pm on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Think I have the same problem, not cool at all.

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