Google's image search tends to misbehave in several ways, as you can see by doing a site search here. What you're seeing isn't exactly "normal" but it's not altogether odd, either. I'm not sure what to tell you, except have patience - a 6-month old site is still young in Google's eyes. Also check out these image search tips from Vanessa Fox [webmasterworld.com] last year.
If it helps, I've got a personal blog that's just over two years old. Despite it containing lots of images, only a handful are displayed on Google Images.
All the images that are displayed are from pages that aren't in the 'supplemental' index (ie, the pages that are returned by a site:www.example.com/* query).
So I'd say the answer is, yes it probably is normal if you have low PR / few incoming links.
Google Images is very tricky and it behaves without a pattern. The great news is that once you get indexed, it does bring some traffic - good or bad is debatable.
It was 18 months before Google indexed any of my images.
SteveWh ; 18 months is a lot. Do you think that my images are not indexed because of my metatags or robots.txt?
# Google Image
<meta name="googlebot" content="index,noarchive,follow,noodp" />
<meta name="robots" content="all,index,follow" />
<meta name="msnbot" content="all,index,follow" />
[edited by: encyclo at 2:17 am (utc) on Dec. 8, 2007]
[edit reason] examplified [/edit]
When they did index my images, they did it very quickly.
Please see the information at [robotstxt.org...]
I am not a robots.txt expert, but I believe your file is seriously flawed. As I understand it, wildcards are not allowed anywhere in robots.txt (except for the ONE exception: * all by itself), and there is no "Allow" directive, only "Disallow". But maybe Google permits some nonstandard syntax. I don't know.
I don't know that it will get your images indexed any faster, but an incorrect robots.txt file could prevent them getting indexed at all.
Like I said, I'm no expert, so I'd suggest you only take my comments as a warning that something *might* be wrong, and carefully study what is allowed in robots.txt, and then simplify yours a lot.
|maybe Google permits some nonstandard syntax. |
Yes, Google does support both the Allow: rules and pattern matching wild cards [$ and *] in a robots.txt file.
When you use this kind of syntax you can also get into big trouble fast with a poorly constructed ruleset for googlebot. Fortunately, Google Webmaster Tools offers a tool for evaluating and validating your robots.txt file.
My 7 month old image site has just had about 65 images indexed. They seem to rank well too which has led to a good increase in traffic.
The thing is for about a month I was thinking my site had been penalized because it has completely stopped being ranked in normal searches. Is it possible to be penalized for normal search but not image search? Or does this probably mean my site isnt penalized at all?
Pages that are in the supplemental index will have their images removed from Google image search. My images pop in and out of the image search results as my pages pop in and out of the supplemental index.
One way to ID pages in the supplemental index:
Google has lately been tossing all of my image gallery pages (interior pages with lots of photos on them and only photo caption text) into the supplemental index. Pages with fewer, larger images and much more text are doing a lot better.
On my small hobby (test) site I originally disallowed access to image folder via robots.txt file (i did this on purpose for different reasons). BTW, site is fairly young, about 1.5 y, and is doing well in SERPS for targeted kwds. Once I allowed access to image folder G-bot was there within a day or two, but it took about 1.5 - 2 months for images to start showing up in image search. Now they are doing well and beating images from older sites that have far more backlinks then my little site.
I did take car to include, what I think is good, ALT text, as well as use kwds in naming the image file itself.