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This 104 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 104 ( 1 2 [3] 4 > >     
Google Image - Layout change could be VERY bad for webmasters

 10:05 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Now google has copied Bing again, you will get a ton of images on first page, just thumb images shown, when you hover over image it gets a little bigger, with source URL, when clicked you see a larger version of images and in background faded the page from source url.
Im not sure a webmaster gets any impressions counted for when done this way and most image sites have large bandwidth to pay for and when they dont get any impressions with the new Google images, its just like hotlinking.

Google will then be blocked by many sites...

Now im not sure if impressions are counted but it will be a BIG blow for many webmasters who count on images searches on Google.

Personally I will give them a week, if I see less impressions counted for banners, I will block google image.




 12:31 am on Jul 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

From the user POV, it is confusing some (many) people with comments like "only shows 20 image and there is no way to go to the next page"



 1:06 am on Jul 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

there is no way to go to the next page

Woz, I'll bet you're right, but that's got to be the very edge of all image search users.


When I use Opera as a browser, I still see the old interface. I had the same situation when the regular SERPs layout changed, too, but it eventually switched over. So I assume Image Search will eventually switch, too.

My best guess for a reason is that Opera's JavaScript is incompatible with the current code. But I'd be very happy if it stayed like this ;) Still, with the new GUI, the user is an extra click away from the originating website and that's not a happy situation.


 10:17 pm on Jul 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Still seeing the old-ish image display (I think) here in the UK (Firefox). Searched for the name of a tree species and got half a dozen blank boxes - cookies on and JS off (all my machines browse google with JS off!). Turned on JS and got images - which I did not want AT ALL.

My points here are 1) I downloaded several K of images I did not want and could not see just because google thought it was being clever AND 2) people browsing safely with JS off cannot see the images anyway so why bother.

So, I'll continue to use StartPage and use google only in exteme need. That works fine.


 12:31 pm on Jul 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I saw this live last night, I wondered why our stats had a dip and then I found out it was the image results and then I found this thread.

We are clearly loosing a huge amount of impressions with this new image search and even worse it seems this new version of image search is using a different scoring system and a website that has stolen our image now has taken our spot for a major one word term we have ranked high for years.

Sigh time to start the DMCA process.


 11:54 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I always look at the link before clicking on an image, and with the new interface, this becomes annoyingly difficult. The reason I look at links is to see whether the link is trustworthy or not. Also, I prefer being able to see the image resolution before clicking, preferring to view the image with the higher resolution for images that are identical - this is also now very difficult. And same for descriptions.

Basically, the new interface is a big design fail on Google's part from an user's point of view, in my opinion. The way they handle pages differently from the rest of Google is also a bad design decision.


 1:53 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Update - All my images are hotlinked protected however one specific site, my .in domain, since the introduction of this new image search has seen page impressions +400% and bandwidth +300%.

Most of this extra traffic is coming from Google.com/my/ph/id and all are trying to link or view one specific image.

I'm busy going through logs at the moment however I'm not really sure IF there is anything I can do. I'm going to check my main sites shortly.

Any suggestions?


 3:01 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hate it as a user. I did some image searches today and found it slower to load and harder to navigate. I am trying out alternatives: Imagery seems the best so far.


 4:35 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

How did I miss this thread?

I use both hotlink protection and a js framebuster. With the old interface, I used to have about 1,000 images in the index. These have now all been removed from results. Logos and navigational items from this site (that are not protected) now show up instead, as well as 'related' images hosted on a blog.

Also noticing a few instances where spam and malware hosts have hotlinked the images (even though they'll never appear), google serves up a cached image with the following in the sidebar:

Website for this image (link to malware site)
Full-size image - 1.3x larger (link to image on my server)
Size:800 × 600
Type:240KB JPG

EDIT: my framebuster still seems to work. Clicking on a result will briefly bring up the google page and then redirect to my site.


 5:46 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

FWIW looks like the removal of my images from the index took place on July 20th...


 8:21 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

After the great changes in google-images layout and conception I noticed today many new images in the index. The latest picture ( in my galleries ) is uploaded on July 3rd.

Hope that the times of "Google images update" are passed by now and Google will include new images now "on the fly" again.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:31 pm (utc) on Jul 29, 2010]


 12:01 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Images with hotlink prevention are now showing at max size of the biggest thumb they have in their cache that they have the guts to host and show from their servers, without being attacked for IP theft. This results in the overlaid image being simply too small to satisfy the surfer and if you have the original image seen beneath it in its full size surfers will have to close the overlay and take a look at your page.

With that their overlay simply looks annoying. Funny how that turned out.


 1:43 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

At least the frame breaker code still works. And the image they are using in the overlay must be coming from their cache, because some of the images they show in the image serps are not available on my site anymore, and I also disallowed the image directory in robots.txt.


 6:54 am on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

As far as I was able to see image in the overlay is coming from cache when you have hotlink prevention in place, otherwise they hotlink it.

ken_b, are you sure you don't still have the original images available on disk, while they are only not being displayed on your site? this way Google still has the info where to hotlink the originals from.

If you really don't have them on disk anymore then that would be a pure content theft.


 2:05 am on Aug 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I might just go crazy with the watermarking on ALL of our images, maybe that will help with the brand building..


 6:53 pm on Aug 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

mssfldt - yes for a long time they have updated the images search on the fly, takes about 3 days for new images to show, but it also depends on the sites.

I now am a fan of Bing images and Yahoo images thats for sure they still respect us as webmasters, Google knows this would not be seen positive from a site owner, but they dont care.

I also dont like the new image search as a user, I want to see the url of every thumb at once and when a thumb is clicked I want to go to that site with image and info, not a fancy pop with faded site, thats not what I have been searching for.


 7:20 pm on Aug 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Lots of changes to google images today.

Thumbnails are larger and display no information till mouse overed.
Pagination is gone
number of results is huge, columns and rows span to the size of your browser.

I actually like it.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:55 pm (utc) on Aug 2, 2010]


 12:32 am on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've just seen an interesting site that when one clicks on the image the site immediately breaks Google's frame and description and forces that image page to be displayed!

Just checking now how they've done this.


 12:34 am on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ah...looks like an auto-refresh every few seconds!


 5:18 am on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Also noticing a few instances where spam and malware hosts have hotlinked the images (even though they'll never appear), google serves up a cached image with the following in the sidebar:

Website for this image (link to malware site)
Full-size image - 1.3x larger (link to image on my server)

Thanks for that. I've been seeing photos of Justin Bieber when I search for many other people and I was thinking Google just lost it. Now I suspect a spammer play of some kind. Must find time to dig deeper!


 1:12 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Never thought I would say this but we just blocked Google completely from our images network wide.

After loosing 85% of image search traffic after this new image search change but not loosing any positions nor image pulls from Google it looks like they met the goal they set out for.

Use OUR content and keep the visitors on Google.com and roll out a new Google ad program at the same time for image search.

Sad but we knew this stuff was coming.


 7:33 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I still can't wrap my head around this part:

Full-size image - 1.3x larger (link to image on my server)

When the image in question is not displayed in the search results themselves. Two separate indices?


 8:38 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

and roll out a new Google ad program at the same time for image search.

Where? I'm not seeing anything other than the images.

Do you mean on the results page or the thingy that was introduced recently?


 11:23 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm quite upset about this change too. Pretty audacious of google to basically steal content and probably use it for their profits. Dont do evil....sure.

Yes, the javascript frame busting technique still works but the problem here is that it will also bust the frame for cached versions, translations etc. That would be a loss of traffic. Plus Im afraid google will penalize this (Im sure there onto this more than ever now) So the optimal method would be a javascript or htaccess that is tailored specifically to images.google. Does anyone know how to do this?

Currently I have the following on my site. For each page I have an htaccess in place in the corresponding image folder. So when googe images accesses one of my pages it will redirect to the specific page and since this is not javascript google cannot penalize me. Well this worked great with the old image search but with the new one its a lame solution. When you click on any hovered over image in Image Search, it can't load the full sized image. So the visitor is almost forced to click to the page, or if you're unlucky browse back to image search. What bothers me though is that if you give google images enough time it will somehow eventually get the full res image and display it after you clicked through and back.

Here's the htaccess Im currently using, placed inside the page specific image folders:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?[domainname]\.net [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteRule \.(jpeg|jpg|gif|bmp|png)$ http://www.[domainname].net/page-name [L]

Can somebody help me how to maybe modify this in a way that the user will be redirected immediately, just like with the javascript? Is that even possible? If I have to, I guess I will use js. This is what I got would work:
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">if ( top != self ) { top.location.replace(self.location.href); }</script>.
How do I specify this for google images so that I dont ruin my traffic from translations? Thanks!

[edited by: tedster at 5:34 am (utc) on Aug 9, 2010]


 11:28 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

As an addendum: I actually just noticed that with my method currently in place, the high res image WILL show when you click on "show full sized image". But only after sufficient times has passed and google was forced to show the thumbnail version in the middle frame. How do they do that?


 12:03 am on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

And another one: Another reason why javascript isnt ideal is because some users have it turned off in their browsers or the browser version may have trouble with it.


 12:45 am on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Huskypup they say on the blog announcement about the new image search that they are also releasing a new image search only ad program.

"And for our advertisers, we’re launching a new ad format called Image Search Ads. These ads appear only on Google Images, and they let you include a thumbnail image alongside your lines of text."

Pretty clear what this was all about.


 3:04 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

LOL, it looks like mor and more webmasters are using some javascript to block google images from doing their evil thing. I have a few example sites.

I just do a google image search for any of the urls with the site: parameter and see what it does. The interesting thing is that when you check the source code of all these sites, the javascript often differs. One even uses some type of css? Anyone know anything about that?

I really like the one as it calls upon an external javascript file. Its written as follows:
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" SRC="../javascript/dontgetframed.js" type="text/javascript"></SCRIPT>
When you use that file url then, the text says:
if (top.frames.length!=0)

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-17063932-1']);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

I guess the latter stuff is just if youre concerned about google analytics still working. I would like to modify this file in a way though that it specifically works with google images only. Does anyone know a code for that? I think I will name my file "getdeservedtraffic.js". :)

Also, any suggestions and input regarding the htaccess solution would be greatly appreciated too.

[edited by: tedster at 4:02 pm (utc) on Aug 10, 2010]
[edit reason] removed specific domain names [/edit]


 3:06 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Btw, one script above does the redirect extremely fast! Unfortunately I couldnt reproduce that pace with my own site using his javascript, but maybe thats because my pages are fuller with content?

[edited by: tedster at 4:04 pm (utc) on Aug 10, 2010]


 4:13 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Framebreaker scripts such as the one you shared above have a long tradition on the web, going way back to before Google. There's no way of saying which scripts are done in response to the change in Google Images, but they do work. And there is a great variation in style of code, too.

There are also ways for a framing site to break framebreaker scripts - Yahoo Images did that for a while a few years ago. However there is no such action from Google Images, and that's a good thing.


 11:22 pm on Aug 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Can someone please explain the following to me?
I have the exact same javascript code that the hans rossel site is using, yet when his site redirects from google images it only takes 1-3 secs whereas with mine it takes up to 10 secs! Sure his pages seem a bit shorter and usually less images than on mine, but a difference of at least 7 seconds? See for yourself:



What can that be attributed to? The only difference is that his javascript refers to a separate internal file that has the actual code - but even when I try that same method its still loading 7 seconds or so longer with my site. And the funny thing is that I'm actually using a cache plug-in that serves up pages real fast. So I'm a bit stumped...got any clues?

[edited by: tedster at 12:05 am (utc) on Aug 16, 2010]
[edit reason] make full urls visible, disable smile faces [/edit]


 12:09 am on Aug 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Try a page load speed tool of some kind to separate out the various factors. I'd guess the difference is not in the JavaScript.

This 104 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 104 ( 1 2 [3] 4 > >
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