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Google Images - Copyright Owner Issues

 11:49 am on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've got a site that does quite well with Google Images. There seems to be some issues with Google getting the correct site owner of an image in the results. This has been going on, off and on for some time now. The images even have my site name on them but Google still gets it wrong,since the process is automated.

Anybody else getting irritated with this and what can we do to avoid it?



 6:13 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does Google assign ownership to a site that is hotlinking? Or is it just a total mistake, and the other site has nothing to do with your image?


 7:00 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been seeing some strange image results as well.

the other site has nothing to do with your image?

e.g. A brand new 2010 site from the Ukraine has copied 50 of my images and some of mine have been replaced in image search!

Heavens knows how or why, they've no alt or title elements and are simply on a page with the other images, not their own dedicated page with any further information whatsoever!

From nowhere to #1 seemingly overnight.


 7:08 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

One of the challenges Google Image Search faces is that many sites do not serve images from the same domain - this is even a recommended approach for improving page load speed, because browsers will open more parallel threads for http calls made to a different hostname.

This definitely complicates ownership attribution, but still... these are some very smart engineers. There really ought to be a way that a domain that has had credit for an image for a long time cannot easily loose that ownership attribution in the search results.


 2:06 pm on Aug 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

It says that the image they are showing is from example.com - I have nothing to do with the site either.

I wrote an email to the one site asking for at least a credit back to the page it's from. One more link won't hurt.

There are so many images on the web, it's understandably difficult to assign ownership to the first site that uses an image. Some of my images were ranked first and generated good traffic numbers, not sure about conversions, but the traffic was nice. Now other sites, using the images, some with my site name in the bottom right corner in black, are turning up and thus killing my traffic. Quite irritating and it just seems to be getting worse with not much recourse.

Sally Stitts

 4:03 pm on Aug 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Now other sites, using the images, some with my site name in the bottom right corner in black, are turning up and thus killing my traffic. Quite irritating and it just seems to be getting worse with not much recourse.

Ditto. Not only exasperating, but growing fast. Contributing profoundly to the anarchy on the web. By not keeping track of who was first, mayhem ensues. This is very bad news for all legitimate publishers.


 4:48 pm on Aug 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google has been doing this for more than a year now, blogger hotlinks an image from an internal page, Google gives rank to the blogger over the low ranking internal page and sends any traffic the bloggers way. Original owner publisher just gets left with the bandwidth bill. In the past I sort of let this slide as the traffic I did get from image search was enough to cover the costs. Spammers were quick to pick up on it as usual and trawled server after server and banged up tens of thousands of blogs, as Google was rewarding them.

Recent changes in image search has taken away any monetization of image search anyway. Right now I'm in the process of removing millions of pictures from their data base, but since Google has already cached and is serving up there own versions.... yadda yadda

Google has made it very plain with images/ movies sites.. Steal and you will be rewarded.


 5:38 pm on Aug 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...that's interesting!

Is this pure coincidence or are they rotating image search results now?


 3:16 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

What you discuss here is an old and really big problem. You can steal a picture on two ways: direct by copying or ... by hotlinking.
Stealing means that you can get the Google-Link and by this the traffic.

I have discovered this for a long time on different keys. E.g if you are searching fpr "cn tower" (sorry ;-) ), you will find a picture with a girl with big ... . There are hundreds of copies all over the world, and the picture ranks on many keys ( depending on the name the thief uses ). To find some of the copies you could use "similar images" or "tinyeye".
Because Google didn't know what the original picture is they change the target-URL in image-search by random. It changes every 2 - 3 days ( this is what I discovered. Perhaps someone here has found out something else ).

If you found out that somebody has stolen a picture by copying you could write hin directly or send a message to google.
The bigger problem is the "stolen link" by hotlinking. In this case you would not use the ( visible ) picture on your site but only a link to the source ( somewhere else ). By doing this you could also steal the link - also, if your page is not optimized to the key. The content of the page could be completely different.

Google does not use a "timestamp" ( when is the picture first indexed ) to declare which picture is the "original source".
And Google does not use the "size" of the picture to find the original ( the biggest picture should be the original ).

I have described the problem in Germany in my blog : especially "person-search-engines" like 123people or yasni uses these methods to generet ( steal ) traffic. They involve automatically the best Google-result-images ... and get by this often the link.

Big problem ...
Greetings, Martin

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