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Doing the happy dance - borrowed images are properly credited!

 3:29 am on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm doing the happy jig at the moment, my competitor just had the snot beaten out of his/her image rankings. For years they would have a set of top images in search for every query but the images were hotlinked from their sources (primarily classifieds sites, galleries etc) and not really hosted by the competitor.

While doing a routine check of my image rankings for particular keywords I noticed that the top 4-5 images for one search had remained the same but the source had changed. These used to be my competitors rankings, but not anymore, now the source was ranked.

After performing a site:example.com in Google images, with example being my competitor, they still return 50,000 images but ALL of the source accreditations are of the source and clicking on the image leads to the SOURCE site, not his/hers.

It's weird to see a site example.com/site-a search yield results that when clicked lead to example.com/site-b but it's happening, Google's getting it right and denying my competitor traffic on borrowed images.

/continues doing the happy jig! (fewer bogus backlinks from image visitors to fight against!)



 3:55 am on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

So glad to hear about this. Image Search has been badly plagued by incorrect owner attributions, especially due to hotlinking. It looked like Google just didn't care, and this is a very hopeful sign - and one that I wasn't expecting.


 6:17 am on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

The implication is that hosting someone elses image will have the same effect as ranking them from your page. Beat the source in ranking with THEIR image and you rank them instead of yourself, at least until Google removes credit for the images from your domain.

Hotlink my image? Go ahead, rank me. :-)


 8:59 am on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

They have certainly done something serious with images. Last time I did a site command on my photo gallery it returned a handful of thumbnails now it looks like they have reindexed the whole site.


 4:09 am on Aug 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

rustybrick got a comment from Google on this change:

A Google spokesperson they have launched a new update for Google Images that improved relevance and quality. Google told me:
We've recently launched an update to the algorithm that looks at the relevance and quality of both the webpage and the image to surface more relevant results in Google Images. Improving the quality of results in Google Images is very important to us, and we're always working hard to improve our algorithms.



 5:47 am on Aug 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

very interesting development i would say.

i have noticed lot of wordpress blogs hotlinking images and getting ranked. So, those should be kicked below now.


 9:20 pm on Aug 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

The wordpress image-posting instructions aren't very well worded, so it sounds as if it's OK to grab and link to any image anywhere. But the humans in charge are very good about working with people to get rid of hotlinks-- not just your own but all the others likely to be on the same page. (My personal experience was with a page that had hundreds, including large images resized in code, and shots from places like Amazon that probably do not think of themselves as public domain.) It's their own bandwidth on the line, so it makes sense for them to want to get rid of hotlinks.

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