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Big Image Update at Google
zeus




msg:4501523
 9:12 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Once again a image update, Panda had did much harm to google image, but this update flips everything up and down, all sites at the top are blogs like sites, so mostly not sites that focus on image only. Maybe its now the sites that ranked good there, that gets hit to scare small sites, like on google.com

 

zarathustra2011




msg:4502358
 7:43 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

My images (and sometimes even text from my website) on pinterest and flickr (used by others without permission) rank at the top of the results now, and I can't even find a connection to my own site. Are google really this short-sighted. I once had a great deal of respect for the company, but their philosophies are turning more corporate.

Vuffy




msg:4502385
 8:31 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

This may sound stupid, but where in GA can I narrow down traffic that's coming from google image?

zeus




msg:4502395
 9:27 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

We still have the same problem that sites that links to another site or directly to a image is ranking above the site that holds that image on there website, which is a huge problem. I have seen 3 times now that the same image I follow have change url under the image, means the image is from another site now, as if the image ranking is set, but they are not sure about which url the image should come from.

I sure hope they are not finished, it can not be that SO many sites loose almost all there rankings, that would mean there rankings before had really suck, but that was not the case.
I saw a decline in image quality ranking the day Panda starts, where you could see they have placed more weigh on websearch ranked pages, which is a mistake in my mind, be cause when I do a image search I want other results.

mh_and




msg:4502487
 2:17 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

In fact, one of my long term clients lost an important page 1 ranking and about 40% of their total Google traffic - and they don't have an EMD, it's a branded domain.


@tedster have you done any initial analysis yet? A very familiar situation here and I can't apply common sense to this change.

dbcoders




msg:4502512
 3:24 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Over the past several weeks I had images from my sites being displayed with different URLs, i.e. scraper sites. Complained to Google and they have now disappeared so at least that problem has been corrected but now none of my images show in the SERPS. Also my sites that were ranking on page 1,2, and 3 are no where to be found today.

potentialgeek




msg:4502557
 4:36 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

EMD -50%
Images -75%

potentialgeek




msg:4502613
 6:26 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pinterest is the new Wikipedia for images.

(In my sector.)

MrSavage




msg:4502622
 7:05 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure yet. I'm still seeing the page 2 images not loading on some keyword searches. Something seems wrong depending on what I'm searching. If Pinterest is taking that space over, then PR and site authority are taking over once of the few remaining opportunities for lesser sites to get organic traffic. If it's a generic product image, who gets to claim that? Might just be a matter of who's the biggest and who is the manufacturer and that's about it. Too early yet, I can't draw that conclusion completely yet. That said, I'm seeing a LOT of squidoo.

Bewenched




msg:4502730
 11:03 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe you guys need to disallow hot linking.

zeus




msg:4502742
 11:41 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Have you tried a search "your domain and then your main keyword" like mydomain.com widgets, when I do that I dont find any images from my site out of 7000 which is on my site, I do get 34.000 other domains which is linking to me or images.

Well thats a VERY BAD IMAGE SEARCH RESULT in my eyes.

viral




msg:4502751
 12:23 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting that Pinterest is turning up so much. Previous to this update I hardly ever saw it in image results. Is this Google clearing the way for pinterest because there is Google buy ut of Pinterest on its way? Speculation by me but if it does come about, you heard it here first folks.

diberry




msg:4502814
 4:42 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Question: is a screengrab considered an original image/not scraping? I'm just wondering because so many tech sites do screengrabs to help you understand how to use a program or something, and they're very helpful and relevant in that context. I would think as long as you don't just lift graphics from the site and repost them - as long as each screengrab is really just a cropped piece of an image from your computer screen - it would be original and would be considered an acceptable thing to do.

Does anyone know for sure?

GifAnimator




msg:4502872
 8:48 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was unaware of this image update so I thought I would check it out. Many sites were getting credit for my images but I have found that I'm now getting the rightful credit and link. I'm extremely pleased about this and the only thing different I have done is to join the Google+ community and add the authorship tags.

Rosalind




msg:4502924
 11:54 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

People losing image traffic: to what extent were you watermarking your images?

zeus




msg:4502927
 12:07 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

watermark I dont think it has anything to do with this update, but if a website dont want there images spread, they must watermark, thats the best and good solution.

Im not sure we will see any changes anymore, it looks like if you want a good spot you need to link to other images or sites with images. Still can not beleive they are satisfied with this update, when you cant even get results with "mydomain widgets"

Leosghost




msg:4502966
 1:37 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

but if a website dont want there images spread, they must watermark, thats the best and good solution.

No..the best and good and ethical and honest solution is..

If website A didn't make the images..it should not take them from another website B..whether the website B watermarked them or not..They do not belong to website A..

The problem comes when website A thinks, " I'm too lazy to make my own images, but these look nice, I'll just take them, no-one will know that I just took them, and if one day someone complains that I took their images, I will say , but they had no watermark"..

Does the owner of website A have their name all over the outside of their house and their car and everything they own ? ..NO ? ..So the owner of website B could just come along and take them, and the owner of website A would be fine with that ? ..

I don't think so ..

What is worse is when the owner of website A thinks that the images they took from website B ( without permission, and in many jurisdictions, against the law )..now somehow belong to them at website A, and complains when website C comes along and takes them from website A..

And then along comes website D.. and does the same ..etc etc ..

Eventually search engine G shows up..

And shows the images as belonging to websites X, Y and Z..

Moral of the story ?

Don't use images which are not yours, don't scrape images, don't support scrapers,( looking at pinterest , it's clones, and ehow etc ) and, if you want your original images to be in image SERPs, don't let anyone hot-link them, protect them from all the varieties of scrapers, "manual" and "auto" and "crowd sourced", and watermark your images..

Why watermark them..

Because there are many dishonest people on the web..( who will try to "spread" images, especially into their own websites ) and search engines don't always attribute images correctly to their actual creators and true owners, even when they can, and do for the "big dogs", Getty , Imagebank et al..

zarathustra2011




msg:4502972
 1:46 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most my images are watermarked, but it doesn't stop them being used. Some sites have even taken a photograph of myself, and stuck it on their page!

It's not just websites either. I remember moving away from my home town for a couple of years, and coming back to visit a friend. I hadn't read the local newspaper in years, but just quickly flicked through a copy in the kitchen. In it was a large colour reproduction of a photograph I took years ago, so I called up the newspaper company and asked what they were playing at? They offered me 15 compensation, and said they'd just found it on Google images and decided to use it.

zeus




msg:4502997
 2:11 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does the owner of website A have their name all over the outside of their house and their car and everything they own ? hmm I also luck my house and car, I dont let my things on the open, but hi thats another topic, dont belong here.

Leosghost




msg:4502998
 2:16 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

<Slightly OT>
zarathustra2011

Yes been "there"..4 decades ago I completely repainted ( murals ) the interior of a major nightclub in the UK..

Couple of years on, my mother told me how she was talking to a woman at a social event at the club, the woman said to her that her son was in the decor and murals business, doing "really well", had a "real trophy" under his belt, the decor they were standing in !

Mother led her and the listeners to a point on the longest wall ( about 45 yds long, my decors went over all the walls , floors and ceilings of each part of the nightclub ) moved a chair out of the way, and said .."really, if you saw your son paint this, how come my son's signature is on every wall and even way up on each ceiling, and how come the photo album behind the largest bar here, of the work in progress and the press cuttings etc all show my son, and not yours"..

Some of my game covers for very early computor games manufacturers in the 80s were on various sites without mentioning my name in the late 90s..that was all back in the day either before the web, or when we didn't think we need to watermark stuff, didn't think there were so many dishonest people about..the web was smaller in the 90s and the cheats and scrapers were much harder to catch..now they think they own what they stole..because we didn't lock it..
</Slightly OT>

piatkow




msg:4503023
 3:14 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting results. Searching on the domain of my photo gallery it returned a number of pictures that weren't mine. Following the links I found pages that were also hotlinking my pictures. In some cases the link from my pictures was going to the hotlinker rather than direct to my site.

One curiosity was a number of images from a newspaper site that had used, and was hosting their own copy of, one of my images with permission. G had matched them from the on page credit which was my site title rather than the url. The only copy of the picture to display was theirs.

zeus




msg:4503043
 3:47 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

piatkow - Thats what im talking about this Image update is just catastrophic, all those sites that links to images or websites rank better then those sites that are linked to, which sound so weird and not logic at all.

Google image had this problem some years ago also, but when I look at google web search its quality is at least 5-6 years back in time, regarding quality.

Some of the best google image results we had is about 2-3 years ago.

MrSavage




msg:4503046
 4:00 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Okay I'm still trying to come up with some idea as to what's happened. It's very muddy to me because this EMD is thrown into the mix.

The question remains. Is there an official statement, anything at all from Google regarding changes to the Image search?

I'm baffled and it takes a lot for me to say that...

zarathustra2011




msg:4503055
 4:28 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Nice anecdotes Leosghost - would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to see her face!

zeus




msg:4503057
 4:32 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

MrSavage- mostly I announce the updates, google is a little slow on that point :)

piatkow




msg:4503072
 5:04 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)


piatkow - Thats what im talking about this Image update is just catastrophic, all those sites that links to images or websites rank better then those sites that are linked to, which sound so weird and not logic at all.

So far I haven't seen the problem on any actual search topics but only when using my domain name.

diberry




msg:4503099
 6:01 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Leosghost, what you say about watermarking is true, but the frustration with watermarks is that you have to stick them over a vital part of the photo, or scrapers can just crop off the watermark and use the rest. And if you DO put it over a vital part of the photo, then you're frustrating your users - especially if the photo isn't just decorative, but is part of something like a tutorial or product review where it's important people be able to see the details. Plus, it's just kind of ugly. I wish there was some kind of invisible digital signature that worked like a watermark.

The engines really need to be handling this differently, and I'm honestly not sure how. Is Google going to stop putting pictures in the SERPs? There is a blogger custom of re-posting a single image in a post that pushes visitors to the original site - LifeHacker does this, and they can send you lots of paying traffic. I don't want Google to force me to send LifeHacker and sites like it C&Ds when I really don't mind the photo being reposted in exchange for all that traffic. I just don't want Google somehow deciding I'm not the original copyright holder. This is nuts - why don't they just devalue images? (I'm not even talking about Google image search - I blocked it from indexing my images a long time ago to reduce image theft, ironically. It helps!)

And I'm sorry to ask again, but does anyone know about screengrabs being considered original or not? I see huge sites doing just fine with this practice - Mashable, LifeHacker - but is it really okay or are they just "getting away" with it? It seems to me screengrabs should be considered original.

And what about press release photos? For example, when a company sends a webmaster photos of its latest product in hopes they'll tell readers about it, should they not use those photos? How will Google know they had permission? Anyone can claim "posted with permission..." in the caption.

Leosghost




msg:4503130
 6:53 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

<tangential>
@Leosghost, what you say about watermarking is true, but the frustration with watermarks is that you have to stick them over a vital part of the photo, or scrapers can just crop off the watermark and use the rest. And if you DO put it over a vital part of the photo, then you're frustrating your users - especially if the photo isn't just decorative, but is part of something like a tutorial or product review where it's important people be able to see the details. Plus, it's just kind of ugly.

Agreed..but those are the choices..

I wish there was some kind of invisible digital signature that worked like a watermark.

I ( and other people have been working on that for years..) ..Btw Digimark is not that..Digimark is just varying degrees of faintness of a classical watermark..there may be something ready soon..it has to survive "cropping"..etc..there are currently two pieces of software that can do something like your "wish"..they are very very expensive..and one requires hosting your site on their servers..the other locks images to a machine..they can be defeated anyway with enough knowledge..

There is a blogger custom of re-posting a single image in a post that pushes visitors to the original site - LifeHacker does this, and they can send you lots of paying traffic.

It may be a "custom"..but if done without permission it is wrong and is IP abuse..linking or sending traffic is not a substitution for having permission, in writing....bloggers and life hacker are not reviewers of the image(s)..nor are they "academic establishments"..so fair use does not count..you can't fair use an image..even as a thumbnail..it doesn't get challenged, because most image creators can't be bothered chasing all the thieves..if we did we'd never get any work done / images created..and would need to hire staff just to chase them..

I don't want Google to force me to send LifeHacker and sites like it C&Ds when I really don't mind the photo being reposted in exchange for all that traffic.

Your choice..

I just don't want Google somehow deciding I'm not the original copyright holder.

Every choice has consequences..

This is nuts - why don't they just devalue images?

Not too great for those whose business is images..what makes images less worthy than text ? ..especially when images are more attractive than text..that is why people look at screens..images are worth thousands of words..

And I'm sorry to ask again, but does anyone know about screengrabs being considered original or not?

If used in the context of a review of the software or the site or the image..they are fine..that is fair use..

I see huge sites doing just fine with this practice - Mashable, LifeHacker - but is it really okay or are they just "getting away" with it?

See above..depends on the context in which they use the image..
"Hey look at this image I found, is not allowed"..<=pinterest

"This is cute" is not allowed..<=pinterest

"This image shows how the software looks on a mac etc " is allowed..in a review of the software..eg PC Mag..

It seems to me screengrabs should be considered original.

No , they are "derivative"<= legal definition..

Otherwise screen grabs of Getty images would be OK ..care to risk that one..?

And what about press release photos? For example, when a company sends a webmaster photos of its latest product in hopes they'll tell readers about it, should they not use those photos?

Press release photos if sent from the copyright owner are usable..because you have their permission..they should come accompanied by TOU..terms of use..in clear writing on paper, and signed by someone authorised by the company..( many do just use email .."no real proof" ) ..and in the "exif" data of each photo /image ( in some images you can add it to the headers ) ..
</tangential>

diberry




msg:4503171
 8:47 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks, leosghost, that's helpful.

I think part of my confusion here is that some people are selling images, and they are the ones whose interests really need to be protected. But the rest of us are just using images to give our text more impact. For the latter group, when people "borrow" an image in a way that sends us traffic, this is analogous to a shop giving out free car washes in the parking lot to attract new customers. You're right, it's a choice, and for me it comes to this: Google searchers don't convert. Social media and direct link visitors do. Even at the risk of losing Google traffic, I need the social media visitors more, and images attract visitors more than just text.

zeus




msg:4503206
 10:16 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Come lets get back to topic - What is also strange with this update is that it comes at the same time as the EMD.

tedster




msg:4503266
 2:12 am on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

zeus, do you see evidence of EMD in Web Search also affecting Image Search? That would surprise me a bit, but a lot surprises me these days ;)

viral




msg:4503272
 2:33 am on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

EMD and image search update happened at same time to 5 of my sites that are completely unrelated and not connected and in different niches. So I do think it was all part of the same update.

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