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Is it worth changing domain to boost Image Search rankings?
webwonderment




msg:4673519
 3:42 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have a domain that's about 6 years old and features mainly images. It did OK getting decent visitor numbers through organic image search but this as of the end of last year and all this year it's dropped to about 20% of what it used to be in terms of visits. Is is worth doing a full domain change and rebrand? It still pulls in some ad revenue but only a fraction of what it used to. I've also done a search for site:domain.com on Google Image Search and most pics are not there.

 

tangor




msg:4675075
 8:45 pm on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

@webwonderment: Maintaining any control over that kind of content is extremely difficult... and sadly is not unique, is not yours regardless of the capture and edit done, and even if Fair Use is claimed and passes the sniff test, there's not much that stops the other fellows from taking from you for the same reason. Whew!

webwonderment




msg:4675280
 3:00 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes but in terms of credit, I find it hard to believe that a stolen image should ever be ranked higher than the original.

tangor




msg:4675299
 4:44 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Can't believe you're going to make me ask this question:

Who stole what first?

When you wrestle with pigs you get dirty, and the pigs think it's fun!

webwonderment




msg:4675779
 1:03 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

Who stole what first?


They stole mine. Google will have a datestamp and an image similarity rating of 99.99% yet they put the one that was found later, way above mine. An exact copy should never supercede the original as far as I'm concerned.

netmeg




msg:4675797
 1:31 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately Google doesn't have the same standards.

not2easy




msg:4675857
 4:49 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

The images are from free-to-air TV. Going through frame-by-frame spending endless time manually editing them. The copyright is probably with the broadcaster/ programme maker but I'd imagine seeing that all they do is promote their programmes then there's no issue AFAIK. Its work promoting the programmes and the people in them. I don't mind sharing as long as theres credit. Sites hotlinking and stealing without credit AND getting ranked way above is just not right.

IF you are giving them credit, at least you could plead fair use. By your admission, your pictures are pirated for starters, so the same way you stole the work of others, now others are stealing yours. If anything this should teach you why it is wrong to create derivatives from the work of others, not to think your site's usage should be deserving of any higher status. Your decision to use them without bothering to add any text descriptions for the benefit of users and being better ranked just compounds the problem. If no action has been taken against you for 'borrowing' the work of others, the least you could do is to help this content to be found better by describing the images in text. You really don't have much to complain about if it was good for awhile.

Getting back to the original topic of a new domain name being a fix - if you had taken the good advice of adding text content offered at the beginning rather than seeking some test of justice means to regain your lost position, you might be well on your way to seeing improvement today. Possession of digital images is not the same as owning rights, sorry, but you have no rights to enforce and no case to complain.

webwonderment




msg:4675887
 6:03 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

@not2easy

The programme maker/channel do not have an issue - it's been 6 years with no complaint. On that basis, my point still stands - I've worked to make them - someone else is taking the credit without an acknowledgement.

Just out of interest would you say a search engine is creating derivatives from the work of others?

not2easy




msg:4675900
 6:34 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

The fact that you haven't been caught may be the same reason you are losing your position - you've made it hard for search engines to tell what's on your site. Fixing that could expire your anonymity that kept you off the rights holders' radar.

For the type of image use you have described, you can read the legalese descriptions describing why it is not fair use and why it is not protected - in this case, Star Wars images were copied for use in another work, but the same law governs copying for other uses:
Question: Can I take a character from a movie, like Chewbacca from Star Wars, and use it in a play with a very different plot and otherwise different characters?

Answer: Probably not. The people who hold copyright in Star Wars own the characters as well as the plot, the filmed images, etc. Placing a distinctive fictional character in a different context or medium is still copying that character, and therefore infringement. However, if you use the character for the purposes of parody or criticism you might be making a legitimate fair use of the character. Note that in one case involving Walt Disney, Inc. and a comic book publisher, the comic book publisher argued that his use of the images of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck was satirical, and therefore fair use. The Ninth Circuit rejected the fair use argument, reasoning that the comic book took more of the images than was necessary to suggest the characters in the minds of the readers and therefore exceed the bounds of fair use. See Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, 581 F. 2d 751 (9th Cir. 1978).
- * - read the full derivatives FAQ article at [chillingeffects.org...]
..would you say a search engine is creating derivatives from the work of others?

No. Derivatives of creatives start with someone else's work and alter it for their own use or benefit. Search engines generally don't alter your work, though they occasionally take editorial liberties with your metatags.
* (edited for readability - took out code mismatch character entities visible on the original.)

webwonderment




msg:4675950
 9:20 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

The fact that you haven't been caught may be the same reason you are losing your position - you've made it hard for search engines to tell what's on your site. Fixing that could expire your anonymity that kept you off the rights holders' radar.


That's completely incorrect. The channels/programme makers names are often very prominently in the text. The things are easy to find and nothing is hidden - always been open - never hid anything. The radar sees a friend not a foe.

Question: Can I take a character from a movie, like Chewbacca from Star Wars, and use it in a play with a very different plot and otherwise different characters?


Gah, I've just gone and ordered my Luke Skywalker costume now. Ah well, I'll have to sell it with a copyright notice attached...

not2easy




msg:4675963
 11:09 pm on May 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

That's completely incorrect. The channels/programme makers names are often very prominently in the text. The things are easy to find and nothing is hidden - always been open - never hid anything. The radar sees a friend not a foe.
Well why didn't you share that before? When asked directly about the text content, you said:
There isn't much text content - mainly just a one-liner that describes the pic. Surely that's all that is needed to search for because that's all it is.

..I don't see the point in filling the pic page up with some pointless article just to boost the image. IMO people are not remotely interested in the text of these pages when they search for an image.
What is anyone to guess from that?
webwonderment




msg:4675968
 12:26 am on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

That's completely incorrect. The channels/programme makers names are often very prominently in the text. The things are easy to find and nothing is hidden - always been open - never hid anything. The radar sees a friend not a foe.
Well why didn't you share that before? When asked directly about the text content, you said:
There isn't much text content - mainly just a one-liner that describes the pic. Surely that's all that is needed to search for because that's all it is.

The one-liner contains enough information.

tangor




msg:4675978
 2:15 am on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

What are your competitors (scrapers) doing different that ranks them above you? There's obviously something they are doing different that gets the nod from G.

Again, using stills taken from programming created by others is a difficult image biz unless there's context and content applied such as reviews, etc. to not only make Fair Use accurate, but to add value that will get noticed by search engines and users alike.

It is also clear that changing your domain will only put you back to square one and lose whatever link juice which has accrued.

webwonderment




msg:4676049
 12:30 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

@tangor

The image ranking algo has put their stolen copy above my original.

Yeah I think I've concluded that changing domains probably won't help much. Even if there's a ranking factor based on domain I'm not sure switching to a new one is necessarily going improve things - plus I read somewhere domain age helps ranking. Then again that's probably offset by another ranking variable. SEO is confusing.

tangor




msg:4676208
 10:11 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

The image ranking algo has put their stolen copy above my original.


The "why" or "best guess" as to why they rank higher is the crux of the matter. What are the bad folks doing different that seems to rank them higher than you? There has to be SOMETHING... since the image is "identical" (implied they stole your pic) there's something in the presentation, display, site framework, etc, that makes them appear more attractive.

Meanwhile, in future watermark all your images to discourage theft. Works for getty, should work for you as well.

webwonderment




msg:4676775
 10:10 am on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google is not indexing my images yet indexing the stolen ones. I've provided a sitemap in GWT with the images in and they have not indexed them. Am I the only one that thinks thats a bit wrong? What exactly can I do?

webwonderment




msg:4676778
 10:37 am on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

There has to be SOMETHING... since the image is "identical" (implied they stole your pic) there's something in the presentation, display, site framework, etc, that makes them appear more attractive.


Yes they've not indexed my image, but indexed the stolen and hotlinked ones. This is a disgrace. Who do I contact at Google?

webwonderment




msg:4676818
 1:40 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

There has to be SOMETHING... since the image is "identical" (implied they stole your pic) there's something in the presentation, display, site framework, etc, that makes them appear more attractive.


I'm fairly sure the images have been indexed then de-indexed then the stolen and hotlinks get the SERPS. I'd really like to know why they have been de-indexed because they are clearly SERP worthy if they're on other sites.

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 47 ( 1 [2]
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