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New, Faster, Improved Image Search On Bing

 7:04 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Starting today, we’re rolling out a brand new way to make it faster or more simple to explore imagery on Bing. Now when you click an image, we don't waste your time loading a new page or force you todig through a bunch of clutter. The new design loads quickly placing the image center stage.
New, Faster, Improved Image Search On Bing [bing.com]
We even introduced full-screen mode: just click “View larger” to give it a try.

Preview Sites Before Clicking Through

We’re always striving for a clean, simple experience. But under the hood, Bing has all the power tools you need to find the right result.

For example, you might find a picture you like and wonder where it came from. With our new Page Snapshot technology, we give you a convenient preview. This lets you see if the webpage is helpful and make sure you trust it before you visit.



 10:28 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I will STRONGLY recommend all website owners to block Bing from indexing your images. You will get zero visits if your site is focusing on images and maybe 10% if not. I never thought that Bing would do such a thing against website owners.

I have now added this robots.txt

User-agent: msnbot

Disallow: /bla/images/
Disallow: /bla/thumbs/

other suggestions

user-agent: msnbot
Disallow: /*.jpg$
Disallow: /*.jpeg$
Disallow: /*.gif$
Disallow: /*.png$


 10:56 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I disallowed all search engines in all image files robots.txt some time ago. Cost me some traffic, life is hard :)

Looking today I see that if you do a example.com search in Yahoo Images it brings up quite a few sites that have "borrowed" your images.

Can't seem to make that work in Bing.


 11:01 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

One thing is sure if you care about your images you would block all SEs like you, thats for sure. How Bing now "steel" you images is just ridiculous, they know they take a lot of visits/income from webmaster sites, but I thought we would see such a move from google first.


 12:35 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Full ack to zeus!
For me as a painter and artist it is absolutely not acceptable that a search engine uses my works without permission in an application. Without any context of my site!
And in the bottom they told the users not to click on my site because it might be spammy. WTF!
I will blog about this - and of course I will block bing and recommend it to all my readers...


 12:39 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)


What do they do "against" website owners? I really don't get your post. Probably you should refine your English skills?

You are talking nonsense. Their image search brings in tons of traffic.


 2:29 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

What a run for images since Nov...
- Google shoves a lot of "moderate" images into the explicit category
- Bing decides it's open season on full sized webmaster images and bandwidth
- Facebook says all of your image are belong to them...

P.S. If you think hotlink protection works vs Bing you're wrong. If Bing can't directly hotlink they grab a copy anyway and still frame your site. You've got to keep the crawlers out.

Scrapers must be loving this news.


 2:59 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

:: memo to self: add bing to existing image-search rewrite that serves up thumbnails (<4K, 126x95px) in place of requested full-size picture ::

Are they using something akin to pinterest's code that's immune to hotlink protections because the server thinks it's your own page requesting the image?


 3:08 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think that will work Lucy, they are indeed. Blocking Bing's hotlink attempt results in Bing serving up their own copy of the image on their servers. They aren't getting the hint.


 4:26 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have always kept all crawlers out of my images..nothing in G or B or Y ( there was an SE a while back that used automated screen captures that it then served up as results via a flash files interface..I had a public "run in" ;) with their "rep", here in WebmasterWorld over it..they eventually took me out of their index before the lawyers "insisted" that they did ;)..anyway..

I went for a look around Bing to see if they had "snuck in" to any of my "off limits to image hungry crawlers and thieves" places..they haven't..:)

However, I did a little research on some people's sites I know, that I thought Bing might have taken images from..( that were "unprotected" ) sure enough..Bing images has them..and is showing them full size , over ( as in above ) a framed "preview" of the page that they took them from..

But here is the the thing..:)

I found one set of images belonging to a blogger here in France, she is an artist/sculptor ( my original calling ) and has a blog on a system called "overblog" ( a kind of "also ran" French version of blogger or blogspot, one gets to design one's own pages..if one uses it..( but the "platform" puts ads around the free blogs ) ..usually pages on there look like a kind of bourgeois version of myspace ..( but I digress, it comes of being in a thread with lucy :)..

So..I noticed that the lady's images were in Bing..but that when you click through to the individual image, her pages do what looks like a breakout/redirect and bust out of Bing's frame ..so you go straight from "click to view specific "found" image" on Bing image search..to her page ..with no Bing frame..

A very quick look ( yes it is late again here, turned 05.00 am Wednesday morning, but I was working on some "needed no distractions" code stuff on another computor and just stopped for a break ) at the source code shows me a huge mess of "calls" to Ganalytics and other tracking and various ad networks etc...

But I suspect that if I took the time ( and had naught better to do, and wasn't about to get some rest ;) ..I would find that somewhere in that huge mess of javascript..there was a "frame-breaker/frame-buster" script..

Thus, it may be too late for those who have had their images slurped up by bing to kick the door shut and claw them back..

But, you may well be able to avoid the insult of having bing frame the stolen goods ( and thus you can still get some actual visitors out of being ensnared in Bing's "image bank" ) merely by using variants on "frame-breaker / frame-buster" javascripts..

You might have to try a few before hitting the one(s) that works to bust out of Bing's image preview though..


 10:29 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

SEOPTI - Well im not from a english speaking country, we could try my language, but there are only 5mill that talk that language and you are sure not one of them.

My point with the new Bing image is, most image searcher clicks the big image, if they do that they only get to a larger version of the image. If you want to go to that specific site, you really have to search for that link. Also they show your full resolutions, even if you hotlink protects you images.


 10:58 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Leosghost - I have a JS framebuster in place. Still works with G (and achieves the results you commented about) but no longer works with Bing. This script was the result of weeks of testing in the top 4 browsers and the top 3 SEs and AFAIK covers the top 4 ways of framing (including iFrame) so if this no longer works, then Bing has copied/cached these images on their server and not actually linking to the source, thus no script will work after the fact.


 3:16 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

They don't make it easy to find information at bing. But I did find out they don't count well:

Bing operates three crawlers today:


Bingbot is our standard crawler and handles most of our crawling needs each day. Adidxbot is our Bing Ads crawler and is responsible for crawling ads and following through to websites from those ads for quality control. MSNbot was the name our old crawler before Bingbot arrived on the scene. Msnbot still handles some multimedia and feeds crawling duties, but will retire soon. Bingbot will take over all Msnbot duties at that time. Finally, BingPreview is used to generate page snapshots.

Edited to add: They say Page snapshots comes with Windows 8 "to bring new crawl traffic to sites" via the preinstalled Bing app.


 8:08 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I bet a lot of webmasters who use the whitelist approach to robots.txt didn't know about or consider BingPreview, I didn;t, thanks for posting that not2easy.

Is it even legal for Bing to be showing full sized hotlinked images? Something tells me they'd better pony up a legal fund to be paying for the free bandwidth they are taking... or at the very least keep their lips sealed when the feds propose rate hikes due to huge demand on carriers for bandwidth.

What htaccess code would one even use to force bing to display a thumbnail only? Some images can be huge in terms of bytes, photography sites etc.


 8:12 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing operates three crawlers today:


And how about msnbot-media that's in my logs almost every day?


 9:36 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just tried to block all the images without proper referrer(my site) via .htaccess block and seems like half of images are blocked and half are cached in their server.

Looked at the logs: Mozilla/5.0+(Windows+NT+6.1;+WOW64)+AppleWebKit/534++(KHTML,+like+Gecko)+BingPreview/1.0b is what generates the thumbnail that is displayed in the right bottom corner.

My old JS FRAMEBuster does not work.


 9:43 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

if you do a example.com search in Yahoo Images it brings up

It brings up a picture of me (in fact more than on), stolen off Flickr, displayed on a Washington DC television station site with the photo credit:
(Photo: WJLA)

Makes me think all their gallery photos are stolen and it makes me want to see them suffer... a major media outlet should know better (scarier thought: they do know better, but they are doing it anyway).

You are talking nonsense. Their image search brings in tons of traffic.

Au contraire. If you are an image-based site, you will see that image search traffic falls off every time the SEs "improve" image search. The new interfaces are designed to keep people on Bing, Google and Yahoo, and that means a lot less image search traffic than before.

A friend who once had millions of page views per month has seen that drop off dramatically with ever-improving image search. His traffic peaked when image search existed, but had just small thumbnails that clicked straight through to the site. At that point, it was worth it to have your images in image search because there was a good return.

At a certain point, though, the SEs are serving a slideshow based off your images and keeping the visitor where they are and allowing them to steal the images without even seeing your site, potentially diluting your brand and overexposing your images, if you'll excuse the pun. I just went to Bing image search and grabbed a 1732x980 image without ever going to the site. Still don't know which site it came from.

If you images are your primary asset, you may be better served to simply shut out the bots depending on what your revenue model is.


 9:58 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

100% if you have a image site, block bing. Any other site I would recommend it. I just cant believe that they are doing such a thing against website owners. Im now blocking Bing for 20.000 images.

It would be great if there where another solution, like a framebuster that works or that there big image dont work and they have to go to the site, but I dont think there is a solution.


 12:32 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +h tt p://www.bing. com/bingbot.htm)" is the bingbot and "msnbot-media/1.1 (+h tt p://search.msn. com/msnbot.htm)" is the MSNBot that is currently grabbing images but is supposed be retired at some point.
(Using spaces to delink.)
Since they are compliant, blocking images in robots.txt is all you would need to do to cover blocking images from them both (along with all other compliant bots).

I use:
Disallow: /*.gif$
Disallow: /*.jpg$
Disallow: /*.png$

and the bing site says they follow wildcards.


 1:37 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I bet a lot of webmasters who use the whitelist approach to robots.txt didn't know about or consider BingPreview

It would never have occurred to me to try. I assumed they are equivalent to g### preview, which is not a robot and therefore is not bound by robots.txt.


 2:40 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

As an ecomm site it's hard not to allow them to index them, but recently had some sites linking not directly to my images, but through yahoo images.

FYI with Bing you need to block your site from being viewed in a frame and you have to then you can use a rewrite to serve up thumbnails or in my case watermarked images.


 3:36 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

FYI with Bing you need to block your site from being viewed in a frame ...

This has nothing to do with the new way they display your images.


 9:57 pm on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just spoke with Bing and this is what they said about removing images from their Bing Image Search index:
disallowing files or directories in robots.txt only prevents crawl, not indexation. If you want our system to organically remove these images, you should allow crawl and disallow indexation using a NOINDEX X-Robots-Tag HTTP header.
Several ways of accomplishing this. Since my server is Apache and my images are in several specific directories, I add this to the htaccess in each of those directories:

Header append X-Robots-Tag: noindex

 5:42 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yea, just went through the "New and Improved" traffic theft of images... holy cow.... So .. they get to use our bandwidth and not give us credit and give image scraper guys tons of new images to use without ever hitting our pages.... what in the world are they thinking!

I wonder if just having your products listed in bing shopping gives them the right to use the images that way as well.

They should ONLY be giving a thumbnail and not a full blown usable image.


 7:09 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anyone planning a class act lawsuit for this massive bandwidth theft and copyright violations?


 4:21 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Now BingPreview/1.0b is getting caught by GA. I get hundreds of requests from bing daily with almost no referrals. I'm a hair away from blocking this stupid thing.

For websites with big images people rarely go too deep because they take the image they came for and leave. Now why should anyone visit my page to take the big guy when they can take it directly from bing's serp.

Just thinking maybe I'm missing something. How can someone so bi(n)g be so stupid.

And one more thing. The image shown in the so called preview is hotlinked from our websites. It means that if you put a watermark saying click here for the original image (or whatever), users clicking on it will see the watermarked image on your website too because of caching.


 6:35 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

How can someone so bi(n)g be so stupid.

This has nothing to do with stupidity. It is pure THEFT. Using our server resources for their business. Will someone stop this please?


 6:42 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

By Saying stupid I mean that they have not foreseen webmasters' reaction (which I believe will lead to blocking their bot).

By the time I write this I see 37 "visits" from their bot in GA Real-Time. And I was wondering where the ghost traffic was coming from that pushed my bounce rate.


 7:08 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes Bing has stepped over the line, I really hope that many webmasters will block Bing from indexing images, be cause there is no benefit for a webside owner.

Last week google tested something similar to what we see on Bing.


 8:39 pm on Dec 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I thought I would come back to this topic because if you are trying to block the preview via plain image hotlinking techniques it won't really help. Bing Preview is not requesting images, they are pulling pages using the viewer's IP address and setting cookies as they go. Blocking via Bing Preview as UA might help though. They are ruining my stats and for the pages they are pulling, a lot of them have affiliate products setting a click cookie. This is evil.
I'm seeing 64 clicks set for a page that has had just 3 Bing Preview accesses showing 20 UA in my network stats for that program this morning. I can find no evidence of a human operated browser even viewing that particular page during this time period.

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