ianevans - 8:16 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)
As for losing rankings -- well, there's not much to lose at this point. Image search traffic has never been worth much, and now it's probably next to worthless. However, that's one reason to watch the numbers for a month or so before acting.
I'll have to "widgetize" this to keep with the TOS. :-)
The value of the traffic depends on the type of site. From what I read here, I guess many members are selling widgets and don't see much conversion, and therefore value, to the image search traffic.
I'm a news site that covers widgets at major events. I'd say about 70% of my traffic comes from people interested in seeing those widgets.
The additional thing that hurts me with the new design is that when I show a photo of a widget at Event A, I also have "you might be interested" links heading to widget photos at Events B & C. Showing the full size image might deter people from clicking through the faded background to get to my links.