caribguy - 1:12 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
I have the ability to serve an image in various dimensions and have been toying with the idea to serve the bot (and/or hotlinkers) a significantly smaller (say 240x320) image rather than its original.
What has held me back from implementing this is
a) the odd chance that this may be considered cloaking
b) the time and work involved vs the potential benefit
I'd be very interested to hear if removing the protection will fix the issue for you.
I just checked a link for one of the smaller files that is still indexed and apparently my framebuster is not an issue.
While going through the logs, I noticed that most of the time Googlebot-Images has received 304 not modified responses from my server -which is correct because the images have not changed.
It has not attempted to get any of the new large images (the category which is now gone from the index), only the ones without hotlink protection.
Any similarities to this on your end?