karkadan - 3:15 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
My 2 cents,
I have a image site with hotlink enabled. It was a nightmare.
A. 2 years ago, Google began awarding sites that were leeching my images.
B. I could manage to get some images from my site as #1. 3 weeks ago I noticed that a fan website that stole my image was #1. This week, another fan site replaced that site as #1 on Google Images.
So, hotlink or not hotlink, Google is just juggling with the results on Google Images.
Though, the image WAS the same. The file name on each site (mine, and the 2 fansites) is different, content is different... but Google picks the same image... strange.