MrSavage - 6:53 am on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
Just a thought here as I'm sifting through image searches hoping for something positive.
Is it possible that this update is just a update such that your site ranking is now mimicked in the image search. In other words if recently your site tanked for whatever keyword phrase, you images are equally as buried. This may not have been the case prior to this update. I can verify this in my situation for sure.
I might be going over previously discussed details here. I certainly can say I had examples of images ranking (giving me traffic) when my site in search would be nowhere.
So as jolting as this is, could it just be a matter of that "hand out" or "mercy traffic" simply vanishing as your ranking on the main search. I personally think that images kept a site of mine alive, but Google flicking the switch to say, aha, your site isn't ranking on our search, so why is that image of yours way up there? Then poof. It's gone and so is my traffic from Google. It proves that my site wasn't getting main search traffic. It was all image search. I didn't realize how dramatic that was until this took place.
Can any disprove this theory? Just curious. Sorry if repeating what's been mentioned. I still think the forum is scattered with discussion which omits the consideration that a dramatic drop in traffic was the result of "images be gone".