Sgt_Kickaxe - 12:59 pm on Nov 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
Like most I've had my fair share of images being hotlinked and I've followed the steps required to prevent hotlinking as best I can, including some great threads here on webmasterworld, but something changed recently(Nov 15th/16th ?).
I've experienced a recent surge in scraping/hotlinking since then that's forced me to shut down my sites partial rss feed. My htaccess method of blocking sites from displaying images on domains not my own is still working, but my image rankings aren't holding against scrapers.
In one case a site is producing pages filled with scraped text and images, the text includes a mashup of the top 10 search result "descriptions" under each result link in serps and the five images are, of course, the top five images in Google image results. I'd say that's pretty blatant.
The site is outranking at least three of the five results they are displaying for those images, e.g. the scraper site is credited as being the original and it does return ahead of the sites the image is hosted on. That's a 60% failure rate by Google (I know that it's my legal problem, not Google's but still).
Question: How does Google REALLY handle images that it comes across on a page?
- Any hotlink protection I employ does not change my image url from appearing in the scraped site's code. Does Google look at the image on THEIR domain to see how it renders or do they just look at the image directly from the URL provided in which case it will look fine regardless of how much hotlink protection I use.
If it matters I return an error code and scraper sites simply display nothing, I don't switch images for fear that Google assigns me with the switched version.
Displaying nothing on scraper sites isn't working for me right now in terms of retaining credit for the image, even though it's working on the scraper sites which display nothing. Ideas?