Hello everyone, gbk from Germany here.
I build up a website about art with around 15k images. I had 3200 unique visitors last thursday and from than on it went down more and more. Yesterday to 1600.
It is a hobby site, one i was very dedicated to build up, i formed a community (outside of the site) and got the strong support of many artists who created art for specific themes. My site was even mentioned on big blogs and portals like eventhubs or kotaku and a lot more
Today it is 10:35 am here and only around 450 people were online yet..thats what i had normally in 2 hours.
I took a look and saw what happend...images which were seen 600 times a day are down to 50 or less views now.
The artworks can be seen on google..yeah hotlinked from my site without showing any of the content of my site.
What are the google users doing? Not visiting the site anymore..they stay on google.
Congratulations google, you will earn a ton more profit i guess.
I disallowed google and bing as well to show any images now..if nobody watches my site anymore ..why would i allow google to steal the traffic and hotlink the images?
I have the feeling that nothing will change anyway, but who knows..maybe it WILL have an impact if more and more of us are not supporting google with free images.
I am in the lucky position that it was just a hobby site and not one i need for my daily water and bread ;) But i worked so damn many hours on this site and build up some truly great things there with the help of many artists that this move by google hit me / us like a big kick into the stomach.
I am sure there can be small solutions like disallowing google to display big images which could be in a different folder than thumbs..but that would mean a ton of work and well..who knows what google is doing next?