JS_Harris - 11:04 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)
It doesn't benefit anyone but it does keep visitors on google when they backpage. There must be some data gathering mechanism in play or they wouldn't bother doing this to visitors. Google is always all about gathering data.
I don't understand this line. Server-based hotlink protection doesn't work on the honor system like robots.txt; it's absolute.
And if the goal is to stop the image from being hotlinked it works but Google still takes a copy of the image and displays the copy in image search, my images are indexed just fine despite Google being unable to hotlink them. How? I'm not entirely sure, the logs don't tell but the images are definitely indexed.
Try placing the code in the opening post temporarily into your .htaccess file and visit your images in Google image search, they will all be there still but no longer be hotlinked. Scrapers, using the image gallery kiddie script of the moment, will end up grabbing and likely linking to Google's version instead of yours. The reduction in bad links and in being outranked by your own images is heavenly, Google will never outrank the original with an image hosted on(and hotlinked from) Google. Traffic generated by clicking on the image, or on the 'visit site' link however still lands on your site.