lucy24 - 11:45 am on Aug 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
My images, and your images, and everyone's images are hotlinked by Google.com's image search engine. Your images, your servers and your bandwidth is used to display images to visitors on Google's website.
No, they're not. The images that google loads up when someone clicks on a result in Image Search are not the images that are actually shown to the searcher. You can rewrite image requests with "/blank.html" referers to a single-pix gif with no visible effect at all for the human at the other end. And the bandwidth involved in serving up that dot has got to be less than the bandwidth of serving up a 403.