brokaddr - 1:03 am on Apr 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
What a read that topic was, tantalus - thanks for the link!
As it stands, there doesn't appear to be any foolproof solution to this, outside of snipping those with referrers (ironically, back when my traffic was at it's peak, I blocked all referrers from Google Images/Yahoo Images/Bing Images, etc due to the scraper issue that is still rampant to this day). Traffic slowed slightly, so I unblocked. I almost wonder if I'd shot myself in the foot.
I am looking at my users currently active on the site through session tracking.
Most do not have the http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.* referrer - but some do.
I hope I'm wrong here - but 100% the phantom traffic active right now appears as though they're viewing the PAGE the image is displayed on. (ie. Simulated page view, without actually clicking the page)
It only shows up as the jpg/gif/png being requested, once that page is deleted and serves a 404 (both the image + page housing the image)
I just tried to recreate this myself, I was unable to - so I'm wondering if something else is at play.
Perhaps my issue is more related to this topic: [webmasterworld.com...]