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Google images & Hotlinking

     
2:47 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've recently enabled hotlink protection on one of sites due to people using them on "therespace". Google has alot of my images in there index and I'd like to keep them there. I do get quite a few referrals from them. Is using hotlink protection bad in terms of G images? Will this erase all the exisiting pics in G?
3:55 am on July 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've actually changed my mind, is there some code I can use to prevent "therespace" from hotlinking? I don't mind potential customers from using them in forums.
4:21 am on July 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been using hotlink protection for years and Google still has my images listed...
5:00 am on July 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes you can disable hotlinking by domain, and that's exactly what I have done because of that particular site. You need to include a check of HTTP_REFERER in the .htaccess file logic.
6:42 am on July 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've done this for the same reason "thatdamnspacefullofkids".

Re: Google images. The annoying thing is that Poogle doesn't like to index my pages properly anymore (bitten by supplemental grief lately) but they get my graphics just fine.

I guess some image traffic is better than nothing from G, but I kinda hate them all the same ;-)

5:14 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"You need to include a check of HTTP_REFERER in the .htaccess file logic."

Do you have a sample of how this would look in the .htaccess file?

1:46 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Here's what I'm using to switch the stolen image to an advertising image:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?spaceypeople\.com/ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?example2\.com/ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g¦gif¦bmp¦png)$ /alternate-image.png [L]

That checks the referrer and if it's banned it send an alternate image. I have the alternate image in a different folder than the htaccess file protecting the rest of the images so it doesn't get blocked.

To completely block (ie, send a forbidden header and no image at all) I'm pretty sure this is the code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?spaceypeople\.com/ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?example2\.com/ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g¦gif¦bmp¦png)$ - [F]

If you just want to block the umm.. spaceypeople, you can remove the second line. Just be sure to change the flag to [NC] for the last, or only line. [NC,OR] is used if you have multiple places (like ebay etc) that you want to block, and [NC] for the final line.

5:08 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Unless you are suffering significant bandwidth costs due from hotlinking, you might want to leave it alone for now.

One smaller SE 'might' be looking at them as inbound links at this time.

12:39 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, I've wondered if Google is doing the same, even if it's just for Google image search. I haven't been able to tell either way really.

Is it against the TOS to say which smaller SE that might be?

12:46 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One smaller SE 'might' be looking at them as inbound links at this time

how would the se know the image is not being displayed?...the code and link to the image is unaffected.

5:38 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think the point is that if you block hotlinking then nobody will do it, thus no image links.
6:07 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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my hotlink script not only doesnt stop new image stealers every day...but they also leave the link with ni image in place for ever..i can only conclude that most people who steal images are stupid. :)
7:12 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tried both of the above codes and couldn't get either to work...
7:50 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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did you remember to change the ¦ bit which needs to be a solid line.
8:09 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That was it....thanks!
9:09 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We always used a hotlink prevention rules without any problems on G.images
But around 6 months ago, traffic from G.images has ben dried. I guess they count the hotlink these days and drop your site because they know about errors in search results.
10:04 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I guess they count the hotlink these days and drop your site because they know about errors in search results.

wot?

9:31 pm on July 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I mean, if you're using an antihotlink, the search results in the G.Images lead to the pages with broken graphics. Yesterday google didn't handle such errors and used the in the index, but now the know about problem and remove such results from the index (IMO).
 

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