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The Google Images Massacre of '06

Where do we stand at the start of the fourth quarter?



5:09 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just following up on the July thread "Has there been an image update?" (http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3018232.htm [webmasterworld.com])

Now that the fourth quarter has started, I wanted to see if people have noticed any improvement or worsening of the number of indexed images from their sites.

Most of us saw huge dips back in July. I went from over 4,000 ORIGINAL photos indexed to just 371. I also noticed that many of the results in a site:mysite Google Images search were actually hotlinked results from other sites, which was a head scratcher since we have hotlink protection in place.

Today, I did another site:mysite search on GI and our number had dropped further...to 186 from 371.

Did those of you who had big drops in indexed images back in July still face the index/traffic drought?

Has anyone seen an return to previous numbers or any form of increase? If yes, did you make any design changes after the July drop?

Does anyone have any idea when the Images Googlebot will roam the web next?

[edited by: tedster at 5:07 am (utc) on Oct. 2, 2006]
[edit reason] make the link clickable [/edit]


4:05 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm curious if the images that were dropped were on pages that have gone supplemental. Happened on my site. Pages of widgets went supplemental and then when the big change hit, all of those widgets dropped from the image index.


10:53 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was thinking about that too...

What's the fastest way to research that?

Right Reading

1:55 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Here's a small sample. Google Images as percentage of referring search engines:

August 1.0%
September 1.3%
October 7%


2:57 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm a little confused if the question is about indexed image files or indexed pages.

With that said, my number of indexed pages is running about right and was after I made some fixes to my site in mid August. My site's rankings in SERPs plunged on the July 27th update and then reemerged for about three phrases on August 17th. My site had a complete recovery in Google's search results with the Sept 15th update. All is now good and my plunge is just a nightmare that has passed.


3:36 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


My original question was about indexed images...the subsequent questions about pages are due to the theory that _images_ that disappeared from the IMAGES index may have disappeared after the PAGES they were on were declared supplemental in the WEB index.

If that's the case, the new question becomes "How do you get your images reindexed?"


3:50 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

By getting the pages that went supplemental back in the index or in the alternative putting the images on a new page or a page that is still in the index and not supplemental.

Some forms of supplemental issues seem to be cured by more inbound links in closer proximity to the page that went supplemental, some supplemental issues seem to be cured by making certain you have unique titles and descriptions, some supplemental issues appear to result from duplicated pages and respond to removing the cause of the dupplication.

In short find what caused the pages the images were on to go supplemental and cure that defect.

[edited by: theBear at 3:53 am (utc) on Oct. 3, 2006]


5:18 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is bit off the topic. I read today about the tragic incident of a gunman killing 3 in an Amish school ambush. Sad and makes it worse when innocent children are killed.
I decided to know more about the Amish community and while doing that did a Google image search for Amish. To my surprise I saw an image associated with Amish killing story dated 2nd October. Is it common for Google to update images so quick? Never knew that.


6:27 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I lost well over half my images, but none of the pages are supplemental and rank quite well. I'm seeing my newer images replacing the older ones. Most of my images G has now are less than a year old and the site is over 4 years, but I do update my images almost monthly.


6:31 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

4430 images indexed from my main site. Seems there is no problem.


5:15 am on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


After the big drop, I started tweaking my pages to prevent any duplicates.

E.g. a red carpet photo can be seen in the galleries section (all events), the gallery for the news coverage of that event and in the subject's profile gallery.

To combat the duplicates I have:

- added noindex to the news coverage and profile galleries so the main galleries section is the only one that can be indexed.
- where there are multiple photos of a person at the same event (e.g. "George Clooney at the 77th Academy Awards") I have added a slide number to the title tag to make them different.

The script that creates the image pages sends out a last modified date equal to the photo's shoot date. Should I change that to help the googlebot reindex?

Any other suggestions? Is it now just a matter of crossing my fingers and waiting for a new crawl?


1:14 pm on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Well in order to know a change has taken place they do have to see it ;).

Is your site being visited by Google on a regular basis and if so how often? Are other changes actually appearing in the index?

Remember to really look around a bit on locating duplicate stuff, it might not even be where you are looking but elsewhere.

In this quest Google search is your ticket.


2:09 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, the only encouraging thing that has happened to my site is that the number of images indexed has jumped from 3 to 8. :-p

The results still suck, but the fact that *something* happened (albeit a little bit) is giving me some hope. The good thing about this is that at least the images are all from my site. In the previous search I did, two of the images were from hotlinkers (MySpacers!), not my actual web site.

So... I'm still crossing my fingers on this one.


3:09 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


At least your hotlinkers disappeared. :-) Quite a few of my site:mysite results are for blogs and forums hotlinking.


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