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It's Official - Looks Like Users Don't Like Google's New Image Search?

Google Image Search Suffers Massive Drop in External Search Numbers



12:37 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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


We analyzed the image search traffic of 87 domains and found a 63% decrease in image search referrals after Google’s new image search UI was released. Publishers that had previously benefitted the most from their image optimization efforts suffered the greatest losses after the image search update, experiencing declines nearing 80%.

In the eleven weeks after Google’s new image search was released, there has been no recovery – which means for image search, the significantly reduced traffic levels we’re seeing is the new normal. In the aftermath of the new image search experience, image SEO has been severely compromised, and we have no choice but to recommend deprioritizing image SEO when weighed against other search traffic initiatives.


3:35 pm on Apr 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

How can I see image search traffic in Google Analytics?

You can't, unless you've figured out how to attach javascript to image files. Did you mean, how can I identify human visitors who originally came in via image search? Same as always: by pinpointing the referer.

Here's one thing you can do: In new-style image search, an image file is requested when the user clicks on an image in search results. The referer at this point is "blank.html". (Literal text "blank", not a blank referer.) Rewrite image requests with this referer to a single-pixel gif set to expire immediately. This has no effect on the user, because they don't see the image yet; it's been requested ahead of time to make the search look more efficient. If the user clicks again, their browser has to make a second request-- and this time there's a different referer, so your rewrite doesn't kick in and they see the image.

Now you've got two data points: The preliminary click in image search, and the follow-up click, separately logged. Even if you don't end up learning anything useful, you've saved yourself some bandwidth.


2:53 am on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This user loves the new Image search.

I never have to visit the host website anymore, it's much faster and efficient for me!

But like the rest of you, I de-indexed my thousands of images.
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