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Bing is stealing our server's bandwidth

Bing is hotlinking our images in image search

     
2:47 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed that Bing Image Search is hotlinking our images. That's right: the image that you see is not on Bing's servers, but on your server and using your resources even when the viewer doesn't visit your website.

When a user clicks on the image, Bing opens a new window with the full size version of the image and will NOT direct the visitor to your web page => as good as no chance that this viewer will view pages on your website.

You could try to work around this with a frame breaker but this will only work until Bing crawls your website again. After detecting the frame breaker they work around it and add the message "Displaying this page may force you to leave Bing Images. Opening the page in a new window will prevent this."

Conclusion: The value of Bing Image Search for webmasters is 0. It actually COSTS bandwidth. This makes Bing the biggest content thief ever.
2:52 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I block my image folders in robots.txt.
12:17 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I click on one of my images the full sized version is displayed but below it is my website page.
12:56 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I put in a nifty rewrite in htaccess. Goes like this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://www\.example\.com/
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^-?$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !{a couple more hand-picked exceptions}/
RewriteRule (paintings/\w+/)blowups/large(\w+\.jpg) /$1thumbs/small$2 [L]


It's clean and simple because every full-size picture in the gallery section comes with a thumbnail whose name is exactly parallel. These are not my only images, but they're the biggest ones in filesize. Thumbs are exactly the same but only 5-10% the size, hardly bigger than the No Hotlinks image. So the picture is visible in search results-- but if they want to see the real thing they can jolly well come to the page.

So far Bing Image Search hasn't been nearly as plaguesome as That Other Search Engine. They don't behave any better or worse in themselves-- but they're not nearly as popular with people looking for hotlink fodder.

I do notice a big increase recently in Bing Preview. Or is this something they only just started doing, so I didn't notice it because it didn't exist? Will have to start paying attention.
3:46 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I click on one of my images the full sized version is displayed but below it is my website page.


And people don't need to visit your website because they can see the full size version on Bing. What you see below the image is a framed version of your website.
4:11 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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You could try to work around this with a frame breaker but this will only work until Bing crawls your website again.


Could you check the user agent and not show the frame breaker script to Bing when they crawl? This would leave them oblivious.
4:38 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I click on one of my images the full sized version is displayed but below it is my website page.


Me too and it displays my watermark perfectly and the source code, for me, shows it coming from Bing plus I have some pre-watermarked images still in Bing that when clicked go to the new watermarked images on my sites.
5:29 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@chrisv1963

Mine breaks out of it just fine, the image isn't even starting to load when it redirects.
5:48 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's been a while since I checked yahoo and bing last time, my main traffic comes from g. It seems like yahoo doesn't even bother to show the original page in an iframe. So i guess there is nothing to breaking out from... They even created a nice gallery style browsing with right and left arrows, just pick whichever picture you like... People spent time and resources to create those pics and pay for the hosting so that yahoo can just give it to the users for free.

It's like having the whole page without ads shown in the search results, why would anyone bother to visit your website if it's already there?

I guess I have to put a huge watermark for requests from yahoo saying click here to go to the website!
5:51 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just a small update, putting click here won't work because clicking on the image does noting, you have to click on the small link on the bottom to go to the website...
7:32 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@chrisv1963

Mine breaks out of it just fine, the image isn't even starting to load when it redirects.


It did work for me, but stopped working after about a week ...