Bye Bye Image Traffic!

Recently Google made changes to its image search or, to be precise, it made changes to how images are displayed in its search results.

girl with cameraBefore this change if a visitor clicked on your image in Google’s search results the entire screen faded and the image floated over it. However, your website was still loading behind that black (or grey) overlay. I always thought it was pointless, but this type of views would register as visits in your stats. After the latest changes, your website doesn’t load anymore while all your images are available for download right form Google search results. Of course, nobody says you allowed to download your images, but we all know that’s exactly what happens.

I’ve seen many webmasters cry in various forums. If a significant portion of your traffic was coming from image search, these days must be tough for you.

On the other hand, all these webmasters were reporting that their income didn’t change. It’s because although your website was loading behind that dark overlay, your visitors weren’t really visitors and never went to your website. For most of you with image-based traffic, it feels that you lost but you really didn’t. This wasn’t real traffic anyway. The only thing you could do with this traffic is to show nice page view numbers to advertisers and now your numbers decreased.

I personally always felt like clicking on image should result in being redirected to the original page without any kind of overlay, but who cares how I feel about it anyway.

4 Replies to “Bye Bye Image Traffic!”

    1. It’s a bad one. It didn’t affect me because I don’t rely on image traffic, but I am very bothered. In fact, I am reading now that people have lost their income. So I need to edit my post above. Just look at this:

      I just blocked Google’s image bot from my sites.

      I wonder how long it will take to do something similar with web search.

      1. Why did you blocked Google’s image bot from your sites?

        I think it is still better if they can crawl your images because there are still users who might click the “Visit page” link when they viewed your image.

        1. Right, but I think very few will click on Visit Page when they are offered View Original Image right there. It’s really a matter of choice. For some, especially those who relied exclusively on image traffic it would be still better than 0, but I rely on web search and images accounted for only small part of my traffic. I blocked them for now and experiment with Pinterest instead.

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