Friday, 1 February 2013

Google Decide That Making People Visit A Web Site That Owns An Image They Have Indexed Is No Longer Necessary.

In yet another 'bite the hand that feeds us' step, the new Google Image search actively encourages people to view full size images without having to visit the page where Google found the image!

Thanks a lot Google!

Further discussion on the subject here :-

At this rate it will not be long before visiting any site other than Google will be totally unnecessary...

Sorry Google but you motto about not being evil is just plain ludicrous now.

Here's a screen shot of what the new image search looks like with one of my photos after I have clicked on it :-

Why would anyone click on the 'visit page' button?

Update  -

It look like have worked out how to redirect people clicking on the link for the hi-res image to the page it originally came from.
Then click on images to see what I mean..
If someone can tell me how to do this for my own site it would be a very good start.

I know there is a .htaccess modification which will redirect image traffic to the home page. e.g. :- 

But that's really not ideal.i.e. If someone is looking at a sheep image, I want them to come through to the page with that image on it with links to other sheep images (and AdSense ads).

Also - one silver lining in this cloud is that a frame busting javascript will no longer be necessary, and if image search traffic can be redirected to the appropriate page, then data from Google analytics will start to make sense again (currently most traffic to is labelled 'direct' because of the frame buster).

By the way, it looks like Bing image search does pretty much the same thing these days...

Once I work out how to redirect Google image search traffic (viewing a hi-res image directly) to the appropriate page, I'll update this post. So stay tuned!

Another Update - Here is a link to a petition to sign if you feel Google are being unfair :-

Here are a few more relevant links :-

Another Update - for self hosted Wordpress users - here is a plugin / .htaccess mod which seems to work for others (but not me unfortunately - I am assuming because I am using the YAPB plugin) :-

Another Update (14th February 2013) - here is another plugin for Wordpress which doesn't involve altering .htaccess  (if you don't know that .htacccess is then you probably should not be altering it). :-

I got it working first time on my site. I've not been able to get it to redirect to the original post, but it is doing the next best thing by displaying the image in a new single post to which you can add AdSense code etc.

To have a look at what this looks like - click on the following link :-

I've still a few wee tweaks to make, but I'm 95% happy with this, and a great big thank you goes out to Thanks!

Update - 17th February 2013 - 

Here's a look at the traffic to before and after activating imaguard :-

The first 3 full days that the plugin was activated, the 'show-image' page (which is displayed when someone clicks on the 'view full size image' button in Google Image Search) accounted for 40% of all page views on So this proves (for my site anyway) that the Google image search change decreased page views by approximately 40%, and shows that the nonsense from Google about people have an extra button to click on to bring them to your site would have a positive effect was just that, nonsense.

Update - 22nd Feb 2013.

Here's an updated look at traffic from within Google AdSense (dates indicated are not 100% precise) :-

i love Quidco BlueWhite
Creative Commons License Make Money From Photos by Jordan McClements is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


  1. This explain the impact on my traffic it's been dropping ever since the new change. I have 1k less visitors a day now. Relying only on search to bring in traffic nowadays is a big mistake. I'm going to have to jump back into the internet marketing arena again which I've been avoiding the last year. I guess that's the nature of the online game, things change fast and you have to adapt to survive. What a pain!

  2. I really don't think this constitutes 'fair usage' at all.

    There is definitely a strong case for copyright infringement against Google in some countries.

    I think this is the only time I have ever though 'I am so happy that I made £50 last month instead of £500 from AdSense'!

    Anyway, once I work out how to redirect people clicking on 'view full size image' on Google image search to the page that the image came from (on my Wordpress site) - I'll be sure to post how to do it here...

  3. You are right though that it is a big mistake to have all your eggs in one basket / rely on Google for the vast majority of your traffic.

  4. When I saw this I thought of you and wondered what observation you would make about the change.

    Funnily enough, this morning I was reading a book that said Google's corporate strategy was to have no corporate strategy. So if Google Images appears to be attacking Google Adsense then far be it from me to reason why.

    It would be less evil to have a box on the new Google page labelled "This image was stolen from" so I could easily report where Google is rewarding plagiarists.

    1. Chris, Ha Ha - 'This image was stolen from' would be nice.

      Though as someone else said, you always have the option to stop the google image bot, I would rather that Google did allow people to find my images but did so in a fair manner. Is that too much to ask?

  5. Totally agree with the copyright legalities. I won't be surprise if eventually they start putting ads next to the larger image in the gray box. That would totally be a slap in the face. Even in my YouTube videos they are starting to get tougher about the rules for promoting Adsense. They wouldn't approve my last 2 videos for Adsense, I think because of music, which is silly because I do have permission to use it. But regardless Google wants your content but they don't want to pay for it. Anyways I have a lot of different sources for revenue online but I need to find sources which are off line. Then I will sleep better at night. It also wouldn't hurt to diversify online and go into another niche market.

    1. I guess when we are in the position of having a total monopoly (in most countries) we can do whatever we want also. :-)

      But yes, having all you eggs in one basket is a bad idea.

  6. I've added some updates to this post (in case anyone is following the comments). (Looks like around 40% of people visiting my site now were clicking on the 'view original image' button in Google Image Search).

  7. Thanks for keep us updated Jordan, I have to do something, my traffic is down 52% since the change and referrals from Google about 86%,

  8. Thanks a lot Jordan. I installed this plugin, and it seems to be working great. I tried a couple of others first with less than spectacular results.

    This is a completely disgusting move on Google's part, and evidence they need to be broken up in a hurry.

  9. I wonder how many actually own the copyright to the images their are hosting. Fanshare obviously doesn't own any.