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Lost Traffic Due to New Google Image Search Design

  1. ktrapp profile image91
    ktrappposted 3 years ago

    I have a Hub that used to get quite a lot of traffic from Google image searches but ever since Google changed their image search design at the end of January 2013, it has almost completely disappeared. Now when you do a Google image search you get a full-size "preview" without ever needing to visit the website hosting the image. Google has included a link to visit the website, but since such a large "preview" is shown, there's not necessarily a need for a searcher to do that anymore. This really bothers me because it seems to me that an image preview should play the role of a snippet, giving enough information to interest someone, but not everything so they choose to click through.

    At least on Pinterest images can be re-pinned, captions added, and possibly go viral. By the way, the images that I have lost traffic from are not well-suited for Pinterest at all so that is not really an option to gain back traffic.

    I've included a graph of my Google image traffic (not other types of queries) from Google Analytics. The Google image design change occurs at the red arrow ; the decline before the arrow is most likely due to the holidays.


    (To see image referral traffic from Google go to Google Analytics/Traffic Sources/Referrals . Then click on google dot com in the list and then imgres. Be sure and change the date range to sometime last year to compare traffic before and after the design change at the end of January.)

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has noted such a decline. I'm pretty bummed about this because there is not a thing I can do to change it.

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image84
      Mark Ewbieposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I didn't know how to check that - so thanks.  Same for me.  My images were an important part of what I'm doing so great - thanks a lot Google.

      Nice how they steal my images and provide them to people without helping me in any way.

    2. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No real decline, but I only see 3 or  per day anyway.

      If you're seeing a decline does that mean that people searched for your images only to steal them, not to read about them?  Now that G provides a larger image they no longer need to visit the hub to get that better pic - scrape it from the search results instead of the hub?

      Nasty thought, but could be...

      1. ktrapp profile image91
        ktrappposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        In my particular case, I don't think the decline means that people were searching them in order to steal them. In the past, if someone clicked on an image in search results then a copy of the website also opened behind the preview image. For my photo in question, I think people searched for the image to see what something looked like, but since they could see the "story" that went along with the image (since the website was visible behind the preview) and became curious they closed the image and looked through the Hub. Until this Google design change, this Hub also got a lot of guest comments by people going through the experience which was also the subject of the photo.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Good.  I've found my pics stolen a couple of times.  Just the pic and maybe the associated paragraph.

          1. ktrapp profile image91
            ktrappposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            If you click on the "more info" button in the image search, at the bottom of the results page that opens up, it lists any websites that use the exact image. I did just find one of my images stolen this way.

      2. Mark Ewbie profile image84
        Mark Ewbieposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I know that images get stolen - everything gets stolen.  That's why I 'sign' pretty much everything.  At least a lazy copier may leave my name and a way back to me on there.

        In some ways getting stolen and shared might be better than being ignored altogether.

  2. WriteAngled profile image90
    WriteAngledposted 3 years ago

    Actually, I no longer manage to get a larger image preview on Google image search (on Firefox). So I can no longer check the image to see if it is worth me going to the web site. As a result, I have stopped bothering with image search altogether.

    1. ktrapp profile image91
      ktrappposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I use Firefox too. If you click on an image in the image results then a big black area opens in the middle of your screen with the image displayed. There are also buttons for "view website," "view original image" and "more information." If you click on "view original image" you might get a bigger view of the photo. If you look at the URL of the original image, it is actually the URL of the image on its host website.

      In the past, when you clicked to view the image, it opened in a frame on top of the webpage that it came from and so that in itself might entice someone to view the other web content that goes along with the image.

      You might think that the "view website" button would help, but the availability of seeing the original image without the website "behind" it has cut a lot of webmasters' traffic from image search:
      http://www.seroundtable.com/google-imag … 16283.html

  3. wabond profile image87
    wabondposted 3 years ago

    Thanks for the information, what you say explains a lot about what has happened to my blogs.

  4. Fossillady profile image93
    Fossilladyposted 3 years ago

    Really appreciate the information reading through your post and people's responses. I am going to check to see if my images have been stolen, just out of curiosity. It's a shame to see traffic disappear because of google changes.

  5. Marketing Merit profile image82
    Marketing Meritposted 3 years ago

    One of my hubs used to receive a substantial amount of image searches and that has dropped considerably in recent months. You're quite right Ktrapp about the new image search result format. It definitely deters people from visiting the webpage.

  6. ytsenoh profile image92
    ytsenohposted 3 years ago

    I don't know if my drop in traffic is related to images or not.  I do know that starting yesterday, my traffic has dropped 50%.

  7. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, ktrapp.  I had noticed the change in the way images were displayed but it hadn't occurred to me that it would have an impact.  I suppose it should have, because I know that in the past, I've been intrigued by what I could see of a website behind the image, and read something I otherwise wouldn't have - so that's an opportunity we're losing now.