Roughly a week ago Google began rolling out their new Image Search. That roll-out is live now worldwide but not everyone is happy with the streamlined Google image search result. Webmasters are not pleased that searchers can get the high resolution image in search results, rather than having to click through to the source to see that high resolution image.
In the next few days, you’ll see image results displayed in an inline panel so it’s faster, more beautiful, and more reliable. — A faster image search
Once you search and click in you can flip through the whole set of image previews using your keyboard without leaving Google’s page. In the updated image search the source page no longer loads in an iframe. Selecting an image to display results in the larger version appearing in a central preview area.
Webmasters are reporting traffic to their image rich sites has dropped significantly, negatively affecting earnings. Some are blocking Google bot. Others are trying to employ a coding solution, so when a searcher views the image in the central preview area he or she will be redirected to the source page which contains that image.
Discussion threads at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums both have webmasters citing they have noticed a significant decrease in traffic from Google Images since the design update. – Webmasters Notice Decline In Google Image Search Traffic After Design Update
Many are posting to Google’s webmaster’s support forums saying new google image search is hotlinking webmasters images, stealing their bandwidth, and robbing them of traffic generated income. There are numerous duplicated and overlapping threads Google Images Redesign.
I did some Google image searching myself due to two WordPress.com support forum threads Changes In Google Image Search and Can something be done to prevent Google from “stealing” images?
The domain name of the source site is clickable and a link has been added for visiting the source page, doubling previous link targets from two to four. But I found I had no need to click in and visit the source pages for any images, as I had full size high resolution images before me.
I understand why those with Art, Photography and Wallpaper and other image rich sites were upset. They are the content providers that Google is making a profit from. If most searchers don’t click through the search results pages where Google makes money then there’s surely no benefit to the sites providing that content.
What’s your response to the Google Image Search Redesign?
Have you noticed any impact on yopur site as a result of the Google Image Search Redesign?