Google image leeching

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Keep traffic even from Google’s new image search by forcing visitors to visit site.

Google recently updated their Image Search Function.  With their old image search, the large preview of the image was displayed on top of your own site, making it likely that visitors would interact on your site and keeping the bounce rate lower.

With their new image search, though, Google displays a large preview of your image directly in their search and when the user clicks “See Image” the user is sent directly to the image file on your site.  This has greatly lowered the number of page views a visitor from Google Image Search is likely to generate – many blogs now have a near 100% bounce rate on such visits.

In non-aggressive mode Imaguard will redirect the visitor from the image file and show the image inside your normal blog layout.

In aggressive mode, Imaguard will fade your image out and out a text on top (f ex “Click to see”).  Currently clicking images in Google Image Search redirects to the page where the Google Crawler found the image.

Imaguard works by checking for the referrer and user agent.  If the referrer is local (the visitor came to the image through your own site) or the referrer or user agent is on your white list (where you can out f ex Googlebot), then the image will display normally.  If the referrer is not local or the referrer or user agent is not on your white list, then Imaguard will redirect the user according to the aggressive or non-aggressive settings mentioned above.

Currently Google stores thumbnail previews of images on their own site.  Such previews will have been accessed either through a local referrer or as a white listed bot.  Thus the thumbnail will be of the normal image.  The large preview will be captured directly from your site on the fly, though, and will not have a white listed referrer unless you specifically include google.com on the referrer white list.  Imaguard will therefore redirect the preview as described above.