Many webmasters have found that getting their pictures to rank well in Google images brought them a lot of traffic when someone searched the image and clicked through to their website.
In January of this year Google made a change to how they display images in their search engine. To make things even more infuriating for many webmasters is that they are eating the bandwidth for Google.
Matt Burns from Mattsbackpack.co.uk wrote a very good article about this topic as a guest blogger on JohnChow.com.
From the article:
"The problems essentially originate around the idea of Google thinking
that it’s OK for them to serve up content that they do not own, or
even host, to their visitors without offering anything in return for the
webmasters who own the original copyrights to those images.
Us webmasters have, up until now, tolerated Google displaying
thumbnails of our images in their search results. This was a mutually
beneficial relationship where everyone wins. Users got to see roughly
what each image was without clicking through to the site which allowed
them to find the image they needed much more quickly, and website owners
achieved a moderate click through
rate from people who were interested or intrigued enough by the
thumbnail to want to take a peek at the full sized image. Now, however,
that has all changed, with the focus being well and truly placed on
Google retention of traffic and their attempt to “provide a better search experience“.
By moving to display the full sized images within their SERPs, many
online marketers and webmasters believe that Google have overstepped a
couple of marks, both morally and, potentially, legally.
Think about it this way – if any other website copied an image from
your site which you own the copyrights to, you’d be firing off a DMCA
takedown request quicker than you could say ‘infringement’. And what
Google is now doing is no different to that. Except for in one major
You see, whereas any other website would copy the image, upload it to
their site and try to pass it off as their own, Google seem to have
decided that it would be a lot easier and cheaper for them if you could
host their copied images for them. So they now display your images
(which are being hosted on your server let’s not forget) directly to
their users, cutting you out of the process altogether."
This is just another case of Google overstepping its bounds and abusing its monopoly position in the market imo.
Read the entire article on JohnChow.com