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Author Topic: Google Images - We Are SO Screwed  (Read 11568 times)

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suwanneeredhead

  • O.I.D. Sufferer (Obsessive Illustration Disorder)
« on: January 31, 2013, 18:32 »
0
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2013/01/faster-image-search.html

PLEASE correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that ALL of my images are now appearing on the Google Images search AT FULL RESOLUTION without watermarks, for ANYONE to right-click and steal!  The blog post above says "you can view exif data" -- well most of mine have had their exif data stripped out -- doesn't that render the images "orphans" for anyone to use with abandon?

What are we to do about this?  I realize everyone's minds are on iStock and its Google escapades, but this is WAY worse if they do it to ALL of us regardless of agency!  And why are the images showing up without watermarks or exif data?

Search your name, you'll find them.

I am extremely distressed, please someone, put my mind at ease and tell me this is not so.

Stacey


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 18:59 »
0

suwanneeredhead

  • O.I.D. Sufferer (Obsessive Illustration Disorder)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 19:00 »
0
Thanks for the redirect, I had not seen that!

« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 19:25 »
0
Most of my images are watermarked from Shutterstock or Stockfresh, but I did find a couple of my best sellers at large sizes, unwatermarked. People buy them (I'm hoping) and post large sizes on their blogs, etc., paying no attention to the licenses. I think that's why they show up that way. It has to stop.

« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 21:13 »
0
Most of my images are watermarked from Shutterstock or Stockfresh, but I did find a couple of my best sellers at large sizes, unwatermarked. People buy them (I'm hoping) and post large sizes on their blogs, etc., paying no attention to the licenses. I think that's why they show up that way. It has to stop.

I have a very large client and a few years ago I visited its head marketing director regarding a project we had in the works.

I overheard him tell a new hire in the marketing department that they wanted the entire department to use google images to find large public domain images to use in company marketing documents vs the Istock account they had in place when ever possible.  The new hire asked how he would know if the images were public domain and to my astonishment he told him that all images shown in google images were fair game.

The VP had been around for years... working at a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company with approximately 44,000 sales employees (excluding affiliates).  He has to be aware that the majority of those images are not public domain.  I think they count on not being found out because most of their marketing material goes to select targeted clients.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 21:19 by gbalex »

« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 21:42 »
0
I object to the title of this thread. On the contrary, it is Getty who will be screwed eventually. It's just going to take a little more time.


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 21:45 »
+2
Huh? What does Getty have to do with this thread?

« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 22:30 »
0
Lots of my images show up from Dreamstime, at around 400 px.   They have the DT watermark, although it's inadequate - it's on the extreme lower right corner and not nearly large enough.  Some of the photos are isolations so the watermark doesn't even touch the subject. 

« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 01:21 »
0
I did a little experiment the othe night and went through he top sellers on Vetta,  Dreamstime, and a few others and was able to find many top sellers online in large sizes/ So the problem was around much long before the Getty/Google problem. The Google image search just made it easier for thieves to find these images

« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 10:44 »
0
I had a look for some of my stuff out of curiousity.  I noticed lots of watermaked images from top 4 with 400px resolution on long side.  BUT, there are tons from 123 @ 1200px which is another reason to dump them.

« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 11:00 »
0
These agencies might as well quit offering XS sales since they're letting Google just give them away.

« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 11:41 »
0
The curious thing is that the search option linked to those image displays rarely seems to list the stock agencies as a source (except for 123). Have they opted out of a link to Google? I don't know if that would be a good thing or a bad thing.

« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 12:09 »
+1
I have the feeling that something big is going on and Istock/ getty and google is involved and they know what they do.
I just cannot figure out what it is, but it feels like they are trying to change the rules on the playground.

They give away images.
They make changes in searches.

It is obvious that it hurts us contributors, but they dont care about that, which means that the contributors and the agencies interests are not the same.
That should tell us something.

Normally the purpose of dumping goods is to gain market shares and force the competitors out of the market.
So they dump us, the creators of content, its apparent that  they couldnt care less ( see the closed phoneline and the forums on istock, not to mention all the secretiveness in most of the agencies). It must be because the yhave enough content and new doesnt really matter.
This attitude goes for Istock and 123.
Shutter has a different approach and seems to care more for their contributors, - or need them more.

Maybe we are ventureing into the age of microstock 2.2 where digital data is only meaningfull in a context or an application that has a certain number of end users.

Meaning, our pictures are worth nothing, if they are not found in a context, where they are used.
Shutterstocks collections and marketing methods as well as th istock/ google deal suggests this.

I think there is a whole new monster beginning to play on the playground, but I dont know what type of monster it is.
Im just sharing my thoughts. And I know they are not very clearly expressed, so I hope some clever guys and girls can elaborate from here.

« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 18:45 »
0
I had an interesting conversation today with our SEO guy (I'll call him Fred) at work. I work on e-commerce sites, web designing, loading products, etc. Fred was asking us web doods if we had made any changes to categories, because he has been noticing a significant drop in our organic search results from about Feb. 5th through the 15th. He could not pinpoint a cause, so of course the first people to blame is us.  ::) Anyway, I related to him that that was just about the time when Google made the change in their image search. I wasn't sure if it was relevant, but as we talked, we discovered that it might be. If you notice now, also in searches, they might place image results a few slots down, mixed amid the regular search listings, whereas before they were always at the top. Let's say our company listing for a product came up second or third in the search, but now a competitor made some changes in images. That means image search results might show in the third slot, which might bump us down to fourth or fifth.

Anyway, just thought I would share our discussion. I know we talked here about how these searches are affecting the agency's traffic. I see a HUGE difference in my sales at SS this month...I will be lucky to make payout. Since tomorrow is the last day, I may not. That's about half of what I have been making the last few months.

Maybe it's related to Google, maybe not. Could be the usual ebb and flow, but...

edit: I just did a random search on "candy". After the 7th listing, there was a row of relevant images. A couple more down, there was a news article thrown in. Another search showed a big block of images on the right of the listings (not sure how that affects traffic, though). Anyway, food for thought.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 18:48 by cclapper »


« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2013, 19:28 »
+6
I had an interesting conversation today with our SEO guy (I'll call him Fred) at work. I work on e-commerce sites, web designing, loading products, etc. Fred was asking us web doods if we had made any changes to categories, because he has been noticing a significant drop in our organic search results from about Feb. 5th through the 15th. He could not pinpoint a cause, so of course the first people to blame is us.  ::) Anyway, I related to him that that was just about the time when Google made the change in their image search.

It also took me a while to figure that out, despite the fact that I knew about the change... First I was worried about the effects a bit, but we actually benefited from it. Our sales weren't affected negatively and there's considerably less pressure on the servers without all that "fake" traffic.

The key takeaway from this is that people WILL buy the images if they can and if they know they have to, but you have to let them know by watermarking all the images you intend to sell on your own website. There shouldn't be any unwatermarked images on Google search from agencies except for the teasers on their front pages. If there are, they are doing something wrong.

It would be great however if we could provide Google with some HTML based data about the legal status and price of the images because I think that vague disclaimer stating that the image might be protected is not quite useful enough.

« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 19:45 »
+1
I had an interesting conversation today with our SEO guy (I'll call him Fred) at work. I work on e-commerce sites, web designing, loading products, etc. Fred was asking us web doods if we had made any changes to categories, because he has been noticing a significant drop in our organic search results from about Feb. 5th through the 15th. He could not pinpoint a cause, so of course the first people to blame is us.  ::) Anyway, I related to him that that was just about the time when Google made the change in their image search.

It also took me a while to figure that out, despite the fact that I knew about the change... First I was worried about the effects a bit, but we actually benefited from it. Our sales weren't affected negatively and there's considerably less pressure on the servers without all that "fake" traffic.

The key takeaway from this is that people WILL buy the images if they can and if they know they have to, but you have to let them know by watermarking all the images you intend to sell on your own website. There shouldn't be any unwatermarked images on Google search from agencies except for the teasers on their front pages. If there are, they are doing something wrong.

It would be great however if we could provide Google with some HTML based data about the legal status and price of the images because I think that vague disclaimer stating that the image might be protected is not quite useful enough.

Good to hear sales weren't negatively impacted. I've actually experienced the same thing. Traffic is about half from Google, but sales are strong. Hopefully, it continues not to be a problem for sales. It does kind of screw up all the stats tracking I've done for the last year or two. I might as well just start over with the new numbers (if this is going to be the new norm).


Poncke

« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 19:55 »
-1
BME at SS

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2013, 20:01 »
0
What I've noticed this month about Shutterstock is that the ODs and SODs have really dropped off. I know this is a short month, but in January I had $200 in ODs and $120 in SODs, this month it is $173 and $17. As I understand it, the SODs are the ones that people can just come in from a search and buy the image - suggests that people with accounts at SS still buy, but the ones who are buying as they see the image they need have dropped through the floor - $120 to $17 is quite a change.

Anyone else notice a lack of SODs on Shutterstock?

Steve

« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 20:04 »
+1
What I've noticed this month about Shutterstock is that the ODs and SODs have really dropped off. I know this is a short month, but in January I had $200 in ODs and $120 in SODs, this month it is $173 and $17. As I understand it, the SODs are the ones that people can just come in from a search and buy the image - suggests that people with accounts at SS still buy, but the ones who are buying as they see the image they need have dropped through the floor - $120 to $17 is quite a change.

Anyone else notice a lack of SODs on Shutterstock?

Steve

Yes, we have noticed the same. This month is quite poor on SS, although subs are about the same. IS is up though  :) Maybe being friends of Google has helped them ;)

« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2013, 20:16 »
0
I've noticed the same thing - subs are very strong but ODs and SODs are about half of last month.  I thought it was just variation from a small port but if others are noticing the same thing then maybe it indicates a change.

« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2013, 20:17 »
0
January AND February have been slow for me on SS  :(. But I don't see any drop in ODs and SODs percentage of total between the two month (or compared to 2012)  8).

« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2013, 20:43 »
0

It also took me a while to figure that out, despite the fact that I knew about the change... First I was worried about the effects a bit, but we actually benefited from it. Our sales weren't affected negatively and there's considerably less pressure on the servers without all that "fake" traffic.

The key takeaway from this is that people WILL buy the images if they can and if they know they have to, but you have to let them know by watermarking all the images you intend to sell on your own website. There shouldn't be any unwatermarked images on Google search from agencies except for the teasers on their front pages. If there are, they are doing something wrong.

It would be great however if we could provide Google with some HTML based data about the legal status and price of the images because I think that vague disclaimer stating that the image might be protected is not quite useful enough.


I dont think our sales have been negatively affected at all either, which is a good thing, but since seo is freds responsibility, he is puzzled by the drop and looking for an explanation.


I agree about the disclaimer not being enough...but i have noticed in my image searches that agency images all seem to be showing up with watermarks and when you click Original Image its a small size with a watermark. I hope they do something to start protecting large size images coming from people who dont know any better.

« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2013, 20:48 »
0
yes lower OD and SOD

« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 01:02 »
0
a friend of mine is redesigning his company web site and sent me an email, all the images were stolen using google image and the keyword "shutterstock business office" and most of them are available high-res !

besides, he will embed them in the web site using CSS instead of HTML tags and protect them from scraping blocking search-engine spiders accessing the whole "/images" directory with .htaccess

nobody will ever catch him.


 

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