How do I interpret Google image searches that lead people to my blog?
May 28, 2009 7:49 PM   Subscribe

How do I interpret Google image searches that lead people to my blog?

I have a couple of little blogs, and since they both mostly feature images, people often get to them via Google's image search. I'm using the free Sitemeter stat counter and the referring urls look like this:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_zD76GyK9Tjo/SbHZPvfpGKI/AAAAAAAAAiY/nNCFTM_EcMQ/s400/freakshow2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://fantasy-ink.blogspot.com/2009/03/wrightson-completionist-part-3.html&usg=__dpmVBHsQTFixJ6Gvuk6B0ns_B1U=&h

When I click on that I get the blog page with the Google image search frame above. Is there any way to tell from this what the people were actually searching for when they got to that page?

Not that big a deal, just curious.
posted by marxchivist to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I believe that information is purposely obfuscated specifically to prevent the privacy violation that it would represent if you could figure it out.
posted by davejay at 8:09 PM on May 28, 2009


I don't think so, davejay. I remember back when I had typepad, I could always tell what people were searching for in images that landed them on my blog. I'll see if I can't remember how that was.
posted by messylissa at 8:16 PM on May 28, 2009


Also meant to add, you can always tell what the general Google search terms are, davejay, so it's not really a privacy violation issue. It's just a matter of being routed through the image bar thumbnail.
posted by messylissa at 8:21 PM on May 28, 2009


I don't think the URL above has any search term information in it; URLs in my Apache logs have a "prev" variable (let's see if this works) --

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.infomercantile.com/images/thumb/7/78/Loral-f-19.jpg/220px-Loral-f-19.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.infomercantile.com/-/Northrop-Loral_F-19A_Specter&usg=__SVQZpxuuH3MSmkvH3qkSy4agweY=&h=86&w=220&sz=12&hl=en&start=115&tbnid=0UfNSv_eEq7wfM:&tbnh=42&tbnw=107&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dconcept%2Baircraft%26gbv %3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D100

The "prev" variable (bolded) has a url_encoded string which includes the standard "q" variable, which has the search terms in it.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:28 PM on May 28, 2009


Good question. I had wondered whether the search words were gathered among the 'recent came from' or 'keyword analysis' in Statcounter but I don't think so. With your example I can pull up your first blog pic as first result from 'wrightson freakshow' but I don't know how to turn up the second pic which is the actual image found by the searcher from the link you've provided. Interesting too is the fact that you have empty alt tags and no title tags so presumably the spider is working off only the text on the page. In other words, I have nothing to offer on the topic but I had been thinking of sending you this even before seeing this post, so I hope it's of some minor consolation.
posted by peacay at 10:45 PM on May 28, 2009


Thanks peacay, I'd love to share that with all my colleagues, but I'd probably get sued by somebody. Maybe I'll share it with just a couple of them.
posted by marxchivist at 5:25 AM on May 29, 2009


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