Where are these referrers coming from?
November 18, 2005 6:45 AM   Subscribe

In the past few months visits to my Web sites have increased quite a bit. I'd like to think it is my savy style of witty writing but I doubt it.

I'm getting an exorbitant number of visits from Google Images to the blog post I made using that image. It's not that someone is bandwidth stealing. It appears that people are somehow finding this image (which isn't anything special) and then viewing the actual blog post.

It's been consistent for at least four weeks. Lots of my images are showing up on Google (I understand that part) but then the people viewing them appear to then be going to my permalinked post on which that image resides from that Google Images page.

Is this some sort of nafarious referrer scam? If not, I'd like to know where the sudden interest in my stuff is coming from (using Google and other sites to do a link search is not showing sites that either use the image or link to my site). Friends are reporting similar behavior on their sites.

Here's an example of the referring URL:

posted by Taken Outtacontext to Technology (12 answers total)
The image you used in that post shows up on the second page of Google Image search for the word "gift":

posted by funambulist at 6:58 AM on November 18, 2005

And number one for "gift giving". Maybe it's just the Christmas spirit? But what's on your friends' sites?
posted by chrismear at 7:00 AM on November 18, 2005

Your image shows up on page two of a Google image search for the word "gift." Anybody who clicks on the image simultaneously brings up that page of yours. As far as I can see, that's all that's happening: It's the holiday season, people are doing image searches (for whatever reason) on the word "gift," and yours is one of the top results.

On preview, what the faster fingers said.
posted by Gator at 7:03 AM on November 18, 2005

Yup! Welcome to the wonderful world of being highly ranked on google.

You should see some of the bizarre searches that bring up my music related website. For a long time, our #1 google search referral was: whale penis ... Strangely, the forum post it linked to didn't even contain the word "whale"... someone did randomly say penis though.
posted by twiggy at 7:12 AM on November 18, 2005

Ha! That's true. I'm not used to my stuff being highly ranked. Is THAT all it is? -grin
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:39 AM on November 18, 2005

Taken: I made the mistake of having a silly ad in our magazine about nude women. The mistake I made with it was giving the file the name "nudewoman.jpg," the alt tag "nude woman" and associated text beneath talking about nude women. I swear my traffic was up to 10,000 unique visits a month for three months.

Even after changing the file name and alt tag they still kept, um, coming. So when I started exceeding my bandwidth limit, I took it down because I didn't want to pay for people to spank it and not read the magazine.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:18 AM on November 18, 2005

I'm getting ~ 100,000 weekly visitors on my blog now, and a big chunk of them come from Google Image (and from Google proper)
posted by growabrain at 8:52 AM on November 18, 2005

100,000 a week?! Nice (nice blog too).
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 8:58 AM on November 18, 2005

I posted a picture of my eye on my blog. Since it was named "eye.jpg" it was easy for Google to figure out what it was, and as a result I ended up on page two of a Google search for "eye." That had a marked impact on my traffic.

I think this is why Google makes so much money...
posted by teece at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2005

That reminds me of the time I wrote a rant called "The Dave Winer Big Ego Awards" but had originally titled it "I have a Dig Dick Awards". After renaming the article I forgot to change the title attribute on the HTML page. After a few weeks, I was getting hundreds of referrals a day from Google for people searching for 'big dick.'
posted by camworld at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2005

Have you considered monetizing all those new page views. AdSense on 100K page views a week on a gift related page would probably could buy a couple of nice dinners out a month, even discounting the fact that people are just there because of your image.
posted by Good Brain at 1:09 PM on November 18, 2005

I used to get loads of traffic via Google Images, but nowadays exclude images from search engines. Judging from the log files, people doing image searches just wanted to download/hotlink the images and weren't interested in the rest of the page, so I decided I'd rather not attract the traffic.
posted by malevolent at 2:44 PM on November 18, 2005

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