In the fall of 2011 I discovered that our page ranking a Google was
tanking. I started yipping at Ian and Penny trying to figure out
where the problem was. I tore the stats apart looking for the
problem and discovered it actually occurred in 2009 but was getting
The better we made the site, the more images and pages we added
the worse it got. Those of you with a website can relate, you
spend a few hundred hours developing new pages and everything gets
In that period we'd added thousands images and none were showing
up. We rebuilt the pages twice trying to fix the problem. In 2008
we had 3,000,000 unique visitors, in 2011 it had dropped to
1,500,000. At first we thought it was the recession, but the more
I ripped into the website the more I was convinced there was an
error that was not showing in the tests.
Then we started using Google image search to look for our images.
Real screwy. We've number one in Google search, but no images from
us in Google search. Everyone that stole our images was number one
on a regular basis, but our images were not there. Our images the
were used on poetry and cooking sites were beating our own
images for Ceanothus or Salvia. Humm? A Google contact told us
are only recourse was to file MCPA (Report alleged copyright
infringement) on each site for each image. We did, hundreds if not
thousands of them. It helped, but just a little.
We used to not worry about folks using our images, but Google and
Bing were putting the 'borrowed' images above ours and downgrading
both our pages and images. Now we have to
enforce the copyright
under the Creative Commons License.
The clincher was when I Binged Site:laspilitas.com jpg and only
got gif images back. We have about 3000 jpg images up on our site.
We fixed hours and hours of 'stuff' on the website, most you'll
never notice, but it appears to have worked.
Sorry, to be so serious, but it was.