Support » Plugin: Imaguard » Images are falling out of google images (timestamp?)

  • So looking through log files it doesn’t appear google or any search engine I’ve whitelisted has had any problems with indexing images, but when pages are recrawled, the images are grabbed with a timestamp. If you do a image search and switch to basic version at the bottom of the page you get image count and can track what is happening. Immediately, it appears the image that was in google images drops and at some point the timestamped image gets added in its place. New images from new stories are getting indexed quickly with the timestamp, but existing images are falling out much more quickly than the new ones get added.

    Now if it cycles through once and everything going forward is indexed with a timestamp, that could be okay, but each time a page is crawled I assume the image with a new timestamp will be grabbed, so this churn could potentially keep most images out of the index, since the images fall out faster than the newly stamped images are put back in.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Plugin Author imaguard



    Google is supposed to disregard http GET instructions on image files. If they don’t please drop us an email with some links to so that we can look into it and adapt the plugin accordingly.

    Same here it seems, less and less images are in the index, i use imaguard since 6 days now.

    Plugin Author imaguard


    Just posting this received on email so that all users may benefit:

    I tried this:

    From: $content =
    “$1$2?timestamp=”.time(), $content);
    To: $content =
    preg_replace(“!(<*?img.+?src.+?[\”‘])(.+?\.(jpg|jpeg))!is”, “$1$2”,

    but the non stamped images don’t display, empty “x” box.

    Most likely you have successfully removed the timestamp and you are not seeing the image as you have a HTML file cached as the image (you have visited the image redirect). That is why we are using timestamps to force the image to reload. Try to clear you browser cache completely and open the page again without loading any of the redirect images first and it should display correctly.

    The problem is basically that certain browsers disregard cache instructions in the image header and therefore will cache image files (watermarked or redirects) even if instructed by the file itself not to do so. That is why we added the timestamp.

    Google is not supposed to store GET instructions (anything after ?) in image files. Does anyone have any examples of images listed in Google with such URLs? If so, please post here or email us. This is the same technique used by all existing image redirect scrips, including the apparently famous…

    I tried that change again removing the timestamp, and images load locally fine, but coming in from google they are broken. Only upon a refresh the image loads. I remember trying this a while back and using the image file name to redirect to a wordpress search with the image filename being the search string, and it would go to the page that had the image, but the image would be broken because the hotlink protected referrer displayed it as broken.

    Plugin Author imaguard


    I’m suspecting it is a cache issue. Send me a link to a google search and I will test it out (

    Plugin Author imaguard


    A suggestion, by the way, if you are concerned about Google indexing. You can always alter your htaccess file just to run Imaguard for some images. You would also have to fiddle a bit around with this bit in imaguard’s index file

    $content = preg_replace(“!(<*?img.+?src.+?[\”‘])(.+?\.(jpg|jpeg))!is”, “$1$2?timestamp=”.time(), $content);

    You can set it to add timestamp for images either only containing certain words (use regex) or just add multiple $content replace for specific image names. Do the same in you htaccess file changing it to

    RewriteRule ^(.*)image1\.(jpg|png|jpeg|gif)$ /show-image/?img=/$1.$2 [R=301,NC,L]

    etc. That way you run Imaguard for 1 or a few images and you can keep checking google and comparing those image performance with those of your other images.

    Considering adding something like this for next version, but I am a bit pressed for time at the moment.

    Plugin Author imaguard


    Received an email and looking into it. Just off the top of my head, we can probably make next version so that timestamp is not added for whitelisted referrers/agents, so that Googlebot will not see the timestamp.

    Meanwhile, you may want to experiment as indicated above. That way you can run a split-test and see the exact ranking results of Imaguard protected images, compared to non protected images. I’m available for assistance with changing the files mentioned above (though going offline now for the night).

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • The topic ‘Images are falling out of google images (timestamp?)’ is closed to new replies.