Google Images Keyword Tracking – Google releases changes to its referrer

July 20th, 2010 | General 3 comments

Since December 2007 it is possible to add new search engines to Google Analytics by adding this snippet to your Tracking-Code:

pageTracker._addOrganic(“images.google.com”,”q”);
pageTracker._addOrganic(“news.google.com”,”q”);

With the new Google Layout – that had its worldwide release on the 05.05.2010Google changed the referers of all vertical search engines.

Screenshot of  Googles new layout on 05.05.2010

Screenshot of Googles new layout on 05.05.2010

After the new Layout was released we had a lot of customers who said: “We think we have a penalty on Google Image Search but the traffic in total is still stable”.

 

loss of traffic for images.google.com between 04.05. and 06.05.2010

loss of traffic for images.google.com between 04.05. and 06.05.2010

 

If you take a closer look at the referer google.com you can see that there was a slight increase in traffic between the 04.05. and 06.05.2010. The increase of the traffic from google.com is caused by the new Image Search Referer http://www.google.com/imgres instead of http://images.google.com/imgres

 

increase of traffic from the referer google.com

increase of traffic from the referer google.com between 04.05. and 06.05.2010

 

The problem for SEO is that the old _addOrganic-Function is not working anymore. To fix this issue you can use a regular expression for parsing the referer.

 

New Image Tracking Code for Google Analytics:

    try {
        var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXXXXX-X");
        var ref = document.referrer;
        if (ref.search(/www.google/) != -1 && ref.search(/prev/) != -1) {

            var regex = new RegExp("www.google.([^\/]+).*&prev=([^&]+)");
            var match = regex.exec(ref);
            pageTracker._clearOrganic();
            pageTracker._setReferrerOverride("http://images.google." + match[1]
            + unescape(match[2]));
            pageTracker._addOrganic("images.google." + match[1], "q");

        }
        pageTracker._trackPageview();
    } catch (err) {}

After installing this snippet on your website you will be able to see all keywords from Google Image SERPs by clicking on the new simulated search engine images.google.com (organic).

new organic search engines after installing the image kw tracking snippet

new organic search engines after installing the image kw tracking snippet

Have Fun!

Author: Simon

Who’s writing this stuff? My name is Marcus Tober and I’m the founder of Searchmetrics. Because we really love to analyze every kind of online data, we can give you more insights than any other company in SEO, SEM and Social Media. It’s not a job, it’s passion. You can find me also on Google+ .
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Comments (3)

Comments (3)

  1. 2012/04/12

    Greatblog.thumbs up for posting.

  2. trc
    2012/07/15

    Right now it seems like Expression Engine is the best blogging
    platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  3. 2012/08/03

    Ridiculous story there. What occurred after? Thanks!

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