Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino in Singapore
I took this dramatic photo of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino as it looked at dusk from the nearby Esplanade. The lighting at this time of day perfectly complimented the Sands Sky Park crowning this contemporary structure.
Although I was certainly hoping to attract visitors to view this photo, I did not expect the amount of times it was taken from my website without attribution.
If you care to properly license the photograph please check out the pricing options via Getty Images.
When Google indexed this image on January 7th 2011, I was thrilled to discover that it was generating some pretty decent traffic; in fact, it became the most visited post on my site. On April 11th of that year, however, another site uploaded it from Google images onto their page without giving me a proper photo attribution. This action resulted in such a devastating drop in traffic to my site that by April 15th, I was down to zero viewers!
Luckily, this did not last long. Before I was able to wrap my head around what was happening and figure out a way to get Google to put my photo back in their index, the traffic picked up again on April 16th. I forgot about this situation for the moment — relieved that my traffic was back.
Unfortunately, this happened again during the summer of 2011. And this time, the traffic didn’t pick up again after one day. So, I did some investigating. When you type in some specific search keywords on Google Image’s url (such as ‘Marina Bay Sands hotel’), my original photo shows up between pages 2 and 10 — which is not too shabby for an amateur travel blogger like myself.
The problem is that the link and worse, the credit for my photo never comes to my page anymore. It goes to those other websites that copied it! And if that is not enough, some of these websites are pretty full of spam. In the age of Google Panda Updates where a website is supposed to get rewarded for adding original high-quality content, this is very ironic!
— Katja & Walter (@travel_memo) December 26, 2011
Here’s a new episode of the Google traffic riddle. As of December 14th 2012 my photograph sends significantly more traffic than the previous months. It can be found prominently via Google Images and obviously links properly to my blog post.
Love it, thanks Google!
And what’s neat of course, when I track down the hotel in Google+ it shows my photograph as an icon! I assume this is personalized, i.e. you probably get an another icon?
At the beginning I found my photograph on ‘dozens’ of other blogs and websites. In the meantime it takes Google Images eight pages to list all those copycats…
Many of those are wallpaper photo suppliers. Some put their own watermark on my photograph. How crazy is that?
And here’s my latest take of the spectacular hotel as featured in my new blog post.
Nope, I don’t think Google is doing a good job regarding image tracking 8-(