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Google Updates Image Traffic Medium in Google Analytics

Anna Lewis

by Anna Lewis on 29th July 2011

Image search in analytics ´╗┐In another update by Google this week, they have surreptitiously changed the way that traffic from image search is reported. Part way through the month, with no explanation or warning, visits to your site from Google Images are now being reported under the medium of Search Engines, when before they were classed as Referrals.

This update is likely to affect your reporting if you have a number of visits from image searches, so you will need to take this into account when looking at your recent data and making any comparisons.

A working custom segment for image visits prior to the update clearly shows the change:
Image search in analytics

This was segmented by Medium > Referral AND Referral Path > Matches Regular Expression > ^(/imgres|/images/view|/images/search)

This covered Google, Yahoo and Bing image results. However, now there is not a clear method of segmenting your image traffic from your organic traffic. Not being able to segment this kind of data is going to be quite a bugbear for people, so hopefully a method will become apparent soon.

On the plus side of this change, from an SEO point of view, if you optimise your images then the traffic from these will now be rightfully associated with Search Engines.

Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis

Our resident analytics specialist is Anna Lewis. Anna is unbelievably attuned to anything analytical and can fill you in on all the latest news, tips and advice to get ahead in this evolving market.

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