According to a Slashdot story, Google's image index is quite a bit out of date. Chris DiBona himself responded on behalf of Sergey, saying:

In short, There is no censorship here. We are embarassed that our image index is not updated as frequently as it should be. Expect a refresh in the near future. In the meantime, you can just search on Google Web Search for [abu graib photos] [abu graib photos] [] to get plenty of what you are looking for.

Well, Sergey, do I have a deal for you!

Remember back in the days when Yahoo was one of your biggest customers? You know, paying to let our users use your search technology and content?

Why not bring that back? I could probably put you in touch with someone in business development at Yahoo's Image Search (where they have over a billion images indexed) to discuss a similar arrangement.

You don't have to act fast or anything. Take some time. Think about it. What would be best for your users--the folks looking for a fresh and comprehensive image search?

No pressure. Really. I don't even work in sales.

Posted by jzawodn at November 07, 2004 09:33 PM

Reader Comments
# Rick Faaberg said:

I have to agree that Google really dropped the ball on this one. It must be embarrassing to have all this attention and have to admit "no conspiracy, just hoping no one would notice how stagnant the results are". I've used Google Image Search a lot and I'm not sure why I haven't given up on them already after so many broken images.

on November 7, 2004 10:47 PM
# Moose said:

Perhaps Y! has that large a database of indexed images because they don't obey "noimageindex" value of robots meta tag on individual pages, or is it perhaps because once the content is indexed, Y! does not allow to remove it? As a member of the unimportant unwashed masses I've tried robots.txt, I have tried meta tags on each page, I went to the help section, to only read that Y! will not honor individual requests for removal; I have tried htaccess blocks, and then in desperation I've tried removing everything.

Nothing changed. All images are still indexed, the description of my site main page dates from 2001 or earlier.

I have no rights as a site owner as far as Y! is concerned. The images are perhaps the best illustration of this state of the matter. Y! image index grows, but it is not because people allowed it to grow. That's how it looks from my small corner of the web.

Google, on the other hand, a service I dislike to some extent, does not index my images, and never did, because it has - you know what it does have - a special image indexer. And look at this baby:

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

It works. it has always worked. How can someone not respect them? I prefer this sort of attitude than a large index with images indexed against my (and presumably others') will.


A Miserable Nobody

on November 7, 2004 11:08 PM
# Joe said:

Uh, if your htaccess block didn't work then you don't know what you are doing since that is completely server-side and doesn't rely on the crawler needing to do anything.

on November 8, 2004 06:49 AM
# Moose said:

I assure you I do. Blocking the crawler for almost a year had no impact on what remained in the index. Not that I care about the quality of the index with respect to my site. I had several years to observe, and to experiment.

on November 8, 2004 07:44 AM
# Seun Ossewa said:

The .htaccess block didn't work because it was applied after Yahoo had already picked up the images. I don't think Google has any _technical_ problem with indexing images; I believe they just haven't treated it with as much seriousness as the web search.

on November 10, 2004 01:22 AM
# Jack said:

Yes, there are alternatives to google's image search. Such as

on January 19, 2006 09:39 PM
# Mahesh Kanniah said:

Strange. Neither does google index our images hosted at it does however index site content and the site has a PR of 4 still no image indexing ?

on March 3, 2006 08:56 AM
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