Did you notice a steep decline in your traffic from Google Image Search? You are not alone, it was due to a design change in some localized versions of the search engine.
Recently, we’ve noticed complaints from webmasters that their image search traffic from Google has dropped significantly, specifically from countries like Germany, France and other countries outside of the US. The traffic drop is due to Google releasing the 2013 version of the Google Images design to more countries over the past couple of weeks.
When Google made the change in the United States over three years ago, webmasters saw more than a 60 percent drop in traffic from Google Image search. The same thing is happening now in the new countries that Google pushed out this design to recently.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that they have “recently rolled out the updated UI for Image Search to some other countries.”
Google would not tell us which countries specifically, nor would they tell us why they rolled it out over three years after the US rollout.
What we do know is that in 2013, Google sent us this comment when responding to webmaster complaints of traffic loss:
As we’ve noted before, there are no more phantom visits and actual CTR to webmaster pages, i.e. real traffic, is up 25%, so real visits are up. As you know, we doubled the way users can reach the host website.