Google Analytics Should Consider Google Images a Search Engine


One of my top referrers on virtually all my web sites is Google Image Search. Google Image Search typically is in the top five referrers for most of my web sites. And it is likely one of the top referrers for your web sites. The issue is, Google Analytics doesn't consider Google Image Search a search engine.

A Google Analytics Help thread has a request from a webmaster or two that they would love to see which keywords trigger the referrers from Google Image Search. In response to that, Googler, Christelle said it is not possible as the default set up. Christelle said:

You won't get the keyword information because is not treated as a search engine by default.

Why is Google Image Search not treated as a search engine? Isn't Google Image Search one of the most used Google properties, just behind YouTube and maybe Gmail? I cannot tell you how I wish I had the keyword reports broken down under the Google Image Search engine. I bet there is a way to set up advanced reports to make this happen, but why shouldn't Google treat Image Search as a search engine. Isn't it a search engine?

Take the poll below and let me know if you want Google Analytics to treat Google Image search as a search engine:

Forum discussion at Google Analytics Help.

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Gavin Smith

03/11/2009 01:35 pm

If you go to the logo says "Image Search". It would be highly useful if Google treated it like other search engines and allowed us to see a breakdown of the terms driving this traffic.

KJ Rodgers

03/11/2009 01:46 pm

Absolutely. The image search is where I and everyone I know goes to find pictures.


03/11/2009 02:37 pm

If you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to get Image universal search placements, then you're gonna get tons of referrals from Very frustrating - when checking my top referring sites I have to filter out anything containing 'google'.

Claire Jennings

03/13/2009 08:57 am

I don't really see the point. The images found in the image search are someone elses anyway. Fair enough if you are using it for research. But Google needs has to rely on Alt tags, and these days there are so many spammers, that the alt tags are always keyword heavy, and don't always say what the image is. Unless they somehow base it on the content surrounding the photo. It has to come a long way.

No Name

04/23/2009 03:17 pm

You can track the keywords from Google image hits by adding a few lines of java to your tracking code. It's explained here: Claire: The images are on your site so it is interesting to know what keyword is bringing visitors in. For example you might even want to exclude certain visitors if they are a bandwidth drain and not relevant to your page. If you knew that a google image search for "growing flowers" was bringing 12,000 avid gardening visitors a day to a page about floral fabric patterns due to an alt tag on your fabric photo, you could change the alt tag to a better description and those visits would eventually stop.

No Name

06/24/2009 07:16 am

It's such a shame that Google provides virtually no support about this. Look at this thread: Google employees are non existant! anyway - I'll try the solution at yoast...


10/29/2009 10:24 am

We started using expo-max analytics instead of GA. Works well for image search and we have over 7 million pageviews/mo.


11/18/2009 03:12 am

I was just sent a email from expo-MAX Analytics asking me to load there code I am a bit wary as I don't want ot expose my site unneccessarly. I too see lots of traffic from G and Ytube but knowing what SE and what keyword phrase, how would I leverage that to get more more traffic or back links is what I would like to know?


11/25/2009 12:07 pm

Can anyone tell me if they rate expo-max analytics? I too got an email from them, signed up and NOTHING cant even access and naturally when I tried to contact them I have heard nothing after numerous emails - its been over a week.


12/03/2009 10:33 pm

I've talked to the guy alex at expomax and he was very helpful, i'm using their code on 3 of my sites. cheers

No Name

12/07/2009 03:13 pm

I am also trying to find out they to know the keyword and at last disappointed reading this from google.


03/23/2010 05:07 am

i get a lot of traffic from image src often from related keywords. i even take it into consideration when building new pages


10/13/2010 05:19 am

Looks like they have now made this change. However it has stuffed up my stats as I get terrible conversion rate on images


10/25/2010 09:04 am

i didnt get the point. its calld gogle images isnt? so cant we get some pictures to our sites fron there? and what about the keyword thing?

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