A WebmasterWorld thread has complaints from one Google Image Search expert who has always had success with ranking his images in Google's index. That is, until October. Then non of his images were ranking well.
To me, it sounds like an adult (safeSearch) filter. But I am sure he looked into that.
As many of you know I lost tens of thousands of images from Google at the beginning of October yet their actual pages retained their #1 SERPs rankings.
On Dec 8th 2010 I created a new Coppermine Gallery on one keyword domain name site, ALL of these pages have been spidered and in the regular SERPs, not one image from that site is in the image site: operator results, not even the company logo.gif.
I love Tedster's response. In short, Tedster said as a searcher, he loves the changes to Google Image search's index. Let me quote Tedster:
As an end user I noticed many changes this past year, and much for the better. I commonly use image search for inspiration - visual ideas for how to depict various concepts. this year, the results have become dramatically more useful to me, with irrelevant images much less common.
What I think may be happening is this. Even more than with the text search algo, Image Search crawling and indexing cares almost nothing for the webmaster. It's now almost totally focused on the end user. The fact that the site: operator is set up at all is almost an anomaly.
Do you agree? If so, what should an SEO do?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.