I started this blog about 18 months ago and in that time my amazing talents as a photographer / blogger have resulted in an explosion of visitors which sometimes reaches double figures in a day. Yup, up to 10 people a day find their way to this little corner of the internet (and I’m fairly sure one of those is my mam 🙂 ), most of whom it seems are interested in my photograph of the the Iconic Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough.
I don’t really know what makes this one stand out from all the others. All I do know is (at time of writing this post), google kindly displays it amongst the top 3 images when anyone searches for “Transporter Bridge“. How do I know this? Well, I use statcounter as a means to track visitors to the site. Its free and it gives me a clue as to what is popular and what is not. It also can tell me when people download images from the site.
Using the ‘Download Activity’ tab inside statcounter gives me a list which shows me the dates and times my images have been downloaded. Now since my images are displayed here under a creative commons license I am granting my permission for them to be used, but I do ask that people credit me as the photographer if they do so. Surprisingly though, the number of credits I have received vs the number of apparent downloads doesn’t really correlate. So one day I decided to try and find out what might be happening to all the copies of the image that have so far been downloaded and stumbled upon a rather simple mechanism to keep track of where my photographs are being used on the internet.
If you visit images.google.com you are presented with a bog standard google search box, which, as you are no doubt aware, allows you to search google’s image archive for “cats that look like hitler“, amongst other things. But what you may not know is that if you click on the little camera icon (highlighted in yellow), you get additional options:
Here you can search for uses of a specific image by simply pasting in the URL. When I did this I found my transporter bridge image has in fact been used in quite a few places ranging from innocuous uses such as twitter profile pictures through to the banner image of an established website (this search even picked up the image being used within a youtube video, now how does that work?). I have been able to contact a couple of the users and ask for a credit and they have been happy to oblige, so it has been a useful exercise and since the image is still being downloaded on a daily basis, one which I will keep repeating, if only to keep myself occupied until the next reader comes along.
Hope you find this useful 🙂