Where To Find Traffic From Image Search In Google Analytics

finding visits from image search is like herding cats

Trying to rope up traffic from image search is like trying to nail jello to a tree. To keep us on our toes, Google moved its image search engine from images.google.com to google.com in May 2010, then apparently moved image search from referral reports to organic reports in July 2011. (You can keep abreast of all kinds of changes like this in my SEO Google calendar.)

*Hat tip to AJ Kohn for the discovering that image search moved to organic in July last year.

So I wrote off tracking visits from image search. But then I started noticing an uptick in traffic from image search from various search engines — across different clients and industries, as you can see from these screenshots:

rise and fall of image search traffic
Notice a pattern?

So I created a custom report to capture whatever we can from image search referrals. You can modify the report to fit your needs.

Note: I couldn’t find Bing in reports from any client profiles, even very large ones. So I reached out to Duane Forrester, who confirmed image search is enmeshed into organic, not referral traffic. So can’t segment it because there’s no referral path dimension in GA for organic sources. (If you didn’t understand that last sentence don’t worry about it.)

 Note on image credit: This image has been copied so many times I can’t find the image credit for the original image. If you are the image owner, contact me at annie(at)annielytics.com, and I will happily give you credit or remove the image.
Image update: It’s from this YouTube video. Hat tip to Paul Thompson for letting me know in the comments below!


    • says

      I’m not a fan of profile filters. Is it possible with the filters that are offered in custom reports? If you write a post on how to set that up w/ profile filters I’ll link to it from my post though b/c now you have me curious. :)

  1. says

    Hey Annie, it looks like Google Image search traffic is tanking as of late January 2013 for all the sites I manage. Perhaps Google Analytics is now tracking Google Image Search traffic differently now? Have you heard anything?

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