On July 17, Google announced a change to the referrer URL sent by Google Image search.  The referrer URL is the way web analytics software tracks the source of a click to your website originates from.  Before the change, it was hard for webmaster and marketers to understand and segment out Google Image search referrers over other Google Search traffic.  Google, in order to make it easier, changed the referrer URL to https://images.google.com.

“The referrer URL is part of the HTTP header, and indicates the last page the user was on and clicked to visit the destination webpage,” Google explained.  With this change to https://images.google.com, web analytics packages, as well as those that build custom analytics are able to better understand what traffic is coming to their site from Google Image search.  This change had been seen ahead of time by Google Analytics and prepared for, so you won’t have to do anything on your end if you’re using Google Analytics.  Not only that, Google Search Console reports aren’t affected by this.

Google said, “We want you to be prepared for this change,” but Google did not specify an exact cutover date for this change. Google said this is rolling out “over the next few months.”

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