How to measure traffic from Google Images

This is a quite simple way to measure effectively traffic from Google Images search engine. Unfortunately it does not work for images appearing at universal search but worth it.

You might argue that traffic from images is low. Take a look at this old article where I found some sites having up to 12% of the total traffic from images, not bad eh?

Obviously some webs rely more of this type of media that others but even when the percentage is low, the data you get is interesting because it helps a lot to understand how the work you did to SEO optimize your images for search engines is performing.

How to

Just add this simple line to your Google Analytics tracking code

_gaq.push(['_addOrganic', 'google', 'q', true, 'google images', '/imgres?']);

something like

<script type="text/javascript">
  var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-0000000-1']);
  _gaq.push(['_addOrganic', 'google', 'q', true, 'google images', '/imgres?']);

Here you will find the parameters of _addOrganic() explained. Well, they only explain 3 parameters but that implementation adds five. Why they are not described? Who knows, maybe at Google they thought they are self-explanatory.

What do I get from that?

First of all you get that traffic labeled properly as source 'google images' what lets you more accuracy in the numbers as you are now able to segment it.

Secondly you get the keywords users queried the engine. Apparently there aren't (not provided) here so you get 100% of them which is fabulous.

keywords used at Google Images

You also get the landing pages where visitor headed after clicking at one of your images in the SERPs.

landing pages from Google Images

Exporting data directly from Google Analytics to Excel and a bit of the magic that pivot tables add, insights pop up right away.

Of course there you have the rest of metrics you usually get like Visits, Revenue, Conversions, Pages / Visit, Avg. Visit Duration, Bounce Rate, and such. Did you say Revenue? Yes, take a look.

Conversions and Revenue from Google Images

It won't make you reach but it pays for some good diner. There are sectors where having good images is important.

tracking Google Images

Traffic from images might drive some revenue but it surely helps assisting conversions as you can see below if you implement that simple line onto your tracking code.

Google Images assist conversions

The more you segment the more you know.

OK but what about the image bringing traffic?

One of the parameters coming in the referral string is the exact path to the image matching the query:


With a bit of patience and a filter you could capture that extra info in a User Defined Value but I'll let you deal with that if you don't mind.

Enjoy it!

Sep 21, 2012
Written by:
Filed under: Technical Analytics

Sep 21, 2012
Posted by:
JaspalX #1

Nice, thanks Ani. I'll be using this.

Don't suppose you'd be kind enough to share how you found those five parameters vs. the three the Googlers provide?

Sep 21, 2012
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #2

Welcome Jas.
I don't remember exactly but it has been out there for a while now as you can see here Sometimes there is more information outside the documentation provided by Google, you just have to google it :)

Sep 21, 2012
Posted by:
JaspalX #3

Well, new to me anyway, so thanks for posting it.

Oct 02, 2012
Posted by:
Dabyth #4

Hi, Ani
It seems that we're trying to solve similar problems through different roads.
In my last post you can find a way to measure images appearing at Universal Search: Analítica en Google News y otras zarandajas

Dec 03, 2012

Hola Ani. Muchas gracias por el aporte.

Despues de pegar el código que propones ha aparecido una nueva fuente en organic "google images" pero lo curioso es que el tráfico referal no ha disminuido.

Sigo obteniendo un trafico en referral que cuyo Referal Path sigue siendo /imgres.

Sabes si debemos añadir la sentencia _addIgnoredRef? O Analytics excluirá automáticamente ese referal?

Según tengo entendido es imposible que una visita esté atribuida a dos medios a la vez. Pero algo no me cuadra.

Muchas gracias y un saludo!

Dec 03, 2012
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #6

Hola Javier
Ten en cuenta que esta manera de hacerlo solo mide el tráfico cuando la búsqueda arranca en Google Images.

Si arranca del buscador normal, por decirlo así, pueden aparecer imágenes en los resultados universales y es en ese caso cuando te sigue apareciendo como /imgres en referral sources.

No has de hacer nada en concreto, simplemente no hay solución que cubra ambos casos.


Jan 31, 2013

Hi, you can just create a new segment: including "referral path" dimension and containting "/imgres" and that's all... Now you can identify all of the traffic for google image search :)

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