What has gone wrong with images now?

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  • #1091642

    mud4fun
    Member

    After having to re-insert all the pictures on the posts I did last weekend and all 30 odd pictures in my gallery so that I could change them to media file after the recent update I find today that they are all back to behaving as attachment pages.

    I have checked and all the images have been inserted as media files and yet I find that my page stats is showing dozens of entries for clicks on my pictures which I don’t want as it is messy and infuriating. I want them in my clicks stats.

    Now it is even worse because I have been informed that when people access my blog from google image searches they are being directed to a page with just a picture on it instead of my technical blog. They are not wordpress users and can’t see any obvious way to get to the technical blog so they have quit the site. I have double checked this and they are correct. Images that I know I loaded as media files and which used to show as larger images from a google picture search and when closed down would take the user into the technical blog that the picture was related too, are now taking them to the attachment page.

    As 90% of my visitors come from google image searches and they are not wordpress users this is causing them alot of hassle. My blog is there to provide good technical help to a small group of people. I am not interested in having a zillion hits from uninterested people, I’m looking for people to come to my blog and leave having felt they have learnt something or that they have answered a question they had and many of these users are not necessarily very IT literate so this attachment page issue is a major problem to me.

    I’m sure this was working yesterday and seems to have broken again as I checked some of these images myself and they were behaving correctly. Has a new ‘bug fix’ release been done that has now broken things again?

    If this issue remains for long then I’ll have to look at moving my blog somewhere else.

    The blog I need help with is mud4fun.wordpress.com.

    #1091769

    mud4fun
    Member

    I have created a post here that explains the issue and shows some screen shots that may help to explain why I have experienced a problem.

    http://mud4fun.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/home-pc-and-wordpress-media-uploader-problems/

    #1091773

    timethief
    Member

    Thanks for providing details I have tagged this thread for Staff. Please subscribe to the thread so you are notified when they respond.

    #1091801

    macmanx
    Staff

    This is actually normal. All uploaded media files have attachment pages, whether you link to them or not. It’s been that way for a few years.

    However, recently Google introduced a new Image Sitemap protocol, and in accordance with that protocol, we now include image attachment pages in your sitemap so you can get more traffic from Google Image Search.

    In short, the increase in individual image views aren’t coming from your blog. Rather, they are visiting your blog (probably for the first time) through Google Image Search.

    #1091805

    mud4fun
    Member

    macmanx, thanks for the reply but in this case that is not true.

    Several friends of mine and myself have been running the same searches regularly on google images and the same pictures on my site still appear in roughly the same place in their image search results and until this last weekend clicking on those pictures took you into my technical blogs. Since last weekend those image clicks are (randomly) taking you into the attachment page instead. They are also being recorded as page hits and giving an artificially high page stat result that is now completely useless to me. Many of my posts are very detailed technical posts, for example on how to rebuild a cylinder head, and contain many, many photos. I only want to count hits on the page itself not every image. It was fine as it was before with them recorded in the click stats. It seems more than coincidental that you upgraded your image handling software in the last week or so and at the same time I experience screwed up image stats and problems with google image searches directing into the wrong place.

    To further support this, today I have had about 20 stats recorded against image clicks on pictures that were only placed in a new gallery on tuesday and yet I have not had a single stat recorded against any of the hundreds of images loaded prior to last week.

    Anyway, I have had several visitors to my gallery today including a friend who I’d asked to visit to check something for me so I know full well that the ‘false’ page stats came from clicks on images in the new gallery as they tally up with what he looked at.

    I find it hard to believe this has anything to do with google. I suspect that WordPress has a problem with saving the ‘link to’ setting and is saving incorrect settings on our blogs or possibly just galleries? I wiped every photo out of my gallery the other day and re-inserted them all (about 30 pictures) and I made sure they were set as ‘media file’ before inserting them and yet every false page stat today has been generated from these images.

    If you are suggesting that this is now going to be normal behaviour then I’m very dissapointed. The attachment page is nonsensical to most people who arrive at it (other than wordpress users). I want my visitors to arrive directly into my technical blogs as they did previously. If that is no longer possible then I guess I’ll have to move my blog. Very sad. :-(

    Regards,

    Ian

    #1091806

    macmanx
    Staff

    Ah, now I understand what you’re describing. Yes, this is a permanent change.

    The carousel viewer opens to each image, which is basically the image attachment page styled in a slideshow format.

    #1091820

    mud4fun
    Member

    Oh no, such a shame as I loved the gallery feature as it looks great and is easy to use for visitors but I don’t want the image views recorded as page stats so I’ll have to remove the gallery :-(

    What is odd though, why, if this is how it works do we still have the option to choose media file in the ‘link to’ drop down when adding images to a gallery?

    #1091823

    justpi
    Member

    The “Link to” dropdown applies to individually inserted images, not to images inserted as a gallery. Galleries always had their own settings.

    #1091824

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    Link to Media File or Attachment Page still exists under the Gallery settings, but are only valid if you’ve turned off the Photo Carousel (under Settings>Media Settings) as the default viewer.

    Frankly though, if the site maps which are now submitted to search engines have changed to point to the image Attachment page, then I doubt it will make much difference in your Gallery settings if you choose Link to Media File.

    If it helps any, the Attachment page should have a link in it back to the post where the image was uploaded.

    #1091825

    mud4fun
    Member

    I have now deleted the gallery. In fact I created a brand new gallery with brand new uploaded images and had my wife view it and we have confirmed that simply scrolling through the carousel now generates a ‘page’ hit for every image viewed. This is ridiculous behaviour as for me I want the page stats to record unique visits to a page ie. The gallery. I do not want hundreds of ‘page’ stats recorded for every image viewed.

    Clearly for you to have made this change there must be many people who get a thrill from seeing huge and totally meaningless numbers on their page stats but I’m not one of them.

    I want to know, as best as possible, how many unique visits I get to a page and I want my summary page stats to give me a proper figure for page visits so I can work out what subjects are more appealing to my visitors and to see if my site has genuinely grown visitors etc. With this page attachment issue I’m going to have hundreds or even thousands of page hits showing over time that are not genuine page hits and it is not easy to filter the image views out from the weekly/monthly summary views.

    What is worse, again proven this morning with some more testing, is that images that had previously been loaded before the new image uploader and had been behaving fine as ‘media files’ have now also started to behave as attachment pages when clicked into view google image search. These are all images that I had also used in the gallery. So basically any image used in a gallery will ‘corrupt’ any other occurence of that same image elsewhere on the blog.

    I’ve spoken to quite a few other people now about this issue and I am not alone in my thoughts. Indeed the very person that originally recommended WordPress to me is now actively discouraging people. This to me seems a bad situation for WordPress and it could have so easily been avoided by giving users the option to control behaviour, to default the ‘link to’ drop down to existing behaviour rather than a new behaviour and to admit when you have bugs.

    I am a senior developer myself and even my own software has gone out with bugs so I fully understand that new releases don’t always go to plan. Bugs are not the issue here, as long as I know they are being fixed. What I find objectionable is WordPress appearing to fob people off instead of admitting that bugs exist or that design errors have been made. Honesty is the best policy as they say.

    As it stands I can work around these issues by not having a gallery and replacing every picture that has been corrupted with a freshly uploaded image inserted as media file. Alot of hassle and something that leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth.

    #1091826

    mud4fun
    Member

    I can also see evidence already that the attachment page issue is causing my visitors problems. I can now see that where a visitor came to my blog via a google image search and clicked on an image that was part of a long technical blog that may have been of interest to them, they instead were taken to the images attachment page. There is no hit on the actual technical page itself which suggests or even confirms my suspicion that the attachment page is silly and with no obvious way (for non wordpress users) to go into the technical post that the image was attached to,the visitor has left the site. This has happened consisently on many of the attachment page hits I’ve had over the last few days.

    From this image http://mud4fun.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/attachment_page-1.png you can see what the new attachment page looks like to a visitor of my blog. While many of us wordpress users will see the green text, which forms part of the image description at the top, as the link back to the technical blog it belonged to, I do not believe this is obvious enough for non wordpress users (90% of my traffic).

    In my case, many of my problems would be solved by two things:

    1) A redesign of the attchment page to show a much more prominent link somewhere below the main image stating ‘click here for full article’ etc.

    2) A user configurable option in my dashboard to include or exclude image views in my page stats. That way I could setup my blog to behave as close as possible to how it worked prior to the update.

    It is such a shame that WordPress did not spend a little more time thinking about the consequences of the changes to their users. Until last week I found WordPress to be a superb solution for my blog. Even though as a developer I’m more than capable of producing my own website, I found WordPress so easy to use and perfect for my needs I didn’t bother with my own site.

    Indeed I was just about to subscribe to the premium upgrade!

    However as WordPress has changed so that it no longer behaves as I would like it to I think it may be better to spend the money on my own hosted site than on the WordPress upgrade to this existing blog. Very sad really. I know I may be in a minority in the way I use my blog but for the sake of a few minor changes I’m surprised WordPress feels it can happily lose such bloggers.

    #1091827

    justpi
    Member

    @mud4fun: I don’t think it’s a case of “bugs” or “errors”; I think it’s quite intentional, because it helps WP brag like this (and use this to WP’s advantage):
    http://en.wordpress.com/stats/

    #1091830

    mud4fun
    Member

    LOL justpi, if I was cynical I may also be thinking that it won’t be doing any harm to the advertising revenue…..

    #1091834

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    If it helps any, the Attachment page should have a link in it back to the post where the image was uploaded.

    Let me rephrase that. The Attachment page *does* have a link in it back to the post where the image was uploaded.

    @mud4fun-Would you mind providing a link to the Attachment page where you noted the above behavior? Thanks.

    #1091837

    mud4fun
    Member

    Justjennifer, the link to the attachment page is in the comment that I posted above at 11:40am.

    There is NO obvious link back to the post that the image belongs to UNLESS you happen to be a wordpress user who knows how wordpress works which 90% of my visitors are not. Even as a developer I do not find it easy to see the link back to the post so I can fully understand why less IT or wordpress literate people also can’t fathom it out either. Stupid design. There needs to be a prominent link below the photo to direct the user into the post similar to the ones on tag searches that show a link for ‘read full post’ etc.

    #1091840

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    @mud4fun, Do you refer to the link to the screenshot above? Regardless, I found the link anyway and understand that you may not want to post it from the forums to avoid extra hits on that page. :)

    In that Attachment page screenshot, you’ll note that “Removing the summer firebricks” is highlighted in green. That’s a link back to the post where the image was uploaded.

    What you can do to direct your non-techie visitors to the post is to edit the image Description field in the Media Library and add a sentence like “click the link above to see the full article”.

    Perhaps this isn’t what you want to do, but I thought I’d throw that out there as an option.

    #1091841

    mud4fun
    Member

    oh Justjennifer, I guess you mean the link to the actual page rather than the screenshot I posted earlier?

    The actual page is here: http://mud4fun.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/removing-the-summer-firebricks/olympus-digital-camera-705/

    It was hit via a google text search on this phrase ‘rayburn SFW summer firebricks’ and the attachment page is the 1st result returned. I’ve just tested it. The actual technical post is the 2nd result.

    You just have to imagine yourself as a non wordpress user that has come to this site for the 1st time – how is it obvious to them that there is actually a proper article linked to this attachment page?? I can’t see any obvious signs at all. It just looks like they have come to a page with a photo on it and little else. They will not know that the image name in bold above includes a link to the original article.

    #1091842

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    Which is why I suggested adding the additional text in the image Description field. :)

    #1091843

    mud4fun
    Member

    In any case, I myself would not want to be taken to such pages when I do a search. I want to go directly to the article itself and that is how it used to work and work very well indeed. I see no benefit in the change at all. It just adds an extra step that people have to now go through to get to my articles which is hardly a benefit, I would say it was a detrimental step over what we had before.

    #1091844

    mud4fun
    Member

    “Which is why I suggested adding the additional text in the image Description field. :)”

    But why should I need to do that? It was working fine until WordPress broke it with a thoughtless design change. I have 1200 photos already loaded so while I appreciate your suggestion, that would means hours of work to go through the 100 odd posts and pages, remove all the photos and then re-insert with different descriptions!!

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