Images are comprehended more easily than written text, and Google Images are a major source to visually discover and explore content online. For instance, a picture of a peacock will be comprehended faster than the text P-E-A-C-O-C-K. Hence, exploring an image can be more useful than exploring text content. The Google Image referrer URL is a part of HTTP header. When a user clicks a hyperlink in a browser and the browser sends a request to the server holding the destination webpage.
The request includes the referrer field, indicating the last page the user was on.
Updating the Referral Source
To simplify how Google Images play a role in driving site traffic, Google Analytics has introduced a new referrer URL specific to Google Images over the next few months. Google warns about the referrer URL change, that will be implemented over a couple of months. The new referrer URL is: https://images.google.com. If you use Google Analytics to track site data, the new referral URL will be automatically ingested and traffic will be attributed to Google Images appropriately. Just to be clear, this change will not affect the Search Console. Google will continue to receive an aggregate list of top search queries that drive traffic to their site.
To explain the phenomenon, Google explains in its blog “The new referer URL has the same country code top level domain (ccTLD) as the URL used for searching on Google Images. In practice, this means that most visitors worldwide come from images.google.com. That’s because last year, we made a change so that google.com becomes the default choice for searchers worldwide. However, some users may still choose to go directly to a country specific service, such as google.co.uk for the UK. For this use case, the referer uses that country TLD (for example, images.google.co.uk).”
Apart from that, Google Search Console will remain unaffected by the change. Google Analytics is already prepared for the change and needs no amends on the user’s end.