I'm trying to adjust my site:
1. stop Image Hot-links
2. block Googlebot-Image (because I do not want my images to be searchable)
3. allow Google's Instant Previews

I've tried this but the Instant Previews still do not show my images. (I really do not want to start blocking/allowing by user-agent.) Has anybody achieved it ?


RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(favicon.ico)
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !(mydomain.com|google.)
RewriteRule .(jpe?g|gif|png)$ - [F]


User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

User-agent: *
Disallow: /phpcart/


2 Answers 2


From the Instant Previews FAQ, it looks like you need to change your method of blocking image search indexing:

In order for images to be embedded in previews, it is important that they are not disallowed by your robots.txt file. In order to block crawlable images from being indexed, you can use the "noindex" x-robots-tag HTTP header element.

...and here's a blog post with a couple ways to implement that.


If Google Instant Previews is not working for your website, you can test it at Google's Webmaster Tools website. Basically, your website must allow access to Googlebot and Instant Previews's user-agents.

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