In a website, we have a JavaScript that opens an image when people click on the thumbnail, it seems like Google only indexes the thumbnail not the actual image with real dimensions, I was wondering if there is a way to tell Google where the actual image is and guide Google on what images to pick for images.google.com

Any thoughts on that?

  • 1
    Does the thumbnail actually link directly to the image? Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


You can try creating an image sitemap http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=178636

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
  • further, if you don't want google to index the thumbnail at all - and only index the real picture you can use 301 redirect (from the thumbnail to the real* picture): stackoverflow.com/questions/9322454/…
    – Nir Alfasi
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 17:48
  • @alfasin: The StackOverflow question you link to is about redirecting all www requests to non-www - which is quite different. What do users see when thumbnails are redirected to the larger image? Or do you intend to only target the Googlebot?!
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 16:43
  • @w3d the link only shows an example of usage of redirect 301 which can be used not only for redirecting www to non-www. When you use 301 redirect google will index the target - not the source.
    – Nir Alfasi
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 20:03
  • 1
    @alfasin: But if you simply 301 redirect then no-one can see the thumbnail. If you specifically check for the Googlebot (and other search engines) then this is a form of cloaking which could count against you. So I'm wondering whether this could be a risky practise?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 20:50
  • @w3d You're right, a better practice will be to use "Demote sitelink URL" feature in Google Webmasters.
    – Nir Alfasi
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 2:39

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