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2A02:AA16:9200:1800:1C8A:8249:48BC:102B (talkcontribs)


I have been running two MediaWiki Sites for a long time without problems. In the summer I made a redesign with small changes in the MediaWiki code.

Problem: No single pictures are more in the Google-Images search available. (Checked via

More specifically, every Image via [[File:filename.extension|options|caption]] are not available in the search results. I testet it: other Images included via html code <img src="image.jpg"> are crawled and are show in image search, but every "[[File:filename..." not.

I also checked my robots.txt and .htaccess file, everything looks good and nothing is locked. (Webmaster Tools)

I remember that in the summer I only add meta robots to the File-Site (/wiki/File:Example.jpg): <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" /> via $wgNamespaceRobotPolicies = array ( NS_FILE => 'noindex,follow', );

But now, I removed it and it is still not crawled by Google but 'with it works. Really strange.

What can it be that no Image included via MediaWiki Syntax is searchable, on both MediaWikis? The Article Page is crawled fine, but the images in de article are not visible in the search engine.

thanks Marta

MediaWiki: 1.15.0 PHP: 5.6.29 MySQL: 5.5.53

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2A02:AA16:9200:1800:1C8A:8249:48BC:102B (talkcontribs)

Correct formatting: "More specifically, every Image via File:filename.extension|options|caption are not available in the search results. "

2A02:AA16:9200:1800:BC06:5961:AD41:D7D7 (talkcontribs)

Mhh, the last days I tested it also without MediaWiki Image Syntax and in different ways, example: I included the test-image directly with only // but without success or with html code in another different image directory.

The new test-site is the index, but without images :/

Can anyone explain me this that?


2A02:AA16:9200:1800:BC9C:695F:1E63:D932 (talkcontribs)

Hi, its me again. Has nobody an idea?


This, that and the other (talkcontribs)

Can you provide a link to your site?

Ciencia Al Poder (talkcontribs)

Note that search engines may take time (days or weeks) to update their indices.

2A02:AA16:9200:1800:5082:A72D:BCA8:287 (talkcontribs)

@This, that and the other @Ciencia Al Poder

I'd rather not say it public, because it's a private family page.

So, I tested it these days with different settings and with these settings it works and the images appears in the google image search index: √ = works, X = don't work

  • √ an Image on the root folder or another own folder like "myimages"
  • √ using a 301 redirect image html code: src="http://www.xy. /mytestreditectimagefolder/w/images/3/32/image.png to the original file in http://xy. /w/wiki/images/3/32/image.png

  • X standard wiki image syntax
  • X in robots.txt allow User-Agent: Googlebot-Image
  • X not a single url like http://xy. /w/File:myimage.png is in the normal index (has no meta robots)
  • X created a manual image <image:loc> sitemap (5 Submitted, 2 Indexed)

I tested various urls and submitted it also via google webmastertoos fetch, submit via Search Console and via mobile-friendly-test.

My current robots.txt looks like: --- User-agent: * Allow: /w/File: Allow: /w/wiki/images/

User-agent: * Disallow: /w/MediaWiki Disallow: /w/Extension ---


  • I have the feeling that ALL the pictures with the MediaWiki-Syntax suddenly disappeared form Google since last summer
  • Images in are in the index
  • Images on the Subdomain (blog= another hosting provider) are also in de index.
  • Never had an error (Fetch and render or blocked files in Webmastertools)
  • Same Problem with two differents MediaWikis (1.15.1 & 1.15.0) on 2 differents domains
  • Never had an Image Problem, 6 months ago every things worked fine

So to this day, Not a single picture via: File:example.jpg|frame|caption is in the Index.

Best regards Marta

2A02:AA16:9200:1800:F153:C35B:E14D:8B4B (talkcontribs)

*So, I have waited a few days and the problem is still there.


Can a deactivation of the PHP Version 5.4 & 5.5 last year be responsible for the problem, that none images from the directory '''"w/images" via Mediawiki Syntax in appears the Google Image Index'''?


but '''''', '''''' and ''''' they show the images.

Ciencia Al Poder (talkcontribs)

You said in the first post made a redesign with small changes in the MediaWiki code. Maybe that's the reason it doesn't work anymore?

2A02:AA16:9200:1800:C79:6098:3D06:749F (talkcontribs)

@ Ciencia Al Poder

I do not think because at the first redesign (larger Mediawiki) the images were indexed (September/October) despite changes. The other Mediawki (smaller one) had no change in the Skin-Template and still no pictures in the index.

The Second Mediawiki has also an other "Mediawiki-Files" directory ss the first with many more photos.


Ciencia Al Poder (talkcontribs)

If no changes were made, you may try contacting google since that's probably their issue. MediaWiki 1.15 is not supported so you may want to upgrade. (talkcontribs)

Hello again,

Now I'm testing it in different ways for two months without solving the problem.

All images in the directory /wiki/images/ with MediaWiki-image-syntax are not are not visible in Google Images (via
🚫 [[File:filename.extension]]
🚫 Site /File:XY.png are not in the index, only URLS with Filetype: PDF are showing
🚫 also with html code <img src="xy.gif" alt="Smiley face"> doesen't work
✅ Images in other (test) directories can be seen in the search
✅ Images included directly like works & are visible by Google
✅ NO errors in Google Webmaster-Tools (robots.txt, sitemap.xml...)
✅ <meta name="robots" content="index, follow">
✅ images are displayed on Bing search
✅ SAME problem with the Google engine with a second Mediawiki (1.15.1 & 1.15.0), both websites have a good ranking

So Why google does not show my pictures? (Can I have a "Google Penalty" i ONLY the MediaWiki image directory wiki/images)?

Best regards


This, that and the other (talkcontribs)

It's unlikely that anyone here can help you unless you link to the site in question. If you choose not to do that, I think it is fairly unreasonable to expect others to guess at what the matter is with your site.

2A02:AA16:9200:E80:582B:A0A0:85F6:F7B6 (talkcontribs)

@This, that and the other
@Ciencia Al Poder

I guess you are right to a certain degree, but technically, the issue is plain:

all pictures in MediaWiki upload directory (/wiki/images/a/b/cd.gif|png|jpeg) are not indexed on Google Images (

that's all.

As a compromise: I found a few old MediaWikis with similar Google index problems:

  • NO Image: any file formats in Google's index but .pdf, .txt, .doc...
    • Demo Site 1
    • Demo Site 2
  • NO File description page in the index (File:):
    • Demo Site 3 (
    • Demo Site 4 (

Hopefully someone can solve this error


Ciencia Al Poder (talkcontribs)

Other MediaWiki sites may choose in the google webmasters tools to not index those pages.

Demo Site 2 display a lot of images in image search. Demo site 1 doesn't, but file description pages contains extra lines before the first line of HTML, so I guess google has some issues indexing that site properly, or it finds the site irrelevant...

No idea about 3 and 4. Did you got a reply from google forums?

2A02:AA16:9200:E80:447E:3001:14A9:FFF4 (talkcontribs)

@Ciencia Al Poder, mhh, yes very confusing :/

The odd thing about it, suddenly the images (and File description page) are on both sides no longer in the index (only by the MediaWiki image directory)

Ps. No, I have the problem not yet published in the google forum

Can I over-list google?

Like change the /wiki/images/ URLs to /common/images/, because the htaccess 301 redirection with test pictures works,

Ciencia Al Poder (talkcontribs)

You may have more luck asking in a google-related forum, because there's no problem displaying images in MediaWiki and nobody has yet raised where in MediaWiki is the problem. We do not know how google decides if a page or image is worth indexing or not so it would be most reasonable to ask them first, and come here when you got an actionable response (something that needs to be changed in MediaWiki)

2A02:AA16:9200:E80:E15A:E832:4CF5:AFA8 (talkcontribs)

@Ciencia Al Poder, OK I will create the topic in a Google-related forum.

I would additionally make a last test:

What is the best way to move the image directory? (step by step)

I would like to see what happens, when the files are saved in a new /upload/thumb/0/0b/XY.png/500px-XY.png instead of /images/thumb/0/0b/XY.png/500px-XY.png directory, because as I see it, Google has only a problem with a direct link to the directory /wiki/images/.

Remember, a redirect image-file from a new url like /image-test/xy.jpg to the original Mediawiki upload directory /wiki/images/0/0a/xy.jpg works.

Ciencia Al Poder (talkcontribs)
2A02:AA16:9200:E80:89B:85E8:7F6B:B05D (talkcontribs)

Hi, it works!

I don't know why, but Google has indexed since the summer every image – just like that.

I haven't made any changes. The images are all in the Google-Image index :)