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Neil Jones4,336 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
There is actually no requirement to follow a robots.txt instructions, though the vast majority of the robots/spiders that belong to the best known search engines do obey them. Those that go round harvesting email addresses to push Viagra and what not are an entirely different thing.

The problem is the thumbnails and the sources for the images in the Gallery are not stored on TV Forum, they're on third party hosting sites such as Metropol's upload site (but not exclusively), so it won't change the fact that Google Images has them cached even if the Gallery itself is blocked and Google could just go back to the original location of the posted images.

It may be better to do something like this to add, say, "this is a user mock" to the images, though how much load this would generate on the server I can't be sure as I think reading the documentation it would need to effectively host the images here at tvforum which could get cumbersome:
http://php.net/manual/en/image.examples-watermark.php

But of course if that happened, then it would be easier to just block that folder of the uploads from Google Images. So I don't think there is one straight forward solution here.
Steve in Pudsey9,202 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I'm not so sure - if you go to this results page https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&biw=1536&bih=732&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=yr5EWt5QhsnoBKrfvrAO&q=BBC+holding+slide&oq=BBC+holding+slide&gs_l=psy-ab.3...10523.10523.0.10845.1.1.0.0.0.0.108.108.0j1.1.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0....0.IIe3b67-Y8o the first result is one of my mocks. Mouse over it and it gives the source as TVF rather than where it is hosted.
Write that down in your copybook now.
Neil Jones4,336 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Ah, I see where you're coming from now. That's changed recently then, as it used to be that you would get the source of the image where it was hosted rather than the site it was posted to. However if you click on it and hover over "view image", you get the link to Metropol Upload where you've hosted it.

That being said, I'm still not sure whether robots.txt would cover that for Google Images, since Google keep "improving" things. Still a bit of a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation I feel.