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Images from stock photo sellers - do duplicate images devalue page?

 3:56 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I quite often buy photos from 'stock photo' companies to use on our website, but I've recently noticed that these images are often already indexed in google (i.e. the actual images from the stock photo sites, not the same photos that have been bought by someone else).

While I'm not interested in whether the images themselves get indexed on our site, since I've given up on google images traffic, I am slightly concerned that having a 'duplicate image' on a page might devalue the page itself - ie duplicate image might make the page count as duplicate (the written content is high quality and unique).

Any opinions would be very welcome, thanks



 4:39 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

ie duplicate image might make the page count as duplicate (the written content is high quality and unique).

I doubt it, I am the originator of thousands of images yet I seem to be the only one penalised at times!

G's images are a mess right now, they've got worse and worse the past two years however since you're not bothered about ranking for the images and you have uniqure content you should be fine ... caveat as always, depending on what kind of mood G so happens to be:-)


 5:35 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you are worried about this you could just make changes to your stock photos. I like to crop stock photos so they have consistent sizes or rotate the images so it better fits into my page layouts. I also rename the files to include keywords (not so much for seo but so I know what the image is when I am in ftp).


 6:13 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Images from stock photo sellers - do duplicate images devalue page?

ie duplicate image might make the page count as duplicate

It depends..
One "dupe" image amongst 5 or 6 etc, original images ..No..it won't make your page look like a "dupe"..

One "dupe" image..on a page where it is the only image..even if the other content ( text ) is your "own original work"..won't hurt much, if at all..as long as the image is not the most important/ dominant part of your page..

A page with 5 or 6 images..of which 3 or more are "dupes"..won't score as well as the above cases..

Search engines now allow uploads of images so that searchers/image owners can find "dupes" and "IP infringing image users"..so search engines have "dupe" finding tech..which they obviously can, and do use, themselves..

search engines had this "tech" for along long time before they said they did, and then made it publicly available..they did not develop it for "no reason"..nor "out of the goodness of their hearts"..

Because they do not "de-rank", or "penalise" "big name sites" who use "dupe" or "other peoples images"..does not mean that they will/may not penalise smaller webmasters by a few positions..

Even if you have bought the rights to use them from a "stock photo seller"..of course "stock photo sellers" will tell you different..they'd love to sell you and everyone else, the use of the same photo ( for which they originally pay very little, or low rates of "commission" to the actual photographers )..they would never say.. "using what everyone else uses may harm your page"..a lot like "big tobacco" used to say that "smoking was "unproven" to cause harm"..


 7:12 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am slightly concerned that having a 'duplicate image' on a page might devalue the page itself

I dunno if it makes any difference in Google; I tend to think not because even some of the highest ranking brand sites use a lot of stock photography.

But it might make a difference to your users; I know I find it offputting when I see the same customer service girl with a headset or corporate shaking hands pictures or any of those cliche ones across many sites.


 6:00 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the responses, which are roughly as I understood the current state of affairs. The images don't represent a significant part of the site and aren't generally images that anyone else has bought so fingers-crossed that won't be a problem.

Incidentally I do usually 'tweak' the images for colour, size, sharpness, filename etc but I'm pretty sure google can tell it's the same picture unless the changes are quite substantial.

And yes, many of our own photos we have taken ourselves are nowhere to be found in google images whereas stolen copies on other sites are much easier to find...

Very occasionally I buy several photos on a particular subject (site is travel related) and create a 'gallery' page from them, in the hope that users 'facebook like' the page rather than with the intention that the page gets ranked directly, but our number of pages like that is extremely small and I always add a few sentences of text as well, but perhaps I'll stop creating that type of page...


 5:01 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I buy a lot of stock photos and images for use in web ads, but in every case the image is edited or cropped so it will never be the same image.

So I doubt if they can ever be related to their originals, at least not by machine code.


 5:31 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can test that by going to G images search page.click on the camera in the search box and upload your images..see if G finds dupes or similar..if they do..then logic dictates ( and so does my experience ) their "backend " processes / algos result upon finding dupe or similar images, is the same as if they found the same or similar text to yours on other websites..


 10:04 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I tested [G] and found that some partial matches were made, but only where the duplicated section of the image was most unique. On other searches it merely found other images of the same colour and weight, ie: a line drawing (plan) returned a few other line drawings that were not related.

But I did find some wallies using my icons on their blogs.

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