smithaa02 - 5:51 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)
You have to split this issue in two...image in the template and images in the 'editorial area'. The latter is a good thing and does absolutely help with SEO to some degree and in some circumstances.
It's the new machine learning algo's of why this works now IMO... Machine algo's tell google that spam sites tend not to invest in rich media (images/videos/pdfs) because they are lazy and like to mass product their work. The more effort and work you put into your website the more likely you are to escape hidden tendencies/profiles the machine learning algo's associate with spam sites and the better you'll do.