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Linking to images hosted elsewhere...

Good, bad or otherwise?

     
1:37 pm on Jun 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A partner of ours has provided content that we can include on our site. This includes urls of images hosted on their site that we can include on our pages.

There's a lot of content - so we would end up having lots of images on our site that are hosted on the partners site.

Does this have any drawbacks with regard to search engines? Would hosting copies of the images locally be better? Should I use htaccess?

3:03 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Unless you want image search bots to be able to index the images on your site there should be no problems with the search engines at all.

If the partner doesn't have any objection to you hotlinking to the images on its server -- and using the bandwidth that goes with it -- it can save overhead on your server (just look at the properties for any image on this page to see how Brett handles it), and this can be important for a high traffic site with a lot of images.

You should also consider your partner's server performance. Are many other sites pulling images from the partner's server? Does it impact the load time of your pages? Etc., etc.

3:33 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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thanks jimbeetle

My main concern was with regard to search engines. If things start to slow down I'll see about getting a copy of the images.

10:41 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Other things to consider are.
1) The images will not load if their site goes down.
2) They will be able to tell what traffic you are getting on your site by looking at their logs for those hotlinked images.
3:56 am on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a policy of downloading all images that will be shown on my site to my own website. I have old sites where I have not had this policy and they are littered with broken images.
8:24 am on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone.

I've already came across several urls pointing to images that no longer actually exist. I will probably ask for a copy of the images and host locally.