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Do Image Paths Affect Google SERPs?

8:49 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone had any experience with their SERPs being effected if they change their image paths to an external source? for example...

If www.example.com's image paths were originally "www.example.com/images/bluewidgetpic.jpg" and then, after implementing a new CMS maybe, got changed to "http://media.example-2.com"

Thanks for the advice everyone... much appreciated!

- Saxman

[edited by: tedster at 8:58 pm (utc) on Mar 18, 2010]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it can never be owned [/edit]

9:53 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A really interesting question, and an issue I had to think about a couple of years ago. I had been concerned that it would have a negative effect on SERP position when I started referencing images from an external source for some of my smaller websites. In reality, I found no problem at all, but my sites were well established.

I would imagine it would have a very slight negative effect, so for example if you were launching a new site, it might be a bit troublesome. But if the site already has enough 'juice' to counteract the negative effects, everything should be fine.

I'd be interested to hear your experience if and when you implement this.
8:50 am on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting a bit of deja vu here... this type of discussion has been up before.

At the end of the day it comes down to: how does google treat the src=

As far as I know (and the tests that I have heard of) Google will not look at the src= URL and use it for ranking or discovery. However, I could be wrong there.
2:54 pm on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A couple points to consider:

1. Google's Page Speed tool suggests hosting images on a different domain to make better use of multi-threaded HTTP connections in the browser.

2. Google is a major proponent of "the cloud", and storing images on a dedicated server is right along those lines.

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