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Does PR flow to linked images?

9:44 am on Sep 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Say I have 2 page site

A) Home
B) Article

On the home page I have several images that I have converted to thumbnails to improve the user experience (load time) but I use lite box that links each thumbnail to a larger version when clicked. (again to improve the user experience with an extra option)

Will the page rank flow from the home page directly to the linked images and dilute the PR that would otherwise flow to page B?

If so what happens to the PR then as the linked images donít link to any other pages on my site so I assume the PR vanishes?

I donít want to get into a whole debate about why I shouldnít worry about PR as Iím simple trying to understand what happens.

I assume based on common sense the PR vanishes when linking to an image much like it does with a nofollow and that the PR page B receives is diluted because of the links to images from my home page, is that right?
10:33 am on Sept 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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When you link to an image, it does pass PageRank to that image URL. I know this because it is a good technique to get images ranking in Google Image Search. You can show the thumbnail in the page, but link to the full sized image. That way the full sized image gets just as much juice as if it were used directly in the page, but it will rank better than the thumbnail because it is bigger and better quality.

When you link to an image that PageRank will vanish according to Google's 1999 PageRank algorithm. The same way that it would if you linked externally, used nofollow, or linked to a page disallowed by robots.txt.

In practice, links that drop PageRank don't hurt sites. I've worked with sites where only about 20% of the links on the page actually pass PageRank to other pages on the site. I've never seen ranking problems because of this. Reducing the number of links that drop PageRank on the site doesn't improve rankings (I've tried).

Clearly, Google is doing something more sophisticated now than their 1999 PageRank algorithm. My theory is that they calculate a "internal PageRank" for each page on your site based only on your internal links. Then they scale that based on your site reputation (external PageRank). When you drop PageRank, it only effects the internal rank which will get scaled back up to appropriate levels by the second pass external rank.
11:42 am on Sept 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thank you deadsea, your thoughts and experience is very helpful!

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