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Does Linking to an Image Count as an Inbound Link?

     
11:41 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi chaps

If someone links to your site in the IMG "SRC" attribute, does this have any SE relevance as an "Inbound" link?

IE, would sites displaying this...

<IMG SRC=http://www.widgets.com/serveimage.php?image=9">

...provide a benefit to www.widgets.com in rankings?

Cheers,

Simsi

7:15 pm on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I too have been wondering the same thing, looking forward to an informed answer.
7:27 pm on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The image tag isn't a link so, unless you surround the image tag with an <a href=... then it isn't going to act like a link so the bots won't count it as a link. Plus, it's referencing an image not a page so, even if it was a link, there wouldn't be any page to give PR value to and images don't turn up in regular SERPs. I don't think it would do anything for image searches either as I think you would still have to make the image a link.
7:43 pm on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"...provide a benefit to www.widgets.com in rankings?"

As far as I can tell the only thing you are doing is stealing bandwidth. If I was www.widgets.com I would not be happy.

7:53 pm on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As seo_joe points out, images can't logically have any pagerank so there is most likely no effect in the main SERPs.

As for Google's image search, IMO there could be an effect. In fact probably not a good one, since the linking site could show up in the image SERPs for the host site's picture. You see this all the time.

10:43 am on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As far as I can tell the only thing you are doing is stealing bandwidth. If I was www.widgets.com I would not be happy

Actually its the other way round. I have developed a service providing images to people and am wondering whether to let them simply "save" the image created to use, or serve it (its less than 1k). The latter I would only really do if it gave me a backlink benefit, hence the question.

Also bear in mind, while it serves an image, the actual IMG SRC link people would use would be to a PHP script on the server that simply delivers the image.

[edited by: Simsi at 10:44 am (utc) on Dec. 13, 2006]

9:37 am on Dec 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The only effect the "src" tag has over SEs is that their spiders will follow the source (widgets.com) and thus help in spidering your site thus increasing the probability of being listed in the SEs.
4:26 pm on Dec 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They show up as backlinks in site explorer, so take it for what you will as i haven't done too much testing of this.
 

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