This is perhaps a really junior question but I am really curious to learn what the answer might be. :-)
I noticed in my logs that I was getting a lot of referrals from one page of a corporate blog. I checked out the page and found that they are linking directly to a few images from my site.
As I was writing my "stop stealing my images" email to the site owner, I started to wonder. The images are relatively generic, so my site is not being hurt by the images being on another site. And they are small and not getting a crazy amount of hits, so the bandwidth they're using is negligible.
Is there any benefit at all in just leaving it alone and allowing my URL to remain in their code? It's not a link users can follow, but it is a link. Or is it bad to leave that out there - strictly from a SE standpoint? Or does it not make a difference?