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Image Indexing When Images Are on Subdomain

Will Google index images and other static content from a subdomain?



9:27 pm on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi. I hope you'll bear with what I'm sure is an extremely naive question or two. I recently uploaded virtually all my images to a subdomain - so the images are housed at images.mydomain.com as well as mydomain.com/images, and I have about 50% of the images being pulled from the subdomain and the other 50% from the subfolder.

My two questions are:
1) Do I need to submit a sitemap for the subdomain in order for these images to get indexed or will they simply be 'found' along with the crawling of the web pages? In other words, will Google (or other search engines) follow the subdomain image url and index the image without further interference from me?

2) If/when the images are indexed, will a person conducting an image search still have the option to visit the web page where the image appears, or will they be shown simply the image, all by itself, on an otherwise blank page?

I have a smallish website that, as of this writing is only partially indexed, but the few images already indexed account for a good portion of the minimal traffic I'm receiving thus far. I don't want to shoot myself in the foot any more than I already have.

I know this isn't the most coherent of explanations but I'm hoping that after the laughter has died down, one of you extremely knowledgeable individuals can jump into the Way Back Machine, dial it back to the time when you didn't know your .htaccess from your robots.txt, and understand the questions I'm attempting to ask.

And thanks to you all. I've been lurking here for awhile and I don't understand half of what's discussed but I've learned a ton of things nevertheless. Every last one of you has been a tremendous resource for me already.


10:50 am on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

hi snivelbec,

actually you are asking some really good questions.

i have had best results with image search when i host the images in a subfolder instead of a subdirectory.

you should not need to submit sitemap. why not? if you are getting great traffic from image search, why not use all the tools available to you? i would go ahead and submit a sitemap. i would also make sure to focus on backlinks for the entire website.

i know you say you are getting a good portion of your traffic from image search. do you know if that is good traffic that is converting? most websites i work on, the traffic from image search is very poor in quality. of course that depends on what industry you are targeting. just be careful that you are not simply chasing after traffic but instead chasing after profits.


8:46 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thank you so much for your help. Actually relocation of images from a subfolder to a subdomain was my attempt to appease Google Page Speed, and it indeed increased the Page Speed percentage score from 90% to 95% but frankly, as far as I can tell, the page hasn't sped up from the user-end of things. The page doesn't load faster, just differently. My uneducated guess says that's because using the subdomain as I've done (same shared hosting, same server) just amounts to a 'smoke and mirrors' trick that somehow appeases Google Page Speed. I'm probably way off on that assumption but the bottom line is the page doesn't load any faster when you're sitting at your keyboard, waiting.

You're absolutely right about the sitemap. If I keep the images on the subdomain, it surely can't hurt to have a big red arrow (in the form of a sitemap) telling Google where to find 'em.

With respect to image search: I'm not sure yet exactly how to track conversions made via image search results. The site is heavy on images, though (it's a jewelry site targeted to a fairly specific style of jewelry) and it's my assumption that if someone types in, say, 'butterfly necklace' for example, odds are they're at least needing to browse for a butterfly necklace for whatever reason. And to my way of thinking, 'browsers' means 'potential buyers.' It's not like anyone's going to type in 'butterfly necklace' because they're sitting around, bored. I like vintage Bakelite bracelets, but I don't search for any unless I'm in the market to buy. And so I think indexed images are important. But again, I've been at this a whole six months and a lot of my assumptions have been spot-on wrong.

Thank you again for your assistance, and for your patience with my questions.


12:01 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

google page speed is still in beta. in other words it is not perfect and is prone to reporting errors.

you could use google analytics (or any other analytics program) to track what visitors are coming from google images and if they result in a sale. the jewelry industry is more inclined to image search. dont forget there are many people who will search for butterfly necklace because they are looking to steal an image for a blog post or something similar.

good luck

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