Should You Host Images On Your Domain or Flickr For Best Traffic Potential?

Feb 23, 2011 • 8:49 am | comments (17) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Images LogoA WebmasterWorld thread has a new conversation around an old SEO topic, where should you host your images for the best potential traffic to your site?

There are two basic options:

(1) Host them on your own domain


(2) Host them on a popular image sharing site like Flickr

For years, years, I have been hosting the images from this site on Flickr. Why? Well, initially it ranked incredibly well for images and sent lots and lots of traffic. Plus it even, at one point, didn't have nofollows on links, so you had nice link juice from a relevant powerful domain. I would say most of these reasons are no longer valid. An image on your domain can rank just as well as Flickr and you can get the immediate traffic to your site, as opposed to Flickr's site.

But what about using Flickr to save money on bandwidth and for the convenient tools? Well, that is your call - but it might be worth looking into CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) to reduce your bandwidth costs and then maybe find some other tools to do your image touch ups.

Yesterday, I finally made the switch on this site to host images on this domain. I explained how I did it exactly on RustyBrick on a post named Using Amazon S3 Without SEO Issues. In short, I upload images to Amazon S3, I mapped the bucket I have on S3 to using a CNAME and built a quick image cropping and resizing tool for this site. It seems to be working very well.

Here is a screen shot of an image from this site showing in Google News, leading to more clicks and more traffic.

images in Google News

I know I should have done this a long time, but breaking bad habits is never easy.

Do you disagree?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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