Stock Images – Do They Change SEO Results?

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SEO in Houston

Research has shown that a well-built, optimized website that has a few carefully placed photos relevant to the topic can add to a good user experience. Being able to take great photos is a plus; however, it is something that most web designers don’t worry about as expert photography is a skill of its own which makes it more common to rely on stock photography. There has been a recent concern that stock photography would negatively affect SEO in Houston and elsewhere; recently Google has stated this is not the case.

The Stock Images Controversy

There does not appear to be any outright indication that using purchased or “rented” images to enhance a website creates a direct negative effect on Houston SEO, it is definitely something to consider.

  • Duplicate Content – Remembering the fact that search engines can detect – and pay no reward to – duplicate content, is it something that users of stock photography need to avoid? Some popular images can easily be seen on many different websites. Will this affect website SEO?  No, but it can certainly affect how well users like the website.
  • Quality – Do stock images decrease website quality? It is important to be selective about quality. Always select the right size image for how it will be used, as too much change in the size will definitely affect the resolution.

Google and Stock Images

Recently Matt Cutts, Google’s main search engine guru, advised that using photography of any kind currently does not affect SEO in Houston either positively or negatively, which is great news for stock photo users.

Cutts does state that while stock imagery itself does not affect Houston SEO in any way, having good stock images as opposed to having no images at all can definitely help optimization. When appropriately used, either original or stock images help websites attract more traffic.

Tips for Using Stock Images

To gain the most benefit from using any kind of stock photography, here are a few suggestions on their use:

  • Quality – As stated above, purchase the size and quality that is needed. Never use a low-quality version that may look bad on certain screens. Avoid this possibility by testing an image’s lower resolution size to see how it appears on different size screens.
  • Originality – There are reasons why some photos are frequently used, ranging from lower price to just being a great photo. Even though it has been officially stated that stock images do not negatively affect SEO, searching for an appropriate photo that hasn’t been downloaded thousands of times might be a better idea in terms of both user interest and SEO in Houston efforts.
  • Layout – It is important that a website have a proper layout to attractively host images without making it look disorganized or otherwise detracting from their appearance. Good use of photos on a web page takes a special balance of body text, white space, and photos to look good.

All in all, it appears that proper usage and optimization of stock images on a website can have a positive effect on Houston SEO. Of course, Google may eventually use a reward system in regards to images – stock ones don’t get any extra points and original ones gain extra value. Keep up with future Google updates to see what is happening in the area of stock images on the website!

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Comments (1)

  1. You know, it is really great to know that stock images right now don’t hurt a website – because not everyone can afford to buy images all the time. I guess I’ll keep an eye out for any changes to this – hopefully here – thanks so much!

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