Does image hotlinking help your rankings in Google?
Some webmaster use a new search engine optimization practice
to get high rankings on Google. They hotlink images from
other web servers to rank highly in Google's image search
How does this work?
Google's image search doesn't just return web pages from
where a picture originates. For example, the first result
Vader" returns a BlogSpot web page although the original
image is stored on a .hu domain.
Search for any term on Google Images and you'll always
find web pages in the results that are just linking to
an image from another website.
Why does this help your rankings in the normal Google
Google's new Universal Search system now returns images
and movies at the top at the search results for some search
terms. For example, if you search for "Darth
Vader", image results will be the first results in
A click on these images redirects web surfers to the web
page on which the image is displayed. If your website has
a good ranking in Google Image search then these top rankings
might also be displayed in Google's regular results for
that search term:
Should you use this new method to improve your search
We do not recommend this new method. It is risky in several
ways. If you don't have the copyright for an image, you
are not allowed to use it on your own web site.
Hotlinking an image without asking the owner also exposes
your site to the risk of defacement. The webmaster of the
website that hosts the original image just needs to replace
the original image with something rude and it will be displayed
on your web site.
Hotlinking images is not long term strategy for high rankings
on Google. If you want lasting results, you should optimize
your web pages so that they can be found for your keywords.
Also make sure that the right pages link to