Does using stock photos on your pages have a negative effect on rankings?

Updated on: 2 March 2015

YouTube video

Many times, web users search websites for images that are related to the topics. Some people believe that websites that featured the original photos have better quality than those who make use of stock photos in terms of image content. Web masters are showing signs of concern with regard to this matter. After all, everyone wants to achieve higher SEO ranking for their website.

Video question

This online marketing question was submitted to Google’s web spam search team: “Does using stock photos on your pages have a negative effect on rankings? Do original photos help you in this regard?”

Video Highlights

Matt Cutts, the department’s head answered it through the following points.

  • He stressed out that using stock photos on your website does not have any effects on your rankings.
  • Original photos also do not make much of an impact on your website rankings either.
  • While the use of stock or originally taken photos do not really matter when it comes to determining the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), he also acknowledged that this is a great point that that his team would consider in terms of determining rank in the future.

In order to improve your search ranking, you should:

  • Optimize your image in your website – Matt Cutts shared that images originality does not affect your rankings, however you should still optimize these pictures by renaming to the right keywords and adding a caption to the images. Although you know what you are looking at, search engines may not be able to recognize that the photo that you are posting on your website.
  • Make use of image “Alt Text” and “Description” by adding quality content to it. This helps the search engines to recognize the images in your website.
  • Be mindful of the size of the images that you post on your website. Remember that the longer the load time, the higher the chances of your visitors moving on to look for a faster website. Very large images will surely make your website load slower than the others. Choose the right image size to optimize your load time because website speed does affect SEO.