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Is an article-based website more likely to do good in seo with or without images?

What are the benefits of having images in terms of seo?

Would stackoverflow sites perform better if there were images in every post?

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Not directly. However, there may be marginal benefits to including images to something that already has good content. For what it's worth, SEOmoz has suggested that articles with images tend to get more of a response from users that translates into more natural links to those articles, compared to articles without images.

So if images on a page increase user engagement and lead to more links to that page, that could indirectly increase your SEO even though the images on their own don't make Google or Bing like them more.

Of course, this assumes that images will increase user engagement, which I would consider generally likely to be true - if the images are good - but it is not a magic bullet that will rescue poor content or any number of other issues the site may have.

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This is what I was looking for - "Of course, this assumes that images will increase user engagement" and thus will increase users trust that the websites have taken a step further to provide more information visually. :) –  itpian.com Dec 2 '11 at 8:56
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Having images in a web page is not a ranking factor for the page they are in. However, the page the images are in is a ranking factor for image searches.

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Having a mixture of text and images vs. having only text doesn't appear to make any difference with ranking based on what I've observed.

Having just images without any descriptive text or tags will generally make a page perform worse in search results unless it's linked to heavily with a particular anchor text.

There are some 'gurus' right now who are suggesting that the recent Panda updates value pages with graphical content over those without. Perhaps that's what you've heard. I disagree with this generalization although it's likely that Google is using certain analysis techniques to determine, graphically, the level of above-the-fold advertising on a page. Would they extend this to certain keywords? Possibly. After all, you would expect a high quality blog post about some reality show starlet to have photos. OTOH, you wouldn't expect a scholarly paper on a Shakespeare play or Chinese rice production to have much in the way of graphical content.

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