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Are there any SEO benefits to be had from allowing other sites to hotlink our images?

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No, it's not beneficial - quite the reverse.

Blogs can hotlink your original images and appear higher in the image rankings because their content is more recent than yours.

The good news is there are some simple ways to prevent image hotlinking.

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I already have these prevents from years. Things changes every day and I thought maybe it could be beneficial to allow hotlinks, something like backlinks. Thanks. –  dstonek May 22 '12 at 15:06
    
How can you add an exception to your "prevent image hotlinking" in case the hotlinked image src is inside an a href linking to our site? Something like <a href="domain.tld..."><img src="domain.tld/img.png"></a> –  dstonek May 22 '12 at 15:30

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