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From my understanding, http://mywebsite.com/image.jpg, can help the ranking of http://mywebsite.com in a search engine, such as Google (obviously the search engine of primary concern).

So, SEO-wise, moving an image to http://whatever-cdn.com/my-account/image.jpg is bad.

A popular solution is to use a CNAME record, such as http://cdn.mywebsite.com, so that image.jpg can be accessed at http://cdn.mywebsite.com/image.jpg.

The question

Does http://cdn.mywebsite.com/image.jpg rank as effectively as http://mywebsite.com/image.jpg ?

Does it help boost the main http://mywebsite.com ?

Or, does it rank independently because it is a subdomain?

Is there another option (a way to use a CDN without sacrificing ranking)?

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Do you have any fact that an image from a different domain affects SEO? On all client projects I do we use a CDN with seemingly no SEO affect. The alt tag and image name itself I assumed were always more important. – endyourif Sep 22 '12 at 23:17
@endyourif - Not exactly. A great example is a info-graphic PDF. A number of other websites might link directly to it. If it is on a domain that is not the same as the main website domain, it wouldn't help ranking. – DesignerGuy Sep 23 '12 at 21:36
(If it is located at cdn.mywebsite.com/info.pdf, that won't necessarily count towards just mywebsite.com.) – DesignerGuy Sep 23 '12 at 21:44
If I have answered your question successfully, please accept the answer. Thanks. – Patrik Alienus Nov 8 '12 at 18:42
@PatrikAlienus - Your answer is correct, but I was hoping for the last part of my question to be addressed: "Is there another option (a way to use a CDN without sacrificing ranking)?". If I create something like infographic.pdf that generates a lot of links to it (assuming it gains some viral lift), I want it to contribute rank to example.com even if it is on cdn.example.com. – DesignerGuy Nov 8 '12 at 18:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Google has said that it sees "whatever.domain.com" as a different site than "www.domain.com" for instance. So, it would make sense that for SEO purposes, hosting the pictures on a sub domain would be a bad idea. However, Google at the same time actively promote the use of CDN's for performance purposes.

Google does not consist of just computers, but rather a lot of people who check the algorithms all the time, which is why I'm pretty sure that using a CDN should have no adverse effect on your SEO rankings.

But as always when it comes to SEO questions, it's a guessing game and the rules can change with Google's will (or ill-will)...

So to sum up:

  • http://cdn.mywebsite.com/image.jpg should rank as effectively as http://mywebsite.com/image.jpg
  • I doubt it will boost the main http://mywebsite.com, however I don't think it'll hurt either.
  • It shouldn't rank differently.
  • Using a CDN shouldn't sacrifice ranking. Perhaps there might be a dip for a while until Google realizes you're using a CDN, but it should bounce back

Hopefully that helps.

share|improve this answer
Yeah. It aligns with all of my assumptions. However, the problem is that I want things from cdn.mywebsite.com to boost mywebsite.com. Otherwise, it isn't necessarily worth using a CDN (from an SEO standpoint). – DesignerGuy Sep 24 '12 at 19:51
Yeah, it's not going to change things either way. Don't do the CDN for SEO, do it for your users. – John Mueller Sep 25 '12 at 18:47
The only that using a CDN could help with SEO, is if Google see's the CDN and decides that since that content is not within your website, that your website in loads quicker than it really does. Since page speed is a factor in SEO, that might help. But, it's a tiny help, if any. – Patrik Alienus Oct 1 '12 at 7:48

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