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How would it effect SEO, if I were to delete unused images from the website? (WordPress)

  • Are these images indexed in (Google) Image Search? Are visitors finding your site through (Google) Image Search? – MrWhite Mar 30 '17 at 15:53
  • Yes, by some. But the ones that we want to remove are mostly outdated, and gives us no value. For example, some icons that we do not use anymore. Or employee pictures, who have worked in the past, but are no longer a part of the team. – Kristina J. Mar 31 '17 at 13:11
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    If these "unused" images already give you "no value", then deleting them cannot give you any "less value". There is no SEO effect. – MrWhite Mar 31 '17 at 14:51
  • Yes, that was my initial thought, but just wanted to make sure. Thank you @w3dk :) – Kristina J. Apr 1 '17 at 8:08
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I'm going to assume you have a web page with several images and you used wordpress to remove them off the page, but I'll answer from the basic webpage perspective (never mind wordpress, joomla or other CMS's).

If your page had an image defined by a friendly URL with quality description with it (as defined in its alt tag) with quality paragraphs and you removed the image then your page may have a harder time appearing in search especially if the image was what the guest was searching for.

If on the other hand, the image was just a random decoration on the site and the image URL was something not so meaningful (example: http://example.com/images/corner.jpg) or the image was not well described (example: the alt tag was missing), then chances are seo will not go against you.

  • Yes, these images that I want to delete are just small decorations, like icons, which we no longer use. And people sometimes come to the website through those images, and bounce immediately. The ones that i thought could be beneficial to us, i "attached them to the post in WP". – Kristina J. Mar 31 '17 at 13:16
  • then you're doing things right – Mike Mar 31 '17 at 15:34
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If the images are indexed on Google and if you are driving traffic from them, I don't think to delete them is a good idea. The best thing you can do is to check your Google analytics first and delete only those images which do not bring any significant traffic or are not indexed by Google.

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In short, no.

Generally if you're​ got more post content and your site is not about image sharing, then generally you should be okay.

In fact deleting unused images would only increase page load speeds and thus increase SEO.

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    "deleting unused images would only increase page load speeds" - how would this make any difference to "page load speed"? It's already "unused". – MrWhite Mar 30 '17 at 16:38
  • @w3dk I was speaking generally there, but point taken. – Michael Wilcox Mar 30 '17 at 16:40
  • Even if the images were in use, removing them would not improve SEO... your effectively removing content. Your page rank may remain the same but in the backgrounds of Google's algorithm will value the page less, but it may be so minor you wouldn't notice. Page speed is so minor also you wouldn't notice the difference. If your having to remove content to speed up the site then your using the wrong host. – Simon Hayter Mar 30 '17 at 23:49
  • My initial question was edited, I asked if deleting those images would effect SEO negatively. It is fine if it does not improve it. We just want to remove the images that we do not use anymore (icons, old employee images, etc.), because i don't think that those old images give us any benefit. (they also contain some keywords that we do not wish to be ranked for). But thank you for your answers. :) – Kristina J. Mar 31 '17 at 13:25

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