I am thinking about changing my images from PNG to JPG but I am worried as it will technically change the image URL.

  • Old: www.example.com/image.png
  • New: www.example.com/image.jpg

So, will it also hurt the current image indexing and ranking?

3 Answers 3


I would recommend to prevent the problem and use a 301 redirect from the old ones to the new ones.

For example, just use mod_rewrite in you .htaccess of your webserver.

# does the .jpg exist?
RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/$1\.jpg -f

# then rewrite the .png to .jpg
RewriteRule (.+)\.png$ $1.jpg [L,R=301,NC]

The benefit of this method is, you can replace image by image. When the new *.jpg image exist, it will redirect *.png to *.jpg.

Google will "replace" the old image by the new one because of the 301 redirect. This is a recommended procedure by Google itself. (see: Google help center -> Change page URLs with 301 redirects, works also for images).


Optimizing images for the search engines depends upon many factors such as right format, type, file type, file size, caption, alt text and title text many more.

It depends upon the image if your image is getting rank for .png format, then you should keep that image in place and add .jpg format and optimize it accordingly.

For example, if someone is searching in Google "image" + .png and your image is getting ranked for that particular format then you should keep it over there.

For more info you should read the articles below:

How to Rank in Google Image Search

Image SEO: Optimizing images for search engines

  • I would assume that most image traffic doesn't come from people searching by image type. Other than the few people searching by image type, do you think this change is going to change the ranking of what appears in most searches? Jul 29, 2020 at 15:32

Definitely, it will affect your rankings because the first image is ranked for PNG with or without their Alt tag but now you changed it to jgp with or without Alt Tag so definitely it will affect your rankings.

  • 1
    Such a short answer is not high quality. It would help to say how you know this. Do you have personal experience in changing image formats? Have you found a reference you can share? Jul 29, 2020 at 15:30

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