By default, I have directory indexing turned off via apache, to limit oracle attacks to find php scripts. Should I turn directory indexing on for /images/ folders, to make all the images on the site discoverable to search engines, or not?

Is there a disadvantage to a search engine spider getting a 403 Forbidden when they access the root folder /images/ directly as opposed to say /images/someimage.jpg ?

1 Answer 1


You could do that if you want those images to be indexed and found in image search. But they'll be ranked better if the search engines find them in web pages because they can use nearby text, alt attributes, page context, etc, to determine what the image is. They can't do that from a directory listing unless you've done an incredible job of naming your subdirectories and images. Then again, that will also be available in your HTML so there's no advantage there.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.