I have a page that often contains large image galleries displayed with thumbnails linking to the actual images. They are then rerouted with JavaScript to open an overlay gallery instead, but I noticed that so many links on a single page can be really harmful for SEO. Is there a way around this or should I just remove the links and make JavaScript do all the work?

An additional note... All the images are linking to a subdomain like img.domain.com and there are sometimes over 100 of them on a page.

  • How many links do you have per page?
    – Zistoloen
    Mar 6, 2013 at 9:32
  • Usually around 20, but often over 50 and sometimes even 100-200. Mar 6, 2013 at 9:36

2 Answers 2


Do you want your images to be ranked in Google image search? If so, your site is doing the correct thing by linking to the full sized versions.

If you don't want your images listed in image search, then letting JavaScript open your gallery and not use any links would be fine. But it would prevent Googlebot from indexing your images and assigning enough Pagerank to them for ranking.

When you said that you "noticed" it hurt SEO, what do you mean? Is there a specific ranking problem that you are having, or is this based on reading about Google's advice about number of links per page? From when it was a startup, Google gave advice that there should be at most 100 links in a page. As far as I can tell, that advice is hogwash. Most large sites have 200-300 links on their homepage and often nearly as many on internal pages. Its not uncommon to find a page with 600 links that is ranking well.

  • Thank you! :) Ranking in the image search would be very nice, but that never seemed to bring as much traffic as the text search. Yes, currently the website has some issues with Google Panda I believe (i.imgur.com/C26TKdn.png) and there are nothing I can imagine left to do except for this. Even SeoMoz ranks the SEO score as A grade, except for the high image links. Mar 6, 2013 at 12:23
  • I'm afraid that Google might see it spammy because I'm linking to 16000 images to the CDN subdomain and I'm unsure what to do. The Google analytics image shows the Search Referer results only by the way. Mar 6, 2013 at 12:29
  • I've never heard of too many links on the page being a problem for Panda, but there is a lot that nobody knows about Panda. Mar 6, 2013 at 12:40

Use the image alt tag with discriminating keywords to help bots with indexing. Alt text should describe image content.

If the URL of your image are all from img.domain.com, this is not an issue. If you are artificially adding links to img.domain.com to try to improve your rankings, don't -> Google will consider it suspicious.

If you can, split your pages with themes (all birds pictures, all fish pictures, etc...). If you mix too many different picture with different keywords, you may fall into keyword dilution, which negatively impacts your rankings.

  • Thanks for the helpful answer. My galleries are separated into pages, for example: "League of Legends Sona Cosplay By Eki" and they contain one set of images of only one topic, but sometimes the sets can be huge. In the past I titled all the images with the post title, but I realized that was a very very bad idea, so I changed the alt tag to "", which I also realised it was a bad idea, so now I am thinking of simply setting the file name as the alt tag. I am not adding links to img.domain.com as it is merely a CDN domain, but I started thinking if maybe I should add the nofollow tag? Mar 6, 2013 at 10:36
  • nofollow tag will have no impact on your ranking. If the file name describes the content of the picture, then yes it is a good idea. If you can create subdomains for your big domains, that woud help. Think about the end user, not Google. Mar 6, 2013 at 11:23
  • The file names for the images would be: league-of-legends-sona-cosplay-by-eki-NN.jpg where the final NN represents the image ID in the gallery, but I am scared that outputting: league-of-legends-sona-cosplay-by-eki-1 league-of-legends-sona-cosplay-by-eki-2 etc. 200 times will not end that well... Mar 6, 2013 at 12:20
  • Yes, it won't help with ranking, because the keywords are not discriminating the images enough... It won't help with SEO... Mar 6, 2013 at 13:36

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