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We are moving our knowledge base to a WordPress hosted platform. Most images will remain the same and are currently sitting in another platform.

For SEO purposes, is it better to move those images to the WordPress library or have them hosted on the other platform and embed them in the post?

I guess the real question is: In SEO terms, is the value of the outbound link more or less than the value of proper title, alt tags and description?

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    This has no effect on SEO and these are not considered links. Your question is a classic example of making it more complicated than it is or needs to be. – John Conde Mar 11 '15 at 13:54
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Without putting SEO into the decision, hosting images from the same server as the wordpress data is the best.

Images on remote websites can change at any time whether it be quality or content or even size and could create a disastrous result.

For example:

Say you have a website that consists of two images that need to be a fixed width and height and the width is half the screen size.

If the remote site you're linking to changes the image size then your website will show stretched or compressed images at best.

If the remote site changes the entire image then your website might appear to become no longer yours, especially if your website is 99% images and especially if your company logo is hosted elsewhere.

For best results, host every single file (including javascript and css) that applies to your website on your server.

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Unless you are a massive corporation, with a whole department managing your assets, I never understood why people split out media to a new realm. Ideally, you wanna host them on the domain/app that you want people to see when clicking in from Google image search results. Also, you want them behind SSL, so it makes sense to use the same TLD realm, same library, same whatever.

Its a simple fix most of the time: You move the media dir, then hit DB to find and replace src="myolddomain.com/old-image" into whatever the new domain media root is.

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I would suggest hosting images on a different server / domain would have a negative impact on SEO for different reasons – here's just three, but I bet you could come up with more:

  • as @dhaupin pointed out image search results do count – and you will want visitors to find their way to your website directly instead of beeing led to a different TLD or subdomain
  • a.f.a.i.k. search engines tend to rate 'all' content found on a website. If you host your images on a different domain, then that's not really your website's "original content".
  • It might even take a bit longer for browsers and search engines to pull content from different domains, even with today's user cpu, server cpu and connection speeds. Ideally you have everything served from one box. Some search engines might even ignore "remote content".

Additionally I imagine it highly uncomfortable for you and eventually other involved editors to search and/or backup media files in variing locations.

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While I agree with the reasons for hosting your own images, there is one technical reason for using a different domain. A browser will have up to six connections open to a single domain to avoid "flooding" that domain with requests, but can have up to six connections for each other domain simultaneously. A page will load more quickly if the images, CSS, JavaScript, fonts, etc. all come from different domains, especially if you have a lot on your page.

After the first page load, though, the benefit is gone because the browser will cache all those files.

If the first page load for random visitors is important, then spread out those files.

I know of no reason that SEO rankings care about where the assets come from.

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  • Brent, I think where assets come from can affect overall page loading speed, especially if one source of data is from a server with a nearly-broken hard drive installed on it. – Mike Mar 13 '15 at 21:00

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