I have several websites on different IP's and the content wording is different but not the layout of the website and not the photos and there are many photos. What my question is, I dont want a SEO penalty for my photo name URL being the same:

  • example.com/photo/photo-of-anti-spy and
  • example2.com/photo/photo-of-anti-spy

Would this give me a penalty? What about subdomains?

4 Answers 4


Google knows more about your images than you do. It scans images and builds a footprint, minor edits, resolution changes and renaming does not make the image unique therefor renaming the photos will do nothing for you.

While Google appreciates unqine images it also understands that images often get reused dozens, hundreds and even thousands. Reusing an image does not give your page a penalty, however... it would be fair to say that Google might have a algorithm that slightly increases page score with unqine images, additionally ranking better on Google image search too.

Google in your case would only give you a algorithm penalty if you had duplicate text content. Images only become duplicate when there's nothing else on the page and becomes similar to another site.

A good little tip if you don't know already to test Google's ability to detect duplicates is do a search on Google images for example 'sale' then click view image and download the image somewhere on your desktop. Then return to Google image search and drop and drag that image on the image search page, it then discover all duplications in different resolutions and minor alterations.


Google will pick up on the same URLs and it will be processed in the algorithm. If you have several sites on the same server and the same image URLs Google will pick up on this and you will get penalized for this.

you will find that you will be interlinking your websites and you will get links from each individual domain and with them all being on the same server as well it does not look natural.

Google know a lot more about your images than you think and you can even have an xml sitemap for you images which you may want to consider also.


A pattern of similar structure and file names can indicate duplicate content and not just the text on a page. I would suspect this would especially apply to image based websites. Search engines take all factors into account. For example, registration information, sites on a single IP address or even within an IP address block, and so on.

You may not get a penalty per se', however, it is also possible that the sites will not perform as well as if they were each original. Please understand that Google uses a lot of scoring and the effect that Google may apply to a site is not always black and white as in a penalty. Sometimes it is far more subtle than that such as SERP performance.

I am not sure how you were thinking sub-domains will help you. Using a sub-domain will not make a difference since they too are websites. You would simply be moving the problem from one place to another.


Google have never stated that websites that use the same layout, or using the same images as other sites have any effect on rankings.

Think of all the sites that use the same layout, such as stack exchange sites, they seem to rank fine.

Matt Cutts of Google also stated that using non-original images is not a factor in thier algorithm, you can see the video here: Does using stock photos on your pages have a negative effect on rankings

I'd say you are fine, unless Google announce otherwise.

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