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Someone linked to one of my site's images directly e.g:

  • http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/year/day/pic.jpg

To maintain link juice flow is it worth considering redirecting the image to a post URL? e.g:

  • http://example.com/post

I use Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress and thought these files were not indexed, but I guess this is not the case? only the file pages? no-index on media titles and metas.

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    "...and thought these files were not indexed but I guess not the case?" - You seem to imply that someone would only link to an image that is indexed? – MrWhite Nov 1 '15 at 13:08
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    Silly idea... WordPress adding images as an indexable page is just a WordPress thing, if you don't want those pages indexed then use no-index in Yoast, but this doesn't mean images won't be indexed, its merely the post pages, which for most are pretty pointless anyway. You should never attempt to shape the juice flow for invalid reasons and this is one of them. – Simon Hayter Nov 1 '15 at 15:14
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Unless you care about the bandwidth leeching, I'd really not bother.

If they are linking directly, then they'll probably remove the link if they notice you redirecting.

If they are embedding the image, I'm not sure that any link juice will flow to your site if you set it to only redirect when not embedded. And if you set it to always redirect, that will give them a broken image.

The only SEO issue I can see here is if the image appears in Google Images and links to their page for "visit page" instead of yours. I'd assume the fact it is hosted on your site should be a good signifier that your page is canonical for that image, however. This also seems a very trivial issue.

Finally, have you tried simply asking them for a credit for using the image? The best SEO I can think of in this situation is to get a "via:" link.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you for the advice. The link is posted on a forum type page that has a bunch of people posting comments, etc. I doubt I could get the admin to change the url and its not an embed, just a link. Redirecting would also show the image right away so should not be a reason for them to remove the link. I guess I'll try redirecting to the post. – Alex Nov 1 '15 at 12:57

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