Google’s been pushing hard to boost the rankings of sites with high quality, original content that provides value to customers.  There can really be no doubt that when it comes to SEO the most important thing you can do is create original content which is specifically tailored to your audience.  A question was posed to Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, about the images used on websites recently to which he gave an interesting answer.

Cutts’ explains that as of today there is nothing in their search algorithm which will help or hurt a site for using original photos on their sites.  Sites using stock photos will, in theory, rank the same as sites which go out and purchase 100% custom photos to add to their posts.  Matt goes on to say, however, that this is a topic that will be getting further thought.

Matt Cutts says that he can see how a site with an original image is putting more quality into their posts, which may warrant some sort of bump to their rankings.  Of course, this was not an official announcement about when these changes were coming, or even if they would ever be added to the complex algorithm which Google uses.  With Google’s constant push toward quality in their search results, however, I don’t think it would surprise anyone to see this type of thing implemented in the future.

While it is impossible to get into the mind of Cutts, it stands to reason that this might only be a minor change if it ever does occur.  There are many places where stock photos are the appropriate thing for a particular post.  Sometimes spending the time or money on having an original photo created for every post is really just overkill.  I would imagine, however, that freelance artists and photographers are really hoping and praying that this change is put in soon!

What do you think?  Is there any benefit to adding original a change to the search results based on image originality?  Personally I think this is just taking the whole originality thing too far and I hope it doesn’t happen.  You can see Matt’s full comments here.


What's your opinion?