Image Size SEO Tip - Recommendation required!

by @MarkusMay (136), 4 years ago

Hey there, I have the following problem:

The Website

  • I'm running a stock image website (like
  • Currently the website has around 30k images displaying.
  • The most traffic comes from Google Images.

The Problem I created the website a few years ago without any knowledge about what I'm really doing. There I didn't do any optimization to the website speed. Today that changed.

If a user uploads an image it will save three images:

  1. a thumbnail (quite small)
  2. a preview (little bigger but small)
  3. the original file (quite big..)

The website is displaying the original image on the 'show' page of each image. These images also ranked in Google.

Now I want to change the large original image to the preview image to optimize the site load. However I did this but the traffic immediately crashed because the site lost almost every rank in google images. stastic

I think this is caused by removing the indexed image so I changed it back again to large.

The question What is better now? The site is quite slow with the big images but over the years these images got a quite good rank. Shall I remove it and wait till the preview image is ranked too? Can I still have the large one in google images but displaying the previews for the user?

What do you recommend?

1 Upvote
3 Replies
2 Users
Sort replies:
by @shane (653), 4 years ago

You should prioritize speed over the short-tern drop in traffic. If you really want to avoid that, change the preview image slug to match the full size slug. You won't break the link from Google.

by @MarkusMay (136), 4 years ago

@shane thanks for your answer.

What exactly do you mean with 'preview image slug'? The URL when you click on the image?

by @shane (653), 4 years ago

You said you wanted to display the preview size image to reduce page weight and increase page load speed. To avoid the near-term drop in traffic you would have to modify

If your current full-size image is found at and your preview image is then you must modify /image_preview-size to /image_full-size.

I do not recommend this method at all but it is a quick fix to avoid the short-term drop before the new images are indexed.

Join the forum to unlock true power of SEO community

You're welcome to become part of SEO Forum community. Register for free, learn and contribute.

Log In Sign up