Finding the right images and graphics for your website can make a big difference from both web design and natural search perspectives. Furthermore, locating public licensed images to meet your site’s needs can be very time consuming.
In order to reduce the time it takes to find the right images, many site developers make use of sites that provide a source for this media. There are many image sources to choose from on the Internet, but they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right graphics and images source can make a huge difference in content availability, site originality and search engine presence.
The Image Options Available For Your Website
When you want to convey a message, a picture can set the theme of the story much better than words alone. Sites like http://commons.wikimedia.org have a variety of different image categories that are free to use and place on your website. This is just one of the many choices website designers have at their disposal.
http://sxc.hu/ is another leading source for free images, but there are others that charge the user royalty fees or require a paid monthly subscription for access to certain media. http://www.gettyimages.com is a prime example of this type of site.
Entering Legal Agreements With Image And Media Vendors
Whether you choose to use a free stock photo site like http://www.sxc.hu/ or a paid image vendor, you will be entering a use agreement. Wikimedia, Stock Xchng and others make images freely available to use on websites, films, and games as well as and many other creative uses. Under these agreements, you cannot sale images or use images of people to endorse a product.
All images are not represented under these site’s general licenses. It’s important to read and understand these agreements before using an image. Contrary to what you might think, image sites that require payment also have binding agreements. Unlike sites where most images have one license, different contracts are entered based on how you will be using the media.
Image Content And Search Engine Results For Your Website
Free image sites have no shortage of content, and are updated frequently by a community of people submitting photos and original images. While site designers will have no problem finding suitable images for their site, it’s safe to say many other websites are probably using these images as well.
From a natural search standpoint, this means you will be fighting for search engine supremacy with the original source and a huge number of other websites. When Internet users do image searches, the sites with the highest rank for the image will show up first. This could put your site very low on the list, but you are free to associate the image with your choice of keywords as long as it does not violate the license you entered.
In contrast to this, the image and video content with royalty fees will be used by fewer websites in comparison. This makes becoming associated with the media content much easier and can result in more traffic than free graphics. Duplicate content makes it very hard for a search engine to determine which site is most relevant, so it will generally default to the sites that have had the content the longest.
Making Free Images Work For Your Website
If you’re using images for a graphically themed website or many other creative purposes, search engine rankings are of little importance. Free image sources like Stock Xchng and Wikimedia are perfect for these uses. Content used for news and information websites however, will definitely impact your site’s success to some extent.
It’s not impossible to make free images produce impressive search engine results as well as make your site look great, but it is harder. If you don’t want to take the time to establish yourself as one of the most relevant sites using the image, then paid image content is probably your best option. Whether you choose to use paid images or publicly available sources, this content can be used to give your site personality as well as increase its popularity.