Gary Illyes of Google was asked if someone steals your original image, makes no changes to it, and they embed it on their own site, can the original image holder benefit from that. Gary’s short answer was no, but he said it is possible you do get some benefit he said.
Here is how Gary responded on Reddit “Surprisingly hard to answer. In short, you do get some benefit from an image syndicated on other sites if your HTML landing page can become canonical.”
Here was the full question:
Do images across the web operate like pages, with a “canonical” version considered by Google?
Bit of a vague question but was trying to get my head around this – let’s say I have a 100% unique photo that I upload onto my website, and then later my content is indexed and a few weeks pass.
Another website or two find my image and download it as it is, before uploading it on their own websites. They don’t credit my site with a link or make any reference to it, but they also don’t edit the image in any way.
Does my website benefit in any way from having the original image? Or will there only be some kind of signals passed if there was a link back to my page, or image, or a reference of my business name on their page?
I wonder how much of a benefit or should you just assume there is no benefit at all. And I wonder what logic Google uses to decide when to give the original site benefit. So many questions…
Forum discussion at Reddit.