I see questions pop up in the forums every once in awhile with people asking if images that are linked to a website count as links. A link is a link so the answer would be yes. But what about images that are not surrounded by link (a href) tags. Can an image on it’s own count as a link? Well according to Yahoo Site Explorer they do.
I was reading a magazine the other day when I came across an article on JangoMail. Liking what I read I went to check them out. Being the SEO freak I am I had to check their backlinks even though my visit had nothing to do with SEO. Does anyone else here suffer from that disorder?
Anyway, back on track. The first thing I notice when checking JangoMail’s backlinks is they are full of home page listings. Usually that throws up a huge paid links red flag but upon further investigation there are not any links pointing to JangoMail within the sites listed on the first page of Yahoo backlink results. The only thing every site has in common is a simple 1×1 tracking image who’s source is JangoMail’s domain.
Example: <img src=”http://www.jangomail.com/et/a.z?UID=XXXXX”>
There’s not an <a href=””></a> surrounding the image tag on any of these sites. So why is Yahoo counting these as links in Site Explorer? Is this just a Site Explorer bug or does Yahoo really weigh these the same as they would a normal link? I’d love to hear an official response from Yahoo on this one.