Images add that extra something to posts that make them appealing for readers. Most bloggers upload their own images and pictures that they take, while some blogs use brand images for posts (frugal bloggers in particular). Lately I’ve seen a growing trend that is alarming. Bloggers are hot-linking and “stealing” bandwidth from other bloggers.
What is Hot-linking?
Wikipedia defines Hot-linking as “when someone uses a link to an image that is saved on another website instead of saving a copy of the image on the website that the picture will be shown on.”
Why is this bad?:
1. When using the image URL from another location, your site will load more slowly because the image has to be accessed from another website location.
2. This hurts your optimization with the search engines.
3. MOST IMPORTANTLY: You may be hurting another blogger/website financially by doing this. When you use the URL of an image from another blogger to place the image in your post, you are using bandwidth from that blog’s server. Bandwidth is something that self hosted bloggers pay for, and you are costing them money when you use their url for an image.
What should bloggers do?:
1. Download and upload images onto their own servers or blogs at blogspot, or
A word on copyright:
- Brand logos/images are generally okay to use in posts, as long as you download and upload them yourself. This is considered free marketing and advertising for companies.
- Personal or professional photos taken by someone are not okay to use without permission/credit. If you want some professional photos to use for your blog, try Flickr, iStockPhoto as well as other sites out there that offer photos for publication.
Crystal blogs at TheThriftyMama.com where she mistakenly thought it was okay to “hot-link” when she was a new blogger. She has since learned from her mistake and longs to share her knowledge with other bloggers so they don’t make the same one. She also bought and then designed the above image herself.