Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO

Does Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO ?

Jetpack is one of the popular plugin available in WordPress repository. Jetpack comes with a tool called ” photon ” which optimizes as well as speeds up the Images using CDN. But the question is Does Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO?¬†Jetpack provides many features like Traffic growth & Insights, Security, Image Performance, Centralized Management and many more.

Jetpack¬†plugin is free to download from WordPress plugin repository.¬†One can upgrade the plugin to get access to it’s premium features like ¬†Daily Backups, Malware scans, Security reports and Bullet-Proof spam filtering with Akismet.

What is Jetpack Photon ?

Photon is one of the feature that comes with Jetpack Plugin. As you know that Jetpack acts as a Free CDN¬†for WordPress Blogs. What actually does this Photon do is it optimized the Images that are uploaded to a WordPress blog. The uploaded images is either a Featured Images or ¬†Images in a blog post it doesn’t matter. Photon compress the Images and optimizes them.

The Images uploaded are saved into the Hosting Space present in your WordPress Blog and Then Jetpack makes a copy of them and stores them in WordPress Repository

Jetpack Photon

As Jetpack acts as a CDN¬†but it is somewhat different from other Paid CDN’s out there. Unlike CloudFlare¬†and MaxCDN¬†what Jetpack does is it stores a copy of Images that have been uploaded to WordPress blog and caches them. When an user request a blog post which has enabled Jetpack Photon.

The Images are served from Jetpack¬†WordPress Repository has a different set of URL. Blogs/websites which haven’t enabled Photon has normal URL pattern where URL starts with the Domain Name and the path of the resource Image. Whereas Photon enabled Images are cached and served with URL pattern :

i0.wp.com/image.jpg

i1.wp.com/image.png

i2.wp.com/image.gif

Does Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO ?

According to SEO, images in a particular page plays a major role to rank in Search Engines. When we talk about Image SEO in particular the image URL is main key factor for the Images to Rank. Google Image search drive huge traffic when we are able to rank our Images too in Google.

Jetpack SEO affect

The images what we upload to WordPress blogs follows this Image URL pattern ( http://www.domain.com/Image.jpg ) . when compared to Photon cached Image URL pattern ( http://i2.wp.com/http://www.domain.com/Image.jpg ) the URL of the image is completed changed. Which affects SEO

I’ve personally observed that one my blog Image SEO decreased a lot after enabling Jetpack Photon. There are 2 cases in which Jetpack can harm or improve your SEO. So lets look into it.

Also Read : Trick Google Plus to Boost Traffic by 400% {Guide}

Cases of Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO

Case #1 : Use of Jetpack Photon

Caching Images using Jetpack Photon Applications surely improves load speed, According to SEO speed is one of the main Factor to rank. The Faster the page the better it’s rank is. Caching it using Jetpack Free CDN is good option but sometimes it’s not worth trying.

I’ve tested a number of pages with contains rich images¬†by comparing them using many Online Page Speed tools like GTmetrix , Varvy and Pingdom etc.,¬†and also tried the manual method to find the Page Size by saving the entire page as an Complete Web page and found that major part of the Page size like around 70 – 80 % is due to Images present in the page

Jetpack Free CDN

Jetpack Photon does a very good job here. It’s caching made webpages snappier and helped users that they never felt page loading lag. Jetpack Photon is a Great feature for some people who doesn’t require rankings in Google. Like some authority blogs doesn’t follow SEO techniques because they’re having loyal readers and Social Media to drive Traffic

For this type of authority blogs and some Website Jetpack Photon is real deal and as we all Know Jetpack Photon is Free to Download.

Case #2 : Remedy to Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO

If we use CDN’s like MaxCDN or any paid one, we can gain speed as well as improve SEO because for example these CDN caches images but not change the URL pattern. So image SEO is perfectly safe. Many authority blogs like GSMArena¬†& WPBeginner¬†are using Paid CDN’s to avoid these simple mistakes.

There’s also a free solution for those who can’t afford Paid CDN. Use CloudFlare, it’s the best free CDN out there. CloudFlare intelligently caches all the data from Web Server and stores in their respective servers, when an user requests a page it’ll will be served from CloudFlare but not origin server.

Case Study on Jetpack Photon Decrease SEO

Jetpack Free CDN - Case Study

Also Read : Trick Google Plus to Boost Traffic by 400% {Guide}

I’ve personally tested out Jetpack Plugin by enabling Photon.¬†See the results above , around 98% images are not indexed in Google. Which is very Bad for a blog. Most of the Image Traffic is reduced.

After disabling Jetpack Photon to the testing blog we have observed around 59% growth in traffic and most of it is from Google Image Search. Meanwhile I got many backlinks naturally from many other blogs who shared my Images in their websites which is new after Disabling Jetpack Photon

Conclusion : Whether to use Jetpack Photon Free CDN or Not ?

If you are not using any CDN like CloudFlare and your Web Hosting server is very slow then 100% I recommend you to use Jetpack Photon because it improves page speed a lot which in turn reduces Bounce Rate and user interaction.

If you’re using any CDN’s out there and your’e using a Fast SSD Hosting then don’t enable Jetpack Photon and lose SEO. If you make sure not to enable Jetpack Photon in this case you might end up gaining around 50% more traffic than usual.

Do let me know if you are having any doubts in comments section below. If you like this article don’t hesitate to share this Article because sharing is SEXY! Thank you.

 

 

About the Author Anirudh Pulikonda

I'm a Part Time Blogger, YouTuber & SEO Specialist who loves to write about Tech.

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Leave a Comment:

13 comments
Naresh says June 23, 2016

Great Article..it is very useful
Keep sharing

Reply
Amul Sharma says June 24, 2016

very good information….this is important for me…….thanks for share…….

Reply
DP says September 15, 2016

I had considered using Photon but definitely won’t be now! Very useful information thanks.

Reply
Dave LeBlanc says October 3, 2016

Good article. Been debating to use it on an e-commerce site, and I think the Photon option is now out.

Reply
    Anirudh Pulikonda says October 3, 2016

    Thanks Dave LeBlanc

    yeah my article have been featured in many Jetpack Plugin blogs and Authoritative websites and finally Jetpack is now not enabling Photon by default when you install the plugin.

    Reply
masbadar says October 19, 2016

After reading this super article, I have to deactivate Photon..
thank you for writing this info

Reply
Michael Kummer says December 2, 2016

Hi Anirudh,

I’m not sure if Jetpack has made changes on how they serve images since you wrote your article but I can confirm that they include a canonical link to the source image for every image they serve. That is used by Google & Co for indexing. I have written up my findings on https://michaelkummer.com/2016/12/01/is-jetpack-photon-bad-for-seo/ but the bottom line is, that Photon should have no negative impact on SEO. I would argue the opposite is the case.

Cheers
Michael

Reply
    Anirudh Pulikonda says December 2, 2016

    Hello Michael Kummer,

    Thanks for the update. I’ve previously read the Moz posts and after doing some A/B testings I’ve found that Non-Photon Images are much likely index faster than Photon’s Images. But after reading your post and the support thread, the canonical link to the images looks promising. I’ll update the current post with this info. Once again thanks for updating me.

    Reply
    Dave LeBlanc says December 2, 2016

    Michael,

    Thanks for your post. Good information.

    Reply
Masum65 says March 4, 2017

Thanks for this informative information about etpack Photon.

Reply
Dave LeBlanc says March 4, 2017

I should also note that for small websites that do use a lot of images, I have started using Photon along with WP-Fastest-Cache. With those two in place, I do get the nice green check from Google on their PageSpeed Insights test. That is good for SEO.

Reply
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