If ranking well in Google Image Search is important to you, don’t worry about necessarily hosting images on your own domain.
For more on this, check out the full post over on Search Engine Roundtable.
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Google Image Search can be a major source of traffic for some kinds of sites, so there is often discussions around how best to host the images. In short, do they have to be on your domain or can you use a content delivery network?
This question was posed to Google, and John Mueller answered with:
“It doesn’t matter how you host the images, there’s no SEO-bonus for having them on the same host/domain. However, since changing image URLs is “hard”, I’d use your own hostname for the CDN (avoid yoursite.cdncorp.com and use cdn.yoursite.com ), so you can change CDNs.”
He mentions that changing image URLs is hard, and that’s an important point. While hosting them on your site versus a CDN doesn’t make a difference, switching from one to the other can have a major impact. If you already have things set up and indexed, be careful about making a change.
However, if you’re building a new site then this is good info to consider. As John said, host the images on a URL such as cdn.yoursite.com so that you can always move them to a real CDN in the future without disrupting how Google sees their locations.