Technical image errors & how they affect SEO

In our previous article, we explained the importance of image SEO for getting a better ranking on search engines. In order to best optimize your images, you need to avoid making certain technical errors that can harm your SEO, ranking and UX. We’ll explain the most common technical image errors and how you can fix them. 

‘’Image broken’’ error

When an image on your website returns a 4xx or a 5xx status code, it means that it is broken. As a result, the image won’t be displayed on your website, which can negatively affect your site in two ways. First things first, the user experience will be compromised. Secondly, search engines aren’t able to image these broken images.

There could be multiple reasons for this errors. The image might have been moved, deleted or renamed. Another possibility could be that the external website hosting the image is unavailable. 

The way to fix this error is simple: you can fix, remove or change the links to the broken images on your website. You always need to make sure that the link have the 2xx status code.

Image redirects 

When image URLs on your site redirect to an URL of a different image, it can lead search engine crawlers to create an additional HTTP request to reach the URL destination. This can result in a slower loading time for your website, affecting your SEO and UX. So, if you have an image URL www.example.com/image.jpg that redirects to a different image, here’s how to fix it. 

Review all the pages on your website with like to the redirecting URL. Then, replace that link with the URL that directly points to the destination image file. In case you want to keep redirecting URLs that are hosted on external websites, make sure the destination image files are relevant.

‘’HTTPS page links to HTTP image’’ error

When the ‘’HTTPS page links to HTTP image’’ error appears, it means that the image is loaded over insecure HTTP connections when you request an Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure connection. This is called mixed content and it occurs when links using a HTTPS protocol point to images over an HTTP connection. The page loads over the secure connection, but the image still loads over HTTP, causing an error. 

Mixed content compromises the security of your website, making you more vulnerable to attacks. Additionally, it negatively impacts the user experience and subjects your users to potential risks. Certain browsers will even automatically block insecure resource requests, which might cause your page to stop working properly.

Luckily, fixing this error is simple. Here are the two ways you can resolve this issue.

  1. If your image is hosted on your domain, you should serve all content as HTTPS and update your links. Usually, the HTTPS version of the content already exists, so adding an ‘’s’’ to the links (http:// to https://) will suffice. 
  2. When images are hosted on other domains, you should use the website’s HTTPS version (if it exists). Alternatively, contact the domain and check if they can make the content available via HTTPS.

Page has redirected image 

In case you have a page URL redirecting to an image www.example.com/glasses/ that redirects to www.example.com/glasses.jpg, you will get the ‘’page has redirected image’’ error. If your pages link to image files via redirects, search engine crawlers have to create additional HTTP requests to rech the destination image URL. As a result, your loading time is slowed down, harming your SEO and UX.

To fix this issue, all you need to do is review pages with these links and replace the links with URLs pointing directly to the destination image file. Just like you did with image redirects above. 

If you’re keeping the redirected URLs hosted on external websites, ensure that the destination image files are relevant.

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