Ask Yoast How to update images without losing rankings?

Updating ‘big’ things on your site can have quite an impact. You may well be facing (slightly) lower rankings or traffic for a while after changing things like your URL structure, or switching to a different TLD, for example. Sometimes, there’s little you can do to avoid that, other than properly implementing the changes and redirecting when necessary.

So, how about when you update and improve images on your site? Especially if some of your images are ranking well, you want to avoid losing those positions when updating images. How do you do that? You’ll find the answer in today’s Ask Yoast!

Bryan Fly sent us his question about updating images:

We want to make some improvements to the images on our site. The last time we did that we lost a lot of image rankings. My question is how do we update our images without losing organic positions on them?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Updating images without losing rankings

“Well, Bryan, if you change them on the spot so you keep the same URL and you don’t change anything around them, you really shouldn’t be losing image rankings.

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If you change anything around them, then Google has to index all of that and that will take a lot of time. So keep the same URLs, it’s basically the suggestion. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Do you have an SEO-related question? A pressing SEO conundrum you can’t find the answer to? Send an email to, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: Image SEO: Optimizing images for  search engines »

Ask Yoast series

10 Responses to Ask Yoast: How to update images without losing rankings?

  1. Emily
    Emily  • 3 months ago

    This is really interesting for me. I didn’t think this before. I will use this so that I don’t lose ranking now. Thanks

  2. Pramod
    Pramod  • 3 months ago

    very nice post thanks for sharing with us. very helpful post

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 3 months ago

      Happy we could help!

  3. rak
    rak  • 3 months ago

    I Really love yoast, i use it for all my site. I found something weird, for some reason my image gradually lost ranking also my web to. My site backlink profile better than competitor but after 5 years my image and site losing ranking, that it is normal?

  4. Search MY Websites
    Search MY Websites  • 3 months ago

    Great post you had shared here.
    Keep up updating us.

  5. Sofia Martine
    Sofia Martine  • 3 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing great tips with us about SEO . Keep it up continue. I love to reading these types of posting..

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 3 months ago

      You’re welcome, Sofia! Glad you love it :)

  6. Mircea G.
    Mircea G.  • 3 months ago

    On point, Thanks for the answer Sir Joost! I do have a related question, Google is not indexing all my images, for example I have 18,460 submitted and only 3,061 are indexed.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 3 months ago

      Hi Mircea, Thanks for your question! There’s not always a clear reason for this, as you can read here: but generally it’s not really something to worry about. Good luck!

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