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Image Hosting Service

What is the image hosting service for Yahoo Stores?

Our image hosting service solves the problem of missing images caused by out-of-date image URLs. As you may know, Yahoo Stores change the image URL every time your store is published. With daily feed updates, this is generally not a problem.

For those who publish very frequently or have other special feed requirements, image hosting provides a stable, unchanging image URL for each product. This URL redirects to the latest, up-to-date image on your Yahoo Store.

Copies of your images are not stored on our servers. For this reason, our image hosting service can not function as a backup service. However, by using redirects, our service leverages Yahoo's high-availability, load-balanced, unlimited bandwidth image servers. The refresh rate is also faster because the images are never copied to our servers. Best of all, since we do not have to maintain image hosting resources, we can offer this service for no extra charge.

How does image hosting work?

The system maintains static image URLs for each product with the following format:

Our system actually ignores the file extension, so ending the URL with .gif, .png, etc will still redirect to the same image hosted at Yahoo. Image hosting data is refreshed every half an hour, ensuring that your new images will be accessible at the static URLs within half an hour after you republish your store.

What effect does image hosting have on ranking in Google?

If you publish your site frequently (more than once per day), then enabling image hosting may have a positive effect on your ranking in Google. Google appears to penalize listings when the image is not found. Since Google updates images throughout the day, some images would not be found between the time when you publish your site and the next, nightly data feed update. By enabling image hosting, image URLs will be static, and there will only be about half an hour of downtime should you re-publish your store.

The first time you enable image hosting, you may notice a temporary negative effect on your ranking, but that should clear up within two to four days as Google re-indexes your items. Note that Google's ranking algorithms are secret and change all the time, so the above statements regarding Google's ranking methodology are educated guesses.

How do I enable image hosting for my data feed?

Image hosting can be enabled from "Manage Feed > Advanced Settings", and is independent of update frequency. It may take up to half an hour for the hosted image URLs to become active. You can enable or disable image hosting on a per-feed basis.

How much does image hosting cost?

Image hosting services are provided for no extra charge.