Originally Posted by twhansbury
What about value added. Is there less value in the link or equal to a link to a site of text?
I don't work for google (technically
so I am going to base my answer on my experience.
I would think the value in the image is to come up in the image search or in the SERP as a leading representation for a keyword. I believe that you remain high in the results when the person that clicks, Time on Site is high meaning that you have provided a valuable experience to the consumer.
"Link Juice" is really a thing of the past. The placement of the photo on a high value website being that the image is either hosted elsewhere really has little value. if the image is linked with a follow link to the source this then is a link and the photo has little link value - the link is wrapping an image so then has little value.
The link i think provides value to the image and related content
Link pass value based on the anchor text of the link.. if this is an image then it has little keyword value. I would assume that it may give value to the image as representing the keyword based on the content of the page that the image is being displayed on.
I think of these things as 2 different endeavors Image SEO and Keyword SEO to result in high placement in 2 different places within the SERPs.
hope that helps