Announcing static URLs for your item images

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Starting on July 8, 2013, and over the coming weeks, the first phase of a new static URLs feature for item images will be rolled out to all Yahoo Merchant Solutions and Yahoo Store accounts. When an item image has a static URL, this means that the URL (web address) of your item image doesn’t change. The release of this feature will be a two-phase staggered rollout. When each phase is released for your store, you’ll see a notice posted in your Store Manager.

When the first phase is released for your store, only new item images that you upload will be given SEO-friendly static URLs. Existing item images will remain as they are currently. The default base file name for newly-uploaded item images will be based on the item name. For example, if an item name is "chocolate frog," then "chocolate-frog" would be default base file name. If there are multiple items named "chocolate frog," then this base file name may vary slightly. A number will be added to the end of the base file name for all versions of this image generated for the store (e.g., main item image, thumbnail, etc.); for example: chocolate-frog-01, chocolate-frog-02. You may edit the base file name for newly-uploaded images using the new Image-Name field in Store Editor and Catalog Manager. Learn how.

A second phase of this release is planned. Phase 2 will give all of your existing item images SEO-friendly static URLs. As with new images uploaded during the first phase of this feature release, numbers will be added to the end of the file names for all versions of the images generated for your store for existing images, and you’ll be able to edit base file names of existing images.

If you’ve been using a third-party solution to create static URLs for your item images, this should not affect the functionality of your third-party solution. If you’re using a third-party solution to create static item image URLs and you’d like to take advantage of this new feature for your existing item images, we suggest working with your developer to point to the static item image URLs created for your images using this new feature. Please note that if you’ve made SEO efforts for previously-uploaded images, the SEO efforts you’ve made may be impacted when an existing image is given a new file name and location.

More information about the phase 2 rollout, including rollout dates, will be announced here on the Yahoo Store Blog prior to the phase 2 release.

Benefits of static URLs for item images

A number of you have requested this feature because of the following benefits for your store:

  • Having static item image URLs can help ensure that images are not broken when appearing in shopping directories.
  • Having static item image URLs (stable URLs instead of URLs that change from time to time) can assist with your SEO efforts.
  • Having image names that are descriptive of the image can also assist with your SEO efforts.

We look forward to bringing you both phases of this new feature. Remember to check back for phase 2 information and release dates.

Jennifer Farwell
Yahoo Small Business
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