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Trouble with sites hotlinking your images? Get free advertising instead :)

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by wkirk, May 26, 2011.

  1. wkirk

    wkirk Junior Member

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    I've seen on this forum that a lot of people have trouble with other sites hotlinking their images, and are looking for ways to stop it.
    I'm in the same situation since I'm running a photoblog type site, so obviously many sites linking directly to my images.
    Actually I don't really care about the bandwidth, so I didn't care too much about it, but I came up with a better approach instead of just blocking via htaccess and the like.

    Ok So let's just get to the point and get free advertising :)

    What we're going to do here is put our watermark on those hotlinked images.
    The images on your site will look normal, no watermark or anything. Although on other sites the image will be watermarked.

    Step 1:

    Create a file called hotlink.php

    Code:
    hxxp://pastebin.ca/2069365
    
    The above php code will dinamically add your watermark to the requested image.

    Step 2.

    Create your logo and rename it to hotlink.png.
    This will be your watermark

    Step3.

    Check for hotlinked images
    Add the following to your htaccess:

    Code:
    hxxp://pastebin.ca/2069366
    
    Results:

    People go to your site, copy-paste your image url, and post it somewhere else.
    If they notice it has been watermarked and don't like it it will just simply stop them from doing it.
    If they don't notice it, or don't care, you get free advertising by having your watermark, logo, whatever on the image served from your domain.
    I'm actually doing this for a long time, but it was a more complicated solution and required a dedicated box, but the above method does not require running your own server.

    PS: Sorry for the pastebin links, i dont have enough post count to paste the actual code here.
     
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  2. wpbacklinks

    wpbacklinks Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Haaa! Nice Method. Let me test this on my site.
     
  3. SEO Controller

    SEO Controller Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Great suggestion. I'm curious to know which method of watermarking has worked best for you? Care to share?
     
  4. wkirk

    wkirk Junior Member

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    I'm sorry but could you please clarify what do you mean by 'which method'? This is a single method, just needs two steps to work.

    You need to modify your htaccess file to detect hotlinking and redirect image requests coming from another site to the hotlink.php which will put your logo on it and that's all.

    I forgot to mention that if you plan to use it on a wordpress blog then put the htaccess code in the very beginning of the file. ( before the wordpress directives )
     
  5. RedLable

    RedLable Regular Member

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    Gracias Senore.