What are the most popular images on the internet?

I’m using on a regular basis resources like PixabayPexels and Picjumbo to download high resolution images. I’ve always wondered what are the most popular images on those websites.

Let’s try to find out using our favorite SEO tool, SEMrush.

What are the most popular images on Pixabay?

If a certain type of image is popular, it must attract quite a lot of Google searches. Let’s see which are the most popular pages for organic searches on Pixabay.com.

The traffic % shows you how much of that page’s traffic comes from organic search results. The last column displays the amount of keywords generating traffic for that page.

“Happy Birthday” is the most popular subject, attracting traffic from 4,882 different keywords. Directly followed by the general category “backgrounds” (we’ll get more specific a bit later). Then we have the “American flag”, a smiley face, heart(s), “thank you” messages, wolf and another hugely patriotic topic: “4th of July”. I let you discover the other pages of the Top 20.

what are the most popular images pixabay

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the “background” category. We’ll simply visit the page and see what’s on offer.

We notice a few colorful Mandala-style images, uploaded by a contributor called Geralt who has generated 8m+ downloads out of 12K+ images since registering on Pixabay 4 years ago. Quite an impressive achievement! This guy must have spent days and nights uploading all that content to Pixabay 😉 He’s a true power contributor, accounting on his own for 1.6% of the volume of images on the platform (total = 780,000).

what are the most popular images

What are the most popular images on Pexels?

Let’s carry out the same organic research on SEMrush for Pexels.com. Here’s the result we get for the most popular pages.

what are the most popular images

Pexels has definitely a competitive advantage in the “HD wallpapers” field, offering a much better UX than the usual wallpapers resources. We also see a lot of nature images: flowers, beach, fall, sunset, summer, winter, landscape,… alongside the traditional “dog(s)” and “people”.

Pexels has an option to display the most popular images of all time. Here’s the result (as of Oct 30, 2016, click on the link for an updated list). Mountains, New York City (twice), the magnificent Horsehead Nebula in the constellation Orion, two autumnal images, Boston’s skyline, some computer code and the Golden Gate Bridge.  The great thing about city skylines and natural landscapes is that they’re inspirational and give you rather homogeneous free spaces to add some text to create a hero header.

what are the most popular images on Pexels

What are the most popular images on Picjumbo?

There’s no “most popular” filter on Victor Hanacek‘s gorgeous website. But we can figure out what’s popular using our SEMrush tactics (full results here).

what are the most popular images on Picjumbo

A beautiful photo of a little girl on a swing gets almost 22% of its traffic from organic search results, from 61 keywords. We’ll skip the homepage which is pretty popular, thanks to 3,860 ranking keywords.

You’ll see a lot of popular pages feat. a sexy/beautiful girl (in bed, looking out of car window, on high heels, relaxing in bed,…), a recurring subject in Victor’s images. We can also notice a few Christmas-related images in the Top 20, as well as abstract and tech pictures, incl. an iphone 5s Gold.

little girl on a swing free image download

And what about Google Images?

If we type PHOTO in Google images (google.com), here’s what we get.

Nature sights, again, a lot of them. And also people contemplating the infinite beauty of nature, mostly looking to the right. Which is the advised positioning of a character for a good image, following the natural movement of the eyes, from left to right. You will usually place your text in the available space on the right-hand side, the character’s position prompting the user to read your message. #9 in the Top 10 is an example of the famous photographer following his girlfriend pattern, a theme also used by Victor on Picjumbo.

what are the most popular images on Google

photographer following his girlfriend

What are the most popular images in your own collection?

On a different note, we’ve just launched a brand new website where you can find thousands of transparent PNG images, StickPNG, a pretty nice resource if you’re into scrapbooking, messaging stickers or internet memes. You can mix those transparent images with the backgrounds you’ll source on Pixabay, Pexels or Picjumbo.

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