Danny Sullivan taught me to link my < ahref="http://www.flickr.com/">Flickr images to my posts. I decided to take a look at what type of traffic Flickr has sent to this specific blog year to date. I counted 91 referrals from Flickr. The top 5 Flickr referrals came from these pictures:

Now, I know this isn't a ton of traffic, but it is nice. So how does this work?

If you go to a picture you upload and click directly under the image, a text box will appear. It looks like this:
Traffic & Link Building With Flickr

Just enter in your html and links, etc. and presto, it can look like:

flickr_traffic

You see, the links turn into hyperlinks and people do actually click over.

Are they indexed and count as links towards your search rankings?

I checked Google Webmaster Central's link tool, found several flickr.com links in the export file. I then checked this specific image, we see it is indexed and it also has a cache link within Google. I do not see any nofollow attributes in the source code, but I do see the static link to cartoonbarry.com in the source code. So it looks like these links count somewhat.

So traffic and links from Flickr. Nice.

But uploading images directly to your site enables you to get traffic from Google Image search and other image search engines. Otherwise, you send that traffic to Flickr and hope for the click through. So which way to go, which way to go? :)