One of the potential factors to a website’s relevance is the number of images that display on your site, that are actually hosted elsewhere.
This doesn’t happen often on normal sites, but can be factor on blogs or forums where users insert external links to images hosted on other sites. A common example would be pictures uploaded on Photobucket and then posted on other sites.
On my Xenforo forum, I’m working with DigitalPoint’s image proxy addon successfully but at the same time Xenforo’s developers are making a similar feature one of the built-in benefits of the upcoming version 1.3.
What this does is makes externally-hosted images something that is a part of your site. Even if it’s just for a few hours, your users will be presented with an encrypted (if you configure it), cached, and potentially optimized version of an external image – rather than having to wait for it re-download.
Another benefit is the reduction (elimination) of cookie-stuffing that results from visiting my site. Using the same example above, I rarely visit Photobucket but had been receiving cookies from that site often until now.
It is great to see so many positive changes.