robots.txt -- SEO effect of disallow images directory from being indexed

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Hi group---

Alt.IS-E newb and 6 month lurker here.  Im a newb to SEO in general,
too.  My new site redesign just went up recently but I have a
lingering and nagging question about my robots.txt file.  

Question: What is the effect on SERPS of banning SEs from accessing
my site's  images and graphics via robots.txt?   Could rank be
lowered?  Or will it stay the same if I set up robots.txt to disallow
SEs access to my images directory?

Here's the situation: I much prefer that none of the
pictures/images/graphics on my site get indexed by any SEs if
possible-- yeah, I know it's a pipe dream .    They can have all
the content they want.  

Currently all my images are in 2 dirs and my robots.txt file looks
like this:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /assets
Disallow: /images

Example of my worries: Googlebot is currently hitting each site page
with "gets" just fine,  but it is not requesting or "getting"  the
images that go along with the page.  Hence googlebot is not seeing my
'on page SEOed images' along with the page content.

If restricting access to my images could possibly lower my SERPS in
any way, then I'll take the disallow off the image dirs immediately.
What's the standard way to handle this?  Do you recommend I disallow
my images to the SEs or not?

Thanks much for any tips or pointers in the right direction.

Jill Lebar
Creative Alliances - Geriatric Care Management

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