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Will search engines find my SmugMug site?

Updated: 09/30/2014

If you dream of seeing your name on page one of Google's search results for Salt Lake City wedding photography, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help it come true.

Feeding Google

SmugMug's NiceName feature lets you place the search words that matter most where they count most: in page titles and URLs.

For example, suppose you create a top-level folder named Salt Lake City. Under it, you create a gallery named wedding photography. The URL will be:

www.example.com/Salt-Lake-City/wedding-photography

And the browser's title bar will contain your gallery NiceName.

More ways you can feed Google:

  • Site Title, so your title will always show in the browser title and bookmarks.

  • Image names like wedding-cake.jpg trump IMG2031.jpg in SEO.

  • Search Engine Settings. Fill in your Homepage Meta Description and Google will pick up the first 140 characters to display a description of your home page in their search results. Find this in the Search tab under Discovery in your Account Settings.

  • You can also fill out the Homepage Meta Keywords box in the same section, so search engines can classify your site.

Tip: Want to replace SmugMug's default text when you post to Facebook? Fill in your Homepage Meta Description (found in your Account Settings, under Discovery > Search) and enter a gallery description for your galleries.

Impressing Google

Google is impressed by links to your site from high-credibility sites that are relevant to yours.

Links from your own blog will help (but Twitter and Facebook won't because they have no-follow tags). Links from major figures in your industry will really help.

Google looks closely at the words the linking page uses when they reference you. If you post on photography forums, put a link in your signature to your site with the words Salt Lake City wedding photography.

Google has stopped using meta keywords since they're often overused.

Google isn't impressed with repeating words in your URL or page title.

Google cannot see Unlisted (Anyone with the Link) or password-protected galleries.

Check your Site Visibility settings in the Search area of the Discovery tab of your Account Settings. Make sure both "Google Search Visibility" and "SmugMug Search Visibility" are set to "Yes."