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SEO tip for anyone who has lost google ranking.

One of the unfortunate things about photography sites is that we often have pages and pages with basically no content. Every image of every gallery you have indexed has its own page and only one image on it, some ALT text if you're paying attention, and often not much else. In fact if you look at the meta title and meta description (non-existent in zenfolio for galleries for no good reason), they are THE SAME for all pages in a given gallery. The result ? Google does not really see all of these pages as offering unique content nor a significant amount of content.

Zen will argue that you should add lots and lots of text to your pages (including image pages ? really ?) including keywords and titles. Not only does this seriously detract from presentation and put off your potential customers, it still doesn't address the duplicate title tag problem I just alluded to.

Why does all of this matter ? Because google, particularly after the PANDA update which definitely goes after websites with pages thin on content, may be looking at many of your image pages in your many galleries and basically interpret your overall site as being thin on content. Have a blog with 30 entries filled with text and ALT-tagged images ? That's great. But do you also have 1200 image pages each of which is seen by google as not offering a lot of content ? I am convinced, after talking with folks at Google Webmaster Help Forums, that having too many of these pages indexed will hurt your site's performance in google dramatically.

For those who agree with me that this may be a serious problem for a significant number of zenfolio-based sites, my suggestions include the following:

1. Remove from being Indexed (done in 'edit' mode), EVERY gallery that you aren't attempting to rank in google, including even galleries that aren't visible on your site. Note: these galleries will obviously still be viewable.
2. If you're a wedding / event photographer and your images and gallery are set up to rank for certain searches, leave these indexed, but consider really paring down the number of images you show per gallery to the ones that make the most impact and are the most unique. This is a hard one.
3. If you're ambitious, use the url removal tool in Google Webmaster Tools to hasten your image page's removal from Google's index
4. ALT tag all of your images so that there is at least some content on each photo page
5. consider adding more of your image content in blog form--note that each blog entry showcasing, say, 40 photos counts as one page--one page FILLED with content. In gallery form this would mean 40 pages each with not very much content at all.

Ottawa Wedding Photographer
Christopher Steven B. Photography | Wedding blog


  • great advice
  • This is an older thread, but this information is true.

    You should also pay attention to URL parameters, though.

    With my Zenfolio site, I have URL parameters "k" and "first" being indexed in the hundreds. These links are basically search results and should never be indexed (for me). There is no reason I should have 67 pages in my sitemap and over 400 indexed but not submitted in the sitemap.

    After I blocked these in the Google URL Parameter tool, I consolidated over 200 pages on my site to not index that I didn't need in about 5 minutes.
    Checkout my site and blog for photography tips, tricks, and ideas!
    Pennington Professional Photography

  • 1. Remove from being Indexed (done in 'edit' mode), EVERY gallery that you aren't attempting to rank in google, including even galleries that aren't visible on your site.

    How? :)
  • AlexZenAlexZen Administrator Posts: 89
    Hi Catalin!

    This is controlled Gallery Access > Search and Metadata tab > choose either Allow searching content on my site only or Do not include photos and videos in any search results. If this access setting is saved before any images are uploaded to the gallery, then there is no chance of them being indexed by a search engine.

    If you are making this change to a gallery that has already had the images uploaded, then you may need to use Google Webmaster Tools to request a page be removed, as well as request images being removed from Google image search.

    I hope this helps to clarify!
  • Denlo PhotographyDenlo Photography Trim. Co. Meath. Ireland.Member Posts: 7
    Good advice here. I (mistakenly) used to think the more pages indexed the better but I now realise that's not the case. All new galleries in the past year have been "no search" except the smaller public showcase ones.
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