Smugmug Pictures Not Appearing in Google Images

slberonaslberona Registered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
edited April 6, 2019 in SmugMug Support
Hello, I've been working hard on making sure my smugmug pictures have titles, captions and keywords all attached. I make sure that all of them have my business name "Sherry Berona Photography." I've even been re-organizing my folders because I found out that pictures in password protected galleries (even if some pictures are collected into a public gallery) are not found by Google. However when I google (under google images) my business name, nothing comes up from my smugmug page. I was wondering if maybe it has to do with having a custom URL?

A couple of weeks ago I FINALLY got 3 pictures to show up, but the next day, they were gone. It makes me believe that google is intentionally blocking my images from smugmug. Is anyone else experiencing this issue? Do you have any tips on how to rectify this?


  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Registered Users Posts: 5,444 Major grins

    Why do you think a person searching for your business name will find you in Google Images? If I'm looking for pictures, I certainly won't type in a business name. Keywords in SmugMug are useless in Google. Keywords are helpful only within your own SmugMug.

    What is your website?

  • slberonaslberona Registered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
    Hi @"Hikin' Mike"
    I mainly put my business name in the keywords to make sure that it would show up in google images, because it's much easier to check for "Sherry Berona Photography" rather than "Temecula photographer" or "wedding pictures" etc.

    So, if keywords in smugmug (which translate from the metadata I put on my photos) are useless in google images, how would I get my pictures to show up in google images? Also, why would I see my pictures one day, but not the next?

    My website is
  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Registered Users Posts: 5,444 Major grins

    You're not trying to sell photos from random people, you're trying to get clients so why are you searching for your name in Google Images?

    The only info that Google sees in images is the alt tag. Unfortunately SmugMug doesn't give an option to add a alt tag like WordPress does. SmugMug uses the Title or Caption to populate the alt tag. So looking at this photo (, the alt tag says "Bride and Groom Photos at Wedgewood in Fallbrook".

    Why doesn't Google show it one day and not the next. No idea.

  • leftquarkleftquark Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,783 Many Grins

    When Googlebot crawls SmugMug sites and finds photos, it pulls the filename, keywords, title, descriptions, alt text and more. Just because it only surfaces the “alt” text in their interface does not mean that it ignores all of the information that’s been included with the photo.

    It sounds like you’re doing everything correct Sherry; the hard part is that one never knows what Google deems “important” one day and not the next. We do everything we can to ensure your site shows up, including reporting a “Sitemap” which tells Google what galleries and photos are in your account, all the metadata that they’d need to learn what your photo is, etc.

    It’s often misunderstood, but using a custom domain is often a big culpret for why your site may not show up on Google; your domain has very low “domain authority” (Google doesn’t know it’s an important site since it hasn’t found many things linking and referencing it). So one day it might crawl your site and think it’s important, but the next it won’t see links to it and it will remove the site from showing up. Using a non-custom domain can often help with SEO, but obviously it hinders the professional look / appearance you’re going for.

    One thing you can do is try to get other sites linking to your domain. Post on blogs, forums, work with your vendors and partners to have them link back to you, etc. That will build reputation on Google so they classify your site as important and show everything.

    (Btw, your wedding photos are beautiful!)

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website:
  • KnicksenKnicksen Registered Users Posts: 3 Big grins
    @leftquark - Intrigued by the custom domain point you highlight. We are and use that as our logo, name, Twitter handle and website id ( as it is nice and simple. Does this mean we suffer this problem? We have a Wordpress blog, but paused it last year, so the only links from our website will be to a few tweets.

    I'm also wondering how important filenames are these days? It's a pain and time consuming to rename all files before upload.
  • JenuineJenuine Registered Users Posts: 155 SmugMug Employee

    As, @leftquark, mentioned custom domains don't always receive the highest attention from Google search bots. So, unfortunately your custom domain will suffer the same concern. Doing the things mentioned will of course help to reduce the issue. We do use filenames for al text on images if images don't have titles or captions, if there are titles those are used for alt text. Keywords are important on SmugMug and using those we generate pages for individual keywords, which are then indexed by search engines. Filenames that are descriptive can be indexed as keywords, Using a photo editing program, like Lightroom can easily change the filenames prior to upload.

    SmugMug Support Hero
  • jimhjimh Registered Users Posts: 140 Major grins

    I'm coming into this thread too late, but if the OP is still following it: I share your frustration. I've tried for years to get Google to index my SmugMug images, and I also have a custom domain. I wrote a series of blog posts on my efforts which you might find interesting; here's the starting point:

    My conclusion for now is that it isn't possible; Google won't index the pages for individual photos. They just don't contain whatever secret sauce Google needs to see in terms of "content".

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