Does punctuation in title matter? Does keyword order matter?

KimCarpenterKimCarpenter Registered Users Posts: 4 Big grins
(1) Set aside, for the purpose of this discussion, that a major SEO factor is having links from other sites into your SmugMug site.
(2) I believe I understand -- mostly from discussions in this forum -- that Google "finds" your image based on your image title and/or caption and/or keywords. (All of my photos have title and caption and keywords, long-tail keywords when relevant.)
(3) I photographed a site in India that there are VERY few photographs of on the Internet (Pachin Mandir in Agra). If one searches "pachin mandir" + agra, one gets about 50 total images, only one of which is actually the Pachin Mandir. My SmugMug images for Pachin Mandir all include both "Pachin Mandir" and "Agra" in the title and the keywords ( I would THINK that Google would find my images ... I've submitted a site map, made my site searchable, and everything else the Search Hero articles recommend.

So here my two questions:
(I) Could punctuation or special characters in my titles have an impact on the formation of alt tags and/or however Google "sees" my images? For instance, a typical photo title of mine in this gallery would be "Lion on Temple Platform, Pachin Mandir, Agra (#2126)." Are the commas hurting my image from being found? How about the # symbol?
(II) My keyword list for Pachin Mandir starts with India (broadest geography), then has Agra (more specific geography), then "Pachin Mandir" (more specific location), then other relevant terms such as temple and Hindu. Does the order matter??


  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Registered Users Posts: 5,447 Major grins

    No punctuation or special characters are not hurting your "ranking".

    Search engines quit using keywords for ranking years ago. The only benefit for SmugMug's keywords (tags) is within your own site.

    Looking at the page you listed, it looks "spammy" to me and possibly Google. You are using the same captions on EVERY image. I'm not going to say that is the problem, but it could.

    I have heard that "keyword" order matters. The most important should be the first, if possible. But, it isn't a magic wand.

  • KimCarpenterKimCarpenter Registered Users Posts: 4 Big grins
    Interesting ... I'll try varying the captions in this gallery. (This is the only one of my galleries where I repeat the caption over & over because I know so little about this temple; captions for my other galleries are more substantive and specific to the image, but that has not, apparently, helped Google find those images either.) Are you saying that SmugMug's keywords have no "power" to help Google determine whether an image fits a searcher's search criteria? In March, a Support Hero suggested otherwise in another DGrin discussion: "the title (or caption if there is no title) will be used as Alt tag for your photos. If you don't want to use titles/captions on your photos, add keywords as those are seen and indexed by search engines, too. Ana SmugMug Support Hero" Perhaps I am being dense ...
  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Registered Users Posts: 5,447 Major grins

    Just MY opinion, your mileage may vary. I don't think keywords are not going to help. Google like text. Use descriptive titles and captions. Using JUST keywords (no titles and captions) is useless, IMO.

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