Part of coding every bit of every page is the responsibility of thinking about things that I didn’t really have to think about with other photo-storage sites. On the flip-side, I get to control every minute detail. Here are just a few things that I have had to do to get my SEO to an acceptable level.
Title of every page to be SEO friendly and match the photo on that page. Most photo-sites don’t even do this correctly.
Meta description could only be a certain length and have content about the photo.
Canonical URL must be in the header of every page. I had to Mod Rewrite every php intensive URL into a friendly html URL. This wasn’t too hard once I learned how to do it. Now my site has friendly html URLs instead of crazy variable-laden php pages.
Doctype etc. Simple things such as declaring the language and doctype. You would be surprised how many pages don’t.
Favicon also had to be Apple friendly – didn’t know that. I drew my own just to avoid any possible copyright confusion. Yes it looks corny, but that is what I was going for.
Viewport had to be set correctly to be mobile friendly.
twitter:card and og:tags. I didn’t even know about these. Now I can shape exactly how my page is shared.
H1 heading. Almost forgot that.
GZip for compressed data transmission. Had to do that.
The moral of the story is once I got everything done – and I probably don’t yet – my site’s pages will get indexed correctly. The hard part is that I can’t control the actual ranking. That part just takes time, links, and good content.
I did go back and look at other photo-storage site’s headers once I learned what I needed to and I can see why they just don’t do well with Google.
As I said in a previous post, I launched my gallery project. I have so many years of photos to go through. Right now I am posting shots that I took in 2007. I started the gallery with shots dating back to 1998 in my “large format” days. My plan is to move forward in time and post photos as I go. I also plan to post present-day photos as I take them.
Today, I launched the early “beta” build of my new gallery. It is sparse, but it is functional. My goal is and has always been to control the SEO and page design in such a way that google likes it better than the gallery sites I have tried in the past such as SmugMug, Zenfolio, Flickr, etc. We will see in the long run if it works or not. Either way, I have enjoyed the coding process. As I build each line of code, I have been able to decide exactly how I want things. Hopefully this will be fun.