In a previous post I explained how Google wasn’t indexing my photos at SmugMug, and in another post I detailed how attacked that problem by creating a blog site and putting my SmugMug site on a subdomain.
I think I might be seeing some payoff. But only maybe.
At the start of all this, Google Search Console showed I had a pathetic 38 indexed images out of over 600 online at SmugMug; and even worse, that number had been declining for months. Google was actually reducing my index coverage over time.
So I worked through the process of creating a WordPress site, setting up a subdomain, and getting Google Search Console to respond to the changes.
After a week or two, I found I had 159 indexed pages; and a few days later, 169. The GSC Coverage Report showed my blog posts getting indexed, and my subdomain, and my 20 or so SmugMug gallery folders. However, only few of the 600 individual photos were indexed, and most were from just 2 galleries.
All the rest seemed to be under “Excluded” which, I agree, sounds bad. Under that heading are 2 categories:
“Crawled, not currently indexed” means pages that have actually been looked at by Google.
“Discovered, not currently indexed” means pages to which links have been found, but which haven’t been looked at.
Both these categories contained a mashup of hundreds of old and new (subdomain) image page URLs.
None of this seems to make much sense. Is Google in the middle of replacing my old URLs with the new ones, and re-crawling those pages? Or will it ultimately only index photos that showed some amount of past traffic? Or does Google just like change – and will toy with me for a while, at my new subdomain URLs, but eventually drop me again? Time will tell.
For now it at least seems like this might be progress. Maybe if I put interesting and useful things in a blog, I’ll eventually acquire a bit of “domain authority” and some of that will rub off on the image subdomain, and Google will accept me into the fraternity, and finally index all my work.
UPDATE: naturally, it turns out to be more complicated than i thought.