It may just sound like a breakfast item to you, but hash bang is something we did to your gallery URLs to improve your SEO. Sitemaps was one, but we’ve tinkered with your gallery links to make it even more powerful.
Confused? Let’s start from the beginning.
Why the change?
To help Google index your gallery pages and get you found. Our old URLs made it easy for search engines to list the gallery, but not the individual image links due to the way they were dynamically created.
Our newest update makes it easier for Googlebots who are trying to crawl your site to index your gallery images on search engines. (Better indexing for AJAX-based pages, for you tech-minded folks.)
If you’re feeling daring you can check out the Google specs here and see exactly how and why this works.
How do I make sense of the new URLs?
Pull up your favorite gallery and zoom in on the URL. You used to see something like this:
Now you’ll see this:
Note the new “i” for image and the “k” for the image key. Those numbers and scrambled letters still mean the same things:
- Album ID: 2504559
- Album key: TrBCmb
- Image ID: 131487110
- Image key: FdKeW
Opening the lightbox looks just a little different, too, but see if you can spot the “lb”:
And if you click to another page in the gallery, you’ll see a couple of additional things in the URL:
- P: Page number (page 1, here)
- N: Number of images per page (20 images, here)
If you get a direct image link, you’ll see that it looks pretty much the same as it did before:
Will my old page links break?
No way, José! We’ve made sure that your site, images and your business remain unchanged for smooth sailing through the week. If you do notice anything funny with your site, be sure to ping our Support Heroes and send us the deets.
What changes will I see in the coming weeks?
Better indexing, possibly more traffic and fanfare from new clients. :) Now that we’ve made all these changes, we can start cooking up even more exciting URL-based improvements to help folks who use SmugMug on Chrome, Firefox and Safari. All modern browsers that we love.
Don’t want your site to be found? Just like before, you can always enable SmugMug’s many privacy options and be left out of search results, search engines and Google Images.
And here’s further reading: