Support » Plugin: NextGEN Gallery - WordPress Gallery Plugin » Google Images seems to hate NextGEN Gallery

  • I’ve been using NextGEN Gallery plugin for a year now with thousands of images. But one big flaw is that Google Images simply does NOT seem to like this plugin for whatever reason.

    All of my NextGen images are tagged, each have a title and description, all have the keywords in the file name, etc. Yet Google absolutely refuses to index them. Images that I post with the default WordPress gallery system are indexed by Google Images within hours, so I would say it is definitely an issue with the plugin rather than my website.

    The only way I’ve had any sort of success with Google indexing NGG images is by using the included NGG WordPress widget and having it display random photos from my NextGEN Gallery. That is obviously not an ideal solution though and it would take forever to index my thousands of images using that method.

    When I last looked into this a few months ago I read a post about an image sitemap feature coming in the next version of NextGEN Gallery. It doesn’t seem like that ever got released yet, but I don’t think that would help anyway because Google is finding the posts/images, just choosing not to index them for whatever reason.

    I’m wondering if anyone here has found a solution or tips to improve the SEO of NextGEN Gallery? This plugin is perfect for my needs but if nobody can find my images from search engines I will have to start looking into alternative solutions.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • On no…
    I’ve spend the last month or two developing my new site around this plugin and I wasn’t aware of that. I hope it’s not the case, or there is a solution.

    I am not an expert… but maybe that’s depending on how you present the images through the gallery. Maybe try making a post with a single pic shortcode [singlepic id=??] and temporary edit the wp-content\plugins\nextgen-gallery\view\singlepic.php

    with just a simple image tag to render the whole image, rather than using lightbox or any other pop up gallery

    <img src="<?php echo $image->imageURL ?>" alt="<?php echo $image->alttext ?>" title="<?php echo $image->alttext ?>" />

    Otherwise, are you sure you don’t have a special rule in robots.txt or something?

    I have been spending a couple of days trying to find a solution as well, but not much success.

    I have noticed some strange behaviour with Google Images on what it chooses to index, for instance if I have the sidebar displaying random images, Google will index them.

    If I add a gallery and publish it as a post, Google will index the images.

    If I add a gallery to a permanent page, Google completely ignores the images.

    I don’t understand why Google will index a nextgen gallery in a post and not a page, it shouldn’t make a difference.

    SeanM5, What are you typing into Google image search to check for your indexed images? Also, whats your website/gallery url?

    I had a problem with canonical urls’s on my site which prevented many of my pages from being indexed so check that your pages are indexable.

    Do the WP Pages (or Posts) for your galleries appear in your site map?

    Your regular sitemap won’t show any image ‘pages’ generated by the NextGEN plugin (well, mine doesn’t) and Google might not be bothered to hunt them down so you need to encourage Google to find them.

    Google really seems to like indexing images that appear in my Recent Additions widget.

    As I only have a small number of images I built two image maps – one for each of the two main artists my site features. It took a few weeks but every image in the image sitemaps got picked up according to Google webmaster tools.

    Mentalist3d: I added a post with an image and created a page with the same image and google’s indexed both ok.

    Thanks for the reply, I don’t know why google images wont pick up on the pages, the pages are listed on the main search on Google just not for the image search.

    Maybe I need to check the way my pages and posts are being displayed by the theme to see if there is a problem there.

    I have been thinking of adding an image map, but I have s large gallery, so wanted to avoid it if I can in case it didn’t work, but I noticed you said they work fine, so I guess it is time to build one.

    Cheers for the feedback 😉

    @mikeg9999 , Most recent example of my URL with a NextGEN Gallery gallery is at: it was posted on April 19 (two weeks ago, so that’s plenty of time for it to be indexed).

    I’m typing the keyword “Annie Wersching Hack n Smack” into – my website shows up as the very first result (for me anyway, it might be personalized results) when doing the regular “web” search. So the post the NGG images were on has certainly been crawled and indexed by Google.

    But then when I go over to Google Images it only shows a few of the (useless) 128×100 size thumbnails from that post as being indexed: not the full size high quality ~2,000×3,000 px images.

    Maybe I am doing something wrong, but I don’t understand how Google can rank me as the #1 most relevant result yet refuse to index any of the images in that post? I can list a bunch of other examples where this happens. It’s kind of frustrating.

    (1) All in One SEO pack has canonical URL’s enabled on your site so it’s hindering/stopping pages like from being indexed. Whether you wish to turn off canonical URL’s is up to you (I’m not sure if it can be done selectively or if it is an ‘all or nothing’ situation).

    (2) Google might not like your url’s of the format Generally urls with ?pid=nnnn are considered unfriendly so that might be worth changing.

    (3) All your competitors I looked with at large images indexed have their real wordpress page thumbnails going directly to a jpg. You (and I) have real wordpress pages pointing to a NextGEN page which then points to the jpg and google doesn’t seem to like that. You could possibly simulate your competitors setup by going into Manage Gallery, adding a hyperlink to the jpg itself (in the box with the scroll bars) then updating the wordpress page to use captions [nggallery id=xx template=caption]. You’ll need to test this as the move to template caption may mean you need to play around with your image titles/layout etc. I might try this as well – I already use captions (eg. it may be fairly easy to try for me.

    (4) You could try manually creating a sitemap with your NextGEN pages in it – this works well on my other site that uses the wp ecommerce plugin (fortunately someone wrote a plugin to add the NextGEN pages automatically). But, you may need to resolve the canonical issue first?

    (5) The other thing would be to create an image sitemap, that helped on my art site but it still happens that not all the fullsize images appear all the time!

    Here’s a snippet of an xml image sitemap for your site. You copy/paste it into a xml file (don’t forget to remove the backticks) and submit it to google via webmaster tools and monitor to see if/when google indexes the images.

    [Code moderated as per the Forum Rules. Please use the pastebin]

    Thanks mike, extremely helpful post!

    (1) I see in All In One SEO options that there is a checkbox to disable the canonical URL stuff but that seems like something that should maybe be left on? It says it “will help to prevent duplicate content penalties by Google” — it’s easy enough to disable but I want to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect my site first. I assume it’s okay to turn off, otherwise it’d be built into WordPress by default. Either way, it’s nice to finally know that this is probably the culprit in my images not getting indexed.

    (2) I’ve just enabled the permalinks and hopefully this change will help.

    (3) I think I would prefer to keep my current setup. One of the competing blogs anniewersching(dot)net has the same set up as me (NGG with non-direct image links) and they seem to be getting full-sized images indexed. The only difference is they had permalinks rather than “pid=5275”. Since I just switched on permalinks I’ll see if this helps before changing templates and whatnot.

    One thing I’d like to ask after visiting your site (very nice by the way) is how you are getting “clean” title tags like that? All my <title> stuff starts off like “Picture 5272” which is ugly and useless. I assume you manually edited the PHP files but maybe there is a preference in NGG I’m missing.

    (4) I have a sitemap plugin called Google XML Sitemaps which lists every post and page, so I am covered there already I think. (the sitemap URL is )

    (5) An image sitemap also seems like a helpful thing for me to do. It seems like the code you posted was removed but I have it in the email so it’s ok. Several months ago I had seen a post that said it was coming in the next version of NGG, but I guess that hasn’t happened (yet?). I’ll do a manual sitemap for now to see if it helps getting things indexed, but hopefully a fully-automated one comes to NGG sooner or later.

    Thanks again for all your assistance, you were a huge help!

    (1) I can’t answer whether you should have canonical url’s on or off. Google does index (some/many/most???) pages with canonical url’s so it’s not a hard and fast rule. I took the view on my site that too much original content was flagged as not to be indexed (and it didn’t seem to be getting indexed) so I turned it off. I personaly don’t worry about duplicate content issues.

    (3) That’s a sensible thing to do. I used NextGEN Gallery SEO Titles plugin which worked well at first BUT!!! had lots of trouble with duplicate page titles after upgrading to a later WP version. Also it’s deactivate function stopped working. I circumvented the duplicate page problem by editing my theme. I can’t recommend you try it unless you’re feeling adventuress.

    (4) I don’t think your sitemap included any …pid=nnn pages which I’m assuming are the NextGEN generated pages (i.e. if you go to wordpress Pages or Posts you don’t see them there). Your competitors NextGEN pages are not in their sitemap either.

    fyi – there ia a Google XML Sitemap for Images plugin. I tried it ages ago but it didn’t find the images on my NextGEN pages.

    So i suppose the original mistake it because wp and its pages.
    (i have also the seo images since several months : change nothing at all)
    maybe the solution is not put the galleries in page but in post ?
    or both ? (but duplicate or not if google don’t know pages ?)
    also put orignal galleries wp in posts… ?

    I have been finding that Google will index your images if they are in a post, as for duplicate content, I wouldn’t worry about it, if Google images aren’t indexing your page galleries, then it isn’t really an issue.

    I think the best solution would be to create a manual xml sitemap for your images, and just publish them in a post as well. Initially I wanted to avoid making a post of the galleries, so people would browse the pages more, but if it means my images are getting viewed through posts, then so be it 😉

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • The topic ‘Google Images seems to hate NextGEN Gallery’ is closed to new replies.