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Author Topic: how does the search on alamy works?  (Read 13505 times)

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« on: May 04, 2010, 15:01 »
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Hi,
how does the search engine works there ?
do newly approved images show up on the initial pages of the search for a certain keyword
or, older images usually get on initial pages?

thanks!


« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 15:29 »
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They appear in the order of their "AlamyRank". There are no information available how the AlamyRank is calculated, but there seems to be lots of different factors involved like CTR (click through ratio), different importances of keywords and sales statistics etc etc.a

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photography-alamyrank.asp and http://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamysearch/default.asp

BTW I think Alamy's search is much better than any micro site's.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 15:32 by Perry »

« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 15:34 »
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Hey, Thanks so much for answering!
I'm going to check into that!

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 16:28 »
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BTW I think Alamy's search is much better than any micro site's.
That's clearly missing a smiley! Alamy's search is just embarrassing. No CV, no DA, takes keywords from all over the place. If your name can be a possible keyword, e.g. House or London, your images will turn up in searches for that term, no matter how irrelevant. My name turns up in searches for Leyden (alternative spelling of the Dutch city) and even once on a search for a person called 'Elizabeth House', because my pseudonym first name is Elizabeth and it was a photo of a house.

lagereek

« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 07:23 »
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Agree!  the Alamy search is far better and more effective then any Micro-search. You can tell the Alamy people have invested quite some money for their search-engine. They dont play it cheapskate.

ShadySue

« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2010, 10:24 »
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Agree!  the Alamy search is far better and more effective then any Micro-search. You can tell the Alamy people have invested quite some money for their search-engine. They dont play it cheapskate.
He's being sarcastic everyone!!!
Today I had several hits on a search for end of road not sign. None of them were relevant, though none of them had a sign. But they were all roads, one featuring the end of a bridge, the others being in the West 'End' of either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
I suspect the dreadful search engine is a bigger reason for sales falling there than cheaper competition from micros.

« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2010, 10:38 »
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ShadySue has a point. The search engine will search on your name and also on your address (assuming they haven't fixed it). I live in a small town called Hammond. Most of my views were for a certain John Hammond. I edited all my photos to change the spelling of my home town. The good thing about their system is that you know what the potential buyer searched on to view your images and you can tweak your keywords accordingly. If you don't, your view to download ratio will decrease and so will your downloads.

The search engine has alot of potential, especially since we have to separate the essential and most relevant key words. I don't see why the contributor's name or address would be captured in the search. I suspect its a bug.

« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 21:21 »
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ahahahha
i didn't realize he was being sarcastic LOL
that's quite funny!

okay, I asked because in some places my new images seem to get more hits and downloads, and after a while my images get burried and get no downloads etc..

so if at least you know what keyword the customer is searching, etc, that's is a good thing...

« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 23:58 »
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funny I've always found it easier to find what I'm looking for alamy than most sites.  I hate Istocks search with its disambiguition select the wrong choice and then its close your browser and reload the site :(

RacePhoto

« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 01:11 »
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Hi,
how does the search engine works there ?
do newly approved images show up on the initial pages of the search for a certain keyword
or, older images usually get on initial pages?

thanks!


Alamy has a very helpful and well documented guide to how their system works. Read the help files.

The latest system consists of three main components, giving a combined score, to determine image positioning; namely AlamyRank, the Search Engine and the Diversity Algorithm.

http://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamysearch/default.asp


Or this?  How Alamy determines the order in which to display images

http://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamysearch/stock-photography-alamysearch.asp

And yes, Alamy has an intelligent search based on how you keyword and place what you think are important words. Users create their own CV and rank in returns to some extent. No phony boost for exclusive, nothing for writing messages on a forum, no popularity contest for "likes" or reviewers opinions. In fact more views and less clicks or less sales, will lower the rank of a photo. So keyword spamming is not rewarded, it acts to lower the image rank. Most of the rank for similar matching images is based on major buyers activity. Real word best match.

Where other image libraries may order images using solely one parameter, such as reference number or date uploaded, Alamys new system relies exclusively on client activity to objectively place the most popular image suppliers higher up the sort order.

In case this appears to heavily favor old accounts and banish new members at the end, everyone starts ranked in the middle and has a chance to earn a position instead of being stuck at the end clawing their way up.

RacePhoto

« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2010, 02:17 »
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Agree!  the Alamy search is far better and more effective then any Micro-search. You can tell the Alamy people have invested quite some money for their search-engine. They dont play it cheapskate.

He's being sarcastic everyone!!!
Today I had several hits on a search for end of road not sign. None of them were relevant, though none of them had a sign. But they were all roads, one featuring the end of a bridge, the others being in the West 'End' of either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
I suspect the dreadful search engine is a bigger reason for sales falling there than cheaper competition from micros.


You are finding fault because the search engine finds words the YOU put into the keywords. That's strange?

I did the same search and found some with signs. Same problem, the "NOT sign" won't work unless the contributor has "sign" in the keywords.

You expect the search to be psychic or be able to see the images somehow? It can only search what we put in there.

Stop Words are Words Ignored By Search Engines

http://www.link-assistant.com/seo-stop-words.html

Save space and characters by leaving them out of keywords. Not all on the list will or should be ignored by photo searchs, but most of the common words are useless, so they are ignored.

End of road NOT sign is identical to End Road NOT Sign and gives the same results. A weak two word search for everything that has END and ROAD, ignoring any with the word SIGN in them.

Poor searches will create poor results. Don't blame the search engine for finding only what's there and only what it was asked for.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 02:23 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2010, 20:55 »
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GIGO

« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2010, 21:44 »
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I have a problem with Alamy search because of my name too (Adelaide), as any search for the homonymous Australian city returns my images too.  There is however the relevance in the results sorting order, so for the buyer this doesn't seem to be a problem.

Searching for Adelaide beach, I get 11 pages.  My first image appears on page 6, and it has the composed keyword "Copacabana beach", but not beach alone. Then I have one of the same series on page 7, two on page 8, five on page 9.

If only they stopped looking for one word inside the composed keywords, their search would be great. As I said, beach was not a separate keyword in my image - it doesn't show the beach, but the photo was taken at Copacabana Beach. 

The same happened in a search for American Airlines, and it returned one of my images because it had "Latin American" or "South American", although not American alone.  Doing this search, I find mine at page 19 of 71 andalmost all images before mine are AA-related. 

« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2010, 21:46 »
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Poorly - if you mean have any buyers been able to find my fabulous images  ;)

Like most search engines, there are good and bad aspects of it...

as far as I know there is no way to link words in the keywords yet. For example, a picture of the "San Francisco peaks" shows up on a search for "San Francisco".  I think a while ago they said they were going to do this with [ ] but I don't know if that is so. I could be wrong though.

It would be very frustrating to have a name or address that is a common search term.

I do like the fact that it theoretically should discourage spam and lets your images rise or fall on their own merit.

--=Tom

RacePhoto

« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2010, 17:07 »
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It's really not complicated and NO it does not search for street names of users.

The search looks for "word" OR "nextword" OR "anotherword", not just images with AND for all words. If it only did AND people would be complaining that a search for "That Place Beach", didn't come up for "Place Beach", because all three words were not in the search. If it was AND you would have to have all three words for a match. So which one works best for finding photos?

Of course no matter what they do, some people will complain. They turned on the extended words and it raised chaos. a search for Dog would come up with Dogwood. To make it work, every word would have to be matched and a specific one to one correction in the database added. It's not like just adding "s" is that easy to program. Boot and Boots, and then bootstrap would come up because it has all the same characters. Trap would find bootstrap. Searching foor Boo would find every word with boo in it, if you want the extended search to find partial words, within words! It would be insane.

If the word is in your keywords (or proper name) it will be found. Keep in mind that word order, proximity, and the weighting come into play. Your name is way down the list in the search, which means a good match with all the words will come up first! Every one of us has a name, some are less common, some more common, but I could argue that Tom, Dick or Harry would come up many more times than Adelaide in searches.

Everyone will get some hits in erroneous searches, but when they are down on page 19, what's the deal? It's one crummy view out of hundreds or thousands. Alamy rank isn't the most important thing for getting your images sold. A good photo will get sales. I still can't understand why people are complaining because Alamy finds exactly what the user is searching for and not something else.

Then there's this part on the left... for searching within the search.
    
Age
   Any
   Baby
   Child
   Teenager
   Adult
   Senior
   See all ...
    
Number of People
   Any
   None
   1 Person
   2 People
   3 People
   4 People
   Groups or Crowds
    
Ethnicity
   Any
   African
   African American
   Caucasian
   Chinese
   Indian
   Japanese
   See all ...
    
Viewpoint
   Any
   Front
   Side
   Rear
   Profile
    
Location
   Any
   USA
   UK
   Europe
    
Orientation
   Any
   Landscape
   Portrait
   Panoramic
   Square
    
Image Type
   Any
   Photographs
   Illustrations
    
Date Taken
   Any
   Last 7 days
   Last month
   Last 3 months
   Last 6 months
   Last 12 months
   Custom ...
    
Minimum File Size


Where else can you select files by all those specific limits?



Poorly - if you mean have any buyers been able to find my fabulous images  ;)

Like most search engines, there are good and bad aspects of it...

as far as I know there is no way to link words in the keywords yet. For example, a picture of the "San Francisco peaks" shows up on a search for "San Francisco".  I think a while ago they said they were going to do this with [ ] but I don't know if that is so. I could be wrong though.

It would be very frustrating to have a name or address that is a common search term.

I do like the fact that it theoretically should discourage spam and lets your images rise or fall on their own merit.

--=Tom

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2010, 17:40 »
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I still can't understand why people are complaining because Alamy finds exactly what the user is searching for and not something else.
If I were a buyer I'd hate all the totally non-related stuff that comes up in every search I've tried (other than a few where there were very few 'hits' for an obscure topic, obviously). Sure, some related stuff is in there, but you generally get a really high noise-to-signal ratio. Like anywhere else, of course there is poor keywording: spamming or genuine mistakes. But with Alamy, it's compounded over and over because of the actual system they have chosen to use.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 16:48 by ShadySue »

« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2010, 09:19 »
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Racephoto is right - the search engine no longer searches on the address field (it used to though a couple of years ago). It looks like they fixed the glitch. I like Alamy's search engine. Photographers who use inappropriate keywords are punished. There doesn't seem to be any favoritism to any group of photographers.

John

RacePhoto

« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2010, 13:48 »
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I still can't understand why people are complaining because Alamy finds exactly what the user is searching for and not something else.
If I were a buyer I'd hate all the totally non-related stuff that comes up in every search I've tried (other than a few where there were very few 'hits' for an obscure topic, obivously). Sure, some related stuff is in there, but you generally get a really high noise-to-signal ratio. Like anywhere else, of course there is poor keywording: spamming or genuine mistakes. But with Alamy, it's compounded over and over because of the actual system they have chosen to use.

Words are ranked by the field we choose to put them in, and how far up in the order we choose to put them, also there are three levels of importance for the keywords and information to rank results in an order of importance. Words are found by proximity to each other and word order. We control that too.

Also there is the diversity setting so one person doesn't get all their images in a pack, in front of ours and fill pages and pages with the same shot or similar images. That moves people up in the pages on an equal basis.

If a word is in there, the Alamy search will find it. It's all that simple?

Tell me where except IS do you get different results that are better and more accurate?  ;D

A good search will get good results. Also see above all the ways after the initial search to refine the results! Where else do buyers get all those options?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 13:53 by RacePhoto »

lagereek

« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2010, 14:06 »
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I have a problem with Alamy search because of my name too (Adelaide), as any search for the homonymous Australian city returns my images too.  There is however the relevance in the results sorting order, so for the buyer this doesn't seem to be a problem.

Searching for Adelaide beach, I get 11 pages.  My first image appears on page 6, and it has the composed keyword "Copacabana beach", but not beach alone. Then I have one of the same series on page 7, two on page 8, five on page 9.

If only they stopped looking for one word inside the composed keywords, their search would be great. As I said, beach was not a separate keyword in my image - it doesn't show the beach, but the photo was taken at Copacabana Beach. 

The same happened in a search for American Airlines, and it returned one of my images because it had "Latin American" or "South American", although not American alone.  Doing this search, I find mine at page 19 of 71 andalmost all images before mine are AA-related. 

Why dont you start taking a hell of a lot of shots of Adelaide?  that in conjunction with your name should render you a fortune!

you gonna thank me in a few years

best.

RacePhoto

« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 19:04 »
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I still can't understand why people are complaining because Alamy finds exactly what the user is searching for and not something else.

If I were a buyer I'd hate all the totally non-related stuff that comes up in every search I've tried (other than a few where there were very few 'hits' for an obscure topic, obivously). Sure, some related stuff is in there, but you generally get a really high noise-to-signal ratio. Like anywhere else, of course there is poor keywording: spamming or genuine mistakes. But with Alamy, it's compounded over and over because of the actual system they have chosen to use.


Can you give an example or two please?

Obviously I don't work for Alamy and I'm not just going on and on to defend their search. I just find that it has all kinds of features and ways to make the results better and more accurate, except the [phrase here] or connecting exclusive words "like this" functions that don't work. If the choice of search words is only two words or vague, it will return vague results.

If people put in words that don't belong, then the search won't work. The first words and the most important words are the responsibility of the artist. The search finds them first and finds the words together in the correct order, before the same words, not in the correct order.

Which makes me ask, for an example or two of the search engine being the cause of the bad results?

Watch this and see if it produces better search results than what we used to have on Alamy? (top one)

http://www.alamy.com/Blog/contributor/archive/2010/04/23/4813.aspx
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 21:48 by RacePhoto »

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2010, 17:10 »
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[snip]

Then there's this part on the left... for searching within the search.
    
Age
   Any
   Baby
   Child
   Teenager
   Adult
   Senior
   See all ...
    
Number of People
   Any
   None
   1 Person
   2 People
   3 People
   4 People
   Groups or Crowds
    
Ethnicity
   Any
   African
   African American
   Caucasian
   Chinese
   Indian
   Japanese
   See all ...
    
Viewpoint
   Any
   Front
   Side
   Rear
   Profile
    
Location
   Any
   USA
   UK
   Europe
    
Orientation
   Any
   Landscape
   Portrait
   Panoramic
   Square
    
Image Type
   Any
   Photographs
   Illustrations
    
Date Taken
   Any
   Last 7 days
   Last month
   Last 3 months
   Last 6 months
   Last 12 months
   Custom ...
    
Minimum File Size


Where else can you select files by all those specific limits?

[snip]

These bits that are down the left hand side for choosing - do they come from the keywords? Because I can't find any other way of setting, for example, ethnicity, except in the keywords. (I realise that 'I can't find' isn't the same as 'it's not there'!)

ShadySue

« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 18:37 »
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[snip]

Then there's this part on the left... for searching within the search.
    
Age
   Any
   Baby
   Child
   Teenager
   Adult
   Senior
   See all ...
    
Number of People
   Any
   None
   1 Person
   2 People
   3 People
   4 People
   Groups or Crowds
    
Ethnicity
   Any
   African
   African American
   Caucasian
   Chinese
   Indian
   Japanese
   See all ...
    
Viewpoint
   Any
   Front
   Side
   Rear
   Profile
    
Location
   Any
   USA
   UK
   Europe
    
Orientation
   Any
   Landscape
   Portrait
   Panoramic
   Square
    
Image Type
   Any
   Photographs
   Illustrations
    
Date Taken
   Any
   Last 7 days
   Last month
   Last 3 months
   Last 6 months
   Last 12 months
   Custom ...
    
Minimum File Size


Where else can you select files by all those specific limits?

[snip]

These bits that are down the left hand side for choosing - do they come from the keywords? Because I can't find any other way of setting, for example, ethnicity, except in the keywords. (I realise that 'I can't find' isn't the same as 'it's not there'!)

Otherwise we're getting into the same old, same old. E.g. I've got photos of some Caucasian musicians playing Japanese drums. The keywords include taiko and Japanese drums. So will those images show on a search for Japanese ethnicity?

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2010, 08:46 »
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These bits that are down the left hand side for choosing - do they come from the keywords? Because I can't find any other way of setting, for example, ethnicity, except in the keywords. (I realise that 'I can't find' isn't the same as 'it's not there'!)

Otherwise we're getting into the same old, same old. E.g. I've got photos of some Caucasian musicians playing Japanese drums. The keywords include taiko and Japanese drums. So will those images show on a search for Japanese ethnicity?

Answer my own question: the pics are now on sale, so I checked and indeed the do show up on Japanese ethnicity. So again, I have to assert that the Alamy search system is seriously flawed.
OTOH, I remember being informed when I joined that the location you put in the location bar is searchable. This is NOT currently true, so I've just added the detailled location into the keywords of a couple of hundred photos with probably another few huindred to go.

lagereek

« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2010, 09:18 »
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Yeah, its all soooooooooooooo  secret, right?  and with plenty of hush, hush, on par with the IS  best match and all that blaha. Simple answer is: DOESNT work at all and neither does anybody elses.
Buyers will have to throw a dice and hope for the best to find their shot.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 09:45 »
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Yeah, its all soooooooooooooo  secret, right?  and with plenty of hush, hush, on par with the IS  best match and all that blaha. Simple answer is: DOESNT work at all and neither does anybody elses.
Buyers will have to throw a dice and hope for the best to find their shot.
IS is a gazillion times better for search then Alamy. At least if contributors keyword correctly, the search will be fairly clean, the problem comes with either spammers or 'genuine mistakes', and even they will fall in the best match soon enough.
The trouble with Alamy is that without a CV, or even 'keyword phrases' (e.g. by CSVs), even correct keywording will give poor results just because of the way the system works. Worse still, they seem unwilling to resolve the problem and reluctant to accept feedback from the forums.

RacePhoto

« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2010, 00:01 »
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 (I realise that 'I can't find' isn't the same as 'it's not there'!)

I know that one myself!  ;D

I think what I'm trying to point out is that if you search for three words, your example "Drums, Japanese and Caucasian" You are going to get all the photos with those three words. It's pretty straight forward. The search isn't psychic and doesn't know what you are thinking of, just words that match. The best searches are specific, but lets say you included "playing drums" in the above. Every images with those two "playing drums" words will also come up. But images with all four words should come up first.

Also one part I like is the diversity, where if I have 1400 images of race cars, mine will not all come up first, because of my rank. The results are interwoven with multiple members, before massive duplicate groups show. I don't know of any other agency that does this as well. It means your photos won't get buried ten pages down, after the popular or high ranking photographers, entire collections.

I'm not suggesting that Alamy has a better search, just that it's no worse than any others. Also they do have ways to refine the search, which a buyer can use to limit the erroneous images that are included.

For all the complaints about CV on IS, it actually puts things into limited slots which prevents many of the bad matches. In many ways I like it. In many ways, it's too restrictive and I don't like it. But it's the restrictive part that allows for better matches on searches.

Alamy finds ALL the words you search for. Which I'll ask again. Are people complaining because the search finds words that you are asking it to find?  ???

As for searching the location field, YES IT DOES! Remember that the location field is much lower rank than the first two keyword fields, which makes it third in importance. Next someone will complain that they are getting bad hits on locations, because it is included. If finding things wrong is the goal for someone, there are flaws and you can make an argument criticizing any search engine, for omissions and errors, including the almighty Google.

If you want an example that proves the location is included I'll be happy to provide some images where Joliet Illinois is only in the location field. Since they are pictures taken in Joliet, but not of Joliet, I only included it in the location. If someone wants good matches, including the location in other fields will lower you CTR and views/zooms, which will lower your Alamy rank. Alamy serves up a small rank penalty for keyword spamming.

lagereek

« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2010, 03:23 »
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Yeah, its all soooooooooooooo  secret, right?  and with plenty of hush, hush, on par with the IS  best match and all that blaha. Simple answer is: DOESNT work at all and neither does anybody elses.
Buyers will have to throw a dice and hope for the best to find their shot.
IS is a gazillion times better for search then Alamy. At least if contributors keyword correctly, the search will be fairly clean, the problem comes with either spammers or 'genuine mistakes', and even they will fall in the best match soon enough.
The trouble with Alamy is that without a CV, or even 'keyword phrases' (e.g. by CSVs), even correct keywording will give poor results just because of the way the system works. Worse still, they seem unwilling to resolve the problem and reluctant to accept feedback from the forums.

Agree, the IS search is much better but there is room for improvements as well, one of them is getting reviewers that will remove spamming and NOT weighted keywords, i.e.  being familiar with the English language to 110%.
however apart from that, IS, is superior.

ShadySue

« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2010, 04:16 »
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 (I realise that 'I can't find' isn't the same as 'it's not there'!)

I know that one myself!  ;D

I think what I'm trying to point out is that if you search for three words, your example "Drums, Japanese and Caucasian" You are going to get all the photos with those three words. It's pretty straight forward. The search isn't psychic and doesn't know what you are thinking of, just words that match. The best searches are specific, but lets say you included "playing drums" in the above. Every images with those two "playing drums" words will also come up. But images with all four words should come up first.


The search isn't phychic; but I wouldn't expect it to be. I would hope, however that it was 'intelligent'. If they are going to put things down the side for people to filter their search, they need to give the contributors the ability to enter these definers themselves, should they choose; i.e. we could choose to indicate the ethnicity of any people in our images. On iStock, the problem doesn't arise. Keyword 'Japanese', choose 'Japan (East Asia)' 'Japanese ethnicity' or 'Traditionally Japanese (Traditional Oriental Culture)' or two or all of these as appropriate and it's done - and accurate.

I've just looked at yesterday's 'customer search activity' on my Alamy images. As usual, some weird, but the one which stuck out was that one of my photos had shown up, with 1680 others, on a search or 'end of the world'. I was, as so often, perplexed, so went onto my image which showed up in the search and found it was a pic of a mural on a house indicating local people signing up for WW1. So I'd think 'gable end' and "First World War" were perfectly legitimate keywords for the pic, but I bet the searcher didn't appreciate it wasting his/her time on the search. In fact, he/she had not zoomed on any of the 1680 which turned up. One of the things I regularly notice is that some 'customer search activity' shows people viewing more than a thousand images and not zooming on any. Is no-one on Alamy concerned about that?

[to be fair, this week I also noticed a customer search on Moremi game reserve, which had 1111 searches, including 26 of mine, and no zooms. I'd imagine (almost) all the searches were accurate, and would love to know what they were specifically looking for!]

Do they even analyse metrics? Do 'Them Upstairs' monitor this forum? Maybe they do, but it's not apparent. Lobo posts on the iStock thread from time to time (and I'm guessing it's part of his remit to monitor it all the time) and sometimes clarifies issues or offers help/suggestions if appropriate; and probably feeds back concerns to Them Upstairs. Which IMO is as is should be.

ShadySue

« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2010, 07:23 »
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I know that one myself!  ;D

As for searching the location field, YES IT DOES! Remember that the location field is much lower rank than the first two keyword fields, which makes it third in importance. Next someone will complain that they are getting bad hits on locations, because it is included. If finding things wrong is the goal for someone, there are flaws and you can make an argument criticizing any search engine, for omissions and errors, including the almighty Google.


Strange. I uploaded pics from the Glasgow Mela. I had Glasgow in the important keywords, and so obviously my pics showed up in a search for Glasgow Mela. However, I only had UK in the location field, so they were not showing up at all in a search for Mela UK. I can't 'prove' this now, as I added UK into some of the 'essential keywords' fields when I had enough free letters, or in the important keywords field for the rest. They're all showing up now, of course.

RacePhoto

« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2010, 14:33 »
0
I'll email you with some of mine that only have the world "Joliet" in the location. As I pointed out, since it's the location and not the subject, I didn't want people to get views from having it in the keywords. If I have a picture taken OF a location, I put it into the keywords, if it's AT that location, I don't.

As for the World and End, I have to agree, it searches for everything and anything and if the two words are in there, no matter what context, the image will come up in the search. The only helpful part is that Proximity and word order do count. So someone with End of the World in the keywords will come up before a long bunch of words that happen to have End and World somewhere in there.

You'll have to admit that the word End will come up in many searches and World is pretty common as well.

Someone who does a good specific search for what they want, should get the best result at the front and the ones that just happened to have a couple of matching words, towards the end.



I know that one myself!  ;D

As for searching the location field, YES IT DOES! Remember that the location field is much lower rank than the first two keyword fields, which makes it third in importance. Next someone will complain that they are getting bad hits on locations, because it is included. If finding things wrong is the goal for someone, there are flaws and you can make an argument criticizing any search engine, for omissions and errors, including the almighty Google.


Strange. I uploaded pics from the Glasgow Mela. I had Glasgow in the important keywords, and so obviously my pics showed up in a search for Glasgow Mela. However, I only had UK in the location field, so they were not showing up at all in a search for Mela UK. I can't 'prove' this now, as I added UK into some of the 'essential keywords' fields when I had enough free letters, or in the important keywords field for the rest. They're all showing up now, of course.

ShadySue

« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2010, 14:59 »
0
I'll email you with some of mine that only have the world "Joliet" in the location. As I pointed out, since it's the location and not the subject, I didn't want people to get views from having it in the keywords. If I have a picture taken OF a location, I put it into the keywords, if it's AT that location, I don't.

As for the World and End, I have to agree, it searches for everything and anything and if the two words are in there, no matter what context, the image will come up in the search. The only helpful part is that Proximity and word order do count. So someone with End of the World in the keywords will come up before a long bunch of words that happen to have End and World somewhere in there.

You'll have to admit that the word End will come up in many searches and World is pretty common as well.

Someone who does a good specific search for what they want, should get the best result at the front and the ones that just happened to have a couple of matching words, towards the end.


Yebbut they could make it so much better by implementing some method of keyword phrases, whether by commas or "..." or whatever.
I accede that changing things now, when they have 19m images would be an utter nightmare, but I can't think why they didn't do it long, long ago.

RacePhoto

« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2010, 13:41 »
0

Yebbut they could make it so much better by implementing some method of keyword phrases, whether by commas or "..." or whatever.
I accede that changing things now, when they have 19m images would be an utter nightmare, but I can't think why they didn't do it long, long ago.


Adding the "Exact Match" or the [related words] as they have proposed would be fantastic and stop a large amount of the inappropriate results. (it's in the submitting FAQ, however not implemented.)

Keep in mind that "Cat" is different from "Cats" which can help in searches if you have a single subject vs a group of the same. If I have a single, it's the same as the location conditions, I only include the word for one of the subject. I try to avoid views that would drop my Alamy Rank, but since all the problems you and others have pointed out are the same for everyone, it's the same flaw for everyone, no one benefits except people who avoid more of the problems by very carefully crafting keywords for best matches, instead of many views.

It's not the same as Micro where spamming keywords helps in some peoples opinions. It's a penalty on Alamy. Anyone reading this, should only add exact relevant words and limited concepts. Stop thinking like Micro where more is better and start thinking smarter is better.  :)

So why do people have seven different words for the color red, for example. People doing the search want a "Red Car", and my opinion is that the other six words for red are a waste of time and effort. If you were looking for an image like yours, what would you put into the search? Not "Carmine Motor Vehicle" just plain old Red Car!

Also with the Alamy match, Less Is More because while you are avoiding bad matches and lower rank, you are also raising your relevance. Say you have seven words and two are matches. Then you have 17 words and two are matches. The image with two of seven will come up first in a search.

The other point is, trying to trick the search into finding bad matches, proves nothing. Buyers with any sense will look for the obvious. You want a girl talking on a phone, that's what they search for!

Sure a search for London Bridge will find every image for every bridge in London, because the same two words are there. Try the same on any other site, you get the same problem. Either you want the search to find the words you put in the box or you don't. It's a dumb computer, it doesn't guess related images, it doesn't interpret, and again, it's not psychic! What you enter is what you will get. It's that easy.

The start of this thread asked some simple questions. Yes images come up by rank of the photographer, but also best match using the importance, which we decide, so that means we're in control more than other places. No new or older images don't get a boost by age. As far as I can see it's all best match, ranked by photographer, and then the diversity splits those up so one person doesn't get their images all in one group. More people will have their images seen as a result.

Essential keywords     The most important words and phrases for the image. Although you have 50 characters, try to limit yourself to just 35 - about 6 to 8 words only.     50     Very high
Main keywords     The next most appropriate words and phrases. These keywords are not displayed to clients.     300     High
Comprehensive keywords     Any other words and phrases. Put all the remaining terms that apply, but which are not as significant as main or essential keywords. These keywords are not displayed to clients.     856     Medium
Caption     A short factual description of the image used by customers to summarise its content.     128     Low
Location     Put the location where the image was taken using the convention of street name, town, city, state, province, country. This information can make or lose a sale.     100     Low

Description     Explanatory or background text relevant to the image. More appropriate for historical, reportage and editorial images than for conceptual or commercial material.     2000     Zero

The idea is use the system to our advantage and understand how it works.

http://alamy.com/contributor/help/captions-keywords-descriptions.asp
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 13:57 by RacePhoto »

ShadySue

« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2010, 15:02 »
0

It's not the same as Micro where spamming keywords helps in some peoples opinions. It's a penalty on Alamy. Anyone reading this, should only add exact relevant words and limited concepts. Stop thinking like Micro where more is better and start thinking smarter is better.  :)


I guess you have me at a disadvantage, Sir  :o
I only have experience in Micro of iStock, where spamming keywords is a disadvantage and is penalised by the Best Match. (In general, best match is based on keyword relevance, but spammed Vetta files, of which there are many, trump well keyworded non-Vettas.  :'(

Quote

Sure a search for London Bridge will find every image for every bridge in London, because the same two words are there. Try the same on any other site, you get the same problem. Either you want the search to find the words you put in the box or you don't. It's a dumb computer, it doesn't guess related images, it doesn't interpret, and again, it's not psychic! What you enter is what you will get. It's that easy.

Here, sir, I have you at the disadvantage.  ;D
Try a Best Match search on iStock for London Bridge.
Since "London Bridge" is a keyword phrase in iStock's CV, it's very clean. If you have correctly keyworded and DA'd your file to "London Bridge(City of London)", the files will mostly be of London Bridge. The exceptions would be if someone had either deliberately spammed "London Bridge" in their keywords or someone had made a genuine mistake and thought that their bridge was London Bridge, but it wasn't. In either of these cases, the file would probably show around the top of a search for a while, but would fairly quickly sink down in the search results.

<snip explanation>
The idea is use the system to our advantage and understand how it works.
[/quote]
Yeah, but I can be penalised any time anyone searches for Leyden in Holland, for example. Another one I've mentioned before is that I have a file from Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda. This has turned up on searches for Queen Elizabeth. So I'm penalised for doing things right. That doesn't happen on iStock that I've ever experienced.
Quote
http://alamy.com/contributor/help/captions-keywords-descriptions.asp

ShadySue

« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2010, 15:09 »
0
OK, OK, you win.
The iStock search is not clean, because like most non-Londoners, people have keyworded Tower Bridge (which is also in the CV) as "London Bridge". I guess the issue is that that may well be what most people expect when they search for London Bridge.
Did you intend that result?

RacePhoto

« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2010, 20:42 »
0
OK, OK, you win.
The iStock search is not clean, because like most non-Londoners, people have keyworded Tower Bridge (which is also in the CV) as "London Bridge". I guess the issue is that that may well be what most people expect when they search for London Bridge.
Did you intend that result?

Lucky accident, but within my rambling posts I do say that I think IS has the best search of any site.  :D

If you are only comparing IS with the CV to Alamy, I can understand your amusement by some of the strange results. If you go search any other Micro site for the same search as Alamy, I think you will find that Alamy produces better selections that are more relevant. It's only going to find what someone asks for. That's the point. It won't come up with what you don't enter and it's not able to guess what you intended to look for. Just the words in the search, that's all.

As for the name complaint, everyone has the same disadvantage. Any common name will come up the same as a famous place or name that's the same. I suppose a photographer Zyzzic Xylanx is one of the people who won't get those bad matches. The rest of us suffer the same consequences.

I also think that people worry far too much about Alamy rank. If you have good keywords, accurate and concise, your images will be seem by buyers that don't just stop looking on page one.

Did I mention that some Alamy photographers also include incorrect spellings in case a buyer can't spell? One I had to do myself was Saint Theresa which also has Saint Teresa in the comprehensive words. ;) Then we have the other issue, UK spellings and USA spellings are not the same. Two countries separated by a common language. For IS I had to learn that Canceled is spelled "cancelled" in Canada and the UK. Buyers in the US are not going to type in British spellings for words. Hopefully this helps if I have a photo of a tire and they don't look for Tyre. Or kerb vs curb, or grey vs gray, and we could go on for ages with the differences.

ShadySue

« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2010, 06:42 »
0

Did I mention that some Alamy photographers also include incorrect spellings in case a buyer can't spell? One I had to do myself was Saint Theresa which also has Saint Teresa in the comprehensive words. ;) Then we have the other issue, UK spellings and USA spellings are not the same. Two countries separated by a common language. For IS I had to learn that Canceled is spelled "cancelled" in Canada and the UK. Buyers in the US are not going to type in British spellings for words. Hopefully this helps if I have a photo of a tire and they don't look for Tyre. Or kerb vs curb, or grey vs gray, and we could go on for ages with the differences.

You know, I have been getting confused with why spell checkers always throw up doubled consonants! I know that Word at work keeps defaulting to American spellings, presumably after the techie has been fiddling with stuff.
One of my Alamy searches yesterday was University Hall NOT collage (sic). A strange search anyway, since in some tradtional UK universities (i.e. not the redbrick unis or the souped up polytechnics), faculties are called colleges, including my own dear alma mater, and I don't even pretend to understand the Oxbridge collegiate system. Anyway, they searched through 1800 pics without zooming.
Sometimes I wish I knew what they wanted. Another hit I got yesterday was 'woman with muscles'. Yup, I have images of a performing Strong Woman. (several other pics of her performing at other locations too!). The search was for RM but without MR specified. Over 300 views overall, but no zooms.

RacePhoto

« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2010, 14:39 »
0

Did I mention that some Alamy photographers also include incorrect spellings in case a buyer can't spell? One I had to do myself was Saint Theresa which also has Saint Teresa in the comprehensive words. ;) Then we have the other issue, UK spellings and USA spellings are not the same. Two countries separated by a common language. For IS I had to learn that Canceled is spelled "cancelled" in Canada and the UK. Buyers in the US are not going to type in British spellings for words. Hopefully this helps if I have a photo of a tire and they don't look for Tyre. Or kerb vs curb, or grey vs gray, and we could go on for ages with the differences.

You know, I have been getting confused with why spell checkers always throw up doubled consonants! I know that Word at work keeps defaulting to American spellings, presumably after the techie has been fiddling with stuff.
One of my Alamy searches yesterday was University Hall NOT collage (sic). A strange search anyway, since in some tradtional UK universities (i.e. not the redbrick unis or the souped up polytechnics), faculties are called colleges, including my own dear alma mater, and I don't even pretend to understand the Oxbridge collegiate system. Anyway, they searched through 1800 pics without zooming.
Sometimes I wish I knew what they wanted. Another hit I got yesterday was 'woman with muscles'. Yup, I have images of a performing Strong Woman. (several other pics of her performing at other locations too!). The search was for RM but without MR specified. Over 300 views overall, but no zooms.

Maybe they really wanted one image university but not a collage of images? (ok I know, they needed to go to school, not download one.)

Woman with muscles, obviously they wanted Molly Malone and spelled that wrong as well? Through the streets broad and narrow
Crying 'Cockles and mussels alive, alive ho'
  ::)

Back last year I looked at All of Alamy and some of the searches are enough to make someone laugh aloud.

And here we are again, the flaw of search engines is they only give results for what the person typed in. A bad search, misspelled words or faulty choice of terms will only give poor results.

« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2010, 23:11 »
0
Thank you so much for this detailed explanation re Alamy keywording, RacePhoto.

My aim is to do most effective keywording possible there, and your info makes me feel a bit surer about super-tight VS more-comprehensive key wording approaches.  



Yebbut they could make it so much better by implementing some method of keyword phrases, whether by commas or "..." or whatever.
I accede that changing things now, when they have 19m images would be an utter nightmare, but I can't think why they didn't do it long, long ago.


Adding the "Exact Match" or the [related words] as they have proposed would be fantastic and stop a large amount of the inappropriate results. (it's in the submitting FAQ, however not implemented.)

Keep in mind that "Cat" is different from "Cats" which can help in searches if you have a single subject vs a group of the same. If I have a single, it's the same as the location conditions, I only include the word for one of the subject. I try to avoid views that would drop my Alamy Rank, but since all the problems you and others have pointed out are the same for everyone, it's the same flaw for everyone, no one benefits except people who avoid more of the problems by very carefully crafting keywords for best matches, instead of many views.

It's not the same as Micro where spamming keywords helps in some peoples opinions. It's a penalty on Alamy. Anyone reading this, should only add exact relevant words and limited concepts. Stop thinking like Micro where more is better and start thinking smarter is better.  :)

So why do people have seven different words for the color red, for example. People doing the search want a "Red Car", and my opinion is that the other six words for red are a waste of time and effort. If you were looking for an image like yours, what would you put into the search? Not "Carmine Motor Vehicle" just plain old Red Car!

Also with the Alamy match, Less Is More because while you are avoiding bad matches and lower rank, you are also raising your relevance. Say you have seven words and two are matches. Then you have 17 words and two are matches. The image with two of seven will come up first in a search.

The other point is, trying to trick the search into finding bad matches, proves nothing. Buyers with any sense will look for the obvious. You want a girl talking on a phone, that's what they search for!

Sure a search for London Bridge will find every image for every bridge in London, because the same two words are there. Try the same on any other site, you get the same problem. Either you want the search to find the words you put in the box or you don't. It's a dumb computer, it doesn't guess related images, it doesn't interpret, and again, it's not psychic! What you enter is what you will get. It's that easy.

The start of this thread asked some simple questions. Yes images come up by rank of the photographer, but also best match using the importance, which we decide, so that means we're in control more than other places. No new or older images don't get a boost by age. As far as I can see it's all best match, ranked by photographer, and then the diversity splits those up so one person doesn't get their images all in one group. More people will have their images seen as a result.

Essential keywords     The most important words and phrases for the image. Although you have 50 characters, try to limit yourself to just 35 - about 6 to 8 words only.     50     Very high
Main keywords     The next most appropriate words and phrases. These keywords are not displayed to clients.     300     High
Comprehensive keywords     Any other words and phrases. Put all the remaining terms that apply, but which are not as significant as main or essential keywords. These keywords are not displayed to clients.     856     Medium
Caption     A short factual description of the image used by customers to summarise its content.     128     Low
Location     Put the location where the image was taken using the convention of street name, town, city, state, province, country. This information can make or lose a sale.     100     Low

Description     Explanatory or background text relevant to the image. More appropriate for historical, reportage and editorial images than for conceptual or commercial material.     2000     Zero

The idea is use the system to our advantage and understand how it works.

http://alamy.com/contributor/help/captions-keywords-descriptions.asp
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 23:13 by ann »


 

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