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Author Topic: iStock SEO email  (Read 14534 times)

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Gio

« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2015, 07:54 »
+14
I like how they say how important the description is to SEO, yet, they've decided to remove the description from the image pages.

It is classic iStock's paradox.

"Dear contributor, please waste your time now. In 6 months we will change our mind and you will have to do everything again."


Semmick Photo

« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2015, 07:55 »
+1
I like how they say how important the description is to SEO, yet, they've decided to remove the description from the image pages.

It is classic iStock's paradox.

"Dear contributor, please waste your time now. In 6 months we will change our mind and you will have to do everything again."

Waste time to undo a waste of time  :o

« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2015, 17:37 »
0
nobody believes start-up nonsense about "we're just here to give a fair deal to photographers" any more

Bright, friendly, positive, upbeat, communicative and competent would be a great start  - also flexible and can-do. And a genuine sense that everyone involved has a vested commitment towards making it the best thing ever.

I totally agree with you. Their video guys at their forum are very friendly and fast at providing all kinds of questions though. Now, if the whole iS would be like that, it'd be a different thing. I'm sure we all would be eager to work together if we had an offer.

« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2015, 17:55 »
0
well other agencies ARE getting indexed by Google and perhaps this is because of descriptions.

Google:

"stock photography gavel"

you will see who is indexed and it is NOT getty or ISTOCK

Yes, i hate getty too but perhaps they went to Google and asked how they can get indexed and Google and Getty worked something out with descriptions. Hell, who knows but we do know other agencies are getting indexed and there is a reason.

« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2015, 23:44 »
+2
While some of what they are saying may be sound  despite the conflicting statistics you find every day when it comes to where searches originate - I just had to laugh at that description they gave as an example "A DSLR photo of a ...cat"  How spammy is that? Who cares if it's a DSLR photo seriously? -And using the ubiquitous cat as an example. LOL If the email had arrived on April 1, I would not have been surprised.


« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2015, 00:46 »
+22
I did the 'stock photo gavel' search.  Yes, Shutterstock dominates the result, although 123RF and Deposit are also there, and Getty (to a lesser extent).

What I found interesting was when I clicked on a Shutterstock image to go to the web page - it didn't do that, but instead took me to a Shutterstock search results page for "stock photo gavel", which of course then gave a wide selection of choices.

Somehow, Shutterstock has been able to get search result pages indexed, which explains why they get so many images in the result.

I remember having a conversation with a Shutterstock representative a few months ago, who said - "we're not a photo agency, we're a technology company".  It's clear that Shutterstock has invested heavily in technology expertise, and they know exactly how to get the best search representation.  Not by asking their suppliers to rewrite millions of titles and descriptions, but by employing tech experts who know exactly how to get the best result.

You know, it's rather a shame that istock seems to be scraping around in the dark in so many areas.  They take up to 85% of the revenue from the work suppliers produce, and one would have hoped that they would want to invest in the right technology people to help the business grow and make it a success.  It's rather insulting that they now ask suppliers to spend days, weeks or months rewriting titles and descriptions, when what they really should be doing is spending money employing the right tech experts who would have in-depth knowledge of exactly what to do to generate the best SEO.

« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2015, 02:51 »
+9
It's rather insulting that they now ask suppliers to spend days, weeks or months rewriting titles and descriptions, when what they really should be doing is spending money employing the right tech experts who would have in-depth knowledge of exactly what to do to generate the best SEO.

Wow! Doesn't that hit the nail on the head!

stock-will-eat-itself

« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2015, 08:56 »
+6
They make the assumption we're as desperate for sales at iStock as iStock is. Truth is they're just another agency like we're just another contributor.

They should concentrate on making exclusivity irresistible, that is the only way they can make a come back.

Exclusives straight up 50% non exclusives 25%, that would bring the talent and slowly starve out the competition of images.

« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2015, 09:14 »
+13
The amazing part to me is that they think people have the time to go back and edit and re-caption each file individually. I barely have time to keyword and upload.

« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2015, 09:29 »
+6
The amazing part to me is that they think people have the time to go back and edit and re-caption each file individually. I barely have time to keyword and upload.

Same here. With all the magical commission slashing they've done, they can do it.....no no, wait....don't touch my images. >:(

Here's the thing. Let's assume that I go in and redo all my 3200 assets on IS. I currently make about $300 a month (Istock + PP)=Monthly sales at IS.  I spend three months rewriting craftily 50 word descriptions and change all my titles and even update keywords while I'm at it.  This is my opinion but I think it's right......If it works, I net another $15-$25 a month (if that). Is that worth all the extra work, taking time away from production? NOPE.

So going beyond my above assessment, let's say I am wrong and I get another $100 a month of IS sales alone and I keep other micros the same and do not redo their descriptions, etc. Am I cannibalizing sales from my better selling agencies merely so Istock can make more money and I can keep my lost 16%? Furck that. They have to give me FAR MORE INCENTIVE to go back and redo all my work.



I now have to write two sets of keywords (assuming I want to keep Istocks keywords separate from other micros). 

« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2015, 09:39 »
+3
Too true, they must be living on a different planet. Surely they know it isn't worth anyone's time to put in the work for the return given their pitiful commission levels and declining sales? I don't know what they're thinking.

Shelma1

« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2015, 10:08 »
+4
The amazing part to me is that they think people have the time to go back and edit and re-caption each file individually. I barely have time to keyword and upload.

Same here. With all the magical commission slashing they've done, they can do it.....no no, wait....don't touch my images. >:(

Here's the thing. Let's assume that I go in and redo all my 3200 assets on IS. I currently make about $300 a month (Istock + PP)=Monthly sales at IS.  I spend three months rewriting craftily 50 word descriptions and change all my titles and even update keywords while I'm at it.  This is my opinion but I think it's right......If it works, I net another $15-$25 a month (if that). Is that worth all the extra work, taking time away from production? NOPE.

So going beyond my above assessment, let's say I am wrong and I get another $100 a month of IS sales alone and I keep other micros the same and do not redo their descriptions, etc. Am I cannibalizing sales from my better selling agencies merely so Istock can make more money and I can keep my lost 16%? Furck that. They have to give me FAR MORE INCENTIVE to go back and redo all my work.

I agree. My time is much better spent creating new images and uploading to SS than re-keyworking at iS, where they haven't said a peep about whether doing so will result in more sales...and like you, I'm not sure I want to direct more sales to iS. Better people find the images on my own site or on SS, where I make more.

« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2015, 10:51 »
+5
For the last couple of years my stock income is growing. At the same time iStock's reports is constantly getting down.
You know what I think about this letter? Don't teach me how to microstock!  ;D

« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2015, 12:36 »
0
50 keywords? Thats'  a lot...
I remember years ago when we were supposed to have less keywords and only relevant to the subject...
I guess now is the opposite

« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2015, 14:43 »
+7
Too true, they must be living on a different planet. Surely they know it isn't worth anyone's time to put in the work for the return given their pitiful commission levels and declining sales? I don't know what they're thinking.

They are still thinking it's 2006 or 2007 when they forced contribs to go thru all their images and 'disambiguate' them to match Getty's CV.  They are also failing to understand that unlike back then, they are not the big dogs anymore and their pitiful sales don't justify the work.

« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2015, 15:13 »
+5
do they seriously think we are going to waste our time for this  :D

Shelma1

« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2015, 15:25 »
+2
Now they're also recommending only 10-20 keywords:

"Should we really only have 10-20 keywords now?
The SEO reason is that Google treats large blocks of keywords as spammy text, and may devalue a page for having it. 10-20 is still a lot, but much more palatable. Its not a good scenario when the majority of text content on a page is just a block of keywords (this can actually get you penalized). The non-SEO reason is that, for many images, too many of the keywords are not relevant to the image. When picking keywords, contributors should limit themselves to keywords that directly and clearly relate to the image, and not use tangential and mostly unrelated keywords."

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=366083&page=1

Here's the thing: I use the same keywords across all sites, even more on DT and my own site. Yet those sites all show up better in google results than iStock.

Does iStock ever think to actually look at why other sites are more successful at search? I mean, really? Do competitive sites have 10-20 keywords and 50-word descriptions? If not, why not? It's just incredible.

And BTW, some of those "tangential" keywords are what get me the most sales.

« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2015, 15:34 »
+12
They should worry less about grabbing random people from Google and more about providing an excellent search service to their customers, which requires as many keywords as it requires.

« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2015, 16:01 »
+2
There's loads of free consultancy advice for them on this site. Do they really not see that their "advice" shows how woefully out of touch they are. :o

« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2015, 16:16 »
+5
They are still thinking it's 2006 or 2007 when they forced contribs to go thru all their images and 'disambiguate' them to match Getty's CV.  They are also failing to understand that unlike back then, they are not the big dogs anymore and their pitiful sales don't justify the work.

I am certain that the CV is part of what is working against what they are hoping to achieve with SEO. I also think they should adopt a standard IPTC single caption/description field.

I think they should abandon the CV as an out of date resource and labor hungry pre Google idea. I don't think they need to imagine that it is a one way street or that they are stuck with it. The Shutterstock search works just as well in different languages.

« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2015, 17:00 »
+2
They are still thinking it's 2006 or 2007 when they forced contribs to go thru all their images and 'disambiguate' them to match Getty's CV.  They are also failing to understand that unlike back then, they are not the big dogs anymore and their pitiful sales don't justify the work.

I am certain that the CV is part of what is working against what they are hoping to achieve with SEO. I also think they should adopt a standard IPTC single caption/description field.

I think they should abandon the CV as an out of date resource and labor hungry pre Google idea. I don't think they need to imagine that it is a one way street or that they are stuck with it. The Shutterstock search works just as well in different languages.

Absolutely 100% right.   Best thing they could do to improve their Google placement is get rid of the stupid CV.

« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2015, 17:06 »
+1
Agree with all of you here - the CV has made some of the most important keywords for some of my images completely unavailable. I've written to them over the years about "forbidden" and missing words with no response.

And I've had lots of sales on DT and SS and Alamy from tangential but relevant keywords. I have more keywords on my own site and on DT and when I search google the photos on my site show up first even if they are on many other sites, DT usually shows up next, so I don't think too many keywords hurts on google.

If they really want to "fix" this, then they should drop the CV, hire professionals to go through and write the captions and keywords and delete all the spammy keywords. Although given their CV and current description suggestions, I'd like to keep mine the way they are.

« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2015, 17:08 »
+1
They should worry less about grabbing random people from Google and more about providing an excellent search service to their customers, which requires as many keywords as it requires.

Here here. Through the lens of a customer, how can I receive improved service? I as a customer define the value proposition, not IS. They are more concerned about attracting new customers than providing excellent service to existing ones because they are broke. Seriously, what about the strategy of customer retention?

shudderstok

« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2015, 17:35 »
0
Agree with all of you here - the CV has made some of the most important keywords for some of my images completely unavailable. I've written to them over the years about "forbidden" and missing words with no response.

And I've had lots of sales on DT and SS and Alamy from tangential but relevant keywords. I have more keywords on my own site and on DT and when I search google the photos on my site show up first even if they are on many other sites, DT usually shows up next, so I don't think too many keywords hurts on google.

If they really want to "fix" this, then they should drop the CV, hire professionals to go through and write the captions and keywords and delete all the spammy keywords. Although given their CV and current description suggestions, I'd like to keep mine the way they are.

That is interesting that you have never had a response from your keyword suggestions. I suggest keywords often and 99% of the time they are added to the CV. And looking at your more often than not repetitive work of 96 images in 5 years, words fail me to see what possible keywords they would not have to find generic work of this sort. Let me know the keywords that are missing, entertain me.

fujiko

« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2015, 04:10 »
+5
With the cut they take from sales they can do the changes themselves.

It would have been much better for istock if they didn't take actions that discouraged linking to them.


 

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