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Author Topic: iStock SEO email  (Read 14533 times)

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Shelma1

« on: March 18, 2015, 18:35 »
+9
Just got the email about revising titles and descriptions of all my images (boy, does that sound like a lot of work to no end). I click on the first example they give of a rewritten description, which describes a little boy playing with "figurines," but there are no figurines in the image....unless Canadians consider toy houses and cars figurines? "A figurine (a diminutive form of the word figure) is a statuette that represents a human, deity or animal."

They give me a headache.

*Sigh*


« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2015, 18:41 »
+6
According to the email 64% from organic search (engines). Still think self hosted isn't worth pursuing? Rhetorical question.

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 18:59 »
0
According to the email 64% from organic search (engines). Still think self hosted isn't worth pursuing? Rhetorical question.

I always wondered what percent these companies got from that.

« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 19:00 »
+10
I love the part about don't use the same titles and description as you would on other sites. That simply means they know this will erode sales.  and we will then need to keep two sets of files? ha. forget it.

« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2015, 19:06 »
+13
Why I would ever want to increase IS SEO is beyond me, but it might be worth it at some site that pays a better rate...

I also wondered about the 64% from organic searches. That might be some sort of web wide statistic since it is "according to Conductor" who probably are in the business of selling SEO. I sincerely hope any stock selling place gets a higher percentage from internal searches.

« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2015, 19:07 »
+6
I love the part about don't use the same titles and description as you would on other sites. That simply means they know this will erode sales.  and we will then need to keep two sets of files? ha. forget it.
Actually I find the advise pretty solid. Just not for my files at Istock. Definitely for my own sites or for an agency paying 50% but not for 15-20%. I'm assuming these percentages are for on demand sales. Obviously sub sales would be a much higher percentage of direct customers. Also interesting that social media was only 2%.

« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2015, 19:35 »
+2
I love the part about don't use the same titles and description as you would on other sites. That simply means they know this will erode sales.  and we will then need to keep two sets of files? ha. forget it.
Actually I find the advise pretty solid. Just not for my files at Istock. Definitely for my own sites or for an agency paying 50% but not for 15-20%. I'm assuming these percentages are for on demand sales. Obviously sub sales would be a much higher percentage of direct customers. Also interesting that social media was only 2%.

Exactly. Doing this for, say, SS might be a very solid idea!

« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2015, 20:22 »
+10
Amazing to see how many people are willing to waste their time with this absurd iStock SEO optimization.    :(


Shelma1

« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2015, 20:43 »
+1
Different source, different numbers about web traffic. According to this article, Facebook drives 25% of traffic.

"Social media platforms are eating every other traffic sources lunch. Formerly, organic search (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) made up the lions share of overall visits to sites.

In 2014, the tables turned.

Data (which we also shared with BuzzFeed) confirms, The shift from search to social isnt just in progress: its already here. Collectively, the top 8 social networks drove 31.24% of overall traffic to sites in December 2014, up from 22.71% the same time last year."

https://blog.shareaholic.com/social-media-traffic-trends-01-2015/

Eh. Who knows?

« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2015, 21:22 »
+22
I like how they say how important the description is to SEO, yet, they've decided to remove the description from the image pages.

« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2015, 00:10 »
+2
Different source, different numbers about web traffic. According to this article, Facebook drives 25% of traffic.

"Social media platforms are eating every other traffic sources lunch. Formerly, organic search (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) made up the lions share of overall visits to sites.

In 2014, the tables turned.

Data (which we also shared with BuzzFeed) confirms, The shift from search to social isnt just in progress: its already here. Collectively, the top 8 social networks drove 31.24% of overall traffic to sites in December 2014, up from 22.71% the same time last year."

https://blog.shareaholic.com/social-media-traffic-trends-01-2015/

Eh. Who knows?

I think social media links are key for the sorts of sites that use clickbait and "top X # of pics of whatever" as well as news and repackaged news light. I sincerely doubt they are anywhere near as important for online sales of say stock images.

« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2015, 02:11 »
+6
I only read it briefly as it seems a total waste of effort but I didn't see anything that indicated an increase of SALES rather than views.

« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2015, 02:20 »
+3
According to the email 64% from organic search (engines). Still think self hosted isn't worth pursuing? Rhetorical question.

I always wondered what percent these companies got from that.

73% of all statistics are made up on the spot...  ;D

« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 02:42 »
+7
I just checked :  I typed the full description of one of my popular images in Google images.  My image immediately appeared at least 20 times in the search results (obviously, as it was the full caption).  90% of the results came from Shutterstock, Bigstock and 123rf, 1 from Dreamstime, and 1 from Gettyimages.  However, when I clicked on the Getty-result, I got a page telling me I could not license this image through Getty, and it did NOT give me a link to Istock.  Clicking on the button "more of this photographer" got me zero results.

I only looked at the first page of Google results, because if I were a buyer, why would I go to page 2 if I already found the image 20 times on page 1? 

Second test :  I did the same, but now in Dutch, with the translated title.  Now only 123rf and Dreamstime turned up, and there were no images from Shutterstock and Bigstock to be found.  Interesting.

« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2015, 03:00 »
+4
According to the email 64% from organic search (engines). Still think self hosted isn't worth pursuing? Rhetorical question.

Read again: It says that "a website's visits". It does say nothing about any image selling site. Nor does it say anything about buyers.

To draw a conclusion that you could attract a significant amount of image buyers to a personal website with maybe a few hundred of a few thousand average images is a bit of a stretch to me. Yes, you can most likely make some money but it takes more than a bit to even just recover your annual hosting fees.

« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2015, 03:24 »
+3
Anyka, i have similar result.
For their percentage they want us work for them full day. Then they will change as they like. Cannot forget that they deleted essential keywords from many of my images. Still majority of my images there are not searchable. Support never answered. Sales are coming only from old images

« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 03:30 »
+16
I've got a few hundred images pending for iStock, because of the amount of effort that is involved simply in uploading compared with the small return new images make there .... and now they want me to devote goodness knows how long to making additional changes? I don't think so. If they would just provide a simple FTP system for uploading and reading the data then I would send them all the outstanding stuff but they just want to make everything more and more difficult.

PS: I just took a closer look at my figures and it's worse than I thought - my last 400 uploads. starting from April last year, have generated 35 istock sales. There are 223 PP sales for the same period, so iStock is becoming increasingly irrelevant and PP is now what I would really be uploading to. If having 400 images online for an entire year generated double that income, I could reckon on making 25c per image per year at iS and 35c per image from PP. That's 60c per image per year before tax, if it is sold in the US there is 30% tax to pay, taking the return down to 42c ..... so lets say it would average out at 50c per image per year. If it takes 3 mins per image to sort out keywords etc, and upload, that is a return of $10 per hour (and falling) for the extra effort involved in uploading to iStock - and that takes no account of shooting and processesing time, charge a fair share of that to iStock and the time goes up to at least 10 minutes per image, making the return $3 per hour at best, or one third of the UK minimum wage.

(Someone knocked this post down from a +2 to a +1 .... how odd. I wonder why someone would disagree with facts. Maybe it's a Getty HQ lurker!).
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 04:26 by BaldricksTrousers »

Semmick Photo

« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 03:31 »
+6
I've got a few hundred images pending for iStock, because of the amount of effort that is involved simply in uploading compared with the small return new images make there .... and now they want me to devote goodness knows how long to making additional changes? I don't think so. If they would just provide a simple FTP system for uploading and reading the data then I would send them all the outstanding stuff but they just want to make everything more and more difficult.

One of the main reasons why I am not submitting to IS

« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2015, 04:11 »
+7
I've got a few hundred images pending for iStock, because of the amount of effort that is involved simply in uploading compared with the small return new images make there .... and now they want me to devote goodness knows how long to making additional changes? I don't think so. If they would just provide a simple FTP system for uploading and reading the data then I would send them all the outstanding stuff but they just want to make everything more and more difficult.

One of the main reasons why I am not submitting to IS

And having just worked out how small the return there actually is (see the edit to my last post), I'm even less inclined than ever to continue uploading. Perhaps I will send them some if I get really bored and need something to do.
It's one thing when Yuri with his high production costs finds iS is not worth submitting to, it's quite something else when I, with my absolutely minimal costs, finds the same thing.

« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2015, 05:07 »
+5
Spammy 50 word descriptions misspelled in pidgin and then auto translated into 10 languages are unlikely to improve the long term reputation of the brand or the ranking of the site. And that is a very possible scenario - given the well demonstrated propensity for keyword spamming. The issue here, as usual, is quality control. The likely results of this proposed free-for-all cannot be extrapolated from a limited short time-frame exercise involving professional editors and writers.

This exercise does not address the issues at the heart of why iStock is performing so poorly and I strongly doubt that it will have any significantly positive effect on the individual sales of the vast majority of contributors.

If iStock was actually about working with contributors towards improving the quality of the metadata including the descriptions .... That would be a different iStock. And that iStock probably would not have lost all that valuable traffic and good will to begin with.

Shelma1

« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2015, 05:33 »
+15
I really doubt they used professional editors and writers. Whoever rewrote everything doesn't even know what a figurine is.

It's just amazing to see once again that they obviously have no idea what they're doing but are going to do it full force anyway. "If we add subs, that'll do it! No, wait, if we lower prices, that'll do it! No, wait, if we delete descriptions, that'll do it! No, wait, if we make the descriptions longer, that'll do it! No, wait..."

« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2015, 06:22 »
+10
"If we add subs, that'll do it! No, wait, if we lower prices, that'll do it! No, wait, if we delete descriptions, that'll do it! No, wait, if we make the descriptions longer, that'll do it! No, wait..."

Experience of previous initiatives has been that half way through the initiative is abandoned and never mentioned again. At best I believe this is a try-anything (costs them almost nothing) attempt to maybe slightly improve site traffic in general. Site traffic they lost themselves by progressively eroding the good-will which they once enjoyed. This still feels like the same old iStockphoto.

I don't believe that anything will change until they decide to genuinely re-connect with their contributors and users. They need to be re-booted with a different team and a campus start-up mentality.

« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2015, 06:45 »
+9

I don't believe that anything will change until they decide to genuinely re-connect with their contributors and users. They need to be re-booted with a different team and a campus start-up mentality.

It's too late for that. Once the trust is broken and the magic gone you can't just rewind and restart. They've squandered the advantage they had as the first player in the game, nobody believes start-up nonsense about "we're just here to give a fair deal to photographers" any more, it's been shown to be a scam time and again, and iStock can't start delivering the returns per file it used to at the beginning (10 or 11 years ago I was getting about 80c per file per month, now I'm getting 4c a month on new material - wind back to that sort of return and the feel-good factor would start to kick in but it's simply impossible).

« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2015, 07:01 »
+8
I just checked :  I typed the full description of one of my popular images in Google images.  My image immediately appeared at least 20 times in the search results (obviously, as it was the full caption).  90% of the results came from Shutterstock, Bigstock and 123rf, 1 from Dreamstime, and 1 from Gettyimages.  However, when I clicked on the Getty-result, I got a page telling me I could not license this image through Getty, and it did NOT give me a link to Istock.  Clicking on the button "more of this photographer" got me zero results.

I only looked at the first page of Google results, because if I were a buyer, why would I go to page 2 if I already found the image 20 times on page 1? 

Second test :  I did the same, but now in Dutch, with the translated title.  Now only 123rf and Dreamstime turned up, and there were no images from Shutterstock and Bigstock to be found.  Interesting.

So for those of us who are even IS exclusives, this SEO project just makes it easier for buyers to find the image across multiple Getty family sites so the buyer can get it from the lowest priced site and the contributor gets the lowest income. Why should I (contributor) spend my time to help lower my income?

« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2015, 07:30 »
+1
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.

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.

« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2015, 10:33 »
+6
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.

Even back then I gave up after two or three weeks of slogging at it and going slowly mad (it's iStock that made me this way, you know).

« Reply #51 on: March 21, 2015, 11:38 »
+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.


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.


Even back then I gave up after two or three weeks of slogging at it and going slowly mad (it's iStock that made me this way, you know).


I lived through that nightmare too. If you remember, the big stick was that they would move your files to be the back of search if you didn't disambiguate them by a certain date. At the time they were selling and no one wanted that to happen.

Today, even if they made that threat, I'm not sure that many would care as search placement seems to have punished new files - a shift might actually improve things :)

I have only 100 files left there and I'm not doing anything. Chasing the ephemera that is Google's search preferences by having the data in contributors' files change is a fool's errand.

The data is the data; if they want to follow the lead of other companies whose search results show up, they need to tackle the technology. They offer very large (watermarked) image previews, as DT and 123rf do (1300 pixels on the long edge in 123's case and DT's)

Shutterstock has three approaches. If you see a tiny thumbnail, that appears to go to your image; the larger thumb goes to a search and if I search "Jo Ann Snover stock images" Shutterstock serves up a link to my portfolio, which seems smart.

And guess how many edits I needed to do to my portfolio on other sites to make these things happen...

« Reply #52 on: March 21, 2015, 12:46 »
+1
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.


Even back then I gave up after two or three weeks of slogging at it and going slowly mad (it's iStock that made me this way, you know).


I lived through that nightmare too. If you remember, the big stick was that they would move your files to be the back of search if you didn't disambiguate them by a certain date. At the time they were selling and no one wanted that to happen.

Today, even if they made that threat, I'm not sure that many would care as search placement seems to have punished new files - a shift might actually improve things :)

I have only 100 files left there and I'm not doing anything. Chasing the ephemera that is Google's search preferences by having the data in contributors' files change is a fool's errand.

The data is the data; if they want to follow the lead of other companies whose search results show up, they need to tackle the technology. They offer very large (watermarked) image previews, as DT and 123rf do (1300 pixels on the long edge in 123's case and DT's)

Shutterstock has three approaches. If you see a tiny thumbnail, that appears to go to your image; the larger thumb goes to a search and if I search "Jo Ann Snover stock images" Shutterstock serves up a link to my portfolio, which seems smart.

And guess how many edits I needed to do to my portfolio on other sites to make these things happen...


I'd forgotten the search placement threat. I remember now that I did only those that made it reasonably well into the top downloads whether by month or by earnings, the low-sellers and non-sellers got left to their fate.



« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2015, 13:43 »
+2
I'd much rather they gave their sales force a kick up the arse and pulled in customers the old-fashioned way.

Have to confess that SEO is magic to me although half of my twitter followers tell me I can't function without it and they can help me "increase the optimizationality of my conflabburational sales and marketing strategy " for a verrrry reasonable fee..... paypal is accepted as are checks, doubloons and golden nuggets.

« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2015, 14:32 »
+1
Do they accept Magic beans?

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #55 on: March 22, 2015, 09:09 »
+14
Istock has lost their minds.

No way I'm going to redo hundreds of images. And for what, better placement in Google search, so that they get to keep 80%-85% of my sales at the cost of other sales?
And if SEO matters so much, why are they going to remove descriptions and lightboxes? Which bright manager at Istock came up with that nonsense?

« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2015, 15:02 »
+1
I'm a bit confused by this thread.  I never received an e-mail from iStock requesting to change all my titles and descriptions.  So my question is, were all contributors supposed to get this e-mail, or only a select few?  I was part of the SEO experiment back in October, but that only involved four images.  If anyone could clarify this issue, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance...

Shelma1

« Reply #57 on: March 23, 2015, 15:23 »
+1
Don't know if they sent it to everyone, but there are a couple of threads about it on the iS forums, so I think they expect everyone to do it.

« Reply #58 on: March 23, 2015, 23:58 »
0
I have less than 100 images on iStock and I got it, so I'm assuming they sent it to everyone. But I don't really know. Maybe you just missed it. It looked like their usual marketing emails.

« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2015, 01:11 »
0
I generally get their e-mails (I have just over 100 image left there) but didn't get this one. I recall many previous e-mails where some people didn't get things - not sure if the problem is their end or the mail servers. I do check my spam folders before deleting things, so I don't think it got to me.

« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2015, 04:23 »
+1
I didn't get an email either. 

But if istock think I am re-describing thousands of images to suit them they can think again  ::)

« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2015, 05:32 »
+3
I find it quicker to deactivate images, then buyers aren't going to find them on istock and they are more likely to use a site that pays me a higher %.  Every time istock do something like this, another bit of my portfolio vanishes from their site.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2015, 10:58 »
+3
I received the e-mail, but if they think I'm going to waste my time redoing everything then they must have been smoking those funny cigarettes.  If they really want us to do something, then they need to give us an incentive, some motivation.  The promise of increased sales is a non-starter on their site.  Higher commissions ... doubtful.  100 percent of nothing is still nothing.  Honestly I can't think of anything that would encourage me to go to all that work on their behalf.  Threat to remove all images ... HA!!!  That's almost an incentive to continue doing nothing.  At least I wouldn't have to spend time removing images.  They would do it for me.   ;D

« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2015, 21:47 »
+1
w7lwi, did iStock actually threaten to remove your portfolio if you didn't comply with their SEO directive? 

« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2015, 22:17 »
0
w7lwi, did iStock actually threaten to remove your portfolio if you didn't comply with their SEO directive?

Yeah, for us who didn't get the e-mail, can someone verify if there were either threats or incentives mentioned? 

« Reply #65 on: March 25, 2015, 00:24 »
+1
w7lwi, did iStock actually threaten to remove your portfolio if you didn't comply with their SEO directive?
Yeah, for us who didn't get the e-mail, can someone verify if there were either threats or incentives mentioned?
No, there were no threats in the e-mail.  I guess w7lwi was just saying nothing would make him do all that work, not even a threat.

« Reply #66 on: March 25, 2015, 01:00 »
+3
It seems this article is their new source of inspiration:
http://www.conductor.com/blog/2014/07/update-organic-search-actually-responsible-64-web-traffic/
(It was mentioned in the SEO email)

It seems the iStock SEO team ignore that most people looking for images on Google are just image thieves.   

Shelma1

« Reply #67 on: March 25, 2015, 06:25 »
+8
First rule of marketing: it's easier (and cheaper) to get more sales from current customers than it is to get new customers. iS pissed off a huge number of buyers when they raised prices for small images, then ignored all the bad feelings and people quitting their service and just let them go. Now they want us to do the work attracting new customers, and in return we get the lowest royalties around. That sounds like a winning strategy.  ::)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 07:59 by Shelma1 »

Semmick Photo

« Reply #68 on: March 25, 2015, 06:29 »
+2
You mean Istock, not Shutter  ;)

Shelma1

« Reply #69 on: March 25, 2015, 08:00 »
0
Yes! Absolutely. Thanks for pointing it out. Typo fixed.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #70 on: March 25, 2015, 11:25 »
0
w7lwi, did iStock actually threaten to remove your portfolio if you didn't comply with their SEO directive?

No.  Nothing about any sort of "incentive" in the e-mail.  I was just brainstorming different ideas of what they could do to try to get us to do their work for them, both positive and negative.  Couldn't come up with anything positive.  No carrot and stick, only a possible stick.

« Reply #71 on: March 25, 2015, 11:50 »
+3
They're all out of carrots.


 

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