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Author Topic: iStock SEO email  (Read 14830 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.


 

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