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Author Topic: Best match  (Read 7151 times)

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charlesknox

  • www.charlesknoxphoto.com
« on: November 14, 2008, 21:57 »
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After hearing all the complaints about the new best match at IS and everyone taking a hit to there income because of it, what do you think is the best way to solve the problem? Whats the best way to do best match?

what type of ranking system do you think is the most fair?

I've been wondering this for a while now and was just wondering what other people thought about it.   


« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 02:15 »
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A mixture of new and dls/month with none or very little  emphasis on exclusivity. 
Give the exclusive more money or whatever but I don't think that making exclusives first in the search is fair to independents or buyers who don't get to see a lot of very good images.

« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 02:43 »
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Quote
Whats the best way to do best match?

Thats an easy one. The best one will be the one that puts all my images on the firts page of every search. Anything less is simply not fair or in the interest of the buyers. :D

lagereek

« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2008, 02:58 »
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No, no,   you got to remember, this so called Best-Match is an IS invention, they are the only ones using this one and in early IS days with a million shots it probably worked OK.
Today, with 4 million files, mixing excl. with non-excl, add to this, its been a spammers paradise for years.
So how can anything with a Best-Match alog. work?
While spending the next 100 years sorting out this mess, the last desperate move was to gve priority to top-exclusive contributors, at least stopping them from jumping ship.
Further more, Getty is breathing down their necks with rules and regulations asking for results, its business, results is what its all about. probably also promising that within a few years the will have bought up every single site to become one giant exclusive agency without any competition ( which will ofcourse never happen ) since that would be bad for business. So hey guys! dont worry! dads looking after you!

What a great life being a photographer in this policy complex, isnt it?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2008, 03:58 by lagereek »

« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2008, 03:06 »
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Dreamstime have it right.  The more work you put in there, the more you are rewarded.  They don't seem to make huge changes that make my earnings crash.

lagereek

« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 03:25 »
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Dreamstime have it right.  The more work you put in there, the more you are rewarded.  They don't seem to make huge changes that make my earnings crash.


Yes,  DT has got that right and I believe, SS, FT and StockXpert are on par with that........ and thats ofcourse the way it should be.
Throughout history. good work and in our case good shots should ofcourse be rewarded.

« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2008, 08:46 »
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After hearing all the complaints about the new best match at IS and everyone taking a hit to there income because of it,

Why do you think everyone is taking a hit?

« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2008, 08:54 »
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Best match for me is about search terms bringing closest results.  Therefore, using not only keywords (and what FT considers is a very good idea - put most relevant ones first), but also description and title.

If I search for "pink rose", probably an image that is named "pink rose", whose description is "pink rose on a vase" and has "pink" and "rose" in the keywords, is more relevant than an image of a woman using a pink shirt with a bouquet of white flowers on her hand.

This, plus some other things as dls/month or dls/views could be considered, but to me title, description and keywords (DT model) with first keywords taken in higher consideration (FT model) would be the first things to consider.

Regards,
Adelaide

WarrenPrice

« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2008, 10:23 »
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I'm not a contributor at IS and am fairly new to the microstock thing ... but ... I would think the search criteria is based on what the buyer wants.  Even if they are not getting a "Best Match,"  IS has managed to sell the idea that the IS search engine is unique ... exactly what a buyer needs.  Pretty good sales pitch, huh? 

Has anyone seen the IS marketing/sales package?


lagereek

« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2008, 10:33 »
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Well yes, probably was unique once. I mean IS was the first after what Ive heard so everything about it must have been unique.
All complaining apart, IS, is a great agency so why cant they just keep thing easy, most of all the search?

bittersweet

« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2008, 10:44 »
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After hearing all the complaints about the new best match at IS and everyone taking a hit to there income because of it,

Why do you think everyone is taking a hit?

Have you forgotten, Sean? "everyone" = non-exclusives who complain here

« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2008, 12:07 »
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It have been discussed on more than 60 pages 2 times already on the Istock forum. There's nothing more to say that nobody agree with nobody on this subject.
Here it have been discussed many times in the last 2 months, you can have all your answers here...

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=6082.0

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=6227.0

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=5993.0

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=6261.0

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=5806.0

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2008, 12:41 »
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After hearing all the complaints about the new best match at IS and everyone taking a hit to there income because of it,

Why do you think everyone is taking a hit?

I'm with you. Either some people are getting much much better sales and "everyone" else is selling less, or iStock has a had a big drop in sales. One is related to the other.

I keep reading about how photos have dropped back in the search and how sales are in the dumper. That means other photos have moved up in the search and are making more sales? Can't have one without the other. There are no empty spaces at the beginning of the searches.  ;D

If the answer is Exclusives have actually been moved to the front of the class, then that's the way IS wants to run things. I don't know this to be true, but it's the only answer that makes logical sense.

It's not Best Match if lower matching photos are ranked higher and display first before better keyword matches. It's a contradiction.

« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2008, 12:51 »
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Madelaide got it right. Best match should essentially be employed for the benefit of the BUYER - to get the most relevant picture for the search term(s) used. IS apparently see best match as a tool to benefit CONTRIBUTERS and in its latest incarnation openly and undeniably to benefit their exclusive photographers.

Personally I have no problem with that as I can also become an exclusive IS photographer. I choose not to because I am not willing to sacrifice 80% of my monthly income, which can in no way be compensated for by increased sales at IS as an exclusive photographer.  My question is this: for how long can IS continue to benefit their exclusives at the cost of their BUYERS. When will the buyers get fed up to wade through pages of irrelevant images which are placed before more relevant images just because they are from exclusive photographers. In the end this can only have negative consequences for everybody when buyers start to leave for other agencies. There are indications that this is already happening as indicated by a dramatic drop in IS traffic.

I have done some experiments of my own and I concluded that a buyer at IS I will really be frustrated with the poor results of the current best match results. If I was an exclusive photographer at IS I will be nervous because it is clear that IS is gambling with their current good fortunes.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2008, 13:21 »
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Eco and everyone else who has pointed out the IS flawed search, if it really is weighted towards exclusives and is actually giving buyers less than honest Best Matches. It came to me after reading your message.

Maybe iStock Just Doesn't Care?  :o

lagereek

« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2008, 13:24 »
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I said that earlier in the IS forum, when members like Sean is hit and starts complaining a bit. As far as Im concerned thats bad news. When they cant even look after exclusives of that caliber, something is badly wrong.

charlesknox

  • www.charlesknoxphoto.com
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2008, 13:27 »
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wow! thanks everyone. ya i was just wondering what the ideal way to do it would be. Thanks and hope i didn't get anybody mad! 

« Last Edit: November 15, 2008, 13:29 by charlesknox »


« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2008, 13:38 »
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Madelaide got it right. Best match should essentially be employed for the benefit of the BUYER - to get the most relevant picture for the search term(s) used. IS apparently see best match as a tool to benefit CONTRIBUTERS and in its latest incarnation openly and undeniably to benefit their exclusive photographers.

There is no relevancy involved in Best Match, as has been said thousands of time.  As for benefitting the buyer, I hardly see any complaints from buyers about the returns from the sort.  They don't come onto the forum screaming about how bad it is.

Quote
Personally I have no problem with that as I can also become an exclusive IS photographer. I choose not to because I am not willing to sacrifice 80% of my monthly income, which can in no way be compensated for by increased sales at IS as an exclusive photographer.  My question is this: for how long can IS continue to benefit their exclusives at the cost of their BUYERS. When will the buyers get fed up to wade through pages of irrelevant images which are placed before more relevant images just because they are from exclusive photographers. In the end this can only have negative consequences for everybody when buyers start to leave for other agencies. There are indications that this is already happening as indicated by a dramatic drop in IS traffic.

FYI, if your perceived drop in IS traffic has to do with Alexa, you can disregard that, again mentioned many times.  By the way, there are just as many independent irrelevant images as exclusive.

Quote
I have done some experiments of my own and I concluded that a buyer at IS I will really be frustrated with the poor results of the current best match results. If I was an exclusive photographer at IS I will be nervous because it is clear that IS is gambling with their current good fortunes.

I'd say you're slightly biased in your experiment.  Maybe you'd like to provide us with your example of poor results.

« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2008, 14:27 »
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Sean, it is a bit like sport. We all tend to defend our team, even if they are losing or playing badly. I am only stating my view and if you do not agree it is fine with me. I have nothing to gain or lose by proving anything. Enough said.

« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2008, 14:29 »
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I like the Alamy way of doing it because it is based on precise algorithm and criteria and Alamy provide very useful tools to analyse your own ranking and thus imrove your keywords. And the whole thing sounds logical to me.

Concerning IS new best match, whatever the criteria or result, I cannot see any good explanation to the fact that an almost blue flame photo (i.e. which buyers do like a lot) which is ranked #3 when sorting on number of download is ranked when using best match after an older photo with 7 downloads... but from an exclusive photographer.

traveler1116

« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2008, 14:34 »
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I think if I was a buyer and the results coming back weren't very good I wouldn't post complaints in the forum, I would just look elsewhere.  My guess is that only the huge buyers with subscriptions would really care a lot since they are kind of stuck with it but small buyers would just use up credits and then move to another agency where results are better.  Contributors complain because we are losing money.

« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2008, 14:44 »
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I like the Alamy way of doing it because it is based on precise algorithm and criteria and Alamy provide very useful tools to analyse your own ranking and thus imrove your keywords. And the whole thing sounds logical to me.

Concerning IS new best match, whatever the criteria or result, I cannot see any good explanation to the fact that an almost blue flame photo (i.e. which buyers do like a lot) which is ranked #3 when sorting on number of download is ranked when using best match after an older photo with 7 downloads... but from an exclusive photographer.


There are a variety of factors in this result: age (results ordering by dowloads last years to change, people gets more or less the same results there than six months ago; that would create a boring and repetiive best match result), dls/month, ratings, etc.

On the other hand, pushing exclusives carries to the front the photos that any other agency has. That's good for the customers and for the agency. An then, for exclusives. After reading in forums like this how much are doing many of you (as stated by you) independents on others sites, if istock wan to retain their exclusive unique strength, probably the extra comission and other little perks are not enough.
Losing independants would be bad, but losing exclusives would be even worse. After all, there's a clear surplus of new photographer's and lost independants woukld make room for new ones.

« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2008, 15:02 »
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There are a variety of factors in this result: age (results ordering by dowloads last years to change, people gets more or less the same results there than six months ago; that would create a boring and repetiive best match result), dls/month, ratings, etc.

My photo: 833 downloads, 4786 views (17% purchase ratio), uploaded 2007-02, 1 review (5/5), 6 public lightboxes

The photo before mine in best match: 7 downloads, 288 views (2.5% purchase ratio), uploaded 2005-06, 1 review (5/5), 2 public lightboxes

Myself and the contributor of the second photo have both almost an identical number of files and downloads.

How can you tweak the numbers to explain this order? Just curious.

On the other hand, pushing exclusives carries to the front the photos that any other agency has. That's good for the customers and for the agency. An then, for exclusives. After reading in forums like this how much are doing many of you (as stated by you) independents on others sites, if istock wan to retain their exclusive unique strength, probably the extra comission and other little perks are not enough.
Losing independants would be bad, but losing exclusives would be even worse. After all, there's a clear surplus of new photographer's and lost independants woukld make room for new ones.

I have no problem with a fair advantage towards exclusive contributors, even a strong advantage (but it should be officially admitted by IS), but as far as I have read on IS forums, many exclusive do also complain on the new best match algorithm.

And a question to Sean: I don't know whether you benefit or not from the change, but how do you feel to make business with a company which can so deeply affect your earnings without giving any reason or explanation?

I do not complain that much with IS new best match because I cannot do anything, but I'm now very happy not to be exclusive with them and I don't trust this site anymore for the forseeable future: this is just neither a fair nor a serious way to treat IS contributors IMHO.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2008, 15:07 by araminta »

traveler1116

« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2008, 15:09 »
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Isn't exclusive content only valuable if it is the best there is out there?  Pushing exclusive images to the front without regard for which images are the best would seem to be a bad idea.  For instance if someone goes to dreamstime and sees a bunch of yuri's photos on the front page because they have sold a billion times and are arguably some of the best or goes to IS and sees a bunch of exclusives images that have sold a few times, wouldn't they only want istock's images if they were better.  IS has pushed old exclusive content to the front, at least that is what I have seen in some of the searches for images where I was doing well, I think objectively my xl images with lots of sales/day are better than many of the medium sized images from 2005 with ten times less downloads/day.

And I do agree with the above post, that I'm glad I didn't go exclusive at IS.  I have total mistrust of them now and this is after I pulled all of my images off Dreamstime and lost six months of earnings there because I was so sure I was going exclusive on IS, all of my images are now back on DT and I really regret taking down my portfolio.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2008, 15:14 by traveler1116 »

« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2008, 17:22 »
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I doubt having a page crowded with Yuri's of any other photographer images in front would be good for customers, because it only would show one or a few styles. And don't be fooled, really good and selling independent work appears on front at istock searches, maybe not so many files to do a "thematic page", but it appears.

On the other hand, uniqueness is a key commercial argument everywhere. Can you imagine a shop that has unique merchandise not showing it in the window shop, to show what all the others shops in the same street have?  (and even more if you aren't the shop that is selling cheaper this common merchandise).

And exclusive work is --at the very least--, as good as independent work. 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2008, 17:27 by loop »

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