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Author Topic: Another Massive Best Match Shift  (Read 111928 times)

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« Reply #1125 on: April 22, 2012, 17:27 »
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April is currently 20% down on March, Easter hurt noticeably. Since then it's just been slow days, I am exclusive.


lisafx

« Reply #1126 on: April 22, 2012, 18:21 »
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April is currently 20% down on March, Easter hurt noticeably. Since then it's just been slow days, I am exclusive.

I had high hopes that after Easter, April sales would pick back up.  Hasn't exactly happened.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1127 on: April 22, 2012, 18:25 »
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Interestingly, although there was a reprimand a few pages back, there have been some recent complaints in the March Sales thread over there about poor April sales which have been allowed to stay without comment. (Up til now, at least).

« Reply #1128 on: April 22, 2012, 18:58 »
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Not exclusive and yes I upload semi-regularly, last time I uploaded was December 2011.

Noodles

« Reply #1129 on: April 22, 2012, 20:54 »
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Not really noticing any changes. Sales are pretty consistant. April earning will probably be a little below March as expected but still more than twice last years amount. So for me, can't complain as IS exclusive.

RacePhoto

« Reply #1130 on: April 23, 2012, 14:45 »
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Has there been another best match change?
There have been two best match changes this week that I've noticed.
But still, differences between searches: some favour high selling files, some new, some who knows?
And some contributors seem to get preferential treatment, for weeks or months on end, and it isn't always the clique you might expect.
Many more indy images in the top of searches, undercutting exclusives.

Since IS has released some of the information, your tests and some guesses from assorted people, appear to be confirmed. (any emphasis is mine)

How Best Match works has changed dramatically over the past 6-12 months, and continues to change on a weekly basis as we test and optimize with more focus on the specific person doing a search. Many pieces of information are combined, balanced, and re-balanced as part of this optimization process. Here are just a few examples of factors that may affect what you see in your search results:

- Where you are in the world
- How often you have visited iStock
- How often you have purchased at iStock
- What kind of content you have purchased at iStock
- What day of the week it is

We tailor search results to best suit specific customers based on what we know about them, and we're getting better and better at making these determinations using data from the testing that is constantly underway. The better we do this, the more content we license to each customer and the more they come back to iStock - these are the core objectives of our continual tweaking.

All of these factors also affect the searches that contributors are doing as well, making it difficult for you to asses what you're seeing or to understand how it might look from the perspective of a specific customer. So bear in mind when you look at a set of results that it won't be the same across different segments.



OK in other words, don't bother looking, it's different for everyone.  :) What we see, isn't what a customer will see. Maybe... It's always changing, so don't make yourself crazy trying to figure it out.

« Reply #1131 on: April 23, 2012, 14:58 »
0
Has there been another best match change?
There have been two best match changes this week that I've noticed.
But still, differences between searches: some favour high selling files, some new, some who knows?
And some contributors seem to get preferential treatment, for weeks or months on end, and it isn't always the clique you might expect.
Many more indy images in the top of searches, undercutting exclusives.

Since IS has released some of the information, your tests and some guesses from assorted people, appear to be confirmed. (any emphasis is mine)

How Best Match works has changed dramatically over the past 6-12 months, and continues to change on a weekly basis as we test and optimize with more focus on the specific person doing a search. Many pieces of information are combined, balanced, and re-balanced as part of this optimization process. Here are just a few examples of factors that may affect what you see in your search results:

- Where you are in the world
- How often you have visited iStock
- How often you have purchased at iStock
- What kind of content you have purchased at iStock
- What day of the week it is

We tailor search results to best suit specific customers based on what we know about them, and we're getting better and better at making these determinations using data from the testing that is constantly underway. The better we do this, the more content we license to each customer and the more they come back to iStock - these are the core objectives of our continual tweaking.

All of these factors also affect the searches that contributors are doing as well, making it difficult for you to asses what you're seeing or to understand how it might look from the perspective of a specific customer. So bear in mind when you look at a set of results that it won't be the same across different segments.



OK in other words, don't bother looking, it's different for everyone.  :) What we see, isn't what a customer will see. Maybe... It's always changing, so don't make yourself crazy trying to figure it out.

You don't actually believe that nonsense do you? All that sophistication from a site that hasn't even been able to publish up-to-date statistics for about 4 years? From a site that can't even function when additional keywords are entered during a search ... if the customer happens to be using the world's most popular browser? From a site that falls apart for weeks everytime they attempt a simple modification? Etc, etc, etc.

Now they want us to believe that the best match changes according to the blood group of each customer or the colour of their underwear that day ... and er ... lots of things? Yeah, right.

RacePhoto

« Reply #1132 on: April 23, 2012, 15:37 »
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You don't actually believe that nonsense do you? All that sophistication from a site that hasn't even been able to publish up-to-date statistics for about 4 years? From a site that can't even function when additional keywords are entered during a search ... if the customer happens to be using the world's most popular browser? From a site that falls apart for weeks everytime they attempt a simple modification? Etc, etc, etc.

Now they want us to believe that the best match changes according to the blood group of each customer or the colour of their underwear that day ... and er ... lots of things? Yeah, right.

What I don't pass the gullibility test?

I was the one who said from the start, it was changing by location, time of day, and possibly phase of the Moon.  :D

I also say if someone is an Exclusive and gets a boost in the search, good for them. Their loyalty should be rewarded.

Once again, they come out and disclose some of what's going on and people will search for a puff of smoke from the grassy knoll for 50 years. Imagination is a powerful tool in the right hands. It can be debilitating when used by the conspiracy minded, suspicious or paranoid.

Yes I'm suspicious and yes I agree with you about the search being f'ed up. Add that to the list of uncontrolled variables?  :o But what they are attempting to do, is what they stated. Make the best match, client driven. ANd when we look, it's going to be different. "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!" LOL

« Reply #1133 on: April 23, 2012, 15:56 »
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But what they are attempting to do, is what they stated. Make the best match, client driven. ANd when we look, it's going to be different. "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!" LOL

They can't boost exclusives up the search order (which they do) and supposedly make the best match 'client driven'. There are bound to be massive conflicts between those two ideals. We know they also heavily promote new images too. That's at least 2 huge influencing factors that interfere with their 'client driven' manifesto. Basically the client gets to see what they want ... provided it is new and/or exclusive.

« Reply #1134 on: April 23, 2012, 16:05 »
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But what they are attempting to do, is what they stated. Make the best match, client driven. ANd when we look, it's going to be different. "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!" LOL

They can't boost exclusives up the search order (which they do) and supposedly make the best match 'client driven'. There are bound to be massive conflicts between those two ideals. We know they also heavily promote new images too. That's at least 2 huge influencing factors that interfere with their 'client driven' manifesto. Basically the client gets to see what they want ... provided it is new and/or exclusive.

In same way, they can. They are showing the clients the content that they won't see at another microsites, not the same that maybe they have already seen when searching before elsewhere.

lagereek

« Reply #1135 on: April 23, 2012, 16:54 »
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But what they are attempting to do, is what they stated. Make the best match, client driven. ANd when we look, it's going to be different. "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!" LOL

They can't boost exclusives up the search order (which they do) and supposedly make the best match 'client driven'. There are bound to be massive conflicts between those two ideals. We know they also heavily promote new images too. That's at least 2 huge influencing factors that interfere with their 'client driven' manifesto. Basically the client gets to see what they want ... provided it is new and/or exclusive.

In same way, they can. They are showing the clients the content that they won't see at another microsites, not the same that maybe they have already seen when searching before elsewhere.


They, IS, or any other agency for that matter, cant show anything, nothing, that cant be seen at all of them, the content is all the same. Its a matter of letting the client see what they want to buy, not what the agency, WANTS  the client to buy.
Big differance!

wut

« Reply #1136 on: April 23, 2012, 17:12 »
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But what they are attempting to do, is what they stated. Make the best match, client driven. ANd when we look, it's going to be different. "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!" LOL

They can't boost exclusives up the search order (which they do) and supposedly make the best match 'client driven'. There are bound to be massive conflicts between those two ideals. We know they also heavily promote new images too. That's at least 2 huge influencing factors that interfere with their 'client driven' manifesto. Basically the client gets to see what they want ... provided it is new and/or exclusive.

In same way, they can. They are showing the clients the content that they won't see at another microsites, not the same that maybe they have already seen when searching before elsewhere.


They, IS, or any other agency for that matter, cant show anything, nothing, that cant be seen at all of them, the content is all the same. Its a matter of letting the client see what they want to buy, not what the agency, WANTS  the client to buy.
Big differance!

Indeed. Exclusive only means it's not the same image, but it certainly is the same type of image, almost identical, well at least in 99,65% of the cases ;)

« Reply #1137 on: April 23, 2012, 17:26 »
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In same way, they can. They are showing the clients the content that they won't see at another microsites, not the same that maybe they have already seen when searching before elsewhere.

... and that's why sales at IS are probably down something like 30% over the year and equally up at SS where the results of their default search order is entirely buyer driven. When all images are priced the same and all contributors are treated equally the agency has no incentive to artificially screw with the search results. One day IS will learn this. Of course by then it will be too late for them.

lisafx

« Reply #1138 on: April 23, 2012, 17:41 »
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... and that's why sales at IS are probably down something like 30% over the year and equally up at SS where the results of their default search order is entirely buyer driven. When all images are priced the same and all contributors are treated equally the agency has no incentive to artificially screw with the search results. One day IS will learn this. Of course by then it will be too late for them.

Yes, exactly.  It is a relief that there are still sites where you can rise and fall on the strength of your images, rather than all the other BS factors. 

lagereek

« Reply #1139 on: April 24, 2012, 00:43 »
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Yes but IS, dont care anymore, all the responsabillity is with Getty/TS, etc, consequently, IS, could not give a toss. Buyers have long ago realized that this so called exclusive content is no more then what all other agencies are offering.

The Knightsbridge-Harrods-factor, have sunk into the Marks & Sparks cheapo, off the peg.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 00:48 by lagereek »

« Reply #1140 on: April 24, 2012, 01:42 »
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I don't have the sort of port that would do well on SS.

Why do you think that what works on SS is different from what works on iS?

Just curious.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1141 on: April 24, 2012, 03:54 »
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I don't have the sort of port that would do well on SS.

Why do you think that what works on SS is different from what works on iS?

Just curious.

Hearing off-board about the experiences of others who have either always been indie or have become indie, and comparing the ports of those who say they do better at iStock with those who post here saying they're doing much better at SS. It's clearly a small sample, but there's a pattern.
Added: also considering the subject matter of images which SS rejects.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:20 by ShadySue »

« Reply #1142 on: April 24, 2012, 04:33 »
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In same way, they can. They are showing the clients the content that they won't see at another microsites, not the same that maybe they have already seen when searching before elsewhere.

... and that's why sales at IS are probably down something like 30% over the year and equally up at SS where the results of their default search order is entirely buyer driven. When all images are priced the same and all contributors are treated equally the agency has no incentive to artificially screw with the search results. One day IS will learn this. Of course by then it will be too late for them.

Don't agree at all. First, at least my sales aren't down 30% or even near 30%; second, I think it's obvius, that are price increases, much more than any other factor, what slows the sales. I think istock is keeping the customers which are ready to pay more (and that's a smaller group); and that would explain as well the fact that E+ (at least in my portfolio) is selling much better than past years (and in bigger sizes)

wut

« Reply #1143 on: April 24, 2012, 05:11 »
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I don't have the sort of port that would do well on SS.

Why do you think that what works on SS is different from what works on iS?

Just curious.

Hearing off-board about the experiences of others who have either always been indie or have become indie, and comparing the ports of those who say they do better at iStock with those who post here saying they're doing much better at SS. It's clearly a small sample, but there's a pattern.
Added: also considering the subject matter of images which SS rejects.

Also, what IS considers editorial, SS sometimes does not. I don't do editorial I have just a handful of shots, but SS rejected all of them for not being editorial. And in fact they're not really editorial, I just didn't have a MR and uploaded it as editorial at IS.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1144 on: April 24, 2012, 05:43 »
0
I don't have the sort of port that would do well on SS.

Why do you think that what works on SS is different from what works on iS?

Just curious.

Hearing off-board about the experiences of others who have either always been indie or have become indie, and comparing the ports of those who say they do better at iStock with those who post here saying they're doing much better at SS. It's clearly a small sample, but there's a pattern.
Added: also considering the subject matter of images which SS rejects.

Also, what IS considers editorial, SS sometimes does not. I don't do editorial I have just a handful of shots, but SS rejected all of them for not being editorial. And in fact they're not really editorial, I just didn't have a MR and uploaded it as editorial at IS.

I haven't really studied SS's editorial policy in detail, but it seems they think 'editorial' means 'newsworthy'. I can hardly see any point in selling 'newsworthy' photos at sub/micro prices - if I had any they would go to Alamy. My main interest is the 'secondary editorial' market, i.e. textbooks or magazine articles; that's what almost all of my Alamy sales have been used for, even the ones which don't need releases. And indeed what most of my iStock in-use finds are used for online. (I don't like many of the other 'finds' and am trying to get away from that.)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1145 on: April 24, 2012, 07:07 »
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On a couple of random searches, the results are a bit different when logged in on FF and logged out on Chrome.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 07:25 by ShadySue »

« Reply #1146 on: April 24, 2012, 19:03 »
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Since January, I have been having BME in revenue every month. It has nothing to do with best match because my DLs didn't jump. E+ is the reason.

« Reply #1147 on: April 24, 2012, 21:42 »
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Since January, I have been having BME in revenue every month. It has nothing to do with best match because my DLs didn't jump. E+ is the reason.

That's interesting. I can't work out why E+ seems to work so well for some, but not for others. I had several hundred in at the beginning, but it didn't increase my bottom line at all. Many files stopped selling, and I couldn't find any evidence that individual files were earning more, just dropping in the best match. Well, that's not true, I had one file that was earning more, but when someone uploaded a duplicate it stopped selling.  I took most of them out after 6 months, and the few that are left don't seem to sell very often.  If you don't mind me asking, have you used your full allocation?  And what rate are you on?  How do you decide which files to add? When did you add your files to E+? Did something change in January? Hope that's not too many questions! Thanks!

« Reply #1148 on: April 24, 2012, 22:49 »
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Equus, I can't answer all your questions because I have never bothered to look for the answers myself. I can tell you what I know. First, I have a decent number of E+ images but don't use all my allocations. Second, my E+ images are somewhat unique and cannot not easily be duplicated. If I feel it can easily be duplicated, I leave it in the main collection.

Since January, I have been having BME in revenue every month. It has nothing to do with best match because my DLs didn't jump. E+ is the reason.

That's interesting. I can't work out why E+ seems to work so well for some, but not for others. I had several hundred in at the beginning, but it didn't increase my bottom line at all. Many files stopped selling, and I couldn't find any evidence that individual files were earning more, just dropping in the best match. Well, that's not true, I had one file that was earning more, but when someone uploaded a duplicate it stopped selling.  I took most of them out after 6 months, and the few that are left don't seem to sell very often.  If you don't mind me asking, have you used your full allocation?  And what rate are you on?  How do you decide which files to add? When did you add your files to E+? Did something change in January? Hope that's not too many questions! Thanks!

lagereek

« Reply #1149 on: April 25, 2012, 01:15 »
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Funny this?  all reports here by same forum members about increased revenues from E+, etc, etc, etc.  When I converse with some of my friends, Diamond members, one even a black Diamond member and I am talking about Exclusives here. Theyre all agreeing, revenues are down, way down! in spite of E+. The only thing going seems to be Vettas.


 

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