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Author Topic: Another Massive Best Match Shift  (Read 74436 times)

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« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2011, 14:45 »
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Maybe they want to put fresh and  unseen at any other competitor site content on front.

Buyers already have a way to select exclusive content only, if that's what they wish to do. There's been a check box for that for a long time.

Buyers can also search newest first and check exclusive only, if they want fresh and exclusive.

Best Match is, or was, supposed to be about something else, and for a long time was supposed to be about helping the buyer. All this nonsense about favoring one group of contributors over another means the company has taken its eye off the ball. In the long run, if you don't serve the buyers well, someone else will.

Maybe they have some year end objectives they're trying to meet - although doing something December 21st is cutting it awfully close. Perhaps it's just a bug, although they locked a Help forum thread versus said "we're working on a fix" so I suspect not.


RT


« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2011, 15:09 »
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I've just realised why they've done this.

They're about to close down for the Christmas period and no doubt will be posting that nobody will be monitoring anything for the whole period, this way when all the credit card fraudsters around the world download exclusive files only there won't be the aftermath of angry posts in the forum from all us nasty independents, like there was last year, they'll say 'were working on it' and the majority of replies will be 'you guys rock'

« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2011, 15:16 »
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I've just realised why they've done this.

They're about to close down for the Christmas period and no doubt will be posting that nobody will be monitoring anything for the whole period, this way when all the credit card fraudsters around the world download exclusive files only there won't be the aftermath of angry posts in the forum from all us nasty independents, like there was last year, they'll say 'were working on it' and the majority of replies will be 'you guys rock'

Well... according to many people in this very forum, customers are unable to find search features more visible that the ones you quote (I mean the slider). We can have opinions on that, buy they, the IS administrators, have all the information about which feaures use the customers and wich not. Some years ago, one of them said that 90% of the searches were done directly through Best Match.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2011, 15:21 »
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In a way I'm glad (for now) that my images have dropped off the best match radar.  I'm convinced that my sales are not being reported accurately (only one showing since Nov 17 which is hard to believe) and I have no confidence in iStock's ability or desire to correct this "problem".  Let the images hide until, and if, there is official word that things are back to normal.

« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2011, 15:23 »
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Wow, what a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was an "okay" day with 13 downloads and about $20.  A lot less than last December, but that's to be expected.  Today as of noon in California, I've had one stink'n download for 60 cents.  My one Best Match test image that was always on the first page for the search "paper and backgrounds" and sold four times yesterday, is nowhere to be seen.  Looks like I'm gonna get coal in my stocking.  Bah, humbug!

« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2011, 15:31 »
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We can have opinions on that, buy they, the IS administrators, have all the information about which feaures use the customers and wich not. Some years ago, one of them said that 90% of the searches were done directly through Best Match.

Yes we know. Many of us with established portfolios found that out in Sept 2006 when our Istock income dropped 30-40% overnight. It was an experience that made me, amongst others, avow never to go exclusive. Too risky to allow one agency to exercise so much power at the drop of a hat.

« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2011, 15:48 »
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Obviously this has to be a bug, a mistake. I'm sure it will be back to a "normal" well represented Best Match quite soon. No need for panic.

I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble.

I guess it's saying that if you aren't exclusive you don't get any sales. Drop the crown and 100% of your earnings go out of the window.

I can't believe the Qatar search. It's my niche and my first image is on about page 9, my next one on or about p12. I suppose iStock is now a dead agency and all we have left is TS.

I wonder if there is any relation between the expected (and missed) end-of-year transfer of all non-x files to PP and the year end burying of non-x files on the search.

Now I have to find another source to fill the $300 gap.

JUST THOUGHT - they can't keep it like this forever because there will never be another exclusive. No newbie will ever get 500 sales (or is it 250? Either way, it's become unattainable).
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 15:51 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2011, 15:53 »
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I've just realised why they've done this.

They're about to close down for the Christmas period and no doubt will be posting that nobody will be monitoring anything for the whole period, this way when all the credit card fraudsters around the world download exclusive files only there won't be the aftermath of angry posts in the forum from all us nasty independents, like there was last year, they'll say 'were working on it' and the majority of replies will be 'you guys rock'

<conspiracy theory> while they are closed for the holidays there will be massive downloads of vetta and other images from favored exclusives, of course the $ will all be clawed back, but to throw a bone to the favored ones they will allow the RCs to stay - thereby allowing the chosen to make their targets without actually costing them any money or letting the great unwashed get to their targets - genius</conspiracy theory>

Maybe Sean can make a greasemonkey script that only shows indy stuff. HA

« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2011, 15:56 »
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BTW, the HUGE winner on a "qatar" search is not the exclusives, it is Edstock. Maybe those uploads are the most recent "exclusive" material, but (high price?) editorial swamps the first pages of the search. That's not going to do iS any good in the longer term.

Searching on "Crete" shows that the only non-exclusives still allowed room on early pages are the illustrators.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 15:59 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2011, 16:04 »
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I do urge everyone to do a search on "Crete" and check out the number one, top of the search, best match image - a completely non-descript, non-specific picture of "the sea surrounding Crete". It is, indeed, a picture of sea.

It's good to know what the very best iStock has to offer is!

« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2011, 16:08 »
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I do urge everyone to do a search on "Crete" and check out the number one, top of the search, best match image - a completely non-descript, non-specific picture of "the sea surrounding Crete". It is, indeed, a picture of sea.

It's good to know what the very best iStock has to offer is!

Ah __ it's lovely! Just how I remember it from my holiday there in '89. I'd have bought that as a postcard if it had been available back then.

« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2011, 16:20 »
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I do urge everyone to do a search on "Crete" and check out the number one, top of the search, best match image - a completely non-descript, non-specific picture of "the sea surrounding Crete". It is, indeed, a picture of sea.

It's good to know what the very best iStock has to offer is!

Ah __ it's lovely! Just how I remember it from my holiday there in '89. I'd have bought that as a postcard if it had been available back then.

Indeed! And it's certainly not a shot you could get from Shutterstock, because that's the exclusive quality we keep hearing about, that is!

« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2011, 16:25 »
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It seems to be that future sales will only be made by accident...   :-\
(for independants)

« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2011, 16:41 »
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My best seller for the last 5 years is gone...

So I guess, this best match will only serve the exclusives that made a lot of uploads this year.

I predict a huge drop in sale for the larger contributors, who have a lot of old files.

« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2011, 16:59 »
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I also noticed a best match shift. All my today's sales have been old files although I have many new ones.

It is not a bad day for me. No complaints.

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2011, 17:04 »
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I also noticed a best match shift. All my today's sales have been old files although I have many new ones.

It is not a bad day for me. No complaints.

Buyers don't always buy the same day. Some save images, show clients possibilities, create draft designs, etc, then they buy later.

So it may take a couple of weeks or more before we see the full effects of this best match change.

« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2011, 17:07 »
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I don't seem to see any of Yuri's images in the first few pages of a search on "business". Methinks he will be a trifle miffed about being pushed off his pedestal.

« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2011, 17:18 »
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That's a huge change.

One of the searches I look at is San Antonio. There are 621 photos and one of mine is #6 by downloads and until today, has typically been somewhere in the first 5 or so by Best Match.

Today it's somewhere near the bottom of the second page of 200 and the whole first page of 200 is exclusive files. Unless I missed when scanning the page, all the images have a crown!

Even funnier, if I search for driftwood there are 3,123 photos and one of mine is #2 by downloads. It has been floating around on the first page by best match - it used to be on the top line. Today it's just past the 2,000 mark and the first 1,400 images are all exclusive! They have old (2007) zero download images from exclusives higher up than independent files that have actually sold.

This truly makes it clear that best match has zero to do with helping buyers find what they need better but is just a tool for the agency to see if they can't meet some goal or other of their own.

I can't wait to read the official explanations for why this is a good thing. If it actually helps boost sales at the site overall, that'd be one thing, but if it just drives more buyers away because they don't like what they see in searches, we all end up taking the hit in the long run. Tossers!

Trust me buyers do notice that we are being served images not in our best interest. One reason we no longer buy there, slider people give it a rest!

« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2011, 17:20 »
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I don't seem to see any of Yuri's images in the first few pages of a search on "business". Methinks he will be a trifle miffed about being pushed off his pedestal.

Maybe the real plan is to depose Yuri and replace La Gagne back on the throne __ sort of an 'Istock Winter' revolution.

« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2011, 17:23 »
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Chill people, its a bug and I am sure they will fix it sooner or later (proly later then sooner, it is IS....)

« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2011, 17:26 »
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If there's one thing exclusives love, it's being favoured at the one time of the year when nobody is buying.   ;)

LOL!
Yeah... I don't mind it. This December is on pace to be +100% over last December and finish with numbers like October or November. Maybe nobody is buying, but it sure seems like a lot are.

lisafx

« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2011, 17:46 »
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I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble. We've heard from quite a few disgruntled individuals already on MSG and I can't imagine that they're alone. Maybe it is intended to be a temporary 'fix' to help exclusives attain their RC targets but it's probably too little, too late for many. This smacks of an act of desperation for a company whose business is irretrievably on the slide. If I were exclusive I wouldn't be rejoicing, I'd be worried about the future.

This is the only explanation that makes any sense.  Very well said. 

« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2011, 17:49 »
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Chill people, its a bug and I am sure they will fix it sooner or later (proly later then sooner, it is IS....)

And the evidence for that assertion is????

Oh, yeah, I get it. The iStock algorithm just burped all by itself and wrote itself some new instructions. It happens all the time.

But I'm not un-chilled. Istock's already removed itself from the ranks of indispensible agencies, we just have to adapt by filling the gap from some other source. Freelancing is all about adaptability, as someone was pointing out on another thread.

« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2011, 17:56 »
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(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?

(b) Why is everyone surprised that they will try and promote the one area they still have an edge?

(c)

I have a file that has been selling 60-70 times / month.
Since July it has earned them over 2000 $ and occupied one of the top spots in best match, they even selected it for a lightbox maintained by their staff.
Now this file is gone, I checked the first 30 pages.
That is ridiculous, they must be desparate.


60 -70 dls month on month - wow!  Any chance you could post a link?

« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2011, 18:02 »
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(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?

No doubt, but there is still a lingering hope that there will be some stability in earnings - and people who have worked for years to build a position and rely on the income to pay their mortgage should be able to expect some respect from the agencies they have built up through their efforts. Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.


 

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