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Author Topic: Alamy strange keywording requirements  (Read 11462 times)

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Phadrea

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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2013, 10:26 »
0
Well I have nearly 200 images with them but no sales as yet  :-\
I was 8 months and over 800 images before I had a sale.

And you think the keywording time is worth it ?


ShadySue

« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2013, 10:29 »
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Well I have nearly 200 images with them but no sales as yet  :-\
I was 8 months and over 800 images before I had a sale.

And you think the keywording time is worth it ?
I very much dislike the process, but hey, what else would I be doing?
It would be easier if the QC time were more predictable, then I could plan out blocks of time; and I'd prefer if it were done at uploading and gets checked by QC; but it gets done when it gets done.

« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2013, 10:30 »
+1
Well I have nearly 200 images with them but no sales as yet  :-\
I was 8 months and over 800 images before I had a sale.

And you think the keywording time is worth it ?

If they can't find them, they can't buy them.

ShadySue

« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2013, 10:50 »
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Well I have nearly 200 images with them but no sales as yet  :-\
I was 8 months and over 800 images before I had a sale.

And you think the keywording time is worth it ?
Note that Alamy isn't SS - you certainly won't get many quick sales as many people here report for SS.
They have said on here that the sort of images which do well on micro don't 'tend' to do well on Alamy, but of course there are no absolutes.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 10:55 by ShadySue »

Phadrea

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« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 03:24 »
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Then I might be in with a chance as I don't do at all well on SS considering they are supposed to be the top earner.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 03:34 by Herg »

ShadySue

« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2013, 05:52 »
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Do you use quotation marks for keyword phrases on Alamy?
When they have an unrelated meaning separately, yes. Like you said, "Santa Barbara". But not, for instance, for Copacabana Beach, as either word is correctly associated with the subject.

However, they don't isolate the phrases. Santa will still be picked, in your example. Perhaps it makes a difference in relevance.

Hard to know about the relevance thing. Not only will it show up for Santa, but let's say you have a photo of the City Hall in Santa Barbara (if there is such a thing). Your photo would also show up in a search for the hypothetical celeb called Barbara Hall.

It can be both educational and frustrating to check your search results. I had one today 'suit cutting'. I know I don't have any tailors, so I checked the image. In the caption I had written "... cutting edge Asian fashion ..." and in Main I had inter alia, punjabi suit. Sometimes that way you can think of a way of rephrasing your caption, but the system will surely find another way of confounding your efforts.

Sometimes you have to wonder what the buyer actually wanted, e.g. "150 years", "Margaret" (can't remember her second name, let's just search all Margarets).

« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2013, 09:56 »
+1
their system is broken and they know it.

there's just no way to rank 30-40 million images properly, google can do it with trillion of web pages but they rank based on more than 200 different factors and especially who's linking to that specific page etc .. .with photos there's no way to do that, all you can check is the number of views, zooms, and sales but for a lot of queries it will not be useful as you need a decent amount of data to bring decent results.

automatic ranking of images is the most stupidiest idea in the search industry in my opinion and alamy is also suffering from serious keyword spam.

« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2013, 11:54 »
+1
All the microstocks are coming up against this limitation.  There is only so much you can do, to make a retailing business run itself, without actually knowing in detail what's on your shelves.  But these companies can't afford to actually look at, keyword and categorize - and rate, for quality and relevance - every photo.  Especially not since they've let prices sink down through the floor.   

No amount of "AI", heuristics, or clever programming can really produce good search results when they have to rely on contributors doing their own keywording.


« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2013, 14:01 »
+1
categories are totally irrilevant when you've already dozens of keywords.

i can't believe so many agencies still use categories, what am i supposed to get clicking on category "travel" for instance ? a flood of 10 million random images ? what's the point, and will it ever lead to any sales ?

ShadySue

« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2013, 14:03 »
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categories are totally irrilevant when you've already dozens of keywords.

i can't believe so many agencies still use categories, what am i supposed to get clicking on category "travel" for instance ? a flood of 10 million random images ? what's the point, and will it ever lead to any sales ?

I don't think there are categories on Alamy.

« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2013, 15:04 »
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RE: Keywording, pricing, CTR:

I've been with Alamy since 2008. Average prices have dropped substantially since then. Sales volume has increased; so has the size of my portfolio. My CTR is usually decent though at times I've seen it dip when something unavoidable happens (like people searching for Christmas images using the term "Santa" and coming up with irrelevant photos of Santa Barbara). It's unfortunate that after many of us spent hours re-keywording our images and putting in terms like [Santa Barbara] on Alamy's announcement that they'd be changing their search engine, Alamy then abandoned the idea. As ShadySue says, keywording is a PITA but currently there's no way around it.

The bulk editor makes it a lot simpler though. You just pull the ones that have similar but not identical words into the bulk uploader and after you replace all words, scroll through them one by one to tweak.

Re: Editorial:

I was invited to join Reportage in its initial incarnation and then to become a News contributor when Live News first started. The CEO invited a bunch of News shooters to meet him down at their Brooklyn office when he was in town, and I was very excited by the prospect. The News Editor has been helpful too in providing letters for me a couple of times so I could get press credentials for events my usual editorial clients wouldn't be interested in, but while I've sold a lot of editorial travel images, I have never sold a news photo there. All my press events have been in the US (though they all had international interest). Acquaintances in the UK who shoot news for them do better.

I've done better making sales on SS with On the Red Carpet for far less interesting events, and as a 3-way comparison, a few years ago I put my best NY Marathon pix on Alamy News and my "seconds" on SS & DT. Those "seconds" have sold around the world and continue to sell on both SS and DT from time to time even a few years later.

Editorial travel sells well on Alamy.

Depends on what you shoot. I'd experiment with news/editorial stuff and see which does better for you.

« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2013, 15:22 »
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I've never paid any attention to the CTR because I didn't think it really mattered.  But some of you seem to be saying that it does, and that if it's low it's because your keywording is bad, in some arcane way that would be a PITA to correct.

My average CTR is .77.  Is that good or bad?   How would I know? 

ShadySue

« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2013, 16:31 »
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I've never paid any attention to the CTR because I didn't think it really mattered.  But some of you seem to be saying that it does, and that if it's low it's because your keywording is bad, in some arcane way that would be a PITA to correct.

My average CTR is .77.  Is that good or bad?   How would I know?

Seems the average for the last month is .53.

I give up. My CTR was at almost 1 for a few weeks when my sales were almost non-existent; now I see it's down to .57, but I've had more sales this month.

So whether it actually designates anything important is moot.

« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2013, 00:49 »
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I don't think there are categories on Alamy.

and thanks god !
but what i mean is from a technical viewpoint agencies should just give up any hope regarding automation in image search but i've never seen any discussion about it, all they do is claiming their engineers will be "tweaking" the algorithms a bit.

see Alamy with their new "creative" collection, as far as they said it's totally hand made, and it can't be otherwise, but to make things worse they marked as creative the entire portfolios of a bunch of photographers they consider creative so that even random cr-ap got into the creative collection and there's nothing you can do about it, he'll rank higher than you and thanks for all the chips.


ShadySue

« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2013, 04:40 »
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I certainly agree that it's extremely difficult to discern the criteria which make certain images 'creative' and other very similar images uncreative.
While I understand that 'creative' isn't the same as 'relevant', where there are just a couple of rows of creative, then the 'sort by relevance' starts, it's often a bit embarrassing how 'irrelevant' some of the 'creative' pics are, where the main 'creativity' is 'creative writing' in the keywording.

Phadrea

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« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2013, 14:57 »
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well, to me it's a lot of hassle keywording for no sales. Still nothing for me  :(

ShadySue

« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2013, 15:02 »
+1
well, to me it's a lot of hassle keywording for no sales. Still nothing for me  :(
I thought you posted two weeks ago that you'd "just been accepted".
You need to manage your expectations.
Alamy buyers typically have a long lead time (often months) and often get three or even six months to report a sale, so you can see an in-use months before the sale is reported.

« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2013, 15:52 »
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I went over a year (with admittedly a pretty small port) before my first Alamy sale. Since then I have had some very good months, and plenty of good months. Things have been pretty slow there the last few months for me though. My one sale this month was a distributor sale, which is extra painful there now. Still, I would say that the upload and keyword hassle has been worth it for me. Especially if there are more very good months in my future.

Phadrea

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« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2013, 05:29 »
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Well I got a first sale for $29. That's excellent. Well happy and encouraged to continue uploading.

ShadySue

« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2013, 05:31 »
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Well I got a first sale for $29. That's excellent. Well happy and encouraged to continue uploading.
$29 to you? or gross as quoted?
Anyway, that is a really fast first sale, congratulations  :)

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2013, 05:39 »
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Well I got a first sale for $29. That's excellent. Well happy and encouraged to continue uploading.
$29 to you? or gross as quoted?
Anyway, that is a really fast first sale, congratulations  :)

Thanks. It just says "$29 total"

Ron

« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2013, 05:46 »
0
Well I got a first sale for $29. That's excellent. Well happy and encouraged to continue uploading.
$29 to you? or gross as quoted?
Anyway, that is a really fast first sale, congratulations  :)

Thanks. It just says "$29 total"

Check the balance of your account and check out the deductions. You will see a credit line, which is your gross sale, and your debit line, which is the commissions taken by Alamy and a distributor. You either have a 30% net or 50% net sale.

ShadySue

« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2013, 05:48 »
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Well I got a first sale for $29. That's excellent. Well happy and encouraged to continue uploading.
$29 to you? or gross as quoted?
Anyway, that is a really fast first sale, congratulations  :)

Thanks. It just says "$29 total"
Go into Balance of Account in My Alamy and you'll find out if it was an Alamy sale (50% of the $29 to you) or a Distributor sale (30% to you). When I started, it was about 50-50, but in the past year it seems to be more Alamy sales (for me).

PS: Ron beat me to it!

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2013, 06:01 »
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Ah yes, I see it now thanks. I was on the wrong page. I got 50% which is still good. Much better than other rates.

« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2013, 06:52 »
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I have to add plurals??

Guess, I need to back in and add more keywords.

:(


 

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