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Author Topic: any tips&tricks for keywording  (Read 8464 times)

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« on: January 09, 2013, 11:44 »
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Keywording is by far the most annoying thing for me. Since all off my IPTC-saved keywords get imported to Alamy as 'comprehensive keywords' I just cut and paste one by one all the words, but it's a very slow process. Anyone found a way to speed this up ? I have another 90+ images waiting .... :o


tab62

« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 12:08 »
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I do the same as you do but my volume is lower - still very painful process on Alamy.

« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 12:09 »
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Must be simple. Wherefore does Her majesty has Her servants?  ;D

But serious: Dont think theres an easier way. The 50 character limit doesnt make it easier too.

aspp

« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 12:17 »
+1
Upload your shoots in batches and then manage them in batches ? Then you can batch edit your keywords, attributes etc more easily. A whole shoot in one go. After batch editing there is normally a bit of fine tuning to do. But it makes everything fairly quick.

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 12:27 »
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It's a vale of tears, because not only is the process annoying, you have to consider whether any random words in your title, caption, keywords or location can be combined to produce unexpected search results which could lower your CTR. Sometimes it can't be done and still have the image sensibly searchable.

aspp

« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 13:06 »
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you have to consider whether any random words in your title, caption, keywords or location can be combined to produce unexpected search results which could lower your CTR.

With respect, you are probably over-thinking it.

Yes all of those other fields have some effect on the search and word combinations can sometimes produce unexpected views. But you cannot expect to avoid nor plan around the possibility of the unexpected. The important thing is that if you see in the data that some particular image or batch is attracting irrelevant views you can go in and make changes if required.

Your CTR is an average over time and is going to be robust enough, on average, to weather the occasional unwanted view.

« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 08:46 »
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Must be simple. Wherefore does Her majesty has Her servants?  ;D
Haha ... I wish it was true. :)


« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 10:12 »
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It is an annoying system, but the loigcs between the three categories of keywords is great for relevance purposes. I wished however that they would respect the composed keywords (they end up using the separate words, even if as a much less relevant result) and did not consider the artist name as another keyword (I appear in probably any search for anything releated to Adelaide, Australia).

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 15:29 »
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It is an annoying system, but the loigcs between the three categories of keywords is great for relevance purposes. I wished however that they would respect the composed keywords (they end up using the separate words, even if as a much less relevant result) and did not consider the artist name as another keyword (I appear in probably any search for anything releated to Adelaide, Australia).

Everyone has a name, and those names will come up in a search. It's the same for all of us, except maybe Strudelmeir Hansboomer that won't come up in a search. Plus editorial images are filled with names. And if you are named Misty Bridges or Alice London or a thousand others Rocky Rivers..., your name will come up way more times before madelaide. (or adelaide)

It's a vale of tears, because not only is the process annoying, you have to consider whether any random words in your title, caption, keywords or location can be combined to produce unexpected search results which could lower your CTR. Sometimes it can't be done and still have the image sensibly searchable.

No search is perfect and there will always be unusual results. The computer doesn't know the difference between, verbs, nouns or adjectives. The computer has no concept of context for homonyms. Dove/dove - fall/fall - tear/tear - read/read - OK you get the idea.

You can't expect a search to be intuitive and know what someone is thinking when they enter words into a search. And most of the time, people use bad search examples to demonstrate flawed search results. Like one word or two, which invites, poor responses.

That's part of what Google technology and the people who get paid big bucks are doing there to make their searches give more relevant results, including sniffing out misspelled words and asking "did you mean" or finding words that have related meanings and including those results. (in a very strange kind of way, like CV?)

Or knowing by context if you are looking for Turkey the bird, the cooked food, the country or the vernacular for a failed Broadway play, a triple strike in bowling, or a dolt or fool, or maybe, lets talk turkey about searches? Well which one is it?

When you type in turkey, what did you expect a photo search to do, read your mind?  :o

The search is only as good as the words that the human enters into it.

And yes I agree I wish they would support the notations, like "combined terms" and some of the others that have been proposed but never activated. Also some sites are smart enough to search plurals without including use adding every word with or with an "s" and also not finding Rosencrantz as a response when someone searches for Rose. There are some complex issues, that could make the search better. But expecting a computer to understand parts of speech or words with multiple meanings, is unreasonable. None do it!

Oh the tip? Less is more in Alamy. Put the best words first, then next best second and put words that belong together, near each other, in the right order!

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 19:21 »
+1
^^ Yebbut that's where a CV comes in. Then the computer knows if you meant Turkey or turkey; or Scotland or Scotland (Texas).
And where iStock had it and blew it.

RacePhoto

« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 15:41 »
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^^ Yebbut that's where a CV comes in. Then the computer knows if you meant Turkey or turkey; or Scotland or Scotland (Texas).
And where iStock had it and blew it.

Right, and they were the only ones with a CV that distinguished any of this. Still many words are missing. A machine with a pedal - it wants bicycle or gas. Hey, I think there are some other kinds of pedals? (didn't even ask flower...)

Which in my book means all other searches are somewhat stupid since they don't have AI and can't be psychic. The human side needs to make the searches relevant and not trick the computer or depend on unreliable results.

GIGO

Good searches are the responsibility of the individual making the inquiry.



ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 09:50 »
+1
^^ Yebbut that's where a CV comes in. Then the computer knows if you meant Turkey or turkey; or Scotland or Scotland (Texas).
And where iStock had it and blew it.

Right, and they were the only ones with a CV that distinguished any of this. Still many words are missing. A machine with a pedal - it wants bicycle or gas. Hey, I think there are some other kinds of pedals? (didn't even ask flower...)


You had me flummoxed with the relationship between gas and pedal - I had visions of someone pumping gas into a balloon via a pedal-operated device (?) until my brain's translator suggested 'Did he mean - accelerator?' So that's three pedals in a car: brake pedal, clutch pedal, acclerator pedal.
I'm guessing that's covered by the vehicle pedal DA
Remove Tag   pedal    English (British)   
Did you mean...
   Pedal (Vehicle Part)
   Bicycle Pedal (Bicycle)
   Guitar Pedal (Musical Equipment)
But yes, I'm sure there are other sorts of pedals - what are these things on a traditional organ called? They've probably got a proper name, but I call them pedals. Also those on a piano.
I've asked in the past for an 'other' option in the DA, and I did get an explanation as to why they don't allow it - so they have considered it in the past.

However, your flower reference escapes me.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 10:13 by ShadySue »

Poncke

« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 10:03 »
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Petals

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 10:12 »
+1
Petals
Ah!
When I started at iStock before it all went bad, I wikied regularly.
One of the things I was always wiki-ing was flowers keyworded 'stork', and couldn't understand it; but after a while, it occurred to me that they probaly meant 'stalk'.

RacePhoto

« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 10:47 »
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Petals


Oops. I'll leave it.  ::)  (some people can't speel and a spell checker wouldn't have helped me, would it?)

Yes, gas pedal, brake pedal, clutch pedal, guitar pedal, pedal guitar (Hawaiian), pedal on an organ is what they are, pedals on a pump organ, the verb pedal, and many flat platforms that operate a device. Pedal sewing machine, pedal operated potters wheel.

CV?

   Pedal (Vehicle Part)
   Bicycle Pedal (Bicycle)
   Guitar Pedal (Musical Equipment)


It's still a good idea, but it needs work and there should be a dedicated staff who continuously monitor and manage the CV. You don't give birth to an idea and then half way into the project, let it run on it's own?

Maybe I'm missing something. Where's the CV dictionary so I can look up the words and phrases that are approved, in advance?

What provides the power to operate this machine?



Hint it's not a Treadle, because that word doesn't exist in CV. Not a pedal, because it's not a bicycle or vehicle or guitar. So what is it?

Actually it is a Treadle...

We could go on with what's wrong and missing for the next decade. Yes CV is the answer, but it seems to be abandoned or orphaned at the present?

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2013, 11:01 »
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We could go on with what's wrong and missing for the next decade. Yes CV is the answer, but it seems to be abandoned or orphaned at the present?
Other than those of us in the Fellowship of the Banned, you can make suggestions in the Keywords forum or SM Ducksandwich directly to suggest new entries or DAs.

« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 11:33 »
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Get some proper DAM software that handles keywords well. I use a slightly older version of Expressions Media. You can set up multiple keyword divisions. It's easy to keyword similar images all at the same time or later to grab keywords from similar images that are already keyworded. If you are going to mentally survive this process you need some software help.

« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 23:05 »
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I think the CV is a relic of an earlier age. Google does very nicely without it and I think Getty could too if they could stop thinking of this millstone around their neck as the crown jewels.

At any rate, back to Alamy. I try to keyword (I do it in Photoshop) so that the essential keywords are up front. That makes the task in Alamy a ton easier - just grab the first few words; cut, paste. Then grab the rest, cut and paste into the second box. I rarely have too many for that second box.

If I have to restructure the keywords (like some of my older iStocked ones with CV terms). I do those as a batch and then edit in the individual differences.

« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 01:46 »
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The CV is, and always has been a disaster - even after they removed "Person from Venus" as the only  option for Venetian. (Yes, seriously, that's what Getty thought Venetian meant, and they believed there were enough people photos of Venusians to merit the CV term).  Now Venetian means Venice, but there is nothing for the other meanings - a descriptive term (something related to or from Venice) into a place name.

If you wanted to put a picture of the White Mountains in Crete into the collection, you couldn't because the only White Mountains were a sub-range of the Rockies or Appalachians or something. But there are also White Mountains in Afghanistan, Poland, Australia and goodness knows where else.

Until the CV contains every single entry in the index of the Times Atlas of the World, it will be useless for travel and landscape photography.

Then you have the bits of it that deliberately default to exactly what things are not. For example, strategy defaults to tactics (or maybe it is the other way round) but a strategic move is not a tactical one and vice versa, so if it switches your keyword over, then you should really delete it to stop spam.

Recently, terms have started appearing twice, in different hierarchies, once with a capital and once without, so presumably you get only half the results depending on whether you capitalise your search or not.

By using phrases, sometimes the CV hides results - e.g, if you have a photo of fish and chips (which they want to call "french fries" while using the word "chips" for potato crisps) and you enter "fish" and "french fries" and "chips" in your terms, then when someone searches for "fish and chips" your file will be hidden becaues it only looks for the three words as a phrase.

In addition to which, they add and delete terms, leaving old files wrongly or inadequately CVd, because the correct keyword had nowhere to go when it was originally offered, so it had to be deleted to avoid spam.

Etc etc.

« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 01:48 »
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But what I meant to say before getting sidetracked by a pet peeve, was this:

If you keyword your files by putting the main keywords first, then you can cut and paste the whole bunch together so it is only one cut-paste operation, not a word-by-word one.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 04:27 »
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By using phrases, sometimes the CV hides results - e.g, if you have a photo of fish and chips (which they want to call "french fries" while using the word "chips" for potato crisps) and you enter "fish" and "french fries" and "chips" in your terms, then when someone searches for "fish and chips" your file will be hidden becaues it only looks for the three words as a phrase.

Must be a difference if you have chosen English (US) and English (UK).
The site is crawling like treacle just now, but if you keyword 'fish and chips' it's in the CV here in the UK, as a child of British Cuisine:


If you search fish and chips, you get offered 'fish and chips' or 'fish and chip shop':


and if you choose fish and chips, you get what seems to be a pretty reasonable set of fish and chips:


« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 07:40 »
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What I do is upload in batches, then use prostockmaster to find my keywords then keyword on Alamy in a batch with one copy and paste. Can do a ton in just a few min using the batch feature.

« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 08:22 »
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That is an excellent result, ShadySue. Especially the sixth one across the top row and the middle one on the bottom row! ;)

ShadySue

« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 08:54 »
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That is an excellent result, ShadySue. Especially the sixth one across the top row and the middle one on the bottom row! ;)

Undoubtedly, but with no disrespect for the togs, that screenshot reflects the homogenous and 'removed from reality' microstock aesthetic. Essentially these photos are very similar, very well 'arranged', lit and are doubtless pixel perfect, and don't reflect what I think of as the 'fish and chips' experience in the UK. At best, it's just one small part of British 'fish and chips'.
Arguably, though the pictures aren't perfect studio 'set-ups', the variety at the top of the search on Alamy gives a far better selection of 'fish and chips' photos:


« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 09:37 »
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Yeah, that's true enough.

« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2013, 17:32 »
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Yes, keywording is a major PITA.   It's not likely to get better, because nothing at Alamy's site ever seems to change.

I have 300 images there and made a few sales - then starting around September things went stone cold and I sort of ceased caring.  Something seems to have changed because now, I'm getting 'zooms' (views) again - but no sales.  I get no kicks from these clicks.

Poncke

« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2013, 17:38 »
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Me and Alamy are a bad marriage, I dont get any of their rules and BS CT rating, blah, but apparently you need to keyword with few keywords, and exact.

« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2013, 18:47 »
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I don't think 'zooms', CT etc actually mean anything.  The sales I got were photos that never showed up as 'zooms'.   I got excited for a while last year when I made some sales, but it died a hard death later in the year.

RacePhoto

« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2013, 09:35 »
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I don't think 'zooms', CT etc actually mean anything.  The sales I got were photos that never showed up as 'zooms'.   I got excited for a while last year when I made some sales, but it died a hard death later in the year.

I tend to agree that all the mumbo jumbo about clicks, zooms and views is hardly important. Yet it gets some people worried and excited, because someone looked or because they are found in a search. I'd be more worried about what doesn't get found in a search!

At least two of my over $200 sales were without a view at all.

Simple answer use those 50 characters in the main box for the most important and useful keywords. Alamy is not useful for keyword spam. Besides people looking don't use obscure and complicated search terms. Go look at what they do use and see. It's very straight forward.

Recent Sales -

pondicherry french    1   5   12   372   3.23
HEART HANDS    1   3   8   3,481   0.23
dominican republic entertainment    1   3   2   120   1.67
Loire River nantes    1   3   5   119   4.2
cottage name uk    1   2   3   205   1.46
compost bin    2   2   5   1,546   0.32
dog training    2   2   9   1,230   0.73
Easton columbus ohio    1   2   1   30   3.33
exotic cars    1   2   1   60   1.67
flodden battlefield    1   2   3   55   5.45
butlins    3   2   7   1,290   0.54
bacon brown sauce    1   2   4   90   4.44
male model    2   2   3   1,230   0.24
ipad    21   2   31   9,010   0.34
johannesburg skyline    2   2   12   260   4.62
hearst castle    1   2   2   834   0.24
house name uk    1   2   4   1,200   0.33
group of children playing    1   2   3   3,720   0.08
maurier    1   2   2   34   5.88
mature woman mascara    1   2   1   262   0.38
snow plough train    1   2   2   35   5.71
spring garden    1   2   20   3,330   0.60
Stena RoRo    1   2   2   110   1.82

Does anyone see vague or strange synonyms? Buyers look for what they want! (although plough is spelled wrong, so maybe?) ???

I don't understand multiple sales from a search for a specific file number, and some are things like a tool booth or gas station. Not exactly a popular high demand image. Two and three sales at $50 each?

CXTNXP    1   3   1   1   100.00 (abandoned gas station in the Fall)
CY5DJY    1   3   1   1   100.00
CWBP1J    1   2   3   3   100.00
CWAWR4    1   2   1   2   50.00
D08497    1   2   1   1   100.00
D1X2HJ    1   2   1   1   100.00
CRT88X    2   2   2   2   100.00
CTHECF    1   2   1   1   100.00

Now I want to add one new word to about 1000 images, I'm not sure there's an easy way to do that. Schlog, schlep and drudgery.

ShadySue

« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2013, 09:53 »
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Some of the searches are quite amusing.
I've had a search on just Margaret, and wondered whether they were writing a book on Margarets and wanted to look at all the possibilities, or had forgotten the surname and hoped they'd get a kickstart to their memories if they found the image.
Yesterday I got two on 'restaurant outside uk edinburgh' (one with WP added). My pics are of people sitting at tables outside restaurants in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). But did that searcher want instead photos of restaurants in one of the various Edinburghs outside the UK? (so restaurant Edinburgh NOT Scotland might have been better)

Batman

« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2013, 22:22 »
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Heart Hands

RacePhoto

« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2013, 14:09 »
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Heart Hands


Yes, the obvious three sales, for April Fools Day. Oh wait, Valentines Day, what's the difference?  ;)

I used to pay closer attention. I thought I was doing "research". Then I discovered that if Cabo Wabo sold in January, the next six months, there wasn't even a search for that.

Many of the searches that are displayed, won't help much to see what people are buying. They will show what people already bought and don't need anymore, most of the time. Chasing top sales doesn't look fruitful.

"Your AlamyRank can suffer if you use irrelevant keywords."

Keywords, put the most important ones in that Essential box (50). Put the next in the Main box (300). If you've run out of space, you have too darn many words! Save Comprehensive for adding names (I use it for drivers names that most people won't want to see, but someone specifically looking will want to know) Trying to avoid BAD hits.

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/captions-keywords-descriptions.asp


Alamy Annotations

Is there an error in the above, which is copied from the Alamy site? Used to be Comprehensive was displayed, then a couple of years ago they switched to Main displayed. Now it says, neither are displayed? I was using the "invisible" set for specific selected keywords that I didn't want the competition to copy.

Meanwhile, pay attention to what's searched and what's not. And how important each priority is. If you have a marginal word in the Main box, instead of comprehensive, it's going to get found more and harm your click through ratio. (If one is to believe it matters at all?)

Also Alamy has word order and word proximity as part of their search. So making relevant words closer to each other, in the proper order that people will search for them, will help.

Last of all, the Alamy search has some dumb factors. You need to include "Dog" and if there are two or more "Dogs" it helps buyers be specific, but it also means if someone searches for dog, they won't see DOGS if you don't have "DOG" as one of the words. Plurals and extensions of words are not automatic. Likewise it makes the search better because if you searched for * you won't get all the images with "CHRISTmas" or anything else with a partial word contained in it.

Anyone else with any tips?




 

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