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Author Topic: Alamy "discoverablity" revisited  (Read 947 times)

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« on: July 30, 2020, 09:29 »
0
I got out of microstock years ago - except for Alamy.  Amazingly, I still get a sale now and then and it pays at least a few dollars, so I'm thinking about adding some new ones just for laughs.

I see most of my images have "poor discoverability" despite good descriptions and keywords.

It's been years since I looked at this, and I remember that tedious keywording interface.  Can anyone cut to the chase and tell me the most likely cause of "poor discoverability" on Alamy as it is today?  Or does it even matter?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 09:44 by stockastic »


« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 10:03 »
+2
It doesn't matter. "Discoverability" on Alamy is calculated purely on the number of keywords and "supertags" you use and the optional information you give. It has nothing to do with the actual quality of keywords or descriptions.

So if you have 50 keywords and 10 supertags, you will have good discoverability by default.

« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 12:40 »
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I'll check this out myself of course, but what's a "supertag" and would I have to go back and punch them all in by hand?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 13:28 »
0
I'll check this out myself of course, but what's a "supertag" and would I have to go back and punch them all in by hand?
Supertags are your up-to-ten most important tags, and yes, you need to do them yourself.
It's just as well to do this, as you might discover that when Alamy changed the Image Manager a lot of existing keywords got mangled and mashed.

As offisapup says, don't worry about discoverability - it's a stupid thing Alamy introduced which has led to a lot of spamming. And what's the point of being 'discovered' on an irrelevant or marginal keyword? 
This is Alamy's official tutorial video of how to use the new image manager - and it only has 14 keywords!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DeGewd73uw&t=135s

« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 15:09 »
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Well I see one thing about Alamy hasn't changed: the big question is still, is it even worth the time spent grinding through their keywording process?

If they just took the first 10 keywords, by default, I'd be fine. But no.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 15:16 »
0
I'll check this out myself of course, but what's a "supertag" and would I have to go back and punch them all in by hand?

Yes, one by one and watch what you mark as you can select All Approved.

don't worry about discoverability - it's a stupid thing Alamy introduced which has led to a lot of [useless effort and] spamming.

I added the bracket part.  :)


« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 09:41 »
+2
I'm already remembering why I gave up on Alamy years ago. I thought things might have been simplified by now.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 09:50 »
0
I'm already remembering why I gave up on Alamy years ago. I thought things might have been simplified by now.

Oh you mean because this is the 4th time I've had to go and edit every single image, manually, individually, because they changed something in the system or the search?





I only did the images that are still exclusive on Alamy and those that I thought had the best possibility of being downloaded, if found. Some are sets and groups and will still be found, but they won't have the Supertags, but with good, limited, specific words, they are going to be just fine. I didn't adjust illustrations or backgrounds or the "stock" kind of stock.

Someone remind me, did this also replace artists rank and pseudonym monkey business. Where people would play games, trying to have the system favor their best Pseudo and then they would have a number of others for less desirable mater. How does that work? Send your lower images to jail and hide them, while trying to play the system and bring your best images, that already sold, up to the front a little bit.

Talk about a waste of time and effort playing the pseudonym game.


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 10:38 »
+1
I'm already remembering why I gave up on Alamy years ago. I thought things might have been simplified by now.

Oh you mean because this is the 4th time I've had to go and edit every single image, manually, individually, because they changed something in the system or the search?


Yup

Quote
I only did the images that are still exclusive on Alamy and those that I thought had the best possibility of being downloaded, if found. Some are sets and groups and will still be found, but they won't have the Supertags, but with good, limited, specific words, they are going to be just fine. I didn't adjust illustrations or backgrounds or the "stock" kind of stock.

Someone remind me, did this also replace artists rank and pseudonym monkey business. Where people would play games, trying to have the system favor their best Pseudo and then they would have a number of others for less desirable mater. How does that work? Send your lower images to jail and hide them, while trying to play the system and bring your best images, that already sold, up to the front a little bit.

Talk about a waste of time and effort playing the pseudonym game.
On their forum, the jury is currently out over Pseudos and AR.

I will say that at the moment, and for a year or two at least, words in the caption are favoured in search. That's generally a Good Thing, as normally your most important words will be in your caption. The downside is that words which are really needed for context in your image will be searched on. For example, if your caption was, "Crowd waiting for Donald Trump to make a speech demonstrating his idiocy", which could be perfectly accurate even if DT isn't in the picture,  will show up in a search for Donald Trump.
On the upside, this week I was looking to see what the 'opposition' for a subject I was thinking of submitting. As usual with a non-moderated system, there were several mis-identifications in the search. But at the end were about 15 pics none of which had the subject in the images. When I looked, they were all of the same mountain range in the US, all properly captioned AFAIK, and all the keywords were apparently correct, EXCEPT that they all had the waterbird species and England among the keywords. I can only surmise that the only reason all these were at the end of the search for the species was because it wasn't in the caption - and those who had misidentified it (bizarrely, it doesn't look anything like any other species!) had the wrong name in the caption as well as the keywords.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 12:51 by ShadySue »

« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2020, 14:01 »
+4
I have 1,366 images that are poor discoverability.  I am not about to go spam my own images.  This is a stupid idea and encourages keyword spamming. 

« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2020, 17:38 »
+1
So if you have 50 keywords and 10 supertags, you will have good discoverability by default.

That actually isn't true - I have plenty with 50 keywords, 10 as supertags and still labeled as having poor discoverability, and others with far fewer keywords but the discoverability is rated as being good.  It seems like discoverability increases when you use unusual keywords, rather than more common words (even though those may be the most relevant).  If being in the green matters to you then select your oddest keywords for supertags.  I'm not sure it matters to buyers or to whether your image will be found in a search.

They still take the keywords in the order provided rather than alphabetically, so I always put them in my keyword file with the most important ones first and then just select the first ten as supertags.  It's still annoying but doesn't take a huge amount of time at least.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2020, 17:42 »
+1
So if you have 50 keywords and 10 supertags, you will have good discoverability by default.

That actually isn't true - I have plenty with 50 keywords, 10 as supertags and still labeled as having poor discoverability, and others with far fewer keywords but the discoverability is rated as being good.  It seems like discoverability increases when you use unusual keywords, rather than more common words (even though those may be the most relevant).  If being in the green matters to you then select your oddest keywords for supertags.  I'm not sure it matters to buyers or to whether your image will be found in a search.

They still take the keywords in the order provided rather than alphabetically, so I always put them in my keyword file with the most important ones first and then just select the first ten as supertags.  It's still annoying but doesn't take a huge amount of time at least.

You can get to green, if you really want to, by having ten supertags and about 42-ish total tags if you have filled in all the optional tags. I don't think 50/10 without optional being filled in will get green .
NOT THAT IT MATTERS.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 18:11 by ShadySue »

« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2020, 17:44 »
0
It is clearly worth the time to do the super words. I just made a $200 sell Friday. I wish I could make that everyday, but I do get 2-5 sells a month on Alamy. Very fair stock site...

« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2020, 07:39 »
0
You get more discoverability by choosing categories, as well.

« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2020, 08:42 »
+4
It is clearly worth the time to do the super words. I just made a $200 sell Friday. I wish I could make that everyday, but I do get 2-5 sells a month on Alamy. Very fair stock site...

So you are basing this one single data point....a $200 sale... on the value of discoverability keywords? I sell stuff there all the time with 20-30 keywords. Has nothing to do with volume of keywords, it has everything to do with good keywords. Now if Alamy gives you search preference based on having a bazillion keywords vs. 20-30 then there is incentive to scrape for more keywords.  Other than that, relevant keywords win all day.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 08:45 by Mantis »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2020, 10:51 »
+1
It is clearly worth the time to do the super words. I just made a $200 sell Friday. I wish I could make that everyday, but I do get 2-5 sells a month on Alamy. Very fair stock site...

So you are basing this one single data point....a $200 sale... on the value of discoverability keywords?
I think mj was meaning super tags. But certainly one sale doesn't prove that supertags made any difference.

« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2020, 14:55 »
+1
Since I haven't looked at Alamy in years I knew nothing about their current image manager.  So I just watched their short video explaining it.   I noticed that every image in the example account showed "poor discoverability" and the narrator never addressed that or said a word about what it meant.

There was a single vague statement about how Supertags are prioritized, or something like that.

I then found another video on YouTube about "how to increase your Alamy discoverablity" and it basically said you just stuff keywords until you get to 50, and showed an example of how doing this finally gave you that green Discoverability indication.

Seriously, this is what they want? Just more keyword spamming?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2020, 15:55 »
0
Since I haven't looked at Alamy in years I knew nothing about their current image manager.  So I just watched their short video explaining it.   I noticed that every image in the example account showed "poor discoverability" and the narrator never addressed that or said a word about what it meant.

There was a single vague statement about how Supertags are prioritized, or something like that.

I then found another video on YouTube about "how to increase your Alamy discoverablity" and it basically said you just stuff keywords until you get to 50, and showed an example of how doing this finally gave you that green Discoverability indication.

Seriously, this is what they want? Just more keyword spamming?

To be fair, that other video isn't an official Alamy video.

But yes, the system is pretty insane and leads the easily-led to spam keywords, which means you might be more 'discoverable' on marginal or irrelevant words, which must annoy buyers. But as their search can and does combine any word in the keyword or caption with any other word in the keyword or caption to make an irrelevant keyword phrase, spamming is just adding more annoyance. Actually, at this moment, one of my 'test searches' (Leonard Cohen) for this is looking pretty clean (at other times, images with Leonard X and Z Cohen have featured high up in the mix), though another (Blue Whale) has lots of other whales with blue sea, blue sky in the mix on the first page (not necessarily misidentifications).



« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2020, 16:00 »
0
So what about Supertags?  Do they matter, or is this just more hoo-ha that was hot for a few months and then forgotten?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 16:16 by stockastic »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2020, 16:17 »
0
So what about Supertags?  Do they matter, or is this just more hoo-ha that was hot for a few months and then faded away?

Actually, it wasn't.
At the beginning, there was some 'hitch' which meant supertags counted LOWER than tags. I believe that got fixed. Like I said above, captions are still ranking higher than tags, can't vouch for supertags, as often the supertags will still be in the caption. For a long time in two test searches (unfortunately I can't remember the searches) captions counted higher than supertags, which was provable as some old files somehow had captions but no tags at all, and they were higher in the search than files with supertags. Currently (at least in my limited search tests) captions rank higher than tags.

You'd have to do your own tests as to whether supertags rank higher than tags. For example if you have two sister files, e.g. a horizontal and a vertical, look and see where they rank in search, then do a supertag on one only, wait a couple of days, and see if it has risen for that word (and the unaltered one hasn't).
Then  as a cross check, take another two sisters, select one supertag on one, and on the other, add or subtract a tag to see whether the rise was a result of you having 'done something' with the file rather than the actual supertag.

Whatever, their system could change next week, month or year, so ... It depends whether you have a few hours or more to spend on this, which depends how big your port is there. I did it over several days, a couple of hours at a time, on dark, wet evenings when there was nothing more pressing to be done.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 18:19 by ShadySue »

« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2020, 17:39 »
+1
I'm just another photographer who can't do much with COVID-19 still out there, and is sitting home trying to think of things to do.

I just uploaded a dozen to Alamy.  I'll probably get an incomprehensible quality rejection and then I can stop wasting time on this.  :)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2020, 18:19 »
0
I just uploaded a dozen to Alamy.  I'll probably get an incomprehensible quality rejection and then I can stop wasting time on this.  :)
You'd have to try really hard to get a rejection!

« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 12:59 »
+1
Ok I got 14 images accepted, keyworded and captioned, after a gap of about 4 years.   Every one of my brief well-written captions in the IPTC was cruelly chopped off at 150 characters and had to be fixed up.  Took me half an hour to straighten them out.

And I swear this is the last time I submit to a microstock agency.  No really. 


 

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