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Author Topic: Aha! So that's why my DT images stopped selling...  (Read 15694 times)

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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2012, 07:16 »
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Nothing to be alarmed about.  This April is behaving exactly the same as the past several Aprils.  I've been comparing my percentage drop from March to my April/March for the last few years, and it's following the exact same pattern.  Expect Easter and spring break to knock you down about 10-20% from March.  Further, expect just a tiny bit of growth in May, and then flat or decreases in June, July and August.  September should bring the growth again, which should last until mid December, and we all know what happens then.  January should come roaring back, Feb will be good, and March will be great again... and the cycle repeats.


tab62

« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2012, 09:28 »
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SS is slow and DT is dead in the water! One sale all this month- I usually average a few sales a day on DT...

lisafx

« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2012, 09:42 »
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I am constantly amazed that the majority seems to be oblivious to the recent changes that SS is making to their search engine. Trust me they are more involved than the factors you mentioned.


If there is something major going on at SS then this is the first I've heard of it.  Perhaps you'd care to enlighten us?  Or post a link to a discussion or something? 

I stopped doing sample searches at the agencies and trying to keep up with each and every search engine change years ago.  Managed to save quite a bit of my sanity in the process. 

tab62

« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2012, 12:46 »
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I've been told until I have a min of 1,000 or more pics (not from Cell phone either) that any stats that I bring to the table are not accurate thus I will strike for the record my last comment...

tab62

« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2012, 12:47 »
0
edit- "Strike from the Record"

« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2012, 12:51 »
0

I am constantly amazed that the majority seems to be oblivious to the recent changes that SS is making to their search engine. Trust me they are more involved than the factors you mentioned.


If there is something major going on at SS then this is the first I've heard of it.  Perhaps you'd care to enlighten us?  Or post a link to a discussion or something? 

I stopped doing sample searches at the agencies and trying to keep up with each and every search engine change years ago.  Managed to save quite a bit of my sanity in the process. 

In fact I have been monitoring the same searches at SS and others for some years and SS alone has been incredibly stable throughout that time. New images can easily become established, if they're good enough, but best-sellers retain their position so long as the buyers keep downloading them. As far as I'm concerned SS has got the formula absolutely correct and I just wish other agencies could do the same __ it would make for far more stable and predictable earnings. SS is pretty much the only agency from which my earnings grow more or less in direct relationship with the volume and saleability of my portfolio. It used to be like that at IS too until they started screwing with the best match from Sept 2006 onwards.

lisafx

« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2012, 13:21 »
0

In fact I have been monitoring the same searches at SS and others for some years and SS alone has been incredibly stable throughout that time. New images can easily become established, if they're good enough, but best-sellers retain their position so long as the buyers keep downloading them. As far as I'm concerned SS has got the formula absolutely correct and I just wish other agencies could do the same __ it would make for far more stable and predictable earnings. SS is pretty much the only agency from which my earnings grow more or less in direct relationship with the volume and saleability of my portfolio. It used to be like that at IS too until they started screwing with the best match from Sept 2006 onwards.

Thanks Gostwyck.  From Gbalex's post it sounded as though there has been some major search engine shakeup at SS.  I haven't seen evidence of it in my sales, which remain consistent and very good.  Sounds like your searches haven't turned up anything amiss either. 

Wish when people make these sweeping pronouncements that they would elaborate for the rest of us peons... ;)

« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2012, 13:24 »
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the number of downloads is less but money wise is actually gone up, each sale is decent, dont see cheap sub now. please keep this way. :)

WarrenPrice

« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2012, 14:08 »
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In fact I have been monitoring the same searches at SS and others for some years and SS alone has been incredibly stable throughout that time. New images can easily become established, if they're good enough, but best-sellers retain their position so long as the buyers keep downloading them. As far as I'm concerned SS has got the formula absolutely correct and I just wish other agencies could do the same __ it would make for far more stable and predictable earnings. SS is pretty much the only agency from which my earnings grow more or less in direct relationship with the volume and saleability of my portfolio. It used to be like that at IS too until they started screwing with the best match from Sept 2006 onwards.


Thanks Gostwyck.  From Gbalex's post it sounded as though there has been some major search engine shakeup at SS.  I haven't seen evidence of it in my sales, which remain consistent and very good.  Sounds like your searches haven't turned up anything amiss either.  

Wish when people make these sweeping pronouncements that they would elaborate for the rest of us peons... ;)


There have been changes; I don't know if they would be considered "sweeping."  The ongoing "missing new images" problem seems connected in some way (to me) to the addition of the SS Relevancy Search:
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=107881

It seems misunderstood by many and totally confusing by others.  
It isn't difficult to find several threads about lost images and SS efforts to resolve several issues.

EDIT:  I'm not complaining; just validating.  My sales at SS have been excellent.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 14:10 by WarrenPrice »

« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2012, 14:56 »
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There have been changes; I don't know if they would be considered "sweeping."  The ongoing "missing new images" problem seems connected in some way (to me) to the addition of the SS Relevancy Search:
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=107881

It seems misunderstood by many and totally confusing by others.  
It isn't difficult to find several threads about lost images and SS efforts to resolve several issues.

EDIT:  I'm not complaining; just validating.  My sales at SS have been excellent.


The indexing of newly-approved images has nothing to do with the default search algorithm. The issue usually appears to resolve itself after a few days anyway.

I tend to feel I have as much to gain as to lose from the indexing issue. Ok, my new files are getting lost for a while __ but then my existing portfolio is being subjected to fewer new competing uploads.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2012, 15:22 »
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I'm sure you're right.  Who am I to say.  I was just:

Wish when people make these sweeping pronouncements that they would elaborate for the rest of us peons...

 ;D

« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2012, 16:19 »
0

In fact I have been monitoring the same searches at SS and others for some years and SS alone has been incredibly stable throughout that time. New images can easily become established, if they're good enough, but best-sellers retain their position so long as the buyers keep downloading them. As far as I'm concerned SS has got the formula absolutely correct and I just wish other agencies could do the same __ it would make for far more stable and predictable earnings. SS is pretty much the only agency from which my earnings grow more or less in direct relationship with the volume and saleability of my portfolio. It used to be like that at IS too until they started screwing with the best match from Sept 2006 onwards.


Thanks Gostwyck.  From Gbalex's post it sounded as though there has been some major search engine shakeup at SS.  I haven't seen evidence of it in my sales, which remain consistent and very good.  Sounds like your searches haven't turned up anything amiss either.  

Wish when people make these sweeping pronouncements that they would elaborate for the rest of us peons... ;)


There have been changes; I don't know if they would be considered "sweeping."  The ongoing "missing new images" problem seems connected in some way (to me) to the addition of the SS Relevancy Search:
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=107881

It seems misunderstood by many and totally confusing by others.  
It isn't difficult to find several threads about lost images and SS efforts to resolve several issues.

EDIT:  I'm not complaining; just validating.  My sales at SS have been excellent.


While I agree with you the changes I was referencing have more to do with changes that SS has referenced themselves. You mentioned a few recent changes to the search that are noticeable... I would add that I have noticed a few of my images showing up on the first page of popular searches when those new images do not have one sale.  In fact they were positioned in front of some of my images which have over 2000 sales each.  Now if you don't have many images on page one of the popular search you might be happy about this.  I was not!

I don't have a lot of time to elaborate today so I will post an old response I left in another thread some months back when SS was advertizing on indeed.com for new programmers. Below you will find the contents for just one programming position that is no longer current. Since it is no longer active SS must have hired someone to fill the position some months back.

Contents of old post
"Has anyone ever wondered why the cookies that the various micro sites load onto our systems keep getting fatter and fatter and each year more third party analytics sites are involved in the process?  The sites use those cookies to gain info and track our activities on other sites and the micros etc. They increasingly use that info to serve content and to manipulate their resources (our images) to increase their own bottom line.  

I posted an old job listing for a SS search engine programmer earlier in this thread.  

Now SS is not going to publicly post sensitive info in their job listings, but they do give us a few clues as to what the future holds as far as searches. I know that various sites including SS change out third party cookies at different times of the year. Right now there are only a few cookies associated with third party data gathering services on many of the sites, but a few months ago the sites were using quite a few third party analytics sites to track our activities as buyers.

http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=o46KVfwz,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job

"Among other great benefits, Shutterstock offers competitive salaries, health and dental plans, 401k, company equity, daily breakfasts, weekly massages, discounted gym memberships"

http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=oIjWVfwC,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job
"Search Engineer

We have a lot of challenging problems ahead of us, including:    
Helping customers find the images theyre looking for as fast as possible.    
Providing recommendations based on a customers searches, social graph, and other factors.    
Developing a framework to support rapid development of dynamic ranking algorithms.    
Creating a massively parallelized and real-time indexing process.    
Tracking search analytics and automatically acting on the results.

Our search engine is built on Perl and Solr.  Ideally you will have previous experience working with Solr and programming in Java. Being a JVM or Perl guru is an added bonus.  All candidates should have experience working on search engines and solving problems with large datasets."

« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2012, 16:38 »
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There have been changes; I don't know if they would be considered "sweeping."  The ongoing "missing new images" problem seems connected in some way (to me) to the addition of the SS Relevancy Search:
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=107881

It seems misunderstood by many and totally confusing by others.  
It isn't difficult to find several threads about lost images and SS efforts to resolve several issues.

EDIT:  I'm not complaining; just validating.  My sales at SS have been excellent.


The indexing of newly-approved images has nothing to do with the default search algorithm. The issue usually appears to resolve itself after a few days anyway.

I tend to feel I have as much to gain as to lose from the indexing issue. Ok, my new files are getting lost for a while __ but then my existing portfolio is being subjected to fewer new competing uploads.


Really it does not bother you that the servers that hold various different image data (thumbnails, keywords, image, etc) seem to be out of sync by as much as a week for some ports?

Why do you suppose the time frame varies for each of us?

I know that the numerous submissions which I have experienced have been buried by the time they show up... and that bothers me since I put alot of work into them in the first place. Sure old images are selling, but for the majority of submitters new images are not selling, even for the people who routinely have had images in the Top 50 for years.

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2012, 18:35 »
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Thanks Warren and Gbalex for adding some context to the conversation.  Now I understand what you were talking about.  :)

This whole development completely passed under the radar for me because I don't do sample searches.  I just check my daily stats.  If that were to change and my income was affected, I would probably be pretty concerned.

« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2012, 01:48 »
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I see nothing about this algorithm problem on the DT site. Does anybody know if it is sorted yet? I'm still selling nothing and while not big fry in microstock, there is usually a regular trickle of sales so I guess not....

wut

« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2012, 04:06 »
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I tend to feel I have as much to gain as to lose from the indexing issue. Ok, my new files are getting lost for a while __ but then my existing portfolio is being subjected to fewer new competing uploads.

True, but think of the times when you upload a batch that's really good, saleable and possibly niched. I doubt you'd take comfort in that then. And on top of that, those files wouldn't gain on search positions, so you loose in long term as well. A few sales more for a well established files doesn't make a big difference. It does for a new one. And that's exactly what my last batch looked liked, I had sales right away, great sales, now they're dead.

« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2012, 05:14 »
0


True, but think of the times when you upload a batch that's really good, saleable and possibly niched. I doubt you'd take comfort in that then. And on top of that, those files wouldn't gain on search positions, so you loose in long term as well. A few sales more for a well established files doesn't make a big difference. It does for a new one. And that's exactly what my last batch looked liked, I had sales right away, great sales, now they're dead.
I agree. I'm holding off uploading until it is back to normal.

« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2012, 17:11 »
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Nothing to be alarmed about.  This April is behaving exactly the same as the past several Aprils.  I've been comparing my percentage drop from March to my April/March for the last few years, and it's following the exact same pattern.  Expect Easter and spring break to knock you down about 10-20% from March.  Further, expect just a tiny bit of growth in May, and then flat or decreases in June, July and August.  September should bring the growth again, which should last until mid December, and we all know what happens then.  January should come roaring back, Feb will be good, and March will be great again... and the cycle repeats.

I notice same pattern (suspension bridge) -ivi-

fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2012, 11:16 »
0
since Dreamstime changed their standard seach method to "bestselling" it might be interesting to know if the topselling contributors see an increase in sales...

« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2012, 11:25 »
0
since Dreamstime changed their standard seach method to "bestselling" it might be interesting to know if the topselling contributors see an increase in sales...

I believe this is the case, though it's not exactly clear yet... since the change took place the week following Easter, it isn't an ideal period to make apples-to-apples comparisons with previous or upcoming weeks. 

lisafx

« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2012, 11:43 »
0
since Dreamstime changed their standard seach method to "bestselling" it might be interesting to know if the topselling contributors see an increase in sales...

I believe this is the case, though it's not exactly clear yet... since the change took place the week following Easter, it isn't an ideal period to make apples-to-apples comparisons with previous or upcoming weeks. 

Interesting.  I didn't realize they did that.  I'll be curious to see what it does to sales over the next week or two...

« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2012, 22:36 »
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In fact I have been monitoring the same searches at SS and others for some years and SS alone has been incredibly stable throughout that time. New images can easily become established, if they're good enough, but best-sellers retain their position so long as the buyers keep downloading them. As far as I'm concerned SS has got the formula absolutely correct and I just wish other agencies could do the same

Thank you for writing this. I've felt the same way for a few years. I have best sellers from 2007 and 2008 that keep churning $ month after month. And a few new winners I put together in March/April have shot up to become steady earners too. Their formula is beautifully simplistic. Images rise and fall based on whether or not they sell, and nothing else.

lagereek

« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2012, 00:18 »
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Yes!  please leave the search as it is now!  Im selling like crazy!  I have always advocated "best-selling" or " popular"  anyway,  "relevancy"?, is like, relevant to what?

Thanks for letting us know. :)

« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2012, 08:37 »
0
Yes!  please leave the search as it is now!  Im selling like crazy!  I have always advocated "best-selling" or " popular"  anyway,  "relevancy"?, is like, relevant to what?

I wish they'd left the search algorithm broken too. I've already exceeded my total for March and on target for a massive BME at DT. Pity it can't last!

« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2012, 11:11 »
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If they leave things as they are now, those of you who've been around a while will have a good run  (at least for a while) but I think I'm going to stop uploading. There's no point as most of the newer stuff is just lost. I've only been back there since June 2011, but things had been pretty steady (not spectacular, but steady). Right now, it's really pathetic - with the occasional high price sale with those boosted images and then we're back to "subscription day" with only a trickle.


 

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