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Author Topic: Terrible search engine!  (Read 11733 times)

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lagereek

« on: February 18, 2010, 12:35 »
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I mean frankly, I havent seen anything like it!  I just punched in " engineer and industry"  what do I get?  1st page, well a few but the next 3 pages are full of the same stereotyped oldish guy posing in a suit with a plastic hard-hat and the model doesnt even look the part.
Jeez!  no wonder they dont sell????  and this is in two gigantic search categories.


« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 12:58 »
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You think that's bad? Try a search on 'air travel' if you really want a laugh.

« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 13:15 »
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You think that's bad? Try a search on 'air travel' if you really want a laugh.

yeah the air travel section got pretty jacked up when Sharply_done removed all his shots .. I'd say he owns the market on awesome plane shots  ;D

vonkara

« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 13:20 »
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Yea air travel is laughable...

« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 13:32 »
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is it just me or does DT weight new images quite heavily now in the best match search.  The first page is almost totally full of one illustration of the same airplane.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 13:34 by leaf »

« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 13:40 »
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I don't think anything can beat Fotolia's search engine. They must have one of the most pathetic search engines in the history of stock photography.
If you search for 'military helicopter' on German Fotolia (Kampfhubschrauber), you'll see mostly pictures of dogs, about 1 helicopter per page, occasionaly other aircrafts. On page 7 of the results flowers start to dominate. ;D

They did improve a little bit though. Some time ago when you searched for major cities you got all sorts of funny results.

Anyway, some of my files cannot be found at all with most important keywords...

« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 13:54 »
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yeah the air travel section got pretty jacked up when Sharply_done removed all his shots .. I'd say he owns the market on awesome plane shots  ;D

Gee, thanks for pointing that out ... not!

Before going exclusive I regularly tracked my market share and penetration on the big agencies - DT was by far my lowest score, and no matter what I did I couldn't bring up my sales to what they should have been. I even got into a bit of trouble for experimenting with various tactics to improve my search placement. Things are much easier now that I'm at a place with an easy-to-work search engine.

lagereek

« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 14:15 »
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Expecting buyers to wade through pages and pages of irrelevant material is down and out unprofessional. I dont get it?  why dont they do something about i?
Get some computer gurus in and let the sort it out.

« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 14:25 »
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Expecting buyers to wade through pages and pages of irrelevant material is down and out unprofessional. I dont get it?  why dont they do something about i?
...
I think it's a principle at DT to 'share the wealth' among as many contributors as possible, and the way they do this is to weight the exposure any individual contributor gets. This explains, in my mind at least, why so many 'low ball' contributors are happy with their performance on DT.

« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 14:25 »
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is it just me or does DT weight new images quite heavily now in the best match search.  The first page is almost totally full of one illustration of the same airplane.

Look for Frankfurt. A page of cars. Annoying.

vonkara

« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 15:50 »
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I think it's a principle at DT to 'share the wealth' among as many contributors as possible, and the way they do this is to weight the exposure any individual contributor gets. This explains, in my mind at least, why so many 'low ball' contributors are happy with their performance on DT.

That's true, and apply also to Shutterstock with newest images up front. Dreamstime also have too low acceptance standard IMO
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 15:58 by Vonkara »

lagereek

« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2010, 16:08 »
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Expecting buyers to wade through pages and pages of irrelevant material is down and out unprofessional. I dont get it?  why dont they do something about i?
...
I think it's a principle at DT to 'share the wealth' among as many contributors as possible, and the way they do this is to weight the exposure any individual contributor gets. This explains, in my mind at least, why so many 'low ball' contributors are happy with their performance on DT.


Share the wealth??  bloody hell, are we down to socialism here?  silly me, for 20 years Ive thought stock photography was a commercial enterprise. Never realized it was a share-equal-charity.
As it happens I think youre right.

best. Christian

« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2010, 16:18 »
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Did you tried different result sorting. If you sort by downloads you will get idea what actually sells instead of what their engine thinks is relevant.

vonkara

« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2010, 16:19 »
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Share the wealth??  bloody hell, are we down to socialism here?  silly me, for 20 years Ive thought stock photography was a commercial enterprise. Never realized it was a share-equal-charity.
As it happens I think youre right.

best. Christian

Dreamstime do a rotation between contributors for the first pages results. Your acceptance ratio also play a role in your search placement, what I always find ridiculous. Selling performance/file should be the main popularity search. It work well either at Istock and Shutterstock

lagereek

« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2010, 17:11 »
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Agree!  still, Ive yet to come across a search that really works. IS, is all down to when they decide to change their best match, which can have fatal results.  SS, the popularity-search in fact works best but ofcourse youll see the same shots almost all the time. The Getty search allowing few conceptual keywords is just laughable.
Must be a hellish job constructing a search to satisfy all. Then again an agencies search is the most vital factor for buyers to find the right stuff and it really surprise me that more effort isnt going into it.
Buyers, designers, ad-people will spend on average, 3 to 4 pages of looking and if they cant find it, they move on, simple as that. So if 2 pages are full of irrelevant garbage the sale is a gonner.
All these Micro searches seem to be constructed for people/buyers that can sit for hours on end searching with a cig, cups of coffee, beers and a bit of whiskey that 12 hours later when they finally found it, theyre so pissed they forgot what they were searching for in the first place.

well, you know, bit over the top perhaps but Im sure Im pretty close.

« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2010, 18:34 »
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When I'm buying photos, I only search sorted by "Newest First". If I can't find what I need fairly quickly, then I switch my sort order to "Most Downloads". It seems to work out OK for me.

« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2010, 19:23 »
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Imagine trying to run a big store without actually knowing what products you have on the shelves:  which ones are good, which are junk, which are actually mislabelled and in the wrong boxes... 


 

« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2010, 20:40 »
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Even if you can get your suppliers to label things correctly going forward, it's still a pretty daunting task to get everything in order...

« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2010, 21:07 »
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Not only that, but you start to realize some of your suppliers have been deliberately mislabelling since day one... and meanwhile, a new store has opened down the street, run by a guy who has learned from your mistakes...

« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2010, 21:48 »
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I wonder why somebody expect to find what they think about just based on two keywords? There are millions of images to search. Then probably couple thousands for each term.

lagereek

« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2010, 05:09 »
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Acceptance rate is another thing, better they are rigorous then too easy going and personally I dont want to see pages clogged up with rubbish only for the sake of it.

Bad search mechanism however is major trouble weather the shot is good or bad! customers/buyers get fed up. I know, I work with designers, ad-agencies all the time. They havent got the time for this and thereby classify the agency as a waste of time.

« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2010, 09:15 »
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You can get much better results if you change the match order to "downloads" or even "upload date". DT is an image-centered site while IS is a contributor centered site. Their best match is made for exclusives, that's why I always start at page 5 and down. At DT at least, you can change the match algorithm easily. It's just one click.

« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2010, 09:24 »
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My complaint about DT engine is the concentration of similar images by the same series in one page.  Sometimes you can have more than 50% of the images from the same series.  I think they should distribute results more evenly, because I suppose that a buyer, if seeing a few pics that look interesting, will choose them and then will see its similars.  The way they do makes one think there is not a big variety.

DT has a good thing of using description and title also, so it increases relevance.  On the other side, it is bad that they don't accept composed keywords, I think they are very helpful, and do not get confused with spam, like mentioned in another thread.

Changing sort mode is ok, but I wonder how many buyers never change the default?  See the search terms, they are very basic, so not all buyers do sophisticated searches and use options, perhaps only a few do.

« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2010, 09:57 »
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Yes the DT search engine is realy not that great.

 I feel the IS search engine is by far the best, except that you cannot exclude the exclusive content. If you could it would be awesome for the buyer. But the exclusives would not like that and I can understand them  :)
Behind IS there is a huge gap and I know that, because I am regulary searching for images also to license them.

FT, DT and the others could do so much better if they would just have a better search engine.

The problem with DT is, yes you can sort differently very fast, but you want relevancy and relevancy is nowhere good except at IS, because at IS relevancy is so closely tied in what buyers bought after they searched specific keywords.


WarrenPrice

« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2010, 11:44 »
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If you are unhappy with the DT search engine now, just try posting this thread on their forum.  It CAN get worse.   :'(

WarrenPrice

« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2010, 13:14 »
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The following thread is another example of DT attitude:

http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_20804

Seems the customer needs to adapt to the DT philosophy rather than DT adapting to the customer's requirements. ::)

lagereek

« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2010, 15:53 »
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Well they gonna have to do something about it, thats for sure, as the search is now, page after page of series, etc, its totally pointless'
uploading anything. What for?  so it gets stuck in between 100 similar shots, never to see the light of day?
forget it.

« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2010, 16:25 »
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The following thread is another example of DT attitude:
http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_20804
Seems the customer needs to adapt to the DT philosophy rather than DT adapting to the customer's requirements. ::)

That thread has nothing to do whatsoever with the search engine. You should be aware that if you have 2x the number of (mostly negative) posts on DT than you have sales there, it might become a nightmaretime for you. Nobody wants to to bite the hand that feeds him. The adult content filter is used at all sites. You can simply turn it off.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 16:27 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2010, 16:31 »
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I have just compared a few searches in DT and IS, and I didn't see a difference.  The searches were:

chinese food
fried chicken
new your city
sunset palm tree (IS required one step for for disambiguation)
mailbox
red car
red carpet

Both sites provided correct results.

Tried yorkshire, IS returns basically the region in Englad, DT a mix of it, the dog breed and the pudding.

Then I tried real coins, DT got me the Brazilian coins,  while IS offers me a disambiguation for either candid or real people.

I guess I prefer DT.

lagereek

« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2010, 16:54 »
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Well frankly Im not interested in comparing searches at all, no one is better or worse then the other. Stock photography is a business and should be run as such.
As a contributor to whatever agency, RF, RM, whatever. Last thing I should have to worry about is the key to exposure and sales, namely the search mechanism.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2010, 17:33 »
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Let me start off by saying I very rarely buy any stock images so I don't know the ins and outs of the search engines.  The few times I have bought have been mostly at DT.

I have a lot of respect for Christian (the OP).  He's been in stock a very long time and knows his stuff, so he may very well be onto something here, but there are some misconceptions in this thread that should be addressed.

I think it makes sense to have acceptance ratio play a part in search placement.  People who consistently upload quality are more likely to be producing what buyers will want.  

Including the titles and descriptions should lead to more accurate results.  And allowing all relevant keywords rather than restricting contributors to a CV makes it possible to find images on DT that can never be found on IS because the relevant words aren't part of the CV.  I have seen this discussed here many times.

I have also heard buyers offer opposing views.  Some buyers have stated that they find it much easier to find what they are after on DT and some say the same thing about IS.  Horses for courses, I guess.

It has also been stated in this thread that mostly "low ballers" and "newbies" do well at DT.  That is just plain untrue.  I am very happy with my sales at DT and I don't fit those two categories.

Lately Dreamstime seems  to be experiencing some programming growing pains, so that might explain some wonky results in the short term, but ITLR, in most subject areas, their search seems, in my limited judgement, to generally return accurate results.

As for the content filter thread - not sure how that is relevant here.  I will say that I am happy that the reputable sites default to having the filter ON.  My models often go to the sites to see how their pictures are selling and I doubt most of them would be at all comfortable seeing themselves for sale next to nude, kissing lesbians or some of the other types of adult content available on some sites.  If people want to view nudes it is as easy as checking a box.  
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 17:35 by lisafx »

lagereek

« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2010, 03:04 »
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Hi Lisa!

Great post!  you put it better then me and in a "kinder" way so to speak. What I mean is. Both of us go through great length to get the pictures we want, it often requires models, releases, property, this and that.
Personally I supply material which is very hard to achieve, not your average photographer can even dream of getting into places where I do commissioned work and then from that supply stock and with everybodys consent, etc.

feels pretty stupid then to find these kind of shots entangled with lets say 30 shots, almost identical and of some exterior taken from outside a fence and when cheking, they have hardly sold at all. Thats totally derrogative, both for me and DT.

Im doing OK at DT, but frankly it could be a lot better if as you say acceptance rate and material play a big part.

At the moment DT represent about  0.4 % of all in all,  hundreds of DLs  per day and when I finally checked out the Search?  well Im not surprised.
Kind of weird really, Ive hit it off exellent with all other 4 agencies Im with but strangely, not with DT.

all the best Lisa!  Christian,  from snowy  Sweden
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 03:08 by lagereek »

lisafx

« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2010, 10:35 »
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Im doing OK at DT, but frankly it could be a lot better if as you say acceptance rate and material play a big part.

At the moment DT represent about  0.4 % of all in all,  hundreds of DLs  per day and when I finally checked out the Search?  well Im not surprised.
Kind of weird really, Ive hit it off exellent with all other 4 agencies Im with but strangely, not with DT.


Being familiar with your work, Christian, I believe if the buyers were seeing it, they would be buying it.   Hopefully the next search incarnation will have you getting better exposure :)

lagereek

« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2010, 12:07 »
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Im doing OK at DT, but frankly it could be a lot better if as you say acceptance rate and material play a big part.

At the moment DT represent about  0.4 % of all in all,  hundreds of DLs  per day and when I finally checked out the Search?  well Im not surprised.
Kind of weird really, Ive hit it off exellent with all other 4 agencies Im with but strangely, not with DT.


Being familiar with your work, Christian, I believe if the buyers were seeing it, they would be buying it.   Hopefully the next search incarnation will have you getting better exposure :)

Hi Lisa!  well as I said, cant complain too much about sales at DT but as its a matter of buyers seeing it and with this kind of search its very unlikely.

best.  Christian

WarrenPrice

« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2010, 12:58 »
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The following thread is another example of DT attitude:
http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_20804
Seems the customer needs to adapt to the DT philosophy rather than DT adapting to the customer's requirements. ::)

That thread has nothing to do whatsoever with the search engine. You should be aware that if you have 2x the number of (mostly negative) posts on DT than you have sales there, it might become a nightmaretime for you. Nobody wants to to bite the hand that feeds him. The adult content filter is used at all sites. You can simply turn it off.


You counted my "mostly negative" posts?  How many were there?  I'll try for a more balanced approach.   ::)

Maybe I misread the thread.  I could have sworn the OP was talking about search results.  Did you read the entire thread?  It seems some of his/her images were flagged for adult content.  The problem was with a few keywords.  Once flagged, they can only be "unfiltered" by contacting admin. 

Please don't attack me personally, FD.  You could easily have disagreed without discrediting me, personally.


« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2010, 17:48 »
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Imagine trying to run a big store without actually knowing what products you have on the shelves:  which ones are good, which are junk, which are actually mislabelled and in the wrong boxes... 

Incredible, how precisely hit the nail on the head...
Actually, images has keywords but, all of them are equal (has the same importance). This way no software -analyzing the keywords - can distinguish an image with a yellow umbrella (main subject) from an image where somebody carries an almost invisible yellow umbrella. Without analyzing the actual image, the search engine will produce more and more erroneous results.

This can be a stock photo agency's problem in the future, because a simple search can return hundreds of junk and 1-2 actual results.

There is a simple solution - analyzing the image with an artificial intelligence software. Sounds futuristic? Yes, 10-20% of the images will be never recognized by this software but the remaining 80-90% will be 100% accurate result.
Simple examples:
- today the keywords describe directly or indirectly the image, but without seeing the image, you cannot distinguish the actual meaning from the imaginary meaning: vitamin keyword on image containing banana vs. vitamin pills; milk keyword on images containing cow, chocolate and a glass of milk.
- the color analyzer @DT shows that fixed algorithms decide very erroneously the major colors on the image. An AI software analyzes the colors based on the content of the image

A well written AI module can be trained and can become extremely sharp-eyed if correctlry trained by the editors.

Why AI? Well, the MS business made millionaires over night so every of them can afford such an expensive development, who will realize firs will be the next era's winner.

lagereek

« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2010, 18:38 »
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Imagine trying to run a big store without actually knowing what products you have on the shelves:  which ones are good, which are junk, which are actually mislabelled and in the wrong boxes...  

Incredible, how precisely hit the nail on the head...
Actually, images has keywords but, all of them are equal (has the same importance). This way no software -analyzing the keywords - can distinguish an image with a yellow umbrella (main subject) from an image where somebody carries an almost invisible yellow umbrella. Without analyzing the actual image, the search engine will produce more and more erroneous results.

This can be a stock photo agency's problem in the future, because a simple search can return hundreds of junk and 1-2 actual results.




There is a simple solution - analyzing the image with an artificial intelligence software. Sounds futuristic? Yes, 10-20% of the images will be never recognized by this software but the remaining 80-90% will be 100% accurate result.
Simple examples:
- today the keywords describe directly or indirectly the image, but without seeing the image, you cannot distinguish the actual meaning from the imaginary meaning: vitamin keyword on image containing banana vs. vitamin pills; milk keyword on images containing cow, chocolate and a glass of milk.
- the color analyzer @DT shows that fixed algorithms decide very erroneously the major colors on the image. An AI software analyzes the colors based on the content of the image

A well written AI module can be trained and can become extremely sharp-eyed if correctlry trained by the editors.

Why AI? Well, the MS business made millionaires over night so every of them can afford such an expensive development, who will realize firs will be the next era's winner.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 18:41 by lagereek »

lagereek

« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2010, 18:46 »
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True!  simple solution to this is not to accept millions and millions of shots, be much more selectice and realize that quality does not mean quanity.
Try and search "businessman" or just "business" and you see what I mean. Some 70% could be wasted.

Theres no room for dilletants or weekend snappers in todays agencies, may it be RF, RM or micro. Just imagine all who just dump a portfolio once every six months and dont give a toss about keywording or anything. Any wonder searches are breaking down?

« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 18:50 by lagereek »

« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2010, 08:15 »
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I find it very interesting that DT used to have the best search engine about a year and a half ago (see here http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-big-6/who-has-the-best-'best-match'-search-engine-t6062/).

I guess the old adage "If it ain't broke, then don't fix it" applies here.


 

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