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Author Topic: Fotolia's game playing  (Read 15556 times)

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« on: September 25, 2007, 14:51 »
More than two months after Fotolia's re-engineering, my keywords are still useless and most of my images have been invisible to any search. Consequently, my sales have halted. It seems that Fotolia has now captured the market and will discharge us with no explanation.

I have read that the problem is happening to many others and wouldn't have been a big deal if some of us hadn't uploaded so many photos, hundreds of photos, some over thousands.  Fotolia seems to have blocked many photographers  without any explanation, while there are still some, whose keywords were not messed (I checked) that haven't had the same problems as we did.

I believe that if the site belongs to the founders, which are a  group of photographers, they can do as they please, on the other hand, we helped Fotolia to grow, we invested our time uploading photos and we need to know what Fotolia is up to. Are they going to dismiss the ones outside their group? If so, fine, but they should be honest and tell us that instead of blocking our work and wasting our time.

We should, all together, demand a final word from Fotolia

« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 04:50 »
I do not know about you, but after V2, and September in particular is great for me on fotolia, I have so many sales, I suprized myself, I didnt expect that good month. I hope this trend will continue. :)

As the keywords issue, fotolia search engine is searching only first 7 keywords of your list, but it should be fixed soon. :)


« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 00:34 »
FT is on track for a record month in September - which is very welcome after all the turmoil following V2's introduction.

For a long time after V2, searches for images of mine - common keywords - produced pitiful results, but things certainly are returning much better results now.

I have no knowledge of FT doing anything special for me - or "blocking" any group of photographers. Where did you get the idea of some people being "outside their group"? My images are selling and I'm not connected with management or the founders in any way.

Have you contacted support with some specific examples of images that don't show up and asked them to look into it? It seems that's the thing to do if you want outstanding problems fixed...

« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 01:44 »
i have tried the search box and there were no results for my images, even when tried the whole title of them...
i have send an email to them and waiting for their answer.

« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 08:57 »
Has this improved my sales at FT?  NO. 

But you can make categories in My Files, a folder to place your group of similar theme photos into.  That way, if a buyer happens to find just one of your photos, there is a chance they will click through to see the rest in the series.

« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 11:19 »
That is so NOT TRUE! Nobody can open your specific  "FOLDER" unless you give him a link. That means if you have some image that is in a folder with others, nobody can open that folder. It is only done when you provide a link. Fotolia automaticaly finds similar images by groups and keywords.....

« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 11:28 »
Ahhhhhh.... really?  So this is why it has not improved my sales! 

When I looked at my similars on a few I thought it was working.

« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 16:45 »
I tried to find some of my images in FT, even using different language sites to see if there was some relation to the version.  Anyway, I didn't find images in some very straight searches.

For instance, this one:

In the USA site, I type "french heart" and it's the first result.  Now, in the French site, "coeur franois" doesn't return anything; "coeur france" returns many images, but not this one (most are the Sacre Coeur church); other unsuccessfull searches were "couer bleu blanc rouge", "drapeau bleu blanc rouge" and "france drapeau".  I have no idea how someone from France found it today (unless he used the USA site...)


« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2007, 02:42 »
just received the following answer from FT:

We apologize for the inconvenience. Our search engine currently displays as a "search result" only the first 7 keywords associated to the image. Try searching your image by entering the first 7 keywords you entered that are associated with that image.

My answer now is why must we then add more than 7 keywords?
The microstock market is growing up day by day.
A few companies hanen't understood it yet.

« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2007, 02:53 »
you should add more than 7 keywords, because this bug is temporarily, they will fix that, eventually, and search engine will search all keywords.

« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2007, 03:12 »
No - the seven keyword thing also applied under V1.

The fact of the matter is that, at FT, if you do not order your keywords correctly (when uploading the image) you are wasting your time.

This is why I've always commented on the considerable amount of time it takes me to upload to FT - sorting the keywords using their rather slow sort list thing is very time consuming.

But my sales there are very good, so investing the time is worth it.

I don't think they will expand beyond the seven word thing for some considerable time (if ever).

« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2007, 05:03 »
I didint know that it was the case in V1.

Why do you think they are keeping onlky 7 keywords in search, what is the reason?

« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2007, 05:48 »
It is probably because there is so much keyword spam and if we are restricted to 7, the search should be more accurate.

« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2007, 07:26 »
My answer now is why must we then add more than 7 keywords?
Well, I don't upload exclusively to FT anyway, so I would be adding all keywords I find relevant.  With Exifer or Irfanview I can have the best 7 ones on top.

Not that it always works fine in searches, given my tests.


« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2007, 08:27 »
Putting the keywords in order of importance is a sensible thing to do. Most sites (except FT) rank them alphabetically. If sites in the future would strip the first 7 (FT), 15 (CanStockPhoto), 20, 50 keywords, you can still manage with one single IPTC set in your photos. Made a script for that, but free to use for everybody (use it together with Irfanview):

Tag Sorter (and much more).

« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2007, 08:11 »
i spent a few hours to reorder my keywords, but nothing changed in the search results...
it's a pity to spent so many hours to shoot, edit, upload, & keywording my pics if none can find them.

« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2007, 09:01 »
I agree with Wander... we need to put some pressure on Fotolia.  Ever since the V2 introduction a full 90% of my images cannot be found on their site.  With respect to the first seven keywords solution this is a load of crap... I sampled at least 30 of my images with the first few keywords and none of them could be found.  Prior to V2 I never had any problems.

Since June 19, 2007 I have brought this to the attention of their technical services group no less than seven times and they just keep blowing me off.  So as a final act of desperation I emailed Fotolia's President (Oleg Tscheltzoff) on 10/1... and as you may surmise I haven't gotten a response from him either.  His email address is newbielink:mailto:[email protected] [nonactive] so if any of you want to reinforce the need to resolve this issue give it a shot.  Remember there is power in numbers.

I tried to propose a reasonable argument to plead our case... like this issue is not only costing their photographers sales, but on a larger scale it is costing Fotolia a lot of lost revenue.  But this line of reasoning fell on deaf ears.  I can't help but believe that the keyword search issue is only the tip of the iceberg.

If I ever hear back from Mr. Tscheltzoff I will let the group know!

« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2007, 14:17 »
I was recently contaced by FT-BR and took the opportunity to give them a direct feedback about image search problem.  I did the same search in each language (translating the keywords, of course!) and the results were quite curious.  I wished I had saved a copy to post them here.


« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2007, 15:00 »
I too have been having issues with many of my images not showing up in searches.  And yes, I'm searching on keywords that are listed as the first 7.  After complaining to them twice over a two month period and getting the usual "we're working on it" I have given up.  They obviously aren't interested in those lost revenues.  What a joke.

« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2007, 15:56 »
I reallly do feel for all you folks.....
            but I found out what a dead end it was with FT about a year ago.  Every time I racked up sales.... they disappeared in purchases allegedly by me.  I never bought a thing.  I'm not a buyer, just a seller.  This happened a couple times.  Big hassle getting it fixed....  couldn't get any feedback from tech....  I conversed with Chad , I guess in NYC, talked to his assistant, emailed tech support on more than one occassion.....   never got an explanation as to how it was happening.  In the end I felt like they figured me to be a scammer and a pain in the backside.
         I finally yanked all my pix (but one) in January.  To be fair, all those credits were eventually restored to my account... but I'm lightyears from a payout figure and the only pic I have there only sells a couple times a month.... Frankly I fear uploading there again as it may start all over.

  But now, after reading here the last month or so..... seems like pretty much a waste time for a newbie at FT.   I doubt I'll ever upload there again.    -tom
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 15:58 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2007, 16:47 »
General question to this thread and group... have any of you pulled your images from Fotolia based on the keyword search problems as well as other issues?

I am seriously considering yanking all my images out of frustration.  The only negative is the amount of time it took me to correct the images, keyword them, and then upload them.  I've only got 251 images on the site... but it still took a while to upload them.

If I thought it would prompt them to resolve some of the issues I would yank my images today.  Unfortunately they have over 300,000 contributors so unfortunately one person wouldn't prompt them to take any action.  Let me know your thoughts... thanks!

« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2007, 17:07 »
They have 300,000 customers, but only 15,000 contributors.

« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2007, 17:23 »
Good point... still bad odds though!

« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2007, 07:36 »
this is the answer after notify them that nothing resolved after i reordered the 7 keywords...
with caps following my answer to FT

>We apologize for the inconvenience. Our search engine currently displays as a "search result" only the first 7 keywords associated to the image. Try searching your image by entering the first 7 keywords you entered that are associated with that image.


« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2007, 09:57 »
I reordered my keywords about 4 months ago and sales came to a grinding halt.  Hard to say what I can blame it on, the reordering or V2.

I'm very optimistic looking forward though, I'm crossing my fingers that something has been fixed because the number of sales I had from Tues-Friday equals half of what I had in total last month.    Has anyone else noticed this trend, or is it just a fluke?


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