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Author Topic: Keywords - Less is better?  (Read 6993 times)

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« on: August 26, 2014, 06:23 »
+2
Hi,
A while ago I saw a little movie with somebody from DT Board suggesting that on DT less keywords is better and that she would recommend maximum 30. Trying to find that movie again(no success) I found this:
http://blog.dreamstime.com/2014/03/28/keywording-tips-dt-keymaster_art40307
and I quote:
"Although many will disagree, defining your image with as few as 10 keywords is a good way to improve sales. It is very important to have the most relevant words in your list. Skip the fluff. When people have 50 keywords and only two match the buyer's search words, they will be further down the page(s) than someone with 10 keywords of which two match. It's a matter of percentage, 2 out of 50 is 4%, 2 out of 10 is 20%. That is one of the algorithm secrets (ssh, don't tell). "

So , if an image has 50 keywords will appear in more searches than one with 10 but lower on order.

My question is: does anybody know if this thing works the same on other sites? especially SS.
Thank you.



« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 06:57 »
+1
Hard to tell... when I think it's an image with potencial to be a good seller I put 50 keywords.
Normal pictures I put maybe 20-30 keywords so I don't waste too much time.

When an image is sold in SS without keywords attached, I understand it's divided by all keywords. So 1/50 relevance of a sale while 10 keywords would be 1/10 of relevance. Still what matters the most is to get the keyword attached. It would take 10 sales of a 10 keyword image to get the same relevance as 1 keyworded sale. So I don't believe less is more because you have more chance to get relevance with more keywords. From what I've noticed buyers use a lot of weird keywords because they don't really know what they want until they see something they like.

Less common subjects can get to the top page with only one keyworded sale.
So as long as the 50 keywords are still relevant, I think it's your best bet.

shudderstok

« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 15:54 »
+7
Who, What, When, Where, Why...

I would suggest using 1-5 very relevant and precise keywords for each W of your image (maybe 1-2 more keywords for select images). If you can't nail it in 1-5 precise keywords, chances are you are stretching the truth/accuracy of the W's.

For example, "Monkey" "Ape" "Primate". A monkey is not an ape, nor is an ape a monkey, but they are both primates - if that makes sense. So in this little example either "Monkey" or "Ape" and "Primate" would be accurate and precise - but all 3 would be bad keywording and inaccurate by all means.

Another example, "Merlot" "Cabernet Sauvignon" "Shiraz" "Grape" - I see this far too often and as a buyer I would be really pissed if I purchased an image of a "merlot" grape for an advertisement and it turns out to be a "shiraz" grape. All red grape varietals for wine are not every varietal one can think of that is red for making wine! But they are all grapes!

Bad keywording affects us all. So do your bit and keep it tight, controlled, precise, and accurate. If the image is good and the keywords are accurate you will get sales.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 15:57 by shudderstok »

Mark Windom Photography

« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 18:11 »
+3
I agree with Shudderstock; 1-5 per W is about what I do....with an average of 15-20 keywords per image; some have less and a few have more. 
I see so much keyword spamming that as a buyer I would be very frustrated.  Describe the image with relevancy, throw in a couple of conceptual keywords if they apply, and be done with it.

« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 02:01 »
+2
I agree with Shudderstock; 1-5 per W is about what I do....with an average of 15-20 keywords per image; some have less and a few have more. 
I see so much keyword spamming that as a buyer I would be very frustrated.  Describe the image with relevancy, throw in a couple of conceptual keywords if they apply, and be done with it.

No, cannot agree. If you don't spam but give decent desciption by keywords. This works on any site where they don't damage. Istock constantly removes keywords, especially which are directly describing the image and sales dropped. Support ignored my e-mail. None of images from my last months batches are searcheable by any keyword and visible for buyer. This is an old story, the first time i noticed this when sales of image with shrimps stopped and i found that word "shrimps" was removed. This year this problem returned. But watch it as an illustration for quantity of keywords and synonyms usage. Often keywords disappeared on shutterstock too, especially for old images.

« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 02:23 »
+1
Recently I started experimenting with this. I take a batch from a series and keyword half of them with all 50 keywords and the other half with 15 to 20 of the most relevant keywords.

In theory this seems like a good idea, as whichever one the buyer finds will lead them to "More images of this model" to see the rest of the series and possibly a more suitable photo.

In practice, I have no idea if it's working as I haven't sold anything on DT this month.

« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 02:31 »
0
My problem is not choosing the right kw. I know what to put, I know those "w".  I just want to know if less kw will take me up in searches. I guess I'll experiment with this.

« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 09:56 »
+6
I must be properly dull and unimaginative since I struggle to get beyond 30 keywords never mind 50.

Anyway, I recall someone at SS asking for help with key wording and one of the keyword maniacs from the forum picked out the OP's image of a deer as an example and promptly produced a ream of additional words including tail, ear and furry! I think they forgot to add hoof and dung pile. Ridiculous.

« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 10:01 »
-2
I must be properly dull and unimaginative since I struggle to get beyond 30 keywords never mind 50.

Anyway, I recall someone at SS asking for help with key wording and one of the keyword maniacs from the forum picked out the OP's image of a deer as an example and promptly produced a ream of additional words including tail, ear and furry! I think they forgot to add hoof and dung pile. Ridiculous.


Hahahahaha great post. I actually started busting up when I read the last part.  Anyhow, it would be nice if all agencies used keyword volume as a search criterion. That would not only encourage fewer keywords but challenge us for the most appropriate ones.

« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 10:29 »
+5
One thing is keyword spamming, but for most images you can still find 50 relevant keywords without having to lie or being overly creative. What I hate the most are the paradise islands or european cities where some people put a whole list of different locations, competing with the real stuff.

It would be much better if agencies set a limit of 10 keywords, it would save us and the buyers a lot of time. But I've seen top sellers with both few and plenty of keywords, I guess what counts the most is the image quality, and luck to be seen in the first few days.

« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 11:02 »
+1
I must be properly dull and unimaginative since I struggle to get beyond 30 keywords never mind 50.

Anyway, I recall someone at SS asking for help with key wording and one of the keyword maniacs from the forum picked out the OP's image of a deer as an example and promptly produced a ream of additional words including tail, ear and furry! I think they forgot to add hoof and dung pile. Ridiculous.
Yeah that's one of my pet hates. Photo of a person, they add face, hand, nose, eyes, arms, legs, etc. etc. without there being anything remarkable about those on that particular person.
It then spams images that are just about those attributes.

« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2014, 11:26 »
+2
One thing is keyword spamming, but for most images you can still find 50 relevant keywords without having to lie or being overly creative. What I hate the most are the paradise islands or european cities where some people put a whole list of different locations, competing with the real stuff.

It would be much better if agencies set a limit of 10 keywords, it would save us and the buyers a lot of time. But I've seen top sellers with both few and plenty of keywords, I guess what counts the most is the image quality, and luck to be seen in the first few days.

Or putting the keyword sugar in an image of a glass of iced tea. Yea, it may have sugar dissolved in it, but it isn't sugar.

« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2014, 11:35 »
+6
One thing is keyword spamming, but for most images you can still find 50 relevant keywords without having to lie or being overly creative. What I hate the most are the paradise islands or european cities where some people put a whole list of different locations, competing with the real stuff.

It would be much better if agencies set a limit of 10 keywords, it would save us and the buyers a lot of time. But I've seen top sellers with both few and plenty of keywords, I guess what counts the most is the image quality, and luck to be seen in the first few days.

I don't think they should limit the #, but they should slam real keyword spammers - like the people that list multiple tropical islands for pictures - or multiple national parks, etc. that just annoys me and I think would annoy buyers. their images should automatically go to the back of searches 'til they remove the spam. That is the sort of thing sites could do to compete with each other other than just price.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2014, 14:35 »
+1
Same here, but I do try to add as many words as are needed to appropriately list the MAIN SUBJECTS in any image. As others have pointed out, it may not be spam, but putting minor details is, which aren't the focus of the image, just aggravates a buyer and fouls the search.

I found some with Apple listed in a photo of a watermelon. Someone said, Well if a buyer sees something that they aren't looking for, they might buy it. I mean really?

Another thing that gets me is people who list 15 words for Red. (OK now I'm guilty of exaggerating but it seems that sometimes) Think about this logically. If you wanted a Red Apple image, would you search for "Crimson Fruit Spheroid". Do you think a buyer will use common words for what they want or obscure and  distant words?

Would a buyer want a image of a field and way back in the distance a red apple is on a tiny tree. Is that relevant? Not for my images, but anyone else can do what they think is best.

Alamy makes it pretty clear that relevance does play in the search. I see no reason why SS and DT and others wouldn't add that to their searches to make the results better for buyers. It might even explain why some people have dropped in the searches, mysteriously.

I have no proof that it's real and no proof that it's better for sales. Same goes for the old wisdom that more words are better. It's just long time Microstock superstitions.

Bottom line, all the words that fit, and try to not miss any. It's not how many that counts as much as what words and are they good for describing an image. 2 of 20 matching with 10% relevance is much better than 2 of 50 matching for 4% relevance, that would seem reasonable?

Less is not better in itself, and neither is more. IMHO it's doing the best relevant words, that a buyer might actually use in a search, that determines how many.



I must be properly dull and unimaginative since I struggle to get beyond 30 keywords never mind 50.

Anyway, I recall someone at SS asking for help with key wording and one of the keyword maniacs from the forum picked out the OP's image of a deer as an example and promptly produced a ream of additional words including tail, ear and furry! I think they forgot to add hoof and dung pile. Ridiculous.

shudderstok

« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2014, 21:58 »
+3
One thing is keyword spamming, but for most images you can still find 50 relevant keywords without having to lie or being overly creative. What I hate the most are the paradise islands or european cities where some people put a whole list of different locations, competing with the real stuff.

It would be much better if agencies set a limit of 10 keywords, it would save us and the buyers a lot of time. But I've seen top sellers with both few and plenty of keywords, I guess what counts the most is the image quality, and luck to be seen in the first few days.

I don't think they should limit the #, but they should slam real keyword spammers - like the people that list multiple tropical islands for pictures - or multiple national parks, etc. that just annoys me and I think would annoy buyers. their images should automatically go to the back of searches 'til they remove the spam. That is the sort of thing sites could do to compete with each other other than just price.

or the agencies could simply show some integrity for the 80% or whatever they skim off of us and hire professional keyword proof readers at source of submission and simply reject images that are poorly keyworded ie: the tropical island theory noted above. they would get my vote to show this so called integrity.

« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2014, 22:18 »
-7
i do know that IS reviewers with less powers take it out on spammers. when i get a little too enthusiastic key wording, they will friggen strip about all of the keywords to make a point, it is kinda funny

i just put them back in

it looks like the IS reviewers are a frustrated bunch

« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 00:07 »
+1
good luck with experiments. The results of these tests are valid on sites where staff does not remove your work. On istock it is usual like to remove "broken", "abandoned" from broken window picture, and leave "construction".


JKB

« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 03:02 »
0
I don't think IS inspectors are a particularly frustrated bunch, probably just seen too many spammed images to find it funny. Personally, I don't want my images to be found for the wrong reasons and often end up with between 12-20 keywords I think would be relevant from a buyer's perspective, including Photography, Horizontal, etc. If that's a clever strategy or not, I don't know, but looking at some of my best-sellers and their most relevant keywords, I could probably have cut it down to half a dozen or so of the most obvious keywords possible.

Ubermansch

  • Im designed to think
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2014, 04:48 »
+1
What appears in a search engine?

not keywords.

The title is the key place to target. Precisely describing your image in the title is the smartest thing you can do.

KW's are usually used for the internal SA related items and search criteria, but being found on a search engine through the SA is always about the title. 60 to 80% of buyers will always turn to google first before idling back to an SA they already have an account with. Its just human nature. Looking for "what else is out there" before coming back to what you already know.

Agree totally, with above keep keywords short or even cut and paste your precise title into keywords section.

Valo

« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2014, 05:21 »
0
I assume your username refers to Nietzsche. Lets hope so.

« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2014, 05:59 »
+1
I believe this is true for DT and I think it's a good approach but how may are aiming their keywords solely at DT?


Way too much spam out there and there should be a lot more rejections for irrelevant keywords and they people would learn.

« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2014, 08:31 »
+1
What appears in a search engine?

not keywords.

The title is the key place to target. Precisely describing your image in the title is the smartest thing you can do.

KW's are usually used for the internal SA related items and search criteria, but being found on a search engine through the SA is always about the title. 60 to 80% of buyers will always turn to google first before idling back to an SA they already have an account with. Its just human nature. Looking for "what else is out there" before coming back to what you already know.

Agree totally, with above keep keywords short or even cut and paste your precise title into keywords section.

I would say this is very good advice.

Also, Istock's new video upload system only allows 25 keywords now. You have to be very selective and I have to say I like it. It forces me to really put my buyer hat on and honestly challenge myself on keywords.

« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2014, 14:16 »
0
As for titles, I heard different things.  I heard like above that you should describe the image in the title.  Then lately I heard that you should put no more then 4 word titles on DT or you get punish in the search.  Which way is best?

cuppacoffee

« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2014, 14:37 »
+1
On DT only the first 5 words of the title are indexed to be included in the search. You can put in a longer title, it won't hurt or help. At least that was the way it used to be but things change.

Ubermansch

  • Im designed to think
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2014, 19:31 »
+2
I assume your username refers to Nietzsche. Lets hope so.

Does Zarathustra really know anything about idealization from a modern mans perspective? Niezshe was a dreamer of the highest caliber! )

Dream time, 123 and others spend a lot of time uploading their own stock from what i can see. If you can fairly competently identify one of "their" images and explore how the title, description and keywords are structured, you will see that title is crazy important, kw are short sweet but competently derived. Description just expands on the title, but not too much.

« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2014, 20:44 »
0
On DT only the first 5 words of the title are indexed to be included in the search. You can put in a longer title, it won't hurt or help. At least that was the way it used to be but things change.

Good info.  Thx!


 

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