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Author Topic: Less or More Keywords?  (Read 3844 times)

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anc

« on: July 02, 2010, 05:06 »
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I have heard a lot of talk about whether adding or removing keywords changes the placement of your images in searches on istock. Any proven theories on this? Do you tend to use Less or More Keywords?

Your thoughts ladies and gentlemen?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 10:26 by anc »


« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2010, 06:07 »
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hmm, yeah good question.

I know that too many keywords can hurt your images on Dreamstime, i wouldn't be surprised if the same is true for iStock. 

ShadySue

« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 06:16 »
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Many people submit images on istock with 10 or so keywords and then added 10 more once the images were approved, so that keywords did not result in a rejection or non approval of submitted image.

Your thoughts ladies and gentlemen?

I can't imagine what value there could be in adding ten irrelevant keywords post inspection. If you have a photo of a red apple isolated on white, you might manage to screw out ten keywords (because isolated, isolated on white, plain background, and white background would all be valid), what possible value would there be in adding green, pear, tree, lunch or any of the rubbish spam which you sometimes see and which have no relevance to the image in question?
If you have 50 relevant keywords, which I've had on about five occasions maximum (usually when there are many relevant keywords associated with a location) they will be accepted.
If you add irrelevant keywords, your file is likely to be wikied (eventually!) and you may get your knuckles rapped. That won't necessarily affect your placement for the relevant keywords you've used.

lisafx

« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 08:54 »
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I have seen people using the method of adding keywords after approval, and I have to say I find it really unethical.  And I don't mean if you think of one or two you forgot to add and put them in later, but the folks who intentionally send the image through with minimal keywords and then spam them up after the fact. 

That said, I think it helps images to have as many RELEVANT keywords as possible.  At DT, where you can see what words were used to download your image, it is clear that lots of buyers find images with words other than the most obvious 5-10 you can think of. 

« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 09:09 »
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Hi,
A large part of my images at IStock have 5 - 7 keywords only.
I'm terrified by keywords rejections and I'm playing by the rules.
Once submitted I never edit an image.
The results?
Quite poor, not even a single sale in more than a month.
But in all fairness my sad record has a lot more to do with the quality of my images than to anything else. I have yet to reach mediocrity.

Go for relevant keywords and great images.
That must be the key :)

lisafx

« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 09:15 »
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But in all fairness my sad record has a lot more to do with the quality of my images than to anything else. I have yet to reach mediocrity.

Eirann, I checked out your IS portfolio and I think your images are quite good. Way above "mediocre" :)

I don't see why they would not be getting more sales.  If I were you I might try and revisit my keywords and add some more (without spamming) if you can think of relevant ones.  

FWIW, I also notice a large proportion of your images are seasonal (Christmas).  You might find more consistent sales if you add more concepts that will sell year-around. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 09:17 by lisafx »

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 09:37 »
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Hi,
A large part of my images at IStock have 5 - 7 keywords only.
I'm terrified by keywords rejections and I'm playing by the rules.
Once submitted I never edit an image.
The results?
Quite poor, not even a single sale in more than a month.
But in all fairness my sad record has a lot more to do with the quality of my images than to anything else. I have yet to reach mediocrity.

Go for relevant keywords and great images.
That must be the key :)
If you're having problems finding good keywords, you could visit the Keywords forum. There are usually some helpful people there who will give you suggestions about good keywords, and also censure you robustly should they find any that don't 'fit'. (Tough love, but usually less 'tough' than the Critique forum unless you're waaaaaay off-beam.)

anc

« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 10:25 »
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Yeah i dont spam and add irrelevant keywords as i know if someone is searching for dogs and finds my image of an apple it wont get downloaded so whats the point in that.

But my question is are the power of the keywords increased if a image only has 5 keywords instead of 50.

For instance - say you had 30 totally relevant keywords for an Xmas image - would it show up as lower in the search rankings for Xmas than if the same image was listed with only 5 keywords - you see?

« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 10:42 »
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For instance - say you had 30 totally relevant keywords for an Xmas image - would it show up as lower in the search rankings for Xmas than if the same image was listed with only 5 keywords?

No.

« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 11:25 »
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Along the years I learned a lot about keywords. I never used "nobody" or "top view" or whatever. There was even a thread about keywords recently in which I received a suggestion of a keyword I should have used, but then there was this comment that editing my keywords harming the image's placement.

« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2010, 12:30 »
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I think some of the most important keywords you can use on IS are the technical keywords. Its one of the things that really distinguishes Istocks database from all the others...

« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 12:52 »
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Hahah, Lisa, you're right :)
Plenty of Christmas stuff floating around my IStock port.
Can you guess why? :)
My early days, right at the beginning. I was overly excited and kept on flooding IStock with all sorts of baubles :)
Not anymore though. That feeling has long left me.  

Thank you for your kind words Lisa, and thank you ShadySue for your suggestions. I might give that forum a try.  

Back on topic, to edit or not to edit.
I was thinking about it...
IStock is one of the best agencies around.
Contributors sell thousands and thousands of images a day.
A record like mine, 0 sales for more than a month, (both vectors and photos), is probably unusual.
(I'm uploading, but not very often).
Some of the images I've got on IStock have sold at least once at every other major site. The only place those images don't sell is IStock.
There can be 2 reasons :
- restricted keywords on IStock (5 - 7 max)
- IStock exclusive collection (not found on other sites) proves to be too much of a competition for the less than ideal quality of my images.  
The answer is probably both.

And the point is - yes, keywords are important. In some cases editing / adding relevant keywords is the right thing to do.
Unless of course, post-editing has a negative effect on best match.
And we're back where we started.
Great images with relevant keywords, right from uploading, are the way to go.
Not easy  :)

« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 14:00 »
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The Oldhand method...

All images are keyworded to the best of my ability and uploaded everywhere, except...Istock.

The reason is simple, their disambiguation system. I have 20 upload slots per week, say 25 relevant keywords per image, total 500 keywords specifically for IS.

Now the problem, my acceptance rate. IS are picky, no problem with that, and I'll only get 10 accepted. That's 250 wasted keywords in my book!

What I have found most effective is to submit 20 pics with the minimum of keywords. Say it's a newlywed couple on a beach. "newlywed, couple, married, beach, man, woman, horizontal".. That will do for now.
One week later they reject it - no problem.
One week later it's accepted, now it's worth my time so I'll add, "two young people, 25-30, caucasian, near, daylight, looking at camera, smiling, cheerful, embrace, hugging, seaside, seashore, wedding dress, bride, groom" - etc, etc.
As a result to get the 10 images online I have added 250 keywords rather than 500, that section of my work cut in half. If I had a 90+ acceptance rate things would be different, but it's not going to happen. It's not spam and speeds up my workflow.

Works for me

Oldhand

If

« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 14:45 »
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2010, 15:00 »
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I would have if my wife caught me with one of those..

cascoly

  • Photography, travel & online games at cascoly.com

« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2010, 13:52 »
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The Oldhand method...

All images are keyworded to the best of my ability and uploaded everywhere, except...Istock.

The reason is simple, their disambiguation system. I have 20 upload slots per week, say 25 relevant keywords per image, total 500 keywords specifically for IS.

Now the problem, my acceptance rate. IS are picky, no problem with that, and I'll only get 10 accepted. That's 250 wasted keywords in my book!

What I have found most effective is to submit 20 pics with the minimum of keywords. Say it's a newlywed couple on a beach. "newlywed, couple, married, beach, man, woman, horizontal".. That will do for now.
One week later they reject it - no problem.
One week later it's accepted, now it's worth my time so I'll add, "two young people, 25-30, caucasian, near, daylight, looking at camera, smiling, cheerful, embrace, hugging, seaside, seashore, wedding dress, bride, groom" - etc, etc.
As a result to get the 10 images online I have added 250 keywords rather than 500, that section of my work cut in half. If I had a 90+ acceptance rate things would be different, but it's not going to happen. It's not spam and speeds up my workflow.

Works for me

Oldhand

If
there's more to the question than gross number of keywords.

 do you REALLY enter a new set of keywords for every one of 20 images? you're assuming unique keywords for EVERY image to get 25 x 20.   most photographers are going to  have similar if not identical keywords for most of a given shoot.  do the editing in a batch, with no interrupted time, even if you submit them piecemeal

instead, you're going to go back afterwards and re enter more keywords?  that will take more time [editing accepted photos 1 by 1, even when they have simiar keywords, etc].  doing keywording all in one session should  save you much more time

of course if you're not entering IPTC before submitting, there's an even more basic problem

steve

« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2010, 14:30 »
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For instance - say you had 30 totally relevant keywords for an Xmas image - would it show up as lower in the search rankings for Xmas than if the same image was listed with only 5 keywords?

No.

This is all the info I need. Thanks Sean!


« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2010, 15:00 »
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Hi Steve - I take your point, but my 20 IS slots are filled with totally different pics. Batches which I usually do in Fotostation are out of the question with my current workflow.

Next problem acceptance, it's not great over there. SS will take 20/20, IS less than half. I have no problem with this, but kewording for IS is as time consuming as it is for Alamy to do it correctly. I am wasting my time typing in one man, only one man, one young man, etc, only for them to reject it. It takes me about 5 secods to type, man, wedding, happy, smiling, outdoor, caucasian, near, then I forget it for a week.

Seven days later if an image is accepted, then in my book that warrants time spent over keywording correctly. It's not easy to get it right, and is very important on IS. Even if uploaded a batch of 20 similars, then I'd do the same.

It saves me time, avoids debatable keyword rejections, and I can still batch re-edit them with a bit of copy and paste.

IS had a tiresome system and an annoying habit of curious rejections. I have no problem with this, but I won't waste my time keywording for a Getty company unecessarily.

All the best

Oldhand

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