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Author Topic: iStock removes Links from image descriptions  (Read 5015 times)

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« on: January 19, 2015, 15:24 »
+4
AS per thread in Discussion forum on SEO , Lobo confirms that the image & lightbox links we spent ages generating, are to be removed...

"...They will be going away from the public view on the Asset Detail Page eventually. I wouldn't spend any additional time on them. ..."   

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=363741&page=8

Words fail me ,.


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 15:28 »
+7
They have NO idea what they're doing. How often do they tell us to do something then do the polar opposite.
Still, they often tamper with the code they have given us at various times for lightboxes, thus rendering them dead.
They clearly don't believe in 'Cool URIs don't change'.
But it's they tell us to jump one way (allegedly because the buyers want it), then tell us to jump the opposite way (allegedly because the buyers want it) is getting really old.

« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 16:13 »
0
they tell us to jump one way (allegedly because the buyers want it), then tell us to jump the opposite way (allegedly because the buyers want it)

I agree with this ^

But I also think they are ultimately right to get rid of the user created links in the description field - even though it negates the huge amount of time and work that people have put into this.

It's a legacy failure - they should have got rid of these links years ago - or better still they would never have been introduced. As it stands it means that the pages do not look uniform. That's messy design. And everyone who still does these links has their own style too. Not to mention all the dead links, broken code etc. + the overhead of loading data from third-party hosts.

Ideally of course all of the metadata would be 100% IPTC compatible. Ultimately that is always going to be the best solution - especially when it comes to transferring and distributing content across different (potentially non Getty) platforms. I reckon that in the end they will come to the conclusion that they have to get rid of the CV too - partly because of the overheads and partly because it is non standard,  convoluted and resource heavy.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 16:32 by bunhill »

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 17:31 »
+2
Posted By fotoVoyager:
Probably be like the Getty similar results with other people's images under yours.

Posted by Lobo:
It probably will be. Something very similar.

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 17:34 »
+1
As it stands it means that the pages do not look uniform. That's messy design. And everyone who still does these links has their own style too. Not to mention all the dead links, broken code etc. ...
They could easily have imposed a uniform style, but I quite like the individual personality of the different interpretations.

The dead links/broken code are their fault. I know that I followed very early official instructions on how to make the links. They worked perfectly, but from time to time, they broke the code they gave us, and either we had to discover the breaks ourselves or maybe catch it on their forum.

Shelma1

« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 17:47 »
+2
I find their upload process, and then having to create my own links, quite onerous. Hopefully they'll move towards something like SS does, where similar images in your port show up first and others' images after. This encourages licensing a series of images, at least it seems to for me. (Which is why I find DT's rejections for images in a series being "too similar" pretty shortsighted.)

KB

« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 18:24 »
+1
Posted By fotoVoyager:
Probably be like the Getty similar results with other people's images under yours.

Posted by Lobo:
It probably will be. Something very similar.
The last time they did this, some of the results were hilarious.

But I agree; it's far more important that all the pages look similar than it is to post relevant links to other files that buyers are looking for.  ::)

It seems like the only days I get more than a couple of sales now are when buyers purchase multiple files from a series. MAYBE they aren't using my similars links ... but I'd bet they mostly do. But, hey, what's one more nail in the iStock coffin at this point?  >:(  >:(

« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 20:19 »
+3
This is mental. I can understand that they want a uniform professional design, but I hope they at least offer something like "sets" at Shutterstock. Not giving people the possibility to sort their portfolio at all can not be a good thing...

« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 20:35 »
+3
This is mental...

You're being kind :)

The iStock images are a commodity and they need to be able to manage these "assets" from various sources in a uniform way to cut costs. No personal experience. No connection with the artist.

The only good thing I can see is that the new approach more honestly reflects their current modus operandi.

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 04:26 »
+2
Posted By fotoVoyager:
Probably be like the Getty similar results with other people's images under yours.

Posted by Lobo:
It probably will be. Something very similar.
The last time they did this, some of the results were hilarious.
Indeed, because of spam.

Interesting that link banners not looking uniform could be considered more of a problem than widespread and serious spamming.
I wonder which is likely to annoy a buyer more?

« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 06:09 »
+1
Posted By fotoVoyager:
Probably be like the Getty similar results with other people's images under yours.

Posted by Lobo:
It probably will be. Something very similar.
The last time they did this, some of the results were hilarious.
Indeed, because of spam

Not because of spam. What you consider spam doesn't matter. Google can search through pages with thousands of words and still figure out what the page is about. It's just iStock has a long history of not being capable to present decent search results based on the data they have. Other agencies are much better in doing so, and their images are not keyworded better - they allow rather more are wider keywords than iStock does but they figured out how to automatically filter what actually are the most relevant keywords.

That is what worries me most about this. This whole "link your own images by adding UBB code to descriptions" was just another way of admitting that iStock is "technically challenged" (to stay politically correct). I don't mind if that feature goes away if they figure out a good way to automatically link series from the same contributor and/or add a few similar images from other contributors as an option to buyers. Would make the site better. And in the end, easier to use for contributors as well.

« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 06:13 »
+1
Interesting that link banners not looking uniform could be considered more of a problem than widespread and serious spamming.
I wonder which is likely to annoy a buyer more?

There is lots about iStock which has been lost as they have transitioned from hip and friendly start-up. But the contributors should not be coding aspects of the site. They are not personal webpages. From the business perspective they are clearly right to seek to control the environment. And let's be honest: lots of the contributors' see also links are very spammy too.

« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 06:38 »
0
It's just iStock has a long history of not being capable to present decent search results based on the data they have. Other agencies are much better in doing so, and their images are not keyworded better

I am almost certain that the CV is part of the problem - that it likely significantly increases the processing resources required. Since every search term must be cross-indexed against an ever growing hierarchy. Even before the results for those terms can be ranked for comparative relevance. Which probably involves another layer of cross-indexing.

There is presumably some sort of compromise which is always going to be made - in terms of how much processing can be performed before the results must be delivered. My guess is that the requirement to first cross-index CV terms must eat into the amount of processing which can be allocated to comparing relevance.

I am being very vague I know. But I strongly suspect that Shutterstock has tuned their search results in favour of more common search terms and the top results. Rather than trying to build a multilingual system which can determine what you really mean.

But goodness knows how they could go about removing the CV at this stage since the whole collection would have to be re-keyworded.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 06:40 by bunhill »

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 06:58 »
0
But I strongly suspect that Shutterstock has tuned their search results in favour of more common search terms ...

That's probably correct.
SS generally has a cleaner search on more commonly used terms but for less commonly-searched terms, they are worse.
It does change from time to time. There was a while when SS had a cleaner search on a wider range of terms, then iS was cleaner on some (a minority of the terms I checked).
I haven't checked SS's search for a few months, so it could all have changed again.

« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 07:11 »
-1
I can imagine what the people that spent hours and hours adding links in description feel...

But, I never did that (although I'm pretty new in this business) - it seemed to me too time consuming and with no clear information if that's of any help. Basically, only keywording process is already a big pain in iStock, pain even if you do it in DeepMeta, let alone if you need to add your links in description.

It is not only time consuming, it is bad. You are forced to choose between several already defined keywords, so I guess many people have just the same keywords that are already defined - there is no difference and no variations that could be specific for your picture, and that could be the key of finding it among the millions of others.

So, I guess that iStock finally started to recognize why is SS so much ahead and slowly moving to their model.


ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 07:51 »
+1
Posted By fotoVoyager:
Probably be like the Getty similar results with other people's images under yours.

Posted by Lobo:
It probably will be. Something very similar.
The last time they did this, some of the results were hilarious.
Indeed, because of spam
Not because of spam. What you consider spam doesn't matter. Google can search through pages with thousands of words and still figure out what the page is about. It's just iStock has a long history of not being capable to present decent search results based on the data they have.
Actually, Google search relevance on images is often really, really poor as it pulls in words from a page which don't even relate to an image on the page.

Still, even with iS's obvious technical challenges, it would surely be better if searches for X weren't hindered by dozens or hundreds of files keyworded X, Y Z where only Z is fully relevant, Y is perhaps, arguably, marginally relevant and X isn't in the image at all. (There are files with 20 or more concrete nouns - indisputable by 'opinion' or 'nuance' - which aren't in the image.)

« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 09:27 »
+1
Actually, Google search relevance on images is often really, really poor as it pulls in words from a page which don't even relate to an image on the page.

I wasn't talking about images. I was talking about Google.

« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2015, 13:16 »
+4
Terrible decision.  I often sell multiple images from a shoot so its clear buyers use these litebox links.

If they take them down they should include 'more of this model' or ' similar from same artist' links like most other sites.

If I was still uploading to Istock this would save me a ton of time tho.  Maybe they can pay me back for all the hours I spent making their site easier for customers to navigate so they could cheap out on not hiring coders to do it...

No words for how much those f*#kers disappoint me.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 13:21 by PixelBytes »

« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2015, 16:16 »
+4
I'm guessing this is just another step to getting all iStock content onto Getty servers and served like the rest of the Getty portfolio. So Getty doesn't care about drops in sales. It's a matter of "efficiency in the server room".

« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2015, 18:16 »
+2
Just seeing this now. Very disappointing. I have some very niche private LB's that buyers are only able to find though my description banners that link to them. The result is (or at least used to be) multiple sales of images of a series at the same time. An image that is placed well within the best match often serves to help the buyer find other images in my portfolio that don't have the same best match placement.

What is there plan to help buyers find "similar's" from the same contributor? In large portfolio's, we can't expect the buyer to spend time searching for similar images that we can currently put right in front of them. That doesn't improve the buyer experience IMO.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2015, 18:29 »
+1
Just seeing this now. Very disappointing. I have some very niche private LB's that buyers are only able to find though my description banners that link to them. The result is (or at least used to be) multiple sales of images of a series at the same time. An image that is placed well within the best match often serves to help the buyer find other images in my portfolio that don't have the same best match placement.

What is there plan to help buyers find "similar's" from the same contributor? In large portfolio's, we can't expect the buyer to spend time searching for similar images that we can currently put right in front of them. That doesn't improve the buyer experience IMO.


Here's the thread over there.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=363741&page=1
Unfortunately, the info about the removing banners is totally buried in the thread about the strange SEO experiment, and the two issues are mixed up in the thread.
IIRC, you will still be able to send buyers the links to private lightboxes.
Yes, they say they will have similars. However, that does depend on how the systems rearrange your keywords, so the results might (or might not) be a bit surprising.
Apparently this info was also given in a newsletter email which I didn't get, but you might have. If you did, it might be easier to read the information  there.

I don't know what happened with their intention to publish announcements in the Announcement Forum. I guess that was just too darned logical.

« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2015, 18:57 »
+1
I just went through my inbox, deleted, and junk folders. Could not find an email.

I did read the thread but thanks for including the link. iStock is a lot of promises about communication and "trust us" but their inability to follow through on these commitments has worn thin. This is not the sort of news a contributor should just stumble across. And how very nice of them to ask for input before launching another wholesale change.

They state that only a few contributors actually included UBB links. So in other words, they are penalizing the contributors who actually have invested more than just the minimum time to try and self promote within their site. When they took away the ability to have banner links on the contributor profile page, embedding them in the image description was the only tool we had left. We have no choice now but to wait and see, but their track record is not exactly stellar when it comes to rolling out changes that will enhance the buyer experience.

KB

« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2015, 19:37 »
+2
And how very nice of them to ask for input before launching another wholesale change.

They state that only a few contributors actually included UBB links.
The days of iStock / Getty caring about contributor input are long, long gone.

I hadn't read that quote about few contributors using UBB links, but I bet it is true. However, if you look at only exclusive contributors, I suspect the number is much higher. But again, the days of them caring about exclusives are also long past.

« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2015, 20:35 »
+1
For me UBB codes still works but I find red notice on few bestsellers:
Sorry, editing of title is locked by admin
and
Sorry, editing of description is locked by admin
Whats that??? I dont know whats the bigger concern but actually I dont care any more what shmacks at IS are doing.



ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2015, 20:52 »
0
^^ Don't know what that's about. I can edit my bestseller, title, description or keywords.


 

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