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Author Topic: Someone tricked the Shutterstock algorithm?  (Read 3846 times)

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« on: April 23, 2021, 02:27 »
+2
Brought up on the Shutterstock forum, but some of you might have missed it.

Check the guy's portfolio and then the ranking of his images
(not sure if I'm allowed to put up a link to his portfolio here, but you can find it on the SS forum in the One account phenomenon topic)
The guy has a lot of his images showing up on the first page for highly competitive keywords. (e.g. car, cat, beach, ...)

Now, I'm sure a lot of you have similar images in terms of quality of cars, cats, beaches and so on but most of them are probably nowhere near the first pages.
And he managed to get a lot of his content on the first page for highly competitive keywords. Not just a few lucky submissions which gained traction.
A bit too much to be a coincidence, and the balance between quality, competition and ranking seems to be off if you ask me.

So how did he do it?

My personal theory on this is that he paid clickfarm-like organizations to buy images from his portfolio until they reached on the first page.
Is it true? I don't know, but if it is, a lot of others are probably doing the same. 


« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2021, 03:51 »
+2
Saw the thread too. It's really...curious.

His images are quite decent, probably above average for Shutterstock standard, but not as extraordinary as to explain why they are pretty much all up on the first page when seraching for the most basic words like beach, stone or cloud. When you compare his to other top images for some search results, for example "beach", his images actually stand out as being of poorer quality than the other images.


The sad thing is - We will never find out what happaned here.
Someone having friends buy his photos like crazy the moment they are approved to raise them in the search?
Someone managed to hack into the database?
Someone doing someone else a favor by deliberate placing all his images high in the search?

Whatever it is, it will be impossible to get someone from Shutterstock to even see the thread, aknowledge that there is something strange going on, yet alone look into it, take actions and, most of all, ever tell us what the reason was. There isn't really anyone around from Shutterstock at the forum. Kate, who was hardly present, left, Alex, who according to her still is an admin hasn't been seein in months and when you contact the Support via mail you get fowarded to other contributors with reading comprehension problems who will give you a copy & paste reply that won't address the issue.

So, this will probably stay a big mystery forever.  :-\
But it's obvious that there isn't something right and it's really frustrating to other contributors who play by the rules....

« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 04:04 by Firn »

« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2021, 03:58 »
+4
I say it's witchcraft.

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2021, 04:56 »
+2
It's amazing! I tried it with random stuff - tree, clouds, woman, man, truck, grass, color, ... He's always there, usually in the very first row.

And you can always tell which photo is going to turn out to be his!  ;D

For example, this stunning shot is the second result if you search for "rabbit": https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/little-funny-rabbit-running-on-field-1627393333

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2021, 05:25 »
+3
It's amazing! I tried it with random stuff - tree, clouds, woman, man, truck, grass, color, ... He's always there, usually in the very first row.

And you can always tell which photo is going to turn out to be his!  ;D

For example, this stunning shot is the second result if you search for "rabbit": https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/little-funny-rabbit-running-on-field-1627393333

Yepp, that's what I meant - His photos always stand out as being of noticable poorer quality compared to all other images in the top image results. A photo of a bunny turning its back to the camera is not a "top image". A photo of someone's back in a chair at a beach with gloomy sky doesn't fit into the other pictures of beautiful sunlit beaches and so on.... If you look at all the other images, you can always understand why they have a place in the top results, but not with his.

« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2021, 05:51 »
+1
Quote
If you look at all the other images, you can always understand why they have a place in the top results, but not with his.
Agree 100%.

I can't stop trying keywords...

Try "puppy". The guy OWNS the entire first row, and two pictures of the second. It's so funny!

Shutterstock has a picture of a puppy's butt as a third result, and it's a shot that my seven-year-old niece could have done better: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/puppy-resting-grass-close-photo-walking-1720311904

« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2021, 05:59 »
0
Many years ago i tried to collaborate with one photographers search utility and stopped after several hours. Any search for any location in the world brought results list with photographers located in India on first positions followed by the photographers from the selected location.

« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2021, 06:15 »
+2

Try "puppy". The guy OWNS the entire first row, and two pictures of the second. It's so funny!

Shutterstock has a picture of a puppy's butt as a third result, and it's a shot that my seven-year-old niece could have done better: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/puppy-resting-grass-close-photo-walking-1720311904

Ouch. Seeing this hurts, especially since "puppy" is a competitive field for me. Guess my puppies don't stand a chance against puppy bum.  ::) I don't object to any of the other puppy photos in these results deserving a better placement than my photos, but this? Really?

« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2021, 06:36 »
0
Many years ago i tried to collaborate with one photographers search utility and stopped after several hours. Any search for any location in the world brought results list with photographers located in India on first positions followed by the photographers from the selected location.

The question is: why. Some contributors claim that the algorithms of agencies favor contributors from certain area's or countries, e.g. India or Eastern Europe. Not saying that's not true, but I never believed that agencies are programming their algorithm in a way that it promotes content from contributors in a certain area in the world. Because... why would they?

Maybe some contributors have better connections to dubious service companies that are involved in internet promotion and black hat SEO techniques. Or less shame to contact those companies. Have a network of Shutterstock subscription plan owners and make them all buy the same image so it rises up in the ranking. Pay them some money, and meanwhile get the earnings of being on the front page. Once you're on the front page, and the image is "useful enough" for buyers, commissions should start rolling in.

So far my theory. All the other ones (having someone on the "inside" for instance) all sound way too complicated or even impossible.

« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2021, 06:37 »
0
Ouch. Seeing this hurts, especially since "puppy" is a competitive field for me.

Sorry, Firn. I didn't mean to be tactless. I'm no longer on SS, so I don't care even if they show this guy's entire portfolio first for every keyword in the world.

Your puppy picture is stunning, btw. If it's any consolation, at least if you hacked their system and put all your pictures at the top of the search, they wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb.

« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 06:46 »
0
Many years ago i tried to collaborate with one photographers search utility and stopped after several hours. Any search for any location in the world brought results list with photographers located in India on first positions followed by the photographers from the selected location.

The question is: why. Some contributors claim that the algorithms of agencies favor contributors from certain area's or countries, e.g. India or Eastern Europe. Not saying that's not true, but I never believed that agencies are programming their algorithm in a way that it promotes content from contributors in a certain area in the world. Because... why would they?

Maybe some contributors have better connections to dubious service companies that are involved in internet promotion and black hat SEO techniques. Or less shame to contact those companies. Have a network of Shutterstock subscription plan owners and make them all buy the same image so it rises up in the ranking. Pay them some money, and meanwhile get the earnings of being on the front page. Once you're on the front page, and the image is "useful enough" for buyers, commissions should start rolling in.

So far my theory. All the other ones (having someone on the "inside" for instance) all sound way too complicated or even impossible.

Company as a business doesn't care till the income grows. Fail of the security of the company's workflow and games of the personnel (or contractor providing the software part) is what happened in that company. I don't look for the analogy, this needs the proof, but there is no miracle in the software.

« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 07:22 »
+1
I don't have photos on SS so I don't have a dog in this fight.

A while back there was some discussion about repeated keywords at some site (SS?) influencing the search algorithm. With the link below, check out the first keywords (as presented in German while using the Chrome web browser). Now let Chrome Web Browser do the page translation to English. The first three words are the same English word and that same word is scattered throughout the keyword list. Perhaps this is a case of SS search engine keyword stuffing via language translations.

It's amazing! I tried it with random stuff - tree, clouds, woman, man, truck, grass, color, ... He's always there, usually in the very first row.

And you can always tell which photo is going to turn out to be his!  ;D

For example, this stunning shot is the second result if you search for "rabbit": https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/little-funny-rabbit-running-on-field-1627393333

Yepp, that's what I meant - His photos always stand out as being of noticable poorer quality compared to all other images in the top image results. A photo of a bunny turning its back to the camera is not a "top image". A photo of someone's back in a chair at a beach with gloomy sky doesn't fit into the other pictures of beautiful sunlit beaches and so on.... If you look at all the other images, you can always understand why they have a place in the top results, but not with his.

« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2021, 08:32 »
+1
He's doing the classic compound keyword spamming which is supposed to be banned. Take his cat photo for example:
black cat,cat look,striped cat,tabby cat = 4 x cat in the algo
Or another photo of a forrest:
big forrest, flying over the forrest, forrest in winter, frozen forrest = again 4 x forrest in the search algo
It's just a matter of time he gets reported and those 37 pages of average stock will vanish along wtih his pay.

« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2021, 09:35 »
0
He's doing the classic compound keyword spamming which is supposed to be banned. Take his cat photo for example:
black cat,cat look,striped cat,tabby cat = 4 x cat in the algo
Or another photo of a forrest:
big forrest, flying over the forrest, forrest in winter, frozen forrest = again 4 x forrest in the search algo
It's just a matter of time he gets reported and those 37 pages of average stock will vanish along wtih his pay.

I don't think that's what is happening here. I have some photos where I repeat keywords as well - not with the intention of spamming, but just because it makes sense to me (plant, house plant, potted plant, etc... for example) - yet you won't see my images in the first row of the serach results for "plant" or even anywhere on the first pages. I don't think repeating a keyword 4 times is anywhere enough to cheat the algorithm and end on the first page. Also, if you look at some other pictures, for example the search result for "beach" - his image is No. 1 in the search results, yet he only uses "beach" in the keywords one time.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 23:56 by Firn »

« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2021, 09:49 »
+3
Insider privileges

« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2021, 10:53 »
0
He's doing the classic compound keyword spamming which is supposed to be banned. Take his cat photo for example:
black cat,cat look,striped cat,tabby cat = 4 x cat in the algo
Or another photo of a forrest:
big forrest, flying over the forrest, forrest in winter, frozen forrest = again 4 x forrest in the search algo
It's just a matter of time he gets reported and those 37 pages of average stock will vanish along wtih his pay.

I don't think that's what is happening here. I have some photos where I repeat keywords as well - not with the intention of spamming, but just because it makes sense to me (plant, house plant, potted plant, etc... for example) - yet you won't see my images in the first row of serach results for "plant" (or even anywhere on the first pages). I don't think repeating a keyword 4 times is anywhere enough to land on the first page. Also, if you look at some other pictures, for example the search result for "beach" - his image is No. 1 in the search results, yet he only uses "beach" in the keywords one time.
That beach photo is a mystery. He's clearly being pushed in front at the expense of others

« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2021, 20:49 »
+1
He or his sources might be purchasing his own images to make them at top.


« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2021, 19:07 »
0
Insider privileges

This was always my theory. Getting a bunch of people to buy photos, then reimbursing them, etc. sounds like a lot of work to get your photos to the top. But schmooze some of the insiders and boom, youre in.

« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2021, 03:42 »
+9
"beach soccer" out of 21000 plus he gets #1  ???

"airplane" out of 1,678,201 he gets #1, #2 !!!

The more I look at this the more I think the fact his twitter profile says he's a
"GoDaddy worker" based in Phoenix and his Facebook page states

Олег Ёрникъ - Oleg Yornik
Меня не существует - I don't Exist

All his FB photos were posted in March to April

His FB page is filled with nothing as is his Twitter account.

His Linkedin page doesn't exist

Even his shitterstock profile photo is computer generated ~ he looks fake.

Conclusion - I think dear Oleg is a piece of AI masquerading as a person and is probably being used to test search functions and software as there is no way anyone could get the top slot in all of these search terms.

« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2021, 04:21 »
+1
Conclusion - I think dear Oleg is a piece of AI masquerading as a person and is probably being used to test search functions and software as there is no way anyone could get the top slot in all of these search terms.

Little doubt the account is fake. It would be foolish to sign up with personal credentials and information when your goal is to manipulate the system, and violate the TOS. And manipulated it is. But whoever is behind it is not a lazy person, he/she sure took the time and effort to make it look as legit as possible. 

« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2021, 09:28 »
+3
Is he on any other sites? Are we sure the portfolio doesn't just belong to SS so the stick it front and centre to avoid paying comissions as much as they can?

« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2021, 10:00 »
0
Maybe it's because a lot of people look at his portfolio?

I looked at it too, and also find it strange that for example a photo of a camel on his last page, when sorted after popularity, show up as number one when I search for camel at SS.

« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2021, 14:11 »
+2
Is he on any other sites? Are we sure the portfolio doesn't just belong to SS so the stick it front and centre to avoid paying comissions as much as they can?

Yes, he is on other sites:
https://nl.123rf.com/profile_telas1020
https://www.pond5.com/de/artist/telas1020
https://www.dreamstime.com/telas1020_info
https://de.depositphotos.com/portfolio-29995906.html?offset=2500


Conclusion - I think dear Oleg is a piece of AI masquerading as a person and is probably being used to test search functions and software as there is no way anyone could get the top slot in all of these search terms.

Interesting theory, but since he has real accounts on various stock agencies, I doubt that's what's going on here.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 14:23 by Firn »

« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2021, 17:46 »
+2
His linkd profile does exist. You need to search Google for his profile picture. This takes you to a contact. He is listed in that persons contacts on linkd. Listed as his current position are these details.

QA Test Lead AS PNB Banka
AS PNB Banka
Nov 2012 - Present8 years 6 months

Latvia

- Organize the work of the testing department
- automatic test creation (Java, Selenium, JUnit)
- Control the quality of products developed
- to provide a technical task of developing
- authorization device (DigiPass) Storage and Release.
- Internet bank and the bank's Web page maintenance / administration.
- The update preparation to the real environment (Internet banks and the bank's web-site, SVN, GIT)
- Incident solving.


Source newbielink:https://tinyurl.com/27sthyp7 [nonactive]


« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2021, 03:14 »
0
...
Interesting theory, but since he has real accounts on various stock agencies, I doubt that's what's going on here.
Yeah, thanks, so not an SS owned portfolio

« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2021, 03:15 »
+1
His linkd profile does exist. You need to search Google for his profile picture. This takes you to a contact. He is listed in that persons contacts on linkd. Listed as his current position are these details.

QA Test Lead AS PNB Banka
AS PNB Banka
Nov 2012 - Present8 years 6 months

Latvia

- Organize the work of the testing department
- automatic test creation (Java, Selenium, JUnit)
- Control the quality of products developed
- to provide a technical task of developing
- authorization device (DigiPass) Storage and Release.
- Internet bank and the bank's Web page maintenance / administration.
- The update preparation to the real environment (Internet banks and the bank's web-site, SVN, GIT)
- Incident solving.


Source https://tinyurl.com/27sthyp7
Okay, so could be programming to farm clicks or certain amount of dls from subs accounts to boost positions

« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2021, 06:47 »
+5
Okay, so could be programming to farm clicks or certain amount of dls from subs accounts to boost positions

If that's what he did, then why only Shutterstock and not on other agencies? He has 53 sales on Dreamstime, which is on the normal or even lower side for a portfolio of that.
I wonder how much it would cost, how much of your own images you must buy, to reach the front page with so many images for highly competitive keywords.
It would also require a lot of subscription plans owned by different companies or persons to pull it off. If that's what happened, this would mean there's a shady industry behind it also offering similar services to other contributors. Meaning: you can buy content ranking. 

Or... it might indeed be a weird Shutterstock experiment as well. See how buyers react on quality and image ranking and how it compares to other agencies.
Push a regular image to the front page and see how long it's able to hold position.

Hell I don't know. But for sure it's manipulated. We can all agree to that.



OM

« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2021, 05:49 »
+3
I would doubt that this is any kind of SS experiment. If you search 'man', you get the top 2 rows on Page 1 'relevant' almost completely filled with his shots. All editorial and not (IMHO) hugely attractive. SS states that it wants model-released shots if possible so why would they go out of their way to present buyers with the exact opposite of what they tell contributors that sells. All social media and Google changed their algorithms a few years ago because some clever guys/gals were able to manipulate the results to their own advantage. Now it's much more difficult. Maybe SS didn't see the need and this guy is smarter than their old algo......or maybe he's just a hacker and SS don't really care anyway!

« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2021, 07:55 »
0
...
Interesting theory, but since he has real accounts on various stock agencies, I doubt that's what's going on here.
Yeah, thanks, so not an SS owned portfolio
Cannot be a final conclusion. Nothing stops one agency to (ab)use another one, no matter under which sauce - AI persona or a real person, and still all other versions are too alive to be eliminated :-)

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2021, 10:46 »
0

Hell I don't know. But for sure it's manipulated. We can all agree to that.

Years ago "Red One" had some artificial boost on video and everything that had that as the camera, flew to the front. I guess that his camera or something in the user ID and info has a featured word or programming error. If we can find out and everyone add that, SS will eventually fix what's broken.  :)

« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2021, 16:10 »
+6
I tried something simple to check if it is the keywords or the title:
(a) Original image from OlegRi: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/red-white-rose-on-black-background-1589147812
(b) My image submitted with the exact same keywords and title: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/red-white-rose-on-black-background-1961404534

Results:
(a) OlegRi's images is very high if you look for flowers or rose
(b) My image cannot be found within the first thousands of images

So its not the keywords nor the title...

« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2021, 01:30 »
+1
Huge thank you to people who can dedicate a part of their time for such research. Stock photographers and other creatives are much less protected category than other businesses.

« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2021, 02:50 »
0
Okay, so could be programming to farm clicks or certain amount of dls from subs accounts to boost positions

If that's what he did, then why only Shutterstock and not on other agencies? ...

Could be he saw the bigger earnings potential so concentrated on beating the algorithm at SS.
Could be that it does involve purchasing a certain number of images and the maths just makes sense on SS for investment/ return

OM

« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2021, 04:44 »
+2
I think that if they and multiple friends were buying the images, they would have to buy an awful lot to get his images as the first 10 images on page 1 of 'man'....a category of 22 million images. Same goes for all the other most popular categories in which they have one or more shots in the top slots. You would have to purchase a lot of photos.

In the old days when there were far fewer images in the SS collection I had a couple of images (almost) at the top of search in popular, single-search-word categories and for that those images were selling between 10 and 20X/week and every week for months in order to stay at the top.

« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2021, 14:44 »
+2
I don't believe the theory that he / his friends / someone he pays is buying loads of these images, either. This is not like paying a click farm 50 bucks once to get 5.000 fake followers for your company's social media channels. He would have to buy all these images constantly, and that would cost a good deal of money over time. But the way his search results look, he would just be wasting a lot of money.

Take the keyword "man" as an example. I counted 34 of his images on the first page of results. As OM mentioned, they are all editorial, so they are useless for commercial customers.

Also, some are a bad fit even for customers looking for editorial. For example: people in Venetian masks, a person with a metal detector on a beach who has is back turned to the camera, a pseudo-old-timey statue that is holding up a glass of beer, and loads of people on motorbikes - none of those are what I would want if I typed "man" into the search bar.

So I just don't think those pictures sell very well, no matter how high up they are in the search.

Someone who is bumping his images to the top by buying them repeatedly would concentrate on a few that have commercial value. At least, no one would bother bumping up the beer glass statue guy - that's just like throwing money into a burning pit.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 15:43 by lazy_ella »

« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2021, 03:29 »
0
He is Oregons son from Russia trip affair.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2021, 11:56 »
0

So I just don't think those pictures sell very well, no matter how high up they are in the search.

Someone who is bumping his images to the top by buying them repeatedly would concentrate on a few that have commercial value. At least, no one would bother bumping up the beer glass statue guy - that's just like throwing money into a burning pit.

Thank you, that's what I was thinking also. First page doesn't mean sales, if the images aren't good.

But I sure wonder how he's doing it?

Is the SS algorithm so stupid that a click farm can raise someones presence in the searches enough to make them first page? That's very unusual to imagine it's so easy to manipulate. And that would seem to indicate it's by artist not by individual images. Mine don't appear to display that way, they are by image and sales.

How sick would that be if anyone could raise their level and visibility just by having many more views?  :o




« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2021, 13:00 »
0

How sick would that be if anyone could raise their level and visibility just by having many more views?  :o
Kind of DDOS?

« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2021, 02:46 »
0

Thank you, that's what I was thinking also. First page doesn't mean sales, if the images aren't good.

But I sure wonder how he's doing it?

Is the SS algorithm so stupid that a click farm can raise someones presence in the searches enough to make them first page? That's very unusual to imagine it's so easy to manipulate. And that would seem to indicate it's by artist not by individual images. Mine don't appear to display that way, they are by image and sales.

How sick would that be if anyone could raise their level and visibility just by having many more views?  :o

Far from being the expert here, but I would assume that CTR (Click Through Rate) is indeed one of the factors that determines the ranking of an image by the algorithm. Conversion rate (actual licensing) should be another one. In other words: if an image gets a lot of clicks we can assume it rises up in the ranks, but if nobody is buying it after closer inspection, it probably drops again.

I discovered yesterday that SS seems to be implementing these factors also in their front end. Popularity and Usage are on the image details page. At least, on my phone. Not (yet) on my PC. One of my images that get licensed several times a week since I uploaded it last year has low popularity and usage and an image that sold a few times more than a year ago and never again since then has high popularity and usage.

I would also assume that SS is able to detect basic manipulations. Clicks coming from the same account, PC, IP address or region should be discarded.

« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2021, 03:05 »
0
Roscoe, "Clicks coming from the same account, PC, IP address or region should be discarded." -
They will react only when sales can be affected. It is not a problem to forge many attributes, for example, Yahoo is not able to stop bitcoin ads spam, everytime it is coming from different addresses etc.

« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2021, 03:13 »
+1
They will react only when sales can be affected. It is not a problem to forge many attributes, for example, Yahoo is not able to stop bitcoin ads spam, everytime it is coming from different addresses etc.

Yes, that's why I said "I would assume". Not sure they have this fraud detection built in.

Should be easy to test, no? Let's pick a random low quality image from deep down the SS haystack which we find by using a certain keyword, start clicking it, and see if it rises up the ranks.

« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2021, 07:35 »
+1
SS aren't likely to care about this much.

For them, a sale is a sale.  Who they pay the tiny commission too doesn't matter.

I suspect they care very little about any potential algorithm abuse as long as its not affecting sales.

Horizon

    This user is banned.
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2021, 10:06 »
0
Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2021, 10:36 »
+1
I don't think buying your own images through click farms would make any sense financially, especially considering the subs image prices.
I think it is views that take precedence in a lot of cases, not sales.

Here is the example - I have uploaded the image 3 months ago. I had 2 sales only - 10 cents each, but the image is located in the first place in the first row. So it cannot be sales that influence the position in this case. The search was performed without being logged in to my contributor account, so it is the way clients see it.
'Teotihuacan' is not a hugely competitive keyword, but still a popular tourist destination in Mexico.

Back to the original point. If views take precedence then it is much easier to write the script to dupe the system than to deal with a complicated procedure of producing fake sales.

« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2021, 12:29 »
0
It seems the latest plausible theory is that these people spam their images to the max after acceptance, wait for them to pick up speed and when they find a place in the top results they remove the spam to appear regular. Apparently many users do this. Look at these:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/mountain-waterfall-landscape-mountains-1780718075
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/winter-mountain-snow-camp-scene-camping-1780718078

« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2021, 13:28 »
0
Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

I have a customer account and I see the same problems

« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2021, 14:16 »
0
Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

I have a customer account and I see the same problems
Same here. Customer & Contributor account search gives me the same results...


« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2021, 16:40 »
+1
It seems the latest plausible theory is that these people spam their images to the max after acceptance, wait for them to pick up speed and when they find a place in the top results they remove the spam to appear regular. Apparently many users do this. Look at these:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/mountain-waterfall-landscape-mountains-1780718075
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/winter-mountain-snow-camp-scene-camping-1780718078

You'd guess the second one uploaded then as soon as it got approved keyword spammed it.  I cant see that number of duplicate keywords getting through even SS's dumb-bot QA process.


« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2021, 00:06 »
+1
I've seen contrubutors do this before, but as far as I can tell, no other contributor could recreate Olge's "success" the way he did.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 00:15 by Firn »

« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2021, 07:49 »
+2

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/winter-mountain-snow-camp-scene-camping-1780718078

On a side note: the second one (Andrey Bocharov) does not only keyword spamming, the photos in his port are stolen, too. Found some in other portfolios, he just flipped them. Too bad Shittersuck wouldn't care if I contacted them.

« Reply #50 on: May 03, 2021, 11:43 »
+1

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/winter-mountain-snow-camp-scene-camping-1780718078

On a side note: the second one (Andrey Bocharov) does not only keyword spamming, the photos in his port are stolen, too. Found some in other portfolios, he just flipped them. Too bad Shittersuck wouldn't care if I contacted them.

Good spot - appears he's stolen this guys off Flickr:-
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheafmundl/49652681852/

Just flipped it and increased the saturation.  Its definitely the same image (look at the clouds).

So he's not just gaming the system and keyword spamming, he's doing so with stolen images on top.

« Reply #51 on: May 03, 2021, 13:20 »
+1
check out the sizes of this photos, he has the largest resolution for most photos in any search, tree 7157 4774px, beach 6000x4000px but the rest is smaller. i believe shutterstock favours bigger larger resolution. i think one of their blogs says to submit the largest resolution possible. not sure if thats why, but could be one of the reasons.

« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2021, 13:22 »
0
I tried something simple to check if it is the keywords or the title:
(a) Original image from OlegRi: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/red-white-rose-on-black-background-1589147812
(b) My image submitted with the exact same keywords and title: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/red-white-rose-on-black-background-1961404534

Results:
(a) OlegRi's images is very high if you look for flowers or rose
(b) My image cannot be found within the first thousands of images

So its not the keywords nor the title...

your image has smaller resolution, try submitting the same size image, or larger even, and see what happens

« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2021, 17:21 »
0
your image has smaller resolution, try submitting the same size image, or larger even, and see what happens
Interesting idea, let me get my Zoom #1 program and do some hires images.
I will try another photo with a higher resolution... lets see how this will perform :-)

Edit:
For this resolution try I opened Shutterstock and searched for "landscape".
The first image is by OlegRi: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/beautiful-landscape-field-ripe-rye-blue-1774166006 (7734x5159px)

Have just uploaded two images (10000x6667px) with the same kind of motif and exactly the same title and keywords in the same order, as soon as they are accepted I give you the links here.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 17:51 by JustAnImage »

« Reply #54 on: Yesterday at 05:59 »
0
check out the sizes of this photos, he has the largest resolution for most photos in any search, tree 7157 4774px, beach 6000x4000px but the rest is smaller. i believe shutterstock favours bigger larger resolution. i think one of their blogs says to submit the largest resolution possible. not sure if thats why, but could be one of the reasons.

Im not convinced the algorithm favours larget images - a lot of my cropped or low res sell more than high res (although even getting a high res accepted with the focus AI is hard...).

I suspect a lot of these guys images are small because they're stolen off flickr and free wallpaper sites.

Having said that, with GigaPixel or Adobe Super Resolution, upscaling is easy and pretty good most of the time now.

« Reply #55 on: Yesterday at 06:22 »
0
I am pretty sure the algorithm does NOT favore large size images. We just had that discussion in the SS forum yesterday, because I always advice people who get lots of rejections for noice and grain to submit their images in as small a size as possible. So, I browsed the SS database for some keywords like "dog" and pretty much all top image search results have a size of 2500-3000pixel.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #56 on: Yesterday at 10:14 »
0
My guess is that the Shutterstock admin system has ways to manually change the normal search position of an image or a contributor or (as we suspected in the past) to put newer (lower cost in the old plan) contributors higher in the results.  So that admin system gives certain people a lot of power to alter how things are displayed. With all the hacks into company systems recently, it isn't beyond belief that someone has hacked into this admin system to make changes to their or other contributor positions. Not as illegal as stealing money through a hack, but it still could work to generate extra income. Of course, blackmailing an employee would have the same impact. I have no proof that this has been done, or that the contributor we are discussing has done any of this! He might just be a great photographer...

Steve


Horizon

    This user is banned.
« Reply #57 on: Yesterday at 12:10 »
0
Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

I have a customer account and I see the same problems

I also have a customer account and I see the same BUT thats because I registered in my real name, same as you!...same name as contributor because you ID yourself!....dead easy to manipulate a search!....btw. this is old news!

« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 13:36 »
+1
Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

I have a customer account and I see the same problems


I also have a customer account and I see the same BUT thats because I registered in my real name, same as you!...same name as contributor because you ID yourself!....dead easy to manipulate a search!....btw. this is old news!
I think you are being paranoid. Just log out of your account, customer or contributor and you'll still see the same search results.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #59 on: Today at 08:49 »
0
Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

* Lagereek, I thought you left to create new anonymous accounts? How ridiculous can you be. I have a registered buyer account! So all your usual conspiracy garbage is a waste of time. Old news, well you said it first?  :)

Hope you all realize that we as contributors see a different search then the registered buyer!!...old news I know but still!...if I was to search using a certain keyword which is highly popular I have 7 pics on the first page and they would of course sell like crazy but they dont!!  not even once!....why? because in reallity and with the buyers search the pics are probably way down the line!

I have a customer account and I see the same problems


I also have a customer account and I see the same BUT thats because I registered in my real name, same as you!...same name as contributor because you ID yourself!....dead easy to manipulate a search!....btw. this is old news!
I think you are being paranoid. Just log out of your account, customer or contributor and you'll still see the same search results.

Waste of time, he's full of imaginary conspiracies and will make up answers without a speck of truth. ps I have a contributor account in a false name, I see the same results logged in or not, and from a different browser with a VPN turned on. Over the years, most of us have learned to ignore anything Christian Lagereek writes. Leaf banned Christian Lagereek and his many accounts, for life. But apparently he got in again.

check out the sizes of this photos, he has the largest resolution for most photos in any search, tree 7157 4774px, beach 6000x4000px but the rest is smaller. i believe shutterstock favours bigger larger resolution. i think one of their blogs says to submit the largest resolution possible. not sure if thats why, but could be one of the reasons.

Interesting ideas!

My guess is that the Shutterstock admin system has ways to manually change the normal search position of an image or a contributor or (as we suspected in the past) to put newer (lower cost in the old plan) contributors higher in the results.  So that admin system gives certain people a lot of power to alter how things are displayed. With all the hacks into company systems recently, it isn't beyond belief that someone has hacked into this admin system to make changes to their or other contributor positions. Not as illegal as stealing money through a hack, but it still could work to generate extra income. Of course, blackmailing an employee would have the same impact. I have no proof that this has been done, or that the contributor we are discussing has done any of this! He might just be a great photographer...

Steve

Also interesting.

I tried something simple to check if it is the keywords or the title:
(a) Original image from OlegRi: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/red-white-rose-on-black-background-1589147812
(b) My image submitted with the exact same keywords and title: https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/red-white-rose-on-black-background-1961404534

Results:
(a) OlegRi's images is very high if you look for flowers or rose
(b) My image cannot be found within the first thousands of images

So its not the keywords nor the title...

your image has smaller resolution, try submitting the same size image, or larger even, and see what happens

This is enterta8ining to watch, I wish I had more time to join in. Good luck finding the flaw.

It seems the latest plausible theory is that these people spam their images to the max after acceptance, wait for them to pick up speed and when they find a place in the top results they remove the spam to appear regular. Apparently many users do this. Look at these:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/mountain-waterfall-landscape-mountains-1780718075
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/winter-mountain-snow-camp-scene-camping-1780718078


Heck, another good theory.  ;D

I think I'm going to upload a gigapixel image, some huge stitched panorama. I generally save these for Alamy or FAA or someplace and send SS the 6MP version. Now I need to test if size matters? Lets see... I know, sliced tomato, my all time favorite. I'll make the biggest sliced tomato ever uploaded, macro, stitched, huge!

Whatever anyone eventually finds out, in fact, hacked, or manipulated or whatever, it's SS that's broken and someone just found the loophole.



 

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