Betty LaRue

Search engine seems to be working for me.

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I've made a sale of a recently uploaded image.

I've had a new cluster of zooms today.

I've made a sale of a recent zoom.

This is action since the advent of the new search algorithms.

 

Overall, my zooms are down, but my CTR is holding up. And I've made sales since then earlier in the month than usual for me.

 

Don't blame this on my port being in a low down position and being rotated up, because my images have been well-placed for the last year or two. Many on the first page.

The new search engine isn't hurting me. Yet. Just sayin'.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue

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The new search engine is working for me as well.

 
I expect the search engine will benefit photographers even more, as it continues to be tweaked. I can’t wait to use the new system to do some new keywording. Some of my keywording is 12 years old. It needs updating.
 
I expect it will punish photographers who have been gaming the system. Too many irrelevant keywords, too many similar images, multiple use of same keyword, wearing a tinfoil hat, all come to mind.
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multiple use of same keyword, 

 

 

Alamy told us to do this and gave examples.

 

Pearl

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I look very fetching in my tinfoil hat.

 

Paulette

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I look very fetching in my tinfoil hat.

 

Paulette

Now that's a hilarious mental picture! :)

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Anyone can wear a tin hat. It's tinfoil that is hard to carry off. And truly creative.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat
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Anyone can wear a tin hat. It's tinfoil that is hard to carry off. And truly creative.

 

Paulette

 

There are those who try  -- E7FXTE

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I look very fetching in my tinfoil hat.

 

Paulette

Now that's a hilarious mental picture! :)

 

 

 

No, a hilarious metal picture, Betty. 

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The new search engine is working for me as well.

 
I expect the search engine will benefit photographers even more, as it continues to be tweaked. I can’t wait to use the new system to do some new keywording. Some of my keywording is 12 years old. It needs updating.
 
I expect it will punish photographers who have been gaming the system. Too many irrelevant keywords, too many similar images, multiple use of same keyword, wearing a tinfoil hat, all come to mind.

 

 

All the images I showed in other threads concerning severe keyword spamming and totally irrelevant keywords were found on the very first pages of search results. I often wonder if we're looking at the same agency  :rolleyes:

Anyway, km, Doc, Pearl and many others with large ports seem to share my concerns...... just not you. But then again "contrarious" seems to be your middlename.  :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

+ 1 Well said Philippe

 

Pearl

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The new search engine is working for me as well.

 
I expect the search engine will benefit photographers even more, as it continues to be tweaked. I can’t wait to use the new system to do some new keywording. Some of my keywording is 12 years old. It needs updating.
 
I expect it will punish photographers who have been gaming the system. Too many irrelevant keywords, too many similar images, multiple use of same keyword, wearing a tinfoil hat, all come to mind.

 

 

Bill, all the images I showed in other threads concerning severe keyword spamming and totally irrelevant keywords were found on the very first pages of search results. I often wonder if you and me are looking at the same agency  :rolleyes:

Anyway, km, Doc, Pearl and many others with large ports seem to share my concerns...... just not you. But then again "contrarious" seems to be your middlename.  :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Not just Bill.

 

The old system of meritocracy had gotten out of hand, had led to large levels of clumping and was rewarding the few at the expense of the many. Which is great if you are the few, not so great if you are the many. After one of last reranks one contributor mentioned that he had a large portion of the first page for an extremely generic search term, and he was happy with that... and why wouldn't he be? However that one persons successful rerank leaves a lot behind. Because the system re-rewarded those with high ranks and re-punished those lower the extremes got compounded to the point where many decided they were wasting their time and looked elsewhere. Or had to take extreme measures to reattain rank - in my case I deleted 2/3rds of my Alamy archive - mostly news and sport - my long tail. Not something I did with a skip in my step.

 

The old system also led to certain kinds of images being returned. Looking up a UK town and you would have gotten the impression that all Alamy had were images of crown courts, magistrates courts, airport terminals, hospital exteriors and shop exteriors.

 

The new system has levelled the playing field. It is understandable that those who were high up are concerned. I was too when my rank collapsed after answering the Alamy call for news and sport. But I am seeing much more varied search results within the parameters of the search term. In some cases this works in my disfavour... I no longer have 15-20 images of Amsterdam windmills on the front page of a search for Amsterdam windmill... but in others it works in my favour... images I shot recently with a certain market in mind are no longer dead in the water (kansloos - I cant quite think of a good translation) whilst another runs off with the booty.

 

There are anomolies. But when you are expressly looking for fault one shouldn;t be surprised to find fault. Some are justified concerns but I have noticed a couple of examples being just one or two images erroneous in a whole page of correct.

 

regards from a white Amsterdam,

 

Richard

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The new search engine is working for me as well.

 

I expect the search engine will benefit photographers even more, as it continues to be tweaked. I can’t wait to use the new system to do some new keywording. Some of my keywording is 12 years old. It needs updating.

 

I expect it will punish photographers who have been gaming the system. Too many irrelevant keywords, too many similar images, multiple use of same keyword, wearing a tinfoil hat, all come to mind.

 

Bill, all the images I showed in other threads concerning severe keyword spamming and totally irrelevant keywords were found on the very first pages of search results. I often wonder if you and me are looking at the same agency :rolleyes:

Anyway, km, Doc, Pearl and many others with large ports seem to share my concerns...... just not you. But then again "contrarious" seems to be your middlename. :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Well said. Those with small ports like me but large sales volume FOR THE SIZE OF THE COLLECTION also agree. I also agree that any sales we get now are not related to the new search engine. It's views, zooms and resulting sales that matter. It isn't just about views because due to the random nature of results (phrases being ignored and images with searched words only in Main or Caption coming first) means that irrelevant images are often amongst the views. Therefore zooms and resulting sales will suffer.

 

Bill is always fighting against the majority opinion and I don't bother reading his posts any more. It's not worth the stress. :)

 

Geoff.

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The new search engine is working for me as well.

 

I expect the search engine will benefit photographers even more, as it continues to be tweaked. I can’t wait to use the new system to do some new keywording. Some of my keywording is 12 years old. It needs updating.

 

I expect it will punish photographers who have been gaming the system. Too many irrelevant keywords, too many similar images, multiple use of same keyword, wearing a tinfoil hat, all come to mind.

Bill, I meant to give a greenie and on my iPad I inadvertently hit red!

 

Sorry.

Edited by ReeRay

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I think the clumping was a problem (and still is) but I don't think that was caused by ranking. I started, as everyone, at a middle rank and after my first couple of sales I FELL to almost the bottom because they were wee sales and it was the first time I had been judged by anything other than being a new contributor. I was able to come back from the bottom and, over time, I think my ranking more or less coincided with what I was achieving. Somehow there were always anomalies in which somebody's best pseudo fell and a poor one rose but at least I had the feeling that the care of my work and quality of my images mattered. I am hoping this change is going to be OK for me but the number of views I get now suggests I might as well be spending my time doing something else.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat
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The new search engine is working for me as well.

 

I expect the search engine will benefit photographers even more, as it continues to be tweaked. I can’t wait to use the new system to do some new keywording. Some of my keywording is 12 years old. It needs updating.

 

I expect it will punish photographers who have been gaming the system. Too many irrelevant keywords, too many similar images, multiple use of same keyword, wearing a tinfoil hat, all come to mind.

Bill, all the images I showed in other threads concerning severe keyword spamming and totally irrelevant keywords were found on the very first pages of search results. I often wonder if you and me are looking at the same agency :rolleyes:

Anyway, km, Doc, Pearl and many others with large ports seem to share my concerns...... just not you. But then again "contrarious" seems to be your middlename. :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

 

Not just Bill.

 

The old system of meritocracy had gotten out of hand, had led to large levels of clumping and was rewarding the few at the expense of the many. Which is great if you are the few, not so great if you are the many. After one of last reranks one contributor mentioned that he had a large portion of the first page for an extremely generic search term, and he was happy with that... and why wouldn't he be? However that one persons successful rerank leaves a lot behind. Because the system re-rewarded those with high ranks and re-punished those lower the extremes got compounded to the point where many decided they were wasting their time and looked elsewhere. Or had to take extreme measures to reattain rank - in my case I deleted 2/3rds of my Alamy archive - mostly news and sport - my long tail. Not something I did with a skip in my step.

 

The old system also led to certain kinds of images being returned. Looking up a UK town and you would have gotten the impression that all Alamy had were images of crown courts, magistrates courts, airport terminals, hospital exteriors and shop exteriors.

 

The new system has levelled the playing field. It is understandable that those who were high up are concerned. I was too when my rank collapsed after answering the Alamy call for news and sport. But I am seeing much more varied search results within the parameters of the search term. In some cases this works in my disfavour... I no longer have 15-20 images of Amsterdam windmills on the front page of a search for Amsterdam windmill... but in others it works in my favour... images I shot recently with a certain market in mind are no longer dead in the water (kansloos - I cant quite think of a good translation) whilst another runs off with the booty.

 

There are anomolies. But when you are expressly looking for fault one shouldn;t be surprised to find fault. Some are justified concerns but I have noticed a couple of examples being just one or two images erroneous in a whole page of correct.

 

regards from a white Amsterdam,

 

Richard

 

 

 

So, you're happy with "lottery" results where ranking has zero influence? Meaning:

  • images of those with small ports but a good ranking will be completely lost in the mass and their sales have to rely on sheer luck resulting in a lucky sale once and again. Are those photographers going to keep their motivation?
  • those with large ports will see their sales diminishing substantially to the point they might perhaps give up their stock business because it won't be worth the trouble anymore.
  • newbies with a handful of images - who started with a medium ranking (but is that still the case?????) - will need a LOT of luck to be seen. Will they have the patience to continue?

Just my two cents. Call me pessimistic - though I prefer the term realistic - but I only see loosers, certainly not winners. Sure, the're will be sales, lots of sales...... for Alamy. But do you really think those who we're successful, will still be motivated to continue when their sales/income dropped by half or even two thirds (figures judged on my drop in views). Do you think those who spend a lot of their time on boring keywording and who need the money as a supplement (to their pension), will still continue when they have to rely on a "lottery" and only see an occasional sale instead of regular sales?

 

Giving everybody a piece of the pie won't make much difference to those who sell poorly (an image more or less, every three months, will still be poorly), but it'll have huge impact on the motivation of those who used to be Alamy's bread and butter (meaning those photographers who deliver excellent quality and who's images were sold on a daily basis because they know damn' well what they're doing, know damn' well what subjects sells.).

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

 

images of those with small ports but a good ranking will be completely lost in the mass and their sales have to rely on sheer luck resulting in a lucky sale once and again. Are those photographers going to keep their motivation?

 

Its not a lottery, its not luck... given the same search term Wim top image still beats my image, Keith Morris' top still beats mine. Ranking still comes into play somewhere along the line... just not as much as before.

 

those with large ports will see their sales diminishing substantially to the point they might perhaps give up their stock business because it won't be worth the trouble anymore.

 

This could equally happen under the old system - in fact it did. To me. It could equally have happened to someone else.

 

newbies with a handful of images - who started with a medium ranking (but is that still the case?????) - will need a LOT of luck to be seen. Will they have the patience to continue?

 

Under the old system there was negative ranking. Newbies got a median ranking. As soon as they made sales their collection became "significant" meaning they had a good chance of being under the median rank. This meant that those with no sales got a higher ranking than those who did... for whom the chance of further sales then collapsed. Not motivating. Under the new system newbies have more chance because their images wont be dumped in a median behind a clump of one of the superstars.

 

But do you really think those who we're successful, will still be motivated to continue when their sales/income dropped by half or even two thirds (figures judged on my drop in views).

 

This could and did happen under the old system.

 

 

Alamy's bread and butter (meaning those photographers who deliver excellent quality and who's images were sold on a daily basis because they know damn' well what they're doing, know damn' well what subjects sells.)

 

I think you yourself have alluded to the fact that certain photographers have the advantage over others for example, those in the Uk can pop outside and take some weather images which may be in the papers tomorrow. If you or I did the same then they would be removed from the feed as not newsworthy. We were all equal, but some were more equal than others.

 

I appreciate that you are concerned ... I am also taking into account the possibility that it will have negative consequences on my business.

 

groetjes,

 

Richard

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We as individual photographers have to remember that our goals and Alamy's goals are not the same.

 

Alamy is trying to work a search engine that will find the right image for the customer (although right now it seems to be plucking some strange ones) not just the best image from the biggest and most prolific contributors.

 

The photographer's goal is to have their images be ones that the customer sees the most often and therefore get purchased more often. 

 

I don't think they have the search engine perfected yet.

 

Way back in the 90's, when Yahoo was the big search engine on the web, Google came along and tossed them on their butt.  On Yahoo, search results were based on website owners paying for placement, so small businesses without extra funds couldn't afford to pay that kind of bill so people searching wouldn't necessarily see the best results, just the best results for those who paid for placement.  Google with its secret algorithms managed to get the best results on the first page.  They had paid placement, but usually there are only 4 and they are distinctly marked as ads.  The customer got better more relevant results.

 

This is what I think Alamy is trying to do, get the best results regardless of the photographer.  It's not working perfectly yet, but probably over time, especially when the tag limit will be 50, forcing photographers to stick to the most relevant keywords.  I plan to do the wait and see over the next few months and see what happens.  It truly will be more evident when the new keywording system goes into effect.

 

Jill

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"We as individual photographers have to remember that our goals and Alamy's goals are not the same.

 

Alamy is trying to work a search engine that will find the right image for the customer (although right now it seems to be plucking some strange ones) not just the best image from the biggest and most prolific contributors.

 

The photographer's goal is to have their images be ones that the customer sees the most often and therefore get purchased more often.

 

I don't think they have the search engine perfected yet.

 

Way back in the 90's, when Yahoo was the big search engine on the web, Google came along and tossed them on their butt. On Yahoo, search results were based on website owners paying for placement, so small businesses without extra funds couldn't afford to pay that kind of bill so people searching wouldn't necessarily see the best results, just the best results for those who paid for placement. Google with its secret algorithms managed to get the best results on the first page. They had paid placement, but usually there are only 4 and they are distinctly marked as ads. The customer got better more relevant results.

 

This is what I think Alamy is trying to do, get the best results regardless of the photographer. It's not working perfectly yet, but probably over time, especially when the tag limit will be 50, forcing photographers to stick to the most relevant keywords. I plan to do the wait and see over the next few months and see what happens. It truly will be more evident when the new keywording system goes into effect.

 

Jill"

 

Well said, Jill. I'm also in a holding pattern.

I do respect everyone's concerns, but I'll wait until I get hit with a chunk of blue before I decide the sky is falling.

Betty

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newbies with a handful of images - who started with a medium ranking (but is that still the case?????) - will need a LOT of luck to be seen. Will they have the patience to continue?
Under the old system there was negative ranking. Newbies got a median ranking. As soon as they made sales their collection became "significant" meaning they had a good chance of being under the median rank. This meant that those with no sales got a higher ranking than those who did... for whom the chance of further sales then collapsed.
:blink: Don't understand. Makes no sense to me.

 

A while ago I set up a new pseudonym for a chum who had decided to put his images through me instead of doing it himself. Initially he received a median ranking. In the first period we made some sales. In the next rerank his ranking collapsed. I took it up with member services and eventually got an answer from one of the higher echelons of Alamy. His answer was that pseudonyms with no sales have no data to measure and therefore are not "significant" and remain on a median rank. As soon as sales are made they thereafter become "significant" i.e. they have data which is measureable to put a ranking figure on. Median being average it was possible therefore to be assigned a below average ranking, below those of pseudonyms which sold nothing. With a small collection as many newbies have, there is a good chance that they would they would be assigned a low ranking, which leads to low ranking, which leads to low sales, which leads to low ranking. As you have mentioned before newbies who didn't hit the ground running with sizeable collections were always facing a uphill task.

 

BTW I am not an exception when it comes to seeing a collapse under the old system and not all made the mistake I did by supplying sport.

 

(Editted to add a "not" in the last sentence.)

Edited by funkyworm
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newbies with a handful of images - who started with a medium ranking (but is that still the case?????) - will need a LOT of luck to be seen. Will they have the patience to continue?

Under the old system there was negative ranking. Newbies got a median ranking. As soon as they made sales their collection became "significant" meaning they had a good chance of being under the median rank. This meant that those with no sales got a higher ranking than those who did... for whom the chance of further sales then collapsed.

:blink: Don't understand. Makes no sense to me.

 

A while ago I set up a new pseudonym for a chum who had decided to put his images through me instead of doing it himself. Initially he received a median ranking. In the first period we made some sales. In the next rerank his ranking collapsed. I took it up with member services and eventually got an answer from one of the higher echelons of Alamy. His answer was that pseudonyms with no sales have no data to measure and therefore are not "significant" and remain on a median rank. As soon as sales are made they thereafter become "significant" i.e. they have data which is measureable to put a ranking figure on. Median being average it was possible therefore to be assigned a below average ranking, below those of pseudonyms which sold nothing. With a small collection as many newbies have, there is a good chance that they would they would be assigned a low ranking, which leads to low ranking, which leads to low sales, which leads to low ranking. As you have mentioned before newbies who didn't hit the ground running with sizeable collections were always facing a uphill task.

 

BTW I am an exception when it comes to seeing a collapse under the old system and not all made the mistake I did by supplying sport.

 

That tends to confirm what I have long argued: once you lost the median ranking it was downhill all the way with no way back unless one could generate high image numbers (and sales) into a new (median) pseudonym between reranks! Whether that has changed with the new algorithms, who knows? We won't know for several months.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Bill, all the images I showed in other threads concerning severe keyword spamming and totally irrelevant keywords were found on the very first pages of search results. I often wonder if you and me are looking at the same agency :rolleyes:

Anyway, km, Doc, Pearl and many others with large ports seem to share my concerns...... just not you. But then again "contrarious" seems to be your middlename. :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Well said. Those with small ports like me but large sales volume FOR THE SIZE OF THE COLLECTION also agree. I also agree that any sales we get now are not related to the new search engine. It's views, zooms and resulting sales that matter. It isn't just about views because due to the random nature of results (phrases being ignored and images with searched words only in Main or Caption coming first) means that irrelevant images are often amongst the views. Therefore zooms and resulting sales will suffer.

 

Bill is always fighting against the majority opinion and I don't bother reading his posts any more. It's not worth the stress. :)

 

Geoff.

 

 

 

There are 50,000 individual photographers represented by Alamy.
 

 

I do not know if my opinions on the new search engine are contrarian, because I would never presume to know the opinions of 50,000 Alamy photographers.

 

 

 

 

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 Views on all three of my pseudonyms don't seem to have been negatively affected by the new search engine. If anything, they've risen somewhat. Zooms dropped over the holidays as expected, but they appear to be coming back. So I guess the new search engine is working for me so far. Perhaps I'll be eating these words in the months to come, though.

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Interesting.  My views are about half of what they were last year.  Zooms are down a bit, and no sales yet this year, but hey, it's just a week.

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