arterra

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arterra    3,757

From the blog:

 

Supertags

With the new Alamy Image Manager we have introduced the concept of “supertags”. You can add up to 10 supertags per image and these are the tags that you feel are the most relevant to the image. The search engine will place extra priority to these supertags so make sure you select the most relevant words only. For help on adding tags and supertags in the Alamy Image Manager then watch our overview help video or read through the relevant section (page 16) in the PDF instructions. Supertags work similarly to the “Essential Keywords” that were part of our previous contributor toolset.

 

When I recently placed supertags (mole molehill) on this picture, it moved from page 4 to page 5. And I'm far from the only one to report pictures being demoted after adding supertags (as you must know already from the reactions on that same blog). It's already 4 months that this issue has been reported but this serious flaw still remains. Please explain! It hurts shooting myself in the foot  :mellow:

 

Already contacted contributors@alamy.com about this problem, but didn't receive any answer  :mellow: 

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Edited by arterra
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GS-Images    1,186

+1 Philippe.

 

As you know, I've written to Alamy about this, and also directly to James Allsworth. I've started a thread just about this, and mentioned it over and over again in other threads.

 

The only response I have received is that they are working on tweaking things. I have not yet seen a response in reply to this specific issue.

 

If there is a problem that they're struggling with, we need to know. If it is intentionally this way, we need to know that too so we can adjust the way we tag appropriately. An admission to any problem would go a long way and the majority of us would be understanding, as we all know these things can happen. The way the problem is ignored and brushed under the carpet isn't acceptable and creates bad feelings for everyone. Please work WITH us Alamy, not against us, and please give some feedback to this specific issue. Thank you.

 

Geoff.

Edited by GS-Images
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arterra    3,757

Reply from Alamy via mail:

Our search engine team are aware of the specifics of your email and of other similar emails regarding questions over search ordering.

While all our metrics suggest the new search engine is working better for our customers than ever before, we are constantly looking at ways of tweaking and improving the results. A number of different algorithms can be in place at any one time and different groups of users including different customer groups may well see different ordering of search results as a consequence. We monitor the data from this very closely and it helps us implement constant improvements over time.

As we have previously mentioned we recommend that you do not change the way you apply Supertags and Tags to your images and continue to keyword and caption your images accurately. We understand that this advice has been criticised but our aim is to ensure that photographers who take good relevant pictures, who use the correct metadata, and whose images sell well see their pictures get to the top of the results.

Any tweaks or changes we make to the search engine now or in the future will aim to benefit those photographers who follow our recommendations.


Cheers,
Philippe

Edited by arterra
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GS-Images    1,186

Thanks for quoting that Philippe. They should have put it here themselves.

 

I'll keep on banging my head against a brick wall I guess. I'll save a space for you.

 

Geoff.

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arterra    3,757

Thanks for quoting that Philippe. They should have put it here themselves.

 

I'll keep on banging my head against a brick wall I guess. I'll save a space for you.

 

Geoff.

 

Thanks  :D I'll bring the band-aids  -_-

 

Cheers,

Philippe

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GS-Images    1,186

"Any tweaks or changes we make to the search engine now or in the future will aim to benefit those photographers who follow our recommendations".

 

For now, as my own tests today have shown again, tags carry higher weight than supertags.

 

Are some customers seeing results that suggest that supertags carry a lower weight? I understand that some customers may see different results, but surely no matter who they are and what sort of images they have licensed before, and what their location is, a supertag should always carry more weight that a tag.

 

Take my image ID J0HK8N. Yesterday a search for "derelict pier" showed that image in 52nd place. I changed my supertag of "derelict pier" to a tag. Today, that image is now in 2nd. That's a move of 50 places HIGHER. It's the same for my other tests today and in recent weeks.

 

Why would any customer want to see images tagged with words that I decide to be less relevant, higher up than images with words that I decide are more relevant to their search?

 

So according to Alamy, I should still continue to use supertags for the most relevant words. That IS what I am STILL doing. However, I know full well that my placement for every image will be lower than if I used only tags for the most relevant words. I am 99% sure that every client will also see this, no matter which images may appear higher for them. So, just in case Alamy may or may not change things, I should continue following the recommendations. That IS what I am doing other than in my tests, but it does not make any sense at all.

 

I seriously think that Alamy are not aware this problem exists. I have posted my test results, as has Philippe and others. They are conclusive for US. I am aware that at least one other contributor is getting results that show supertags carry more weight than tags, so for some people things seem to be working. Is it possible that some accounts have a problem while others do not? Has anyone at Alamy investigated this?

 

I am very aware that Alamy must be annoyed and frustrated at myself and a few others constantly complaining about this problem, and I am sorry for that. Believe me, I do not like it either, and really could do without this extra stress. Something must be wrong though and all the replies I have had or seen quoted by others have not explained this particular problem. We do not need to know the algorithms and of course some details have to remain secret. Tags and supertags though are surely something that should work for everyone in the same way.

 

For now, I am going to continue tagging in a way that I know will give me worse performance, as that is what we are told will benefit us IF any tweaks or changes are made now or in the future.

 

Geoff.

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Sultanpepa    408

Reply from Alamy via mail:

 

Our search engine team are aware of the specifics of your email and of other similar emails regarding questions over search ordering.

 

While all our metrics suggest the new search engine is working better for our customers than ever before, we are constantly looking at ways of tweaking and improving the results. A number of different algorithms can be in place at any one time and different groups of users including different customer groups may well see different ordering of search results as a consequence. We monitor the data from this very closely and it helps us implement constant improvements over time.

 

As we have previously mentioned we recommend that you do not change the way you apply Supertags and Tags to your images and continue to keyword and caption your images accurately. We understand that this advice has been criticised but our aim is to ensure that photographers who take good relevant pictures, who use the correct metadata, and whose images sell well see their pictures get to the top of the results.

 

Any tweaks or changes we make to the search engine now or in the future will aim to benefit those photographers who follow our recommendations.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

This is the most worrying thing I've read yet and in conclusion I can only surmise that I must have fell into the category of irrelevant user algorithm because since Dec 2016 my sales have bombed. I'm pleased for the customers if they are getting better results, I wish I could say the same. Even my QC rank is confusing with no failures in over 200 submissions resulting in two stars. Lack of clarity of these workings just leads to dissatisfaction and eventually loss of interest by contributors. 

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GS-Images    1,186

 

This is the most worrying thing I've read yet and in conclusion I can only surmise that I must have fell into the category of irrelevant user algorithm because since Dec 2016 my sales have bombed. I'm pleased for the customers if they are getting better results, I wish I could say the same. Even my QC rank is confusing with no failures in over 200 submissions resulting in two stars. Lack of clarity of these workings just leads to dissatisfaction and eventually loss of interest by contributors. 

 

 

My sales have dried up too, and zooms are absolutely awful this month. I still get a similar number of views, but NOT THE CORRECT IMAGES!!!!!! That is the whole problem here.

 

There is no data to suggest that customers are getting the images they want. Customers do a search and will buy one of what they see. What's never mentioned by Alamy when they boast of their high sales and improvements in this and that, is that the customer might see BETTER and MORE RELEVANT images if the search engine didn't make such a mess of things.

 

Those who have worked hard and done well are not seen, while those you used to do poorly and don't know how to process correctly and don't make much effort with keywords, are doing much better and make no complaints about the new changes.

 

Geoff.

 

(I removed the rest of this to keep the peace as much as possible).

Edited by GS-Images
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arterra    3,757

+100

 

Same experience! I can only say what I see with my own eyes when doing searches. And what I see ....... is NOT what is expected according to Alamy's explanation.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

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M.Chapman    519

There is no data to suggest that customers are getting the images they want.

But Alamy say "While all our metrics suggest the new search engine is working better for our customers than ever before"

 

This is presumably based on an increase in the rate at which images are being downloaded and sales are being recorded versus the total number of views.

 

In my own case it appears that, views and sales are way up, and my supertags appear to carry more weight than tags. But I'm also getting views from broad searches that I would never have expected (and which, when I repeat the customer's search, I can't reproduce).

 

It's  also clear from the tests you and others have reported that the behaviour is not same for everyone. It's all a bit weird at the moment.

Edited by M.Chapman

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GS-Images    1,186

 

There is no data to suggest that customers are getting the images they want.

But Alamy say "While all our metrics suggest the new search engine is working better for our customers than ever before"

 

This is presumably based on an increase in the rate at which images are being downloaded and sales are being recorded versus the total number of views.

 

In my own case it appears that, views and sales are way up, and my supertags appear to carry more weight than tags. But I'm also getting views from broad searches that I would never have expected (and which, when I repeat the customer's search, I can't reproduce).

 

It's  also clear from the tests you and others have reported that the behaviour is not same for everyone. It's all a bit weird at the moment.

 

 

The point I was trying to make was that despite Alamy saying that their metrics suggest the new search engine is working better for their customers, that they cannot know if the customers are getting the best images for their purpose. It will simply indicate that they are purchasing licences.

 

It is very odd that some like yourself are seeing supertags working as they should, but that fact that some are is a good sign. I still hope Alamy will look at the possibility that some (most?) accounts are not showing supertags correctly. I have to wonder if it's intentional, but I do not have a clue why it would be. Who knows though when they refuse to give helpful answers to some questions.

 

I have had a serge of uploading and tagging in the last week and I am tagging exactly as Alamy tell us, despite the fact it means my placement is lower. I am doing what I'm supposed to do, yet being punished for it. I just hope they sort this out soon rather than hiding away. The silence is doing nothing for morale at all.

 

Geoff.

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mickfly    270

Also bombed, with older non relevant images (particularly from stale contributors) keeping mine off the first few pages with some subjects.
From the usual average, pre the new AIM, of 1 sale per thousand I've dropped to ONE image license per month on a port of 5,000+ for the last two months!

Edited by mickfly

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