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How to improve image ranking

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1 hour ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

Now I need to figure out how to get more images showing up on the first few pages!

Take this with a pinch of salt (given my tractor pseudo failure noted above), as you should question and test all advice, however:

Sales are probably the most important factor in improving your rank.

You have 139 files, nice enough, but not particularly unique, and lots are 'arty' rather than stocky.

You are currently a micro-drop in an ocean of millions of files.

All you can do is produce the best files you can, keyword them the best you can, and try to find things buyers might want that isn't already supplied in abundance.

I looked at two random files to see your keywords.

One was of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Your keywords were IMO very clean, and you'd included some valide keywords I wouldn't have thought of. Good.

Then I looked at #JYAY26, tulips at Keukenhof.

First thing, you'd have a vast advantage if you know the name of the cultivar - that would immediately put you into a small, focussed search. But you'd have to be certain you were correct.

Second, and this is open to debate: I'm not convinced about agriculture, farm, farming or fields, but you should definitely have horticulture and garden. Easter? dubious, though I realise tulips are often grown and sold around Easter. Flower market it is not.

 

It's a patience game: I had over 800 pics and nine or ten months before I had my first sale, and that was something very specific that there are few competing files for.

 

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15 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Take this with a pinch of salt (given my tractor pseudo failure noted above), as you should question and test all advice, however:

Sales are probably the most important factor in improving your rank.

You have 139 files, nice enough, but not particularly unique, and lots are 'arty' rather than stocky.

You are currently a micro-drop in an ocean of millions of files.

All you can do is produce the best files you can, keyword them the best you can, and try to find things buyers might want that isn't already supplied in abundance.

I looked at two random files to see your keywords.

One was of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Your keywords were IMO very clean, and you'd included some valide keywords I wouldn't have thought of. Good.

Then I looked at #JYAY26, tulips at Keukenhof.

First thing, you'd have a vast advantage if you know the name of the cultivar - that would immediately put you into a small, focussed search. But you'd have to be certain you were correct.

Second, and this is open to debate: I'm not convinced about agriculture, farm, farming or fields, but you should definitely have horticulture and garden. Easter? dubious, though I realise tulips are often grown and sold around Easter. Flower market it is not.

 

It's a patience game: I had over 800 pics and nine or ten months before I had my first sale, and that was something very specific that there are few competing files for.

 

I think you quoted the wrong person!

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4 minutes ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

I think you quoted the wrong person!

Sorry, I quoted the right person, but wrongly assumed you were the OP.

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Put crudely, ranking seems to depend on two main factors, CTR and sales.  A higher than Alamy average CTR implies that your image views are being translated into zooms at a rate better than the normal contributor.  Of course, you still need to get views - and that depends both on keywording and the competition.  Searches which yield few images but include your own are more likely to provide you with zooms than those which yield thousands of images.  In other words, find the gaps to increase your chances of getting zooms in the first place.  And then fill those gaps with a diverse collection of high quality shots.

 

Hopefully, zooms then generate sales.  Two provisos here.  Not all sales come from zooms - about 50% in my case - and zooms do not automatically result in sales.  In my own case it's about 1 sale per 4 zooms. Once sales start your ranking will, hopefully, start to improve.  The rate of improvement is probably dependent on both volume and average return from the sales but only Alamy know for sure (and they're not telling).

 

It's been said earlier in the thread that a good technique is to find a niche or niches where competition is less but demand is good.  Easier said than done, but my own experience bears this out.  I started with Alamy in Jan 2014 and have concentrated on one niche area (botanicals, especially garden plants and cultivars, the more obscure the better) to build my Alamy portfolio.  It's an area I know a lot about and for which there is considerable demand worldwide.  There's also a lot of competition.  Go to the Flowers, Gardens & Plants Category and there are 5,474,865 images on Alamy.  But there is a lot less competition for specific plants or cultivars once you stray out of the commonplace.  Take Clematis balearica 'Freckles'.  Regularly searched for, there are only 27 images on Alamy, 2 of them mine.  Result: 5 sales in the last three years.  I could give many other examples.

 

It's been hard work to build a diverse portfolio but it has enabled me to sell 285 images to date.  My ranking is now very good and my rolling average CTR is 1.  Because i sell I get more sales.  It also means that I can now extend myself into other areas in the knowledge that, because I enjoy a good ranking, my images will appear high up in searches.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, John Richmond said:

Put crudely, ranking seems to depend on two main factors, CTR and sales.  A higher than Alamy average CTR implies that your image views are being translated into zooms at a rate better than the normal contributor.  Of course, you still need to get views - and that depends both on keywording and the competition.  Searches which yield few images but include your own are more likely to provide you with zooms than those which yield thousands of images.  In other words, find the gaps to increase your chances of getting zooms in the first place.  And then fill those gaps with a diverse collection of high quality shots.

 

Hopefully, zooms then generate sales.  Two provisos here.  Not all sales come from zooms - about 50% in my case - and zooms do not automatically result in sales.  In my own case it's about 1 sale per 4 zooms. Once sales start your ranking will, hopefully, start to improve.  The rate of improvement is probably dependent on both volume and average return from the sales but only Alamy know for sure (and they're not telling).

 

It's been said earlier in the thread that a good technique is to find a niche or niches where competition is less but demand is good.  Easier said than done, but my own experience bears this out.  I started with Alamy in Jan 2014 and have concentrated on one niche area (botanicals, especially garden plants and cultivars, the more obscure the better) to build my Alamy portfolio.  It's an area I know a lot about and for which there is considerable demand worldwide.  There's also a lot of competition.  Go to the Flowers, Gardens & Plants Category and there are 5,474,865 images on Alamy.  But there is a lot less competition for specific plants or cultivars once you stray out of the commonplace.  Take Clematis balearica 'Freckles'.  Regularly searched for, there are only 27 images on Alamy, 2 of them mine.  Result: 5 sales in the last three years.  I could give many other examples.

 

It's been hard work to build a diverse portfolio but it has enabled me to sell 285 images to date.  My ranking is now very good and my rolling average CTR is 1.  Because i sell I get more sales.  It also means that I can now extend myself into other areas in the knowledge that, because I enjoy a good ranking, my images will appear high up in searches.

 

 

 

good advice

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Take Clematis balearica 'Freckles'.  Regularly searched for, there are only 27 images on Alamy, 2 of them mine. 

 

Yes, exactly, couldn't agree more. The more "Alamywacks" the better, I certainly have many. These are searches that only return ONE image on Alamy. Many of my sales have resulted from Alamywacks. I am constantly staggered at some of the searches I see on Alamy.

 

Go obscure, go niche, keyword well, and your sales will come. 175 sales per year from 3670 images tells me there is some truth in this.

 

Marc

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8 hours ago, famousbelgian said:

 

Yes, exactly, couldn't agree more. The more "Alamywacks" the better, I certainly have many. These are searches that only return ONE image on Alamy. Many of my sales have resulted from Alamywacks. I am constantly staggered at some of the searches I see on Alamy.

 

Go obscure, go niche, keyword well, and your sales will come. 175 sales per year from 3670 images tells me there is some truth in this.

 

Marc

Just to prove the point, 15 zooms so far this month, 10 from searches that produced less than 100 images.  Lowest three generated 1, 3 and 6 results.  And no, I'm not saying what they are. ;)

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Congratulations! I have some Alamywhacks, but no-one seems interested. I never seem to discover the 'unfound niches' which buyers want! That's the real secret. Even a couple which I did following AoA '0 returns' - obviously the buyer went elsewhere/shot for themselves/gave up; and no-one else needed the subject.

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On 10/4/2017 at 17:14, famousbelgian said:

 

Yes, exactly, couldn't agree more. The more "Alamywacks" the better, I certainly have many. These are searches that only return ONE image on Alamy. Many of my sales have resulted from Alamywacks. I am constantly staggered at some of the searches I see on Alamy.

 

Go obscure, go niche, keyword well, and your sales will come. 175 sales per year from 3670 images tells me there is some truth in this.

 

Marc

 

"I am constantly staggered at some of the searches I see on Alamy."  Couldn't agree more.  I have been watching what is selling, using Alamy Measures, and the search terms used that produced those sales.  I realize those figures do not reflect any distributor stats, but, holy crap, it can be rather disheartening.  I have no idea how I have a rolling CTR of .91.  I'm just glad I have other income to rely on.  :rolleyes:

 

Notwithstanding the niche angle, I will continue to concentrate on understanding what constitutes a good editorial image and try my best to improve in that area with what subject matter I have available locally.   

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Posted (edited)
On 10/5/2017 at 22:41, Cryptoprocta said:

Congratulations! I have some Alamywhacks, but no-one seems interested. I never seem to discover the 'unfound niches' which buyers want! That's the real secret. Even a couple which I did following AoA '0 returns' - obviously the buyer went elsewhere/shot for themselves/gave up; and no-one else needed the subject.

 

So the secret is that 0 views in 1 search (or 1 UCO) means: - not a whole lot / -probably nothing at all.

Look for less than 100 views for many UCO. But hold on: there's no way you can see that in AoA.

So you do have to look at AoA with some knowledge about the subject. Or you have to be prepared to do many reverse look-ups.

Click on the actual search phrase to see how many images there really are for that phrase. Then use the main subject(s) as a term in AoA and see how many searches there have been and what the usual search phrases have been for it. Now decide whether it's a niche worth pursuing.

 

But hold on again: you're not there yet with finding the niche. You also have to produce an image that is better or at least as good as what's already out there.

For that use the found search phrases in Google Image to see what images are actually being used. Google Image will produce supply and demand alike, so you'll need some intelligence to sort that out as well.

 

Now for the hard part: after you've produced your image, insert it in that Google Image page and/or in the Alamy results page. OK inserting it is not very easy, so just pretend. Use an image viewer that allows you to scale down your image to the size that Google use; resize your window and just place it on top of one of those pages.

(Just google borderless image viewer mac/windows.)

And see if your image holds up.

This is one of those moments where having been to art school; a good photo class/course or similar will help: you will have learned to assess the quality of your own work. Well usually ;-) .

 

Start with a subject you know more of than others (or have access to more than others) and then give it your best shot. (Yes pun intended.)

 

wim

Edited by wiskerke
idiom
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Posted (edited)
On 10/5/2017 at 16:41, Cryptoprocta said:

I have some Alamywhacks

 

 

Alamywhack = all one or more returns on search from single contrib...?

Alamycoup = all one or more zooms on search are from single contrib...?

Edited by JeffGreenberg

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2 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

So the secret is that 0 views in 1 search (or 1 UCO) means: - not a whole lot / -probably nothing at all.

Look for less than 100 views for many UCO. But hold on: there's no way you can see that in AoA.

So you do have to look at AoA with some knowledge about the subject. Or you have to be prepared to do many reverse look-ups.

Click on the actual search phrase to see how many images there really are for that phrase. Then use the main subject(s) as a term in AoA and see how many searches there have been and what the usual search phrases have been for it. Now decide whether it's a niche worth pursuing.

 

But hold on again: you're not there yet with finding the niche. You also have to produce an image that is better or at least as good as what's already out there.

For that use the found search phrases in Google Image to see what images are actually being used. Google Image will produce supply and demand alike, so you'll need some intelligence to sort that out as well.

 

Now for the hard part: after you've produced your image, insert it in that Google Image page and/or in the Alamy results page. OK inserting it is not very easy, so just pretend. Use an image viewer that allows you to scale down your image to the size that Google use; resize your window and just place it on top of one of those pages.

(Just google borderless image viewer mac/windows.)

And see if your image holds up.

This is one of those moments where having been to art school; a good photo class/course or similar will help: you will have learned to assess the quality of your own work. Well usually ;-) .

 

Start with a subject you know more of than others (or have access to more than others) and then give it your best shot. (Yes pun intended.)

 

wim

 

You've just made my head hurt.

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