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I need some advice from the forum in terms of a keyword problem issue. The issue was sent to Alamy and they replied there is nothing I can do but I am wondering if other contributors have found a way around it.  Here is my email to them and then their reply.  Any advice is appreciated.

 

My email:

 

In the past month someone has been searching for photos of Geneva in Switzerland and it keeps happening.  Unfortunately I have posted a cadre of photos of Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, a resort town in Ohio, USA.  "Geneva" is not in any of my search terms but instead it should only be coming up in the search engine when it is as I have put it, "Geneva-on-the-Lake" with hyphens as the town is known.  My CTR has taken a major hit because of over 100 views over several sessions. How do I stop my photos from appearing for searches of "Geneva"? If you put in the search engine "Geneva-on-the-Lake" you will see I am the only one to have photos posted of this popular northeast US resort town and that none of the search terms are "Geneva" on its own. I cannot strip the photos of their title "Geneva-on-the-Lake" otherwise they will obviously not be found. 

 

Alamy reply:

If you have ‘Geneva’ anywhere in the tags or captions of your images, they will appear in a search for ‘Geneva’ even if the word is part of a multi-word tag. Our search engine doesn’t recognise most punctuation such as apostrophes, hyphens etc so have ‘Geneva-on-the-Lake" won’t make a difference.There is no way you can stop images of “Geneva-on-the-Lake" from appearing in a search for ‘Geneva’ unless you remove this word.

Obviously I cannot remove the name of the town otherwise people who are looking for photos of Geneva-on-the-Lake will not appear.  Has anyone found a way around this type of situation?

 

Some other examples may be if I put up photos of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Would searches for "santa" bring up my photos of Santa Fe? If someone is searching for photos of "Mexico", will photos of New Mexico (the state) come up in the search? If there are photos of New York, will the search "York" bring up photos of the city in the US instead of York England? There has to be a way for terms that cannot be left out of keywording be delineated but I am at a loss as to how.  When I wrote earlier that over 100 views over several sessions is impacting my CTR, I should clarify that over 100 of my photos (several repeat searches) of Geneva-on-the-Lake have been viewed with no zooms of them seeing as what is being searched for is a completely different locale. 

Edited by MarkK
added other examples to clarify

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I don't think there is much you can do about this, other than making “Geneva-on-the-Lake" a supertag (hyphens probably not needed) in AIM.

 

I live in British Columbia, so I get all kinds of false positives -- British pubs, British bulldogs, British totem poles, British anything.

 

This sort of thing seems inevitable, so I've stopped being concerned about it.

Edited by John Mitchell

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35 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I don't think there is much you can do about this, other than making “Geneva-on-the-Lake" a supertag (hyphens probably not needed) in AIM.

 

I live in British Columbia, so I get all kinds of false positives -- British pubs, British bulldogs, British totem poles, British anything.

 

This sort of thing seems inevitable, so I've stopped being concerned about it.

 I was about to suggest this. i.e Don't get overly concerned about false views. Everyone gets them at some time or another so you're not going to be selectively penalised.

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6 hours ago, MarkK said:

 

Some other examples may be if I put up photos of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Would searches for "santa" bring up my photos of Santa Fe? If someone is searching for photos of "Mexico", will photos of New Mexico (the state) come up in the search? If there are photos of New York, will the search "York" bring up photos of the city in the US instead of York England? There has to be a way for terms that cannot be left out of keywording be delineated but I am at a loss as to how.  When I wrote earlier that over 100 views over several sessions is impacting my CTR, I should clarify that over 100 of my photos (several repeat searches) of Geneva-on-the-Lake have been viewed with no zooms of them seeing as what is being searched for is a completely different locale. 

 

 

Yes Santa Fe images will be in the results for searches for Santa. Which is why most researchers are clever enough to be looking for Santa Claus.

The ones that get to view your first Geneva Ohio picture when searching for that Swiss place, are already 7 pages (@100) into their search, using just the keyword Geneva.

That is pretty deep already for a generic search like that.

But you still want to sink deeper? For Geneva on the Lake OH you have the monopoly: no good ranking needed there. So I guess there's not much harm in sinking lower.

You could remove the word Geneva from the Caption and from the supertags, that will send your images way way down for just Geneva.

Maybe just removing it from tags and supertags is enough for your images. If you do it now in batch mode, you will know tomorrow after the database has been refreshed, if that works well enough for you.

 

wim

 

edit: if you search All of Alamy (AoA) for Geneva-on-the-lake, you'll see that clients have searched for it twice this rolling year using Geneva on the lake. And once using Geneva Ohio.

Edited by wiskerke
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Thank you for your responses as I know all of you are seasoned veterans with Alamy (I don't contribute to the discussion board but I do follow many of them). 

 

As for being overly concerned, I am usually not but haven't had this problem, to this extent, in the two years since joining.  John....thank you for the perspective as I can only imagine the false positives you get with British Columbia. It seems that whoever is trying to get photos of Geneva was doing it nearly daily for awhile there as they were using the same terms and views of my photos kept coming up.  I presume after the constant false positives my photos have been buried pretty deep after the past couple weeks (thank you Wiskerke....I think they are deep enough now : )  I do like your suggestions about removing the word Geneva from the caption and from the supertags which I will do to hopefully reinforce their not appearing.  Since the terms Geneva-on-the-Lake was only searched for twice and Geneva Ohio once this past year I can only see it as helping me to remove them. 

 

Thanks again.....much appreciated.

 

Mark

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This seems to be a case for Alamy to raise their game with an improved search engine. Although Ido not think it is too much of a problem for Alamy as it seems to be for their contributors.

 

Allan

 

 

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We're also always going to have to accept the vaguaries of how people actually use the search tools. For example a search for North Pennines AONB (my colouring for emphasis) produces 928 results, and that search term is an all of the words search. Changing the order of those 3 words (I used AONB Pennines North) produced exactly the same result, i.e. 928 pictures

 

However, put it into quotes "North Pennines AONB" (i.e. exact phrase search) and the number comes down to 467. I also notice that clicking on the options of New, Creative and Relevant changes the search results as well.

 

Using that exact phrase search term and clicking on New, presents the results in date of upload order. However, clicking on Creative or Relevant changes the display order of the search results. I would be interested to learn how the decision as to the order of "creativity" is made, and what is the definition of "creative" anyway? Clicking on Relevant seems to make no difference as to the order of displayed results either.

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3 minutes ago, Richard Laidler said:

I would be interested to learn how the decision as to the order of "creativity" is made, and what is the definition of "creative" anyway? Clicking on Relevant seems to make no difference as to the order of displayed results either.

 

Creative is an industry term and means having all or not needing any releases. So the image can be used for commercial purposes.

Whether it is not widely used in the UK at all or most Alamy contributors are lay people, it always causes a lot of confusion and people think there must be some creativity involved.

 

On Alamy Creative has gone through different stages and how the current selection is made is only understandable when your images are included. However, some of mine are included and I still don't understand. For some, sales seem to play a part, but some others that have sold a lot more often or for far higher fees, have not been included. For the ones that are included, but have never sold, it's even a deeper mystery.

The same holds for the order in which the Relevant category is shown btw. After the major changes in December 2016, sales were to play a part in the placing of the individual images in stead of the ranking of a pseudo's portfolio.

While the latter certainly got shaken up because all of the contributor's images suddenly were treated as one portfolio, some contributors including me, have reported that the opposite has happened to the individual images: some (actually a lot) best-sellers got buried down very deep.

There have been changes over time since, but what now constitutes Relevant or Creative is anybody's guess. Probably including the clients.

 

Btw Creative is the default if you're a first time visitor or have just cleaned out your cookies.

Alamy has always maintained there was no human element involved in ranking. It was all algorithm. With the exception at one point of Creative, where the staff actually could promote an image or even a whole collection. So whether this is still the case or not, the algorithm certainly does allow it.

 

wim

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11 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

Creative is an industry term and means having all or not needing any releases.

 

Ah - thank you. I'm no longer one of the confused!

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On 9/17/2018 at 12:58, John Mitchell said:

I don't think there is much you can do about this, other than making “Geneva-on-the-Lake" a supertag (hyphens probably not needed) in AIM.

 

I live in British Columbia, so I get all kinds of false positives -- British pubs, British bulldogs, British totem poles, British anything.

 

This sort of thing seems inevitable, so I've stopped being concerned about it.

 

I feel the same, also living in BC.  And then there's all the false positives with Columbia in there as well.

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I just started going through all of my Geneva-on-the-Lake photos to take out the "Geneva-on-the-Lake" tags and keywords.

 

I come to find out that my photos of the Hotel Geneve in Mexico City are also included in the monstrous number of views I had last month (and has brought my CTR down quite a bit in the process).  I went through my Hotel Geneve photo keywords/captions thinking I must have put in Geneva instead of Geneve somewhere but that wasn't the case.  It is difficult to understand why if someone would put in the search term Geneva that my photos of the Hotel Geneve have come up.  Either way they were viewed so many times I presume most of them are far down in the search results at this point. 

 

Thinking out loud here.....wish there was a way for search terms submitted by the photographer to be delimited (such as putting NOT Geneva Switzerland or Geneva exact spelling).  It is what it is eh and know it isn't going to change.  It helps to know I am not alone in my frustration with this (especially those who upload from British Columbia....wow). 

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7 hours ago, MarkK said:

I just started going through all of my Geneva-on-the-Lake photos to take out the "Geneva-on-the-Lake" tags and keywords.

 

I come to find out that my photos of the Hotel Geneve in Mexico City are also included in the monstrous number of views I had last month (and has brought my CTR down quite a bit in the process).  I went through my Hotel Geneve photo keywords/captions thinking I must have put in Geneva instead of Geneve somewhere but that wasn't the case.  It is difficult to understand why if someone would put in the search term Geneva that my photos of the Hotel Geneve have come up.  Either way they were viewed so many times I presume most of them are far down in the search results at this point. 

 

Thinking out loud here.....wish there was a way for search terms submitted by the photographer to be delimited (such as putting NOT Geneva Switzerland or Geneva exact spelling).  It is what it is eh and know it isn't going to change.  It helps to know I am not alone in my frustration with this (especially those who upload from British Columbia....wow). 

That’s because Geneva is Geneve in French. And that’s important if you mean the Swiss one.

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Yes, unfortunately I don't want the Swiss one.....My photos are of a resort town in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio thus anytime a search is done for Geneva, Geneva Old Town, or Geneva Switzerland my CTR takes a beating. Then I noted yesterdat that the Hotel Geneve was also being viewed which is in Mexico City, not Geneva, Switzerland thus it isn't only bringing up the word Geneva but also Geneve even though Geneva is the keyword being used for the search.   With the advancement of algorithms it would be nice to say put keywords in quotes if it must be the exact wording.  For example "Geneva Ohio USA" would bring up photos of Geneva, Ohio, USA only.  Last month I had over 100 false views due to this and with a port of only 1300ish photos its a lot.  Someone search for "Geneva", "Geneva Old Town", etc.. and each of those brought up my photos of Geneva-on-the-Lake which I am in the processing of taking the keyword Geneva out (making it somewhat difficult for someone to find the photos but it is what it is eh).  As for the word Geneve I never saw it searched but my photos of the Hotel Geneve in Mexico City still came up in the views. 

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11 hours ago, MarkK said:

Yes, unfortunately I don't want the Swiss one.....My photos are of a resort town in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio thus anytime a search is done for Geneva, Geneva Old Town, or Geneva Switzerland my CTR takes a beating. Then I noted yesterdat that the Hotel Geneve was also being viewed which is in Mexico City, not Geneva, Switzerland thus it isn't only bringing up the word Geneva but also Geneve even though Geneva is the keyword being used for the search.   With the advancement of algorithms it would be nice to say put keywords in quotes if it must be the exact wording.  For example "Geneva Ohio USA" would bring up photos of Geneva, Ohio, USA only.  Last month I had over 100 false views due to this and with a port of only 1300ish photos its a lot.  Someone search for "Geneva", "Geneva Old Town", etc.. and each of those brought up my photos of Geneva-on-the-Lake which I am in the processing of taking the keyword Geneva out (making it somewhat difficult for someone to find the photos but it is what it is eh).  As for the word Geneve I never saw it searched but my photos of the Hotel Geneve in Mexico City still came up in the views. 

But if you take out the word 'Geneva' in your captions/tags, what's the point of having the pics in your port?!!!  You're overthinking this - just accept it and move on!

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Posted (edited)
On 02/10/2018 at 20:14, MarkK said:

Yes, unfortunately I don't want the Swiss one.....My photos are of a resort town in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio thus anytime a search is done for Geneva, Geneva Old Town, or Geneva Switzerland my CTR takes a beating. Then I noted yesterdat that the Hotel Geneve was also being viewed which is in Mexico City, not Geneva, Switzerland thus it isn't only bringing up the word Geneva but also Geneve even though Geneva is the keyword being used for the search.   With the advancement of algorithms it would be nice to say put keywords in quotes if it must be the exact wording.  For example "Geneva Ohio USA" would bring up photos of Geneva, Ohio, USA only.  Last month I had over 100 false views due to this and with a port of only 1300ish photos its a lot.  Someone search for "Geneva", "Geneva Old Town", etc.. and each of those brought up my photos of Geneva-on-the-Lake which I am in the processing of taking the keyword Geneva out (making it somewhat difficult for someone to find the photos but it is what it is eh).  As for the word Geneve I never saw it searched but my photos of the Hotel Geneve in Mexico City still came up in the views. 

It's a very unfortunate 'feature' of Alamy search. Any word in the caption or keywords can be joined to any other, splitting keyword phrases willy-nilly. Putting phrases in quotation marks leads to a much, much cleaner search, but from looking at my customer searches, very few buyers do this - seems odd they wouldn't try it, even if Alamy haven't specifically educated buyers that quotes can be a huge help in getting better results.

 

Like the Col says, there's nothing we can do about it, so just caption and keyword appropriately and you've done all you can.

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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well woke up today to another 24 views of "Geneva School".  none of the photos I have of Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, USA have a school or are tagged with it.  I went through many of them after the previous rounds of false positive reviews and took out the supertag "Geneva-on-the-Lake"....  I may just remove all of my Geneva-on-the-Lake photos at this point as I don't have a large enough portfolio to keep absorbing false positives (over 100 views for Geneva- old town, school, etc over several sessions).  My CTR has really taken a beating so like you said, there is nothing we can do about it in terms of changing the way the search engine works at Alamy.  It has been a learning experience and know that we all share this problem to some degree or another. 

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On 18/09/2018 at 15:17, wiskerke said:

 

Creative is an industry term and means having all or not needing any releases. So the image can be used for commercial purposes.

Looking at Creative search results and where my images place in them, that definition doesn't seem to apply to Alamy. A 'creative' search can have all files needing, but not having, releases.

 

I've never been able to work out why some of my own series rank higher in Creative than others (but then, the same could be said about why some files rank higher in Relevant!).

 

Also ATM for some searches, the Creative search results and the Relevant search results are the same (e.g. 'Glasgow'). (Other searches are different, e.g. London Bridge, but the top 'Creative' images need, but don't have, releases).

 

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On 02/10/2018 at 02:30, MarkK said:

I just started going through all of my Geneva-on-the-Lake photos to take out the "Geneva-on-the-Lake" tags and keywords.

Here are two 'things'.

1. If I were searching Geneva and got pics of Geneva-on-the-Lake, I'd be annoyed, but then I'd search for Geneva Switzerland. If I did that, the revised search wouldn't show in your stats.

2. Searching for Geneva-on-the-lake throws up a lot of pics of Geneva and Lake Geneva, because the search engine just sees Geneva and Lake. Searching for "Geneva on the Lake" seems to show mostly (only?) the American one. Why don't searchers think to do that more often, as searching using quotation marks is common in other places? But also Alamy could educate buyers in using quotation marks to get a cleaner result.

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