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How do I improve discoverability?


John Bingham
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Hi All,

 

I've got approximately 1,600 photos uploaded atm but have only sold a couple - they're all marked as "poor discoverability" and was wondering if anyone had any tips to improve this?

 

TIA,

 

John

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4 hours ago, John Bingham said:

they're all marked as "poor discoverability" and was wondering if anyone had any tips to improve this?

John,

 

You're not to know this but this question comes up a lot and many here are frustrated that Alamy haven't taken any steps to address this confusion. Certainly search the forum, there is some very useful information on here but the short answer is that 'poor' discoverability doesn't per se have any effect on your saleability, in other words you are not penalised for it by the search algorithm. Many are tempted to add a lot of irrelevent keywords just to hit the green but that can be counter-productive as your image will come up in searches where it won't be relevant and this can damage your click-through rate (CTR) and the algorithm might in fact punish you for that. Try also to put a lot of the basic information in the caption as well as the keywords. So, just as an example, I looked at your picture simply captioned 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', I might have added to the caption that it was a memorial and that it was at the Tower of London, even possibly the year. But I'm no expert either.

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^^ What Harry said, plus you need to do your homework.

You have some photos all titled 'Butterfly's at London Zoo'. Apart from the 'confusing and unneeded' "'s", you need to find out the exact species, in English and Scientific Latin. Also the name of the flower, ditto. Otherwise, how can a potential buyer find your photo?

The fact the photo was taken in London Zoo is irrelevant to the image, plus a lot of zoos don't like you to sell images taken there, so why potentially attract their attention?

 

Do you know the name of the athlete in #2G4WFW5? That info could be very useful to a potential buyer.

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And as far as I know from other agencies all Grafitti-pictures would need an art release.... You did not even put them on "editorial".
You could get into big trouble selling them without release or editorial.
That´s one side of Alamy - they don´t curate your pics if they do violate laws - especially concerning people, art and buildings you would need a release for. Alamy excepts (nearly) everything.
Other big agencies do reject pictures they see a possible law-conflict in.
You should find out more about that law side, what can leaglly be sold and what not.

 

"How do I know if I need a release?

Check if your use is commercial or editorial . You don’t normally need a release for editorial use but there are some exceptions which we explain later. If your use is commercial and your image features people or property then you will probably need a release."

And I´m quite sure that woman at the zoo is not allowed. All zoos I know (and even most botanical gardens and other parks you pay an etrance fee for) do not allow picture taking for sale. You have to buy a licence from them if you want to take pictures for any other use than strictly private.
And you would need a model release from that woman feeding the penguins.

You won´t believe what things have been rejected for me during the past 4 years-  pictures taken in my own basement and in my house needed an official property release from ... myself. Even the toilet in my bathroom needed a property release....

 

Edited by TeleMakro
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34 minutes ago, TeleMakro said:

And as far as I know from other agencies all Grafitti-pictures would need an art release.... You did not even put them on "editorial".
You could get into big trouble selling them without release or editorial.
That´s one side of Alamy - they don´t curate your pics if they do violate laws - especially concerning people, art and buildings you would need a release for. Alamy excepts (nearly) everything.
Other big agencies do reject pictures they see a possible law-conflict in.
You should find out more about that law side, what can leaglly be sold and what not.

 

"How do I know if I need a release?

Check if your use is commercial or editorial . You don’t normally need a release for editorial use but there are some exceptions which we explain later. If your use is commercial and your image features people or property then you will probably need a release."

And I´m quite sure that woman at the zoo is not allowed. All zoos I know (and even most botanical gardens and other parks you pay an etrance fee for) do not allow picture taking for sale. You have to buy a licence from them if you want to take pictures for any other use than strictly private.
And you would need a model release from that woman feeding the penguins.

You won´t believe what things have been rejected for me during the past 4 years-  pictures taken in my own basement and in my house needed an official property release from ... myself. Even the toilet in my bathroom needed a property release....

 

Thanks for the advice everyone and as you can tell I'm clueless about the law. I did mark the zoo woman as having people but no model release so wouldn't that then mark it as editorial in their database?

Anyway I'll go through my photos and have a think.

Cheers

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I'd say that you would make your images much more genuinely discoverable if you work through them and give them proper captions. I didn't look at your keywords. 

 

The caption has to concisely tell the story of the image - what is it, where is it? And also if possible why it is of significance. 

 

I'm basing this comment on images which are captioned 'British Museum' and nothing else.

 

My guess is that you are writing captions and keywords ( just had a quick look) for a micro stock market rather than the primarily editorial one that is Alamy's. A microstrock client may be looking for some/any gold coins to use in a design but an Alamy customer is more likely to want to know which specific gold coins they are.

 

I'd say that Alamy's discoverability tool is irrelevant to what your real problem is. 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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On 08/01/2022 at 08:24, TeleMakro said:

And as far as I know from other agencies all Grafitti-pictures would need an art release.... You did not even put them on "editorial".
You could get into big trouble selling them without release or editorial.
That´s one side of Alamy - they don´t curate your pics if they do violate laws - especially concerning people, art and buildings you would need a release for. Alamy excepts (nearly) everything.
Other big agencies do reject pictures they see a possible law-conflict in.
You should find out more about that law side, what can leaglly be sold and what not.

 

 

 

not going to disagree with the conclusion about graffiti, but one caveat that other agencies practice are not really something to rely for legality, in the end the responsibility is with the photographer, regardless of their pseudo "law-conflict" rejections. 

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New contributors to Alamy should be very clear that Alamy works in a different way.  Most microstock agencies inspect 100% of submissions,  QC'ing for image content as well as technical quality, and therefore will often reject unreleased images submitted for commercial use which may infringe copyright, IP rights or personal rights. Because of this, microstock contributors sometimes develop a combative relationship with microstock QC procedures, trying to see what they can get past them.

 

On the other hand Alamy make no inspection of image content and places responsibility fully (contractually) on the contributor to make sure their unreleased images do not infringe any IP rights. Alamy also, as a matter of policy, only inspect a small sample of each submission and expect the contributor to have made sure all images in the submission are of an acceptable technical standard and have any necessary releases, or are marked as having people or property with no release.  Microstock contributors coming to Alamy in the past have made the mistake of not recognising these two very different ways of working and are misleadingly pleased when all their images sail through QC. It may never be a problem, but the potential for IP issues  to come back and bite the contributor do exist.

 

The issue of graffiti is one of particular note. Grafitti is generally treated as copyright artwork and Alamy advise not to include any images of such unless a the image sets them in a significant wider context. They have from time to time trawled grafitti images here and asked contributors to remove those where the artwork is the major part of the image. If images feathering graffiti are retained, it is probably wise to tick the 'Editorial Use Only' box for additional protection.

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On 1/9/2022 at 3:22 PM, Joseph Clemson said:

New contributors to Alamy should be very clear that Alamy works in a different way.  Most microstock agencies inspect 100% of submissions,  QC'ing for image content as well as technical quality, and therefore will often reject unreleased images submitted for commercial use which may infringe copyright, IP rights or personal rights. Because of this, microstock contributors sometimes develop a combative relationship with microstock QC procedures, trying to see what they can get past them.

 

On the other hand Alamy make no inspection of image content and places responsibility fully (contractually) on the contributor to make sure their unreleased images do not infringe any IP rights. Alamy also, as a matter of policy, only inspect a small sample of each submission and expect the contributor to have made sure all images in the submission are of an acceptable technical standard and have any necessary releases, or are marked as having people or property with no release.  Microstock contributors coming to Alamy in the past have made the mistake of not recognising these two very different ways of working and are misleadingly pleased when all their images sail through QC. It may never be a problem, but the potential for IP issues  to come back and bite the contributor do exist.

 

The issue of graffiti is one of particular note. Grafitti is generally treated as copyright artwork and Alamy advise not to include any images of such unless a the image sets them in a significant wider context. They have from time to time trawled grafitti images here and asked contributors to remove those where the artwork is the major part of the image. If images feathering graffiti are retained, it is probably wise to tick the 'Editorial Use Only' box for additional protection.

 have to tick "editorial" if I mark as RF. In case I enter RM? It does not allow me to check editorial !!!
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If you are setting your licence type as RM you should still have the option of ticking the box 'Sell for editorial only'. If something is preventing you ticking this box you should contact contributor support (contributors@alamy.com) for assistance.

 

Ticking this box  is less important when the licence type is RM as the purchaser has to specify to Alamy the purpose for which the image is being licenced and the licence is valid for that usage only. It gives Alamy a measure of control to reduce the likelihood of an image which is only suitable for editorial being used for a commercial purpose.

 

If the licence type is RF then the image can legitimately be reused multiple times by the purchaser in multiple publications. Ticking the 'Sell for editorial only' box in this case still allows multiple uses of the image, but makes clear to the purchaser that any further usage still needs to meet the criteria for editorial usage.

 

None of this actually prevents a purchaser abusing and misusing an image once it has been licenced, with or without the box being ticked, but making images 'sell for editorial only' does make clear that any misuse is a breach of the licence conditions and helps protect the contributor in case of any legal fallout arising.

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