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This is me stumbling around trying to learn something so I am not trying to be an expert.  Its trial and error discovering how the search engine works so I and others can use it to our advantage.

Here are a few more examples of how critical it is to use as many combinations of keywords as possible.   I recently uploaded some photos of a Champagne bottle and some glasses filled and unfilled with the bubbly stuff.  I did my keywording and then the following day after they went live I started searching for my photos.  Now this is where getting old and having a really bad memory pays off.  I can’t remember the keywords that I used on my images the day before so I just start typing something.  Honestly most of the time I can’t remember what the images were.  I have a fairly high Alamy rank (right now) so I expect to see my images on the first page for most searches.  I searched for Champagne bottle and my first photo didn’t show up until page 3 of 13,061 images returned, so I figured I did something wrong.  I went to manage images and found that I had not used the exact phrase “Champagne Bottle” in my keywords.  So I changed that and added some variations also.  The next search I did was Champagne glass and variations on that theme.  Here are the results.

Four Champagne glasses, 552 images

4 Champagne glasses, 198 images

One Champagne glass, 366 images

1 Champagne glass, 2911 images

Now I thought this was interesting:

Champagne glass one, 2911 images        

Champagne glass 1, 366 images

2 bottles of champagne, 53 images

Two bottles of Champagne, 246

Champagne bottles two, 246

Champagne bottles 2, 53

So it seem like putting to many variations in this situation would not help much.  The search engine seems to be able to pick up the different order of the words in each phrase and return approximately the same result.  But you may want to try variations as it also changes the order of the images.  Here is a good one to try,  “Golden Gate Bridge” and “Bridge Golden Gate” and Gate Bridge Golden or any other combination.  I always get the same amount of images of the Bridge, but in a completely different order.  Very interesting.   So I have created a test image DHY4WK with the words one through ten and the NATO phonetic alphabet.  I want to test if I can put random combinations together and still get my photo.  It turns out that if I use any combination of these 36 keywords I will find my image.  I will leave the image up so other people can try the combinations.  When I searched I found the image on page 2 in some searches, on page one in others and if I used a really random string it would be the only image.  I would try at least 3 keywords because for some searches you will get other images.  For example if I use the string “yankee golf eight lima” my image is the only one that shows up. 

I also wanted to test the location filter so in the location field I put the following:  Los Angeles California USA Europe United Kingdom UK EU .  When I engage the location filter the only problem I had was with the Europe filter.  My image doesn’t show up when that is engaged, but does with USA or UK applied.  I am thinking what was wrong with my original search for “Champagne Bottle” was that I had not included the word “bottle” as any of my keywords so my image was relegated to a lower position in the search.

Here are the test image details.

Image: DHY4WK

Essential keywords: one two three four five six seven eight nine ten

Main Keywords: alfa bravo charlie delta echo foxtrot golf hotel india juliett kilo lima mike november oscar papa quebec romeo sierra tango uniform victor whiskey xray yankee zulu

Location: Los Angeles California USA Europe United Kingdom UK EU

 

It seems as though some people may already know this stuff, but it is new to me and hopefully a few others out there.  I struggle to come up with creative phrases to include in my keywords and I am beginning to think it isn’t necessary.  It probably stems from the way the male brain works.  So I get keywords like, Dog, brown, big, and not much else.  David Davies posted a link in the forum topic “need help with keywords” to a keyword generating tool that I found really helpful.  Check it out.  I have been considering a keyword program but don’t want something that generates a lot of irrelevant keywords.   

 

 

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Don't quote me on these numbers because they are not mine and they were estimates, but Alamy only has about 5% of the stock photography market and Getty about 25-30% Corbis a little less and others have small pieces of the pie.  I'm sorry I can't find the article any longer about this to verify these numbers.  The point is that Alamy has a great potential to increase sales by stealing market share from the other big players in the industry.  They are already making a dent in the U.S. market which is where I am at so it looks like a growing market to me.  If I was in the UK or Europe I would be looking for subjects with more than just local appeal.  I know it may not be easy but worth a try.  I can see by looking at the "have you found any Alamy Photographs" thread there is a large local market there in the UK.  I have sold images to the NHS, a German magazine, a UK based fishing website, and others so some subjects are universal.  Prices are terrible and that has to improve or people will leave as the cost of production will exceed returns.  We are now much like farmers providing a commodity to a global market so with supply outstripping demand prices are low.  The Global recession has to end sometime and I think demand will increase as the economy gets better.

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Interesting study.

 

I typed in laughing hyena.  All 5 of my hyena shots are there. But when I typed in "laughing hyena" only 1 shot shows up as in the other four I had pluralized the word hyenas after the word laughing, not thinking of exact searches of a very common phrase.

 

Gotta fix that

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I typed in laughing hyena.  All 5 of my hyena shots are there. But when I typed in "laughing hyena" only 1 shot shows up as in the other four I had pluralized the word hyenas after the word laughing, not thinking of exact searches of a very common phrase.

 

 

This is true. I suspect it's a natural by-product of the search algorithm rather than a deliberate design feature, but it does raise some interesting thoughts. For example, if you have a shopping centre in a city centre, do you keyword "shopping centre city centre" to make sure of catching either phrase? Do you keyword it "shopping centre city centre shopping center city center" to catch international searches? And what if there's a leisure centre inside the shopping centre?

 

Or do you look at AoA and see that in the last 30 days, out of 5441 pages of searches, only 18 pages included quotation marks, and decide it's just not worth bothering about?

 

Alan

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I typed in laughing hyena.  All 5 of my hyena shots are there. But when I typed in "laughing hyena" only 1 shot shows up as in the other four I had pluralized the word hyenas after the word laughing, not thinking of exact searches of a very common phrase.

 

 

This is true. I suspect it's a natural by-product of the search algorithm rather than a deliberate design feature, but it does raise some interesting thoughts. For example, if you have a shopping centre in a city centre, do you keyword "shopping centre city centre" to make sure of catching either phrase? Do you keyword it "shopping centre city centre shopping center city center" to catch international searches? And what if there's a leisure centre inside the shopping centre?

 

Or do you look at AoA and see that in the last 30 days, out of 5441 pages of searches, only 18 pages included quotation marks, and decide it's just not worth bothering about?

 

Alan

 

 

My feelings exactly!  For those that have the energy and time - and figure that it involves returns which justify the effort - then by all means crack on!

 

Personally, I think that picture researchers are prone to be just like the majority of the rest of humanity and in the main will perform lazy searches; only making the effort to go the 'extra mile' if they can't find what they want quickly with a simple search.

 

I endeavour to make sure that my images have the appropriate keywords inc. international spellings, plurals and some common misspellings.  I also try to put some semblance of grammatical order to them, but I don't kill myself on this front, as I have found that putting some words together in 'logical' order, then puts others out of order: I rely on my caption to get the word order correct for me.

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"I am thinking what was wrong with my original search for “Champagne Bottle” was that I had not included the word “bottle” as any of my keywords so my image was relegated to a lower position in the search."

 

 

yes, that would be , not unreasonably, the case

 

km

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What I learned from this is that there does not need to be a logical order to your words and you don't need to create phrases with plurals.  With the example of "Laughing Hyena" all you would need to add is the plural word "hyenas" and the search engine will pick it up, it seems to put a low signifigance on word order.  As far as different spellings I think just adding the one word with the different spelling is sufficient without creating a whole new phrase.  The test image is still up so you can try it out with the keywords listed above.  I tried many combinations of the keywords and that image always showed up.  With fewer keywords it shows up with other photos, but as more keywords are used the fewer other images are returned in the search.  I do often miss the obvious when initially adding keywords.  Thats why I check my work.

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What I learned from this is that there does not need to be a logical order to your words and you don't need to create phrases with plurals.  With the example of "Laughing Hyena" all you would need to add is the plural word "hyenas" and the search engine will pick it up, it seems to put a low signifigance on word order.  As far as different spellings I think just adding the one word with the different spelling is sufficient without creating a whole new phrase.  The test image is still up so you can try it out with the keywords listed above.  I tried many combinations of the keywords and that image always showed up.  With fewer keywords it shows up with other photos, but as more keywords are used the fewer other images are returned in the search.  I do often miss the obvious when initially adding keywords.  Thats why I check my work.

 

I think the only time the search engine pays strict attention to the order is if it is an exact search, with quotes.  As per my hyena example, 4 of my pics did not show up in the search if it was an exact search, but they did with an ambiguous search.

 

Then I think it is based on rank and where the keywords are (essential, main, etc)

 

As for leaving out obvious keywords, hey, I had pics of a lioness. I had lioness in the keywords, but totally left out lion.

Edited by Jill Morgan
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I'm quoting you (my bold)

 

Don't quote me on these numbers because they are not mine and they were estimates, but Alamy only has about 5% of the stock photography market and Getty about 25-30% Corbis a little less and others have small pieces of the pie.  I'm sorry I can't find the article any longer about this to verify these numbers.  The point is that Alamy has a great potential to increase sales by stealing market share from the other big players in the industry.  They are already making a dent in the U.S. market which is where I am at so it looks like a growing market to me.  If I was in the UK or Europe I would be looking for subjects with more than just local appeal.  I know it may not be easy but worth a try.  I can see by looking at the "have you found any Alamy Photographs" thread there is a large local market there in the UK.  I have sold images to the NHS, a German magazine, a UK based fishing website, and others so some subjects are universal.  Prices are terrible and that has to improve or people will leave as the cost of production will exceed returns.  We are now much like farmers providing a commodity to a global market so with supply outstripping demand prices are low.  The Global recession has to end sometime and I think demand will increase as the economy gets better.

 

If Alamy had 5% share then they ought to generating revenues of around $140m. 

 

GSIM Survey 2012:

 

Total industry gross turnover: $2.88 billion (1,950 Operative Firms)

Large firms:  Getty, Corbis, Shutterstock and Fotolia:  $1.4 billion revenue

Medium sized firms:  Dreamstime, Alamy and several others:  $156 million

 

Alamy revenue for 2012 (DueDil):   $25 million  (0.98% share)**

 

"Prices are terrible and that has to improve" (it is hard to see how Alamy can break the hegemony of Getty and Corbis without making prices even more terrible)

 

** Correction: 0.89% share

Edited by Robert Brook
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I'm quoting you (my bold)

 

....

 

Alamy revenue for 2012 (DueDil):   $25 million  (0.98% share)

 

...

 

 

Does anyone have Alamy's turnover for past 5-10 years - It would be interesting to see how it has changed since before the financial crisis.

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