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What percent of your views are bad but necessary?


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My Alamy measures registered a search for "goldenrod" recently that turned up nine of my photos, eight of which are photos of entire and dissected galls created by the goldenrod gall fly. I seriously doubt that anyone searching just for "goldenrod" is looking for a photo of galls, but I can't possibly remove goldenrod as a keyword from these photos if I hope to have anyone who is looking for goldenrod galls find them. I consider these to be "bad but necessary" views--views that ultimately put a dent in my click through rate, but apart from moving "goldenrod" to the position with lowest priority for the search engine, there's not much I can do about them.

 

I check my views daily to see if I ought to be adding or (more often) removing keywords, and this often involves judgement calls. For example, I long ago removed "black background" from my photos of a panther chameleon against a black background because I was getting too many hits for "black panther." If someone actually wants a photo of a chameleon on a black background, I'm going to have to hope they choose to wade through all the chameleon photos (or use the "cutout" function) rather than search for something like "chameleon black background."

 

I checked my 65 most recent views (a few days' worth for my small collection) and found that 21 of them (32%, very nearly a third) were "bad but necessary." Now I'm wondering how that compares to other contributors. I counted eight of my nine goldenrod views as bad, so they account for a significant portion of those 21 bad views, but I don't think that's a particularly unusual event. Incidentally, in spite of what seems to me a pretty high proportion of bad views, I have a very good CTR (typically about three times the Alamy average), and I'm usually only about 10% to 12% from the top of the BHZ list (bottom of page 3 at the moment).

 

What portion of your own views are "bad but necessary"?

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Not checked in detail but loads of bad but necessary views. Better to be in the marketplace and suffer the hit in CTR in my view.

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Use the 3 importance levels and this should not be as big a problem.

 

An image of a gall only, that happens to be on a goldenrod, should be keyworded with gall at the top level, and goldenrod at the bottom level.

 

Then a search for "gall" only should place it at the top of the search. Likewise a search for "goldenrod" and "gall" should place it at the top.

 

A search for "goldenrod" only, should place it behind all goldenrod plant images. More than likely the client would never see it.

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If I were keywording that I might even think about separating the two syllables and quote it "golden rod" or [golden rod],  [golden rod gall fly]. Even though I don’t think quotes or brackets do anything but take up space. No wonder my ctr is not so great and my rank is suffering.

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I think that this is par for the course, particularly with such a small specialised collection. I would guess that this issue will reduce as your collection grows unless your subjects are all so specialised.

 

As you are on page 3 of the BHZ you are clearly doing something right.

 

 

dov

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It happens a lot, can't quantify it exactly, but I see it on a daily basis.

Seems to happen particularly with words from the caption that are not in keywords, but are necessary in the caption.

 

As we're all in the same boat I don't worry about it ;)

 

Phil

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At a quick glance for May, my views to date are 308 and I reckon on less than 5% being totally spurious, which I am quite happy with.

 

Of the totally spurious views, I am happy my keywording is ok. It is pretty obvious what they are looking for but the search engine just throws up some strange hits.

e.g.

"Asian family London" brings up images of the 2010 Elephant Parade in aid of the Elephant Family charity for Asian elephants. "Elephant Family" is in esskeys, "Asian elephant" in main and "London" in neither - only caption and location.

"University Kitchen" throws up Kitchen Bridge on the river Cam in Cambridge. It is a bridge called Kitchen Bridge, part of one of the colleges of Cambridge University. "University" is in esskeys, "Kitchen" in main.

 

However in some cases, I have no idea what the searcher intended...

"Blakely" shows a pub in Hampstead where Ruth Ellis shot David Blakely.

"indian institute" shows the American Indian museum in the Smithsonian Institute

 

Yes, they are all probably not what the searcher wants to see, but as long as it stays at around the 5% mark, I assume I am not doing too much wrong in the keyword department.

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@CandyAppleRed: Only 5%! I'm very impressed.

 

I should point out that I'm not actually all that concerned about my 32% bad hits. My photos show up early in the searches that count (those that might conceivably result in sales), and a high CTR means customers apparently like what they see on those searches. Perhaps the person who searched for "goldenrod" will need goldenrod galls sometime down the road, in which case he or she will now know where to look. All of which leads me to support Bryan's view: Best to stay in the market (though I'd add, so long as staying in the market doesn't hurt my rank so much that I wind up at the end of the legit searches). As with most things in life, it's a balancing act.

 

Today I had a bad (but necessary) view on "New Forest Cyclist," which turned up a photo I took of a cyclist in a forest in New Jersey, and it leaves me wondering whether people in places like New Jersey and New York aren't at a disadvantaged compared to those of us who shoot predominantly in places (e.g., Massachusetts, my home state) whose names have little chance of contributing to bad views. Of course, a functioning way to link keywords (the way quotation marks are theoretically going to work some day...) would prevent a large portion of these bad views, making the system more efficient for both photographers and customers, but "someday" is looking more and more like "never" to me.

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Thank you OP and responders to this topic. I thought it was just me. Have only 1167 images up and today's view numbers were 1024, no zooms.

 

Search term, 'Manchester Wheel', referring to Manchester's version of the London Eye, I assume. The images returned were of aircraft on landing approach with gear down.

 

Another quick one, 'Bull running' returns images of Staffordshire bull terrier running. Not what a client is looking for but the descriptions of the unwanted images are correct.

 

I try to keep my descriptions of images as sparse as possible to try and filter out these occurrences. ( I still get a lot of 'correct' hits, so it's a system that works for me). It is a bit of a let down when you see a lot of views on your images and then discover that most of them are false ones.

 

Vagaries of the search system that have me shrugging my shoulders and making a promise to myself to comb through my images and refine the search terms as much as possible. Such a large gap between 'promise' and 'I'll get right on that'...sigh.

 

Krisken

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Mark,

 

One view/image/day is a very high average. One per month is more like it.

Yet I seem-touch wood-to be getting consistently high views, over 600 on average per day. Most odd...

 

I don't assume it's anything to do with how we keyword our images, I suspect your skills are very high in that regard. Again, most odd.

 

Krisken

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Interesting debate - decided to check out my own pics with following results of % views per day of each portfolio. Took average sample of two weeks in April.

 

RM images - 9.5%pd

RF images - 4.9%pd

Old performing images - 14.8%

Non performing images - 2.0%pd

 

I suspect that key wording and subject matter play a part in the wild differences.

 

dov

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That seems staggeringly high, a top ranked pseudo would get 4-5 views per image per month. Your views per month would be around 12,000 in the first page of measures??

Ah...Not per image, overall. My mistake...it usually is. Sorry for the confusion.

 

Krisken

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