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Using quotes when keywording...

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I am starting a new topic on this because it is a bit off the point of the thread on the new zooms. I've had some back and forth with Rehana at Alamy. I wanted to clarify that the quotes are implemented when we keyword as well as when people use them in a search. So she said....

 

"Yes, you’ve got it right. You can keyword two or more phrases in quotes to make sure they turn up only in the relevant searches."

 

I think she means words rather than phrases. This has been unclear in the past. So proximity of words is important and the quotes are effective now but they haven't implemented the brackets.

 

My own experience with the new zooms is that where I have put something (Latin names) in the Caption but not in the Keywords it does not show up in the keywords in the new zooms. If I add the Latin name inside quotes to the Keywords it appears correctly in the new zooms. If I don't put them in quotes the two words turn up separately in their alphabetical order. I suspect this does not affect searches but I'm not going to pursue it further with Alamy.

 

Paulette

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Thanks Paulette

 

As a result of your sterling efforts I have now started using quotes diligently when I am keywording. I will probably use brackets as well when appropriate - I was less concerned about that in the past - it is the incorrect search results that matching on a single word in a phrase I need to avoid. It will help on many of my images, most end up with at least one phrase, usually more.

 

Have a greenie on me!

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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You are very welcome. I have had a tremendous amount of help from people on the Forum so I am happy to be able to contribute some useful information. And maybe this will make up for the times I have told newcomers that they shouldn't bother with brackets and quotes. So sorry.

 

Paulette

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Way back when Alamy was planning on using all the annotations, I began using quotes and brackets. I even went back to old images and added them.

When Alamy decided not to implement them (I think because of all the squawking from agencies and those with huge portfolios) I continued using them and do to this day. During that period of time, it seemed Alamy had a lot of things going, new ideas and implementations, but changed their minds on a regular basis.

 

Because of that tumultuous time, I decided to soldier on, just in case. Yes, it takes a few extra seconds, but if Alamy decides to implement the brackets, I'm covered.

 

Betty

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"Yes, you’ve got it right. You can keyword two or more phrases in quotes to make sure they turn up only in the relevant searches."

If Alamy finally have implemented this it would be good news as it will help us to reduce the number of false hits.

 

However, haven't we been here before?

 

When I first started at Alamy I keyworded using "" and [] because of what it said here http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/annotation-options.asp.

 

After keywording several hundred images I heard that Alamy still had no firm plans to introduce this feature, so I stopped using "" and [].

 

(NB. Do not confuse implementation of "" and [] in contributor keywords, with using "" in customer searches, which does work).

 

Now there's a report that suggests Alamy may at last have implemented this feature (without telling us?).

 

Before we start adjusting keywords (no small task), it would be good to get an update on the official position from Alamy.

 

In the meantime I've just keyworded 8 images with 8 unique combinations of keywords using "" on some of them. Once the database updates I'll test whether the quotes I've put in my keywords have made any difference, and will let you know the results.

 

I've used the "BHZ" principle. The essential keywords I've put against 8 images are

 

Image 1 ABHZ BBHZ CBHZ

Image 2 ABHZ CBHZ BBHZ

Image 3 BBHZ ABHZ CBHZ

Image 4 BBHZ CBHZ ABHZ

Image 5 CBHZ ABHZ BBHZ

Image 6 CBHZ BBHZ ABHZ

Image 7 "ABHZ BBHZ" CBHZ

Image 8 CBHZ "ABHZ BBHZ"

 

Hopefully these combinations will allow some insight into whether keyword proximity and "" marks are having any effect. Once these keywords go live I intend to search for ABHZ, BBHZ, ABHZ BBHZ, "ABHZ BBHZ", BBHZ ABHZ and "BBHZ ABHZ" to see if it makes any difference to the results. I'll then post an update (I'll probably have to wait till Monday for the database to update).

 

28-09-2014 (Sunday) Update - Oops had to make some minor corrections to the keywords which should go live tomorrow (Monday).

Edited by M.Chapman
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+1 Paulette

 

I've been using quotation marks and brackets since I started last year in the hopes they would be implemented.  I'm thrilled that at least the quote marks are now functional.

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MC's "ABHZ BBHZ" test shows "..." work. Nice to know. Now I can get my KWs right from the start. Every little helps.

 

Edited to add that searching "ABHZ BBHZ" only brings up 2 images for me (not as said by OP below more).

Edited by Cribb Visuals

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MC's "ABHZ BBHZ" test shows "..." work. Nice to know. Now I can get my KWs right from the start. Every little helps.

Depends what you mean by "work".

 

The keywords (and the corrections) have now gone live (this morning) and show the following

 

Quotes used around keywords in the customer search box do work

 

Quotation marks placed around keywords entered by contributors do not appear to work

 

I'll post the actual results shortly, for comment and inspection.

Edited by M.Chapman

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"Yes, you’ve got it right. You can keyword two or more phrases in quotes to make sure they turn up only in the relevant searches."

If Alamy finally have implemented this it would be good news as it will help us to reduce the number of false hits.

 

However, haven't we been here before?

 

When I first started at Alamy I keyworded using "" and [] because of what it said here http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/annotation-options.asp.

 

After keywording several hundred images I heard that Alamy still had no firm plans to introduce this feature, so I stopped using "" and [].

 

(NB. Do not confuse implementation of "" and [] in contributor keywords, with using "" in customer searches, which does work).

 

Now there's a report that suggests Alamy may at last have implemented this feature (without telling us?).

 

Before we start adjusting keywords (no small task), it would be good to get an update on the official position from Alamy.

 

In the meantime I've just keyworded 8 images with 8 unique combinations of keywords using "" on some of them. Once the database updates I'll test whether the quotes I've put in my keywords have made any difference, and will let you know the results.

 

I've used the "BHZ" principle. The essential keywords I've put against 8 images are

 

Image 1 ABHZ BBHZ CBHZ

Image 2 ABHZ CBHZ BBHZ

Image 3 BBHZ ABHZ CBHZ

Image 4 BBHZ CBHZ ABHZ

Image 5 CBHZ ABHZ BBHZ

Image 6 CBHZ BBHZ ABHZ

Image 7 "ABHZ BBHZ" CBHZ

Image 8 CBHZ "ABHZ BBHZ"

 

Hopefully these combinations will allow some insight into whether keyword proximity and "" marks are having any effect. Once these keywords go live I intend to search for ABHZ, BBHZ, ABHZ BBHZ, "ABHZ BBHZ", BBHZ ABHZ and "BBHZ ABHZ" to see if it makes any difference to the results. I'll then post an update (I'll probably have to wait till Monday for the database to update).

 

28-09-2014 (Sunday) Update - Oops had to make some minor corrections to the keywords which should go live tomorrow (Monday).

 

The results of the tests are now in.

 

Searching for ABHZ brings up all 8 images in order of Alamy ref

The quotation marks placed around “ABHZ BBHZ” in the contributor keyword have failed to exclude images 7 and 8 from the search.  This shows that using quotation marks in contributor keywords is not working. The fact the images appear in sequence by Alamy ref suggests that (when searching for a single keyword) the sequence of essential keywords is not important. (i.e. the first contributor keyword isn't given more weighting than the second etc.)

 

Searching for BBHZ brings up all 8 images in order of Alamy ref

The quotation marks placed around “ABHZ BBHZ” in the contributor keyword have again failed to exclude images 7 and 8 from the search.  This again shows that using quotation marks in contributor keywords is not working. The fact the images appear in sequence by Alamy ref suggests that (when searching for a single keyword) the sequence of essential keywords is not important (i.e. the first contributor keyword isn't given more weighting than the second etc.)

 

Searching for ABHZ BBHZ (without quotes) brings up all 8 images, but the sequence has changed

Images where ABHZ and BBHZ appear next to each other, and in the correct sequence, in the contributor keywords appear first. This indicates that when searching for multiple keywords, the order and proximity of contributor keywords is important.

 

Searching for “ABHZ BBHZ” (with quotes) brings up just 4 images

Only images which contain ABHZ and BBHZ in the contributor keywords both next to each other, and in sequence appear. This indicates that entering quotation marks in the search box does work.

 

You’re welcome to try your own tests to confirm. Note the caption of each image shows (in abbreviated form) the keywords entered in the Essential keyword box. E.g.

Image Caption  “A B” C = Essential keywords “ABHZ BBHZ” CBHZ

 

I hope I haven't made any typos or misunderstood anything.

 

Maybe Alamy can officially confirm whether or not they have any plans to implement support for quotes in contributor keywords.

Edited by M.Chapman
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Thank you for doing this test. I wonder if using the essential field made a difference. It shouldn't, of course, but I have added my name in quotes into  Comprehensive fields and when I search my name without using quotes I only get my images -- not Paulette Goddard at all any more. It's a puzzle. Rehana seemed to be very clear. Perhaps others could try tests and then write to Alamy to clarify.

 

Paulette

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I know we are all feeling our way with this but I thought the point of using quotes in your keywords (as distinct from in your search) was so that when a searcher enters a given phrase and that phrase exactly matches the keywords you have placed in quotes, then your images will be displayed further up the results offered to the searcher. Does that make sense? :)

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I realized that the real test would be to search Paulette. I did that and, alas, my images did show up even though I put my full name in quotes. I'm going to email Rehana again as I have had a continuing conversation with her.

 

Paulette

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All I can see is the quotations only affect how the keywords show up in the list, not how the show up in a search. I assume this is to make it easier for the customer to click on relevant phrases to do more searching.

 

So in turn all it really does is help the customer leave our photo and help keyword thieves know which were the best combinations and proper latin combinations.

 

So do the quotes really help the photograper at all? I can't see it.

 

Jill

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I emailed Rehana about the quotation marks and she responded that they will look into it and get back to me. I suspect that our keywording hasn't changed at all. The images in which I have the Latin name in the Caption but not the Keywords do show up in a search for the Latin name even though it doesn't appear in the Keywords in the new zoom.

 

Paulette

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MC's "ABHZ BBHZ" test shows "..." work. Nice to know. Now I can get my KWs right from the start. Every little helps.

 

Edited to add that searching "ABHZ BBHZ" only brings up 2 images for me (not as said by OP below more).

If you tried this on Sunday, that might well have been the case as I messed up a couple of the keywords. This was fixed on Sunday night and the revisions went live this morning (Monday).

 

Can you try again? I definitely get 4 results when searching for "ABHZ BBHZ" (in quotes). The images I get are E72K1G, E72K1H, E74X17 and E74X1G. It doesn't make any difference if I click New Creative or Relevant tabs. I always get 4 images.

 

If you still only get 2 images, which ones do you get?

Edited by M.Chapman

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All I can see is the quotations only affect how the keywords show up in the list, not how the show up in a search. I assume this is to make it easier for the customer to click on relevant phrases to do more searching.

 

So in turn all it really does is help the customer leave our photo and help keyword thieves know which were the best combinations and proper latin combinations.

 

So do the quotes really help the photograper at all? I can't see it.

 

Jill

I think that pretty much sums up the current situation. However, it should be noted that proximity does work. So it's good to put associated keywords together. This will increase ranking of your images if the buyer uses the same combination.

 

I think that Alamy's current status on this is given by this statement (as posted in thread http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/3019-search-results-have-changed/)

 

Some parts are already live such as proximity and quotes. Our search engine will prioritise an image with keywords in order "blue car dog" when a search is made for "blue car".

It will be returned lower in a result for a search for "blue dog".

The other additional syntax annotation options are not live as not enough contributors have used them to make it worthwhile releasing.

We cannot give a realistic timeframe of when (or even if) they’ll be implemented as we’re concentrating development time to other areas of our search engine and other parts of the site."

Obviously this could be interpreted in a variety of ways. However, my interpretation is that "Some parts are already live such as proximity and quotes." only refers to using quotes in the search box. Quotes in the keywords are "additional syntax options".

 

With respect to the second statement "The other additional syntax annotation options are not live as not enough contributors have used them to make it worthwhile releasing. We cannot give a realistic timeframe of when (or even if) they’ll be implemented as we’re concentrating development time to other areas of our search engine and other parts of the site."

 

I suspect this may mean that support for quotation marks in contributor keywords will never get implemented.

 

So, unless Alamy state to the contrary, I'm not going to waste my time adding them.

Edited by M.Chapman

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I am using quotes. I keyword offline before I process and upload so that they are in my archive. It means they are there for my own use and when I upload to other libraries who, may or may not, use quotes. The overhead is trivial and it forces me to use proximity as well. It is a major shame if they don't work on Alamy as they would help reduce false search results.

 

I have difficulties with Alamy's response that they have not implemented them as too few contributors use the annotation options. Rather chicken and egg, contributors, especially the serious, experienced and more professional ones will use the tools IF THEY WORK. Implement the annotation options as well as stemming and sounds-like (Soundex) - it will improve the search results enormously for clients and those of us prepared to work at the business of stock photography. There is plenty of expertise and tools out there to improve search.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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MC's "ABHZ BBHZ" test shows "..." work. Nice to know. Now I can get my KWs right from the start. Every little helps.

 

Edited to add that searching "ABHZ BBHZ" only brings up 2 images for me (not as said by OP below more).

If you tried this on Sunday, that might well have been the case as I messed up a couple of the keywords. This was fixed on Sunday night and the revisions went live this morning (Monday).

 

Can you try again? I definitely get 4 results when searching for "ABHZ BBHZ" (in quotes). The images I get are E72K1G, E72K1H, E74X17 and E74X1G. It doesn't make any difference if I click New Creative or Relevant tabs. I always get 4 images.

 

If you still only get 2 images, which ones do you get?

 

Yep, you're right. It now returns 4...

Not sure how I will proceed...

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Regarding proximity of keywords, I noticed that in the new format for displaying images to customers, the keywords are listed alphabetically.  I thought they used to be in the order we wrote them in.  I'm not sure if this alphabetical display of keywords is used in customer searches as well, or if our original order is used (hope it's the latter).

 

Maria

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Regarding proximity of keywords, I noticed that in the new format for displaying images to customers, the keywords are listed alphabetically. I thought they used to be in the order we wrote them in. I'm not sure if this alphabetical display of keywords is used in customer searches as well, or if our original order is used (hope it's the latter).

 

Maria

When the customer carries out a search, the contributors keywords are processed in the order the contributor entered them in. Edited by M.Chapman

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Discussing this is a bit like giving away trade secrets. Quotes, pe se, don't really work.  It's keyword relevance that matters including multi-word keywords.  But, here is what I understand, though I could easily be wrong.  

 

Idea 1

If you Keyword the Eiffel Tower as "Eiffel Tower" and the researcher uses "Eiffel Tower" your image will come up before an equally rated photographer's image that just had Eiffel Tower.  That is, the quotes are treated as characters.  Your quoted string is more relevant than an unquoted string if the researcher used a quoted string. 

 

Idea 2

Keyword order is king. If you have a picture of a pig, in dirt, on a farm and its an organic farm.  Farm pig organic dirty may be good keywords but organic pig farm dirty pig dirt organic farm pig farm ... will be better because you stand a better chance of having the best set of relevant word combinations.

Edited by clupica

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I know we are all feeling our way with this but I thought the point of using quotes in your keywords (as distinct from in your search) was so that when a searcher enters a given phrase and that phrase exactly matches the keywords you have placed in quotes, then your images will be displayed further up the results offered to the searcher. Does that make sense? :)

 

No, that isn't supposed to be the point. Putting keyword phrases in quotes should mean that the entire phrase is treated as a single keyword so that individual words in the phrase are not matched, only multiple words that correspond exactly to the phrase. Using MC's test clearly shows that this DOES NOT work yet. So if any improvements have been made, they've missed the point.

 

Alan

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I still haven't heard back from Rehana. I'll post here when I do. Frankly, I am wondering if the new zooms are going to be at all popular with the buyers. I find them more difficult than the previous ones because you have to go back to get the page of search results. I think people are going to be only using zooms when they are about to buy. Otherwise, for searching the mouseover zooms are much more convenient.

 

Paulette

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Discussing this is a bit like giving away trade secrets. Quotes, pe se, don't really work.  It's keyword relevance that matters including multi-word keywords.  But, here is what I understand, though I could easily be wrong.  

 

Idea 1

If you Keyword the Eiffel Tower as "Eiffel Tower" and the researcher uses "Eiffel Tower" your image will come up before an equally rated photographer's image that just had Eiffel Tower.  That is, the quotes are treated as characters.  Your quoted string is more relevant than an unquoted string if the researcher used a quoted string. 

 

Idea 2

Keyword order is king. If you have a picture of a pig, in dirt, on a farm and its an organic farm.  Farm pig organic dirty may be good keywords but organic pig farm dirty pig dirt organic farm pig farm ... will be better because you stand a better chance of having the best set of relevant word combinations.

 

I agree with Idea 2, but I suspect idea 1 doesn't work, but currently can't tell for sure.

 

At the moment it just so happens that the images with keywords in quotes appear first by Alamy Ref. When I search for ABHZ BBHZ (without quotes) the images with "ABHZ BBHZ" appear first. This could be because the quotes in the keywords are having some effect (although I don't think so), or just because of their Alamy ref.

 

So I'll swap which image has which keywords to find out. I'll update the keywords now and report back tomorrow.

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