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I've noticed recently that most Alamy contributors use a whole lot more keywords than I do. (The truth is I noticed this a long long time ago.) The motivation of course is to draw attention to your images. But is it wise or helpful to have your images pop up in irrelative searches?  :huh:

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This is my main pet peeve on Alamy. I moaned about this in a previous thread. Not only does it give the photogs irrelevant searches and lower CTR, but think of all those extra useless images buyers have to wade through.

 

I am thinking many contributors are getting lazy and put every keyword for every image in a specific shoot, then paste them all into every image from that shoot. Came across a pic of flowers with the keywords, cow and cows. But if you look they are all from the same shoot and all have the same keywords. Not doing themselves or the buyers any favours.

 

Jill

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I've noticed recently that most Alamy contributors use a whole lot more keywords than I do. (The truth is I noticed this a long long time ago.) The motivation of course is to draw attention to your images. But is it wise or helpful to have your images pop up in irrelative searches?  :huh:

 

Enough is as good as a feast!!  

 

I could find several keywords I would like to add to your photo showing up first, Ed  :)

 

winter, snow clearing

 

would be the first two....

 

:)

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In Defence of (lots of) Keywords

 

I use quite a few keywords, but certainly try to avoid irrelevant terms in the way that Jill suggests some people might not.

 

I occasionally search All of Alamy to see if it is worth expressing a phrase in a different way, and it often is, for example "cut out" and "cutout" - both appear in customer searches, while we have already been down the route of color and colour, harbor and harbour, fall and autumn etc.  If the shot is taken in France, then a sprinkling of relevant French words/phrases don't go amiss etc. 

 

While trying to avoid excessive similars, I tend to have a pile em high and sell em cheap philosophy and, with that in mind, maximising views is important to me. Others are more successful with their smaller, tighter edited, collections, but that's just not me.

 

Being generous, although always relevant, with the keywords you occasionally get a bonus as you see customer searches for shots that you did not previously consider but are easily added to the portfolio.

Edited by Bryan
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I tend to use more keywords than I used to. However, when I look at my sales, I get the feeling that most of the buyers found my images using pretty basic search criteria such as location and main subject. Don't think I've ever made a sale thanks to a concept keyword. Nonetheless, I'll continue to include them just in case.

 

That said, I think that given the size of  Alamy's collection, it's fairly difficult not to have images come up in irrelevant search results. Whether or not this negatively affects ranking, etc., who knows?

Edited by John Mitchell
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Thank, Niels. 

 

I remember your thread well, Jill. But I think this is a subject that's worth revisiting from time to time. 

 

I was keywording some Rome images yesterday, Bryan, and I do try to put proper nouns in in both English and Italian (or whatever the local language is). Other terms? Maybe. Everything is a judgement call, eh?

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As long as keywords are relevant then that isn't an issue. I too do various spelling variations, american and british phrases, anything I think might be used in a specific search that is relevant to that image. 

 

The key is "relevant keywords". There are so many irrelevant keywords and keywords that are misrepresenting what the image is. Some of this is poor research on subjects the photog may not be knowledgeable in but is too lazy to check. Others where s/he doesn't care, as long as they get a view.

 

Jill

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But when keywording, 'relevant' is a subjective term, not objective. We all may see things somewhat differently. 

 

True, but examples such as "cow" when there is no "cow" is blatant laziness. It's easier to just have a whole pile of keywords that cover the whole shoot than to try and separate those that are relevant to a particular image. I just like proper keywording, although I am sure if I went through all my images I would find some irrelevant ones hiding in there, but I do my best to make sure that all my keywords relate to the image. And when I check My Alamy every morning to check views and zooms, I will check the images that were called up on searches. This has caused me to go in and edit out any keywords that I think shouldn't have been there.

 

I noticed one day that someone had searched for "jetski" and I had 46 views. Checked them out to find I had put "jetski" in all my flyboarding images, when really only 1 of them had a jetski in the image. I went in and removed that keyword from the 45 images that did not have a jetski in the image. Those are just views that will be held against me. If someone is looking for an image of a jetski, he doesn't want my images of a flyboarder.

 

I think making the search easier for the buyer makes their experience more pleasant and they are more likely to return.

 

Jill

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I went through a phase of using very few keywords, hoping it would help my CTR. Having looked at the portfolios of some of our most successful colleagues, however, they do seem to have more keywords than mine.

I am now using more, though obviously only relevant ones.

I agree with those above - it's all about relevancy rather than quantity. Some need 7 or 8, others need 20 - 30.

Relevant to me means 'would someone searching with that keyword expect / want to find this image?"

I do think batch keywording has a lot to answer for - though of course that is Alamyrank is designed to deal with.

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. Other terms? Maybe. Everything is a judgement call, eh?

 

Certainly is. what does a sale do for your ranking compared to numerous unzoomed searches? One of the great unknowns....

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Less is good I believe.

 

I tend to fill the Esskey box and then have another 10-20 words in the main keyword box at most and that's it

 

Kumar

Edited by Doc
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I rarely have anything in comp now, but I used to, and usually when I get a blindingly irrelevant search return nowadays, it's one of the old ones which has escaped the cleanup.

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I tend to use a lot of keywords as long as they are relevant. Always use alternative spellings etc. the trick IMO is to only use words which are not ambiguous. Ie Oxford as in the place and Oxford street. Once you get hits in irrelevant searches your ranking CTR drops like a stone.

 

dov

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