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I have found that I am becoming more and more unsure about keywording images the more I upload!  I understand not to use words that aren't relevant and that the essential keywording box is for the most important keywords, however, I'm just not sure on what words should go in the Comprehensive section.

 

For example - if I were to put up an image of a spring carpet of anemones that was taken in Lordship Woods Horsemonden Kent I would put the keywords of woodland anemones spring carpet in the essential field, other relevant words such as woods, "ancient woodland", "woodland carpet" "English woodland" Lordship Woods, Horsemonden for instance in the Main keywords and then Kent, England, UK in the Comprehensive section. 

 

Basically I am putting the more general terms of where the woods are ie Kent, England etc in the Comprehensive section correct - my thinking is that these terms aren't the key search terms someone would use and are too general but still relevant.  Am I thinking along the right lines here? 

 

Also if I were to include trees and tree - I would put trees in the main keyword section but tree would go in the comprehensive section as again it isn't so relevant because there isn't a tree on its own.  Does that sound about right or am I way off the mark? 

 

I have read the relevant pages on Alamy help as well as trawled the net for any other help (there doesn't seem to be much) so any hints or tips on this dark art would be really appreciated :) 

 

Thanks

 

Lin

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A dark art indeed! You may get conflicting advice, 'cos there isn't just one right way of keywording. There's no actual carpet in your suggested pix, so personally I don't think I'd include it as a main keyword. Wood, wood, woodland, of course, plus deciduous... springtime as well as spring... colourful and colorful... latin name of flowers... Any more emotive words, like peaceful, tranquil, etc.

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I put location in the caption and don't repeat it in the esskeys unless it's very important.

Few of my images have comps any more unless they're hangovers from my early 'chuck everything in' days- they're usually the ones that turn up in irrelevant searches, of course.

I might use the comp field for batch keywording of the odd not-too-important word, but only for convenience.

Otherwise you probably have it about right. Most sales come from pretty obvious searches and I've only ever had one sale from a truly irrelevant keyword.

Edited by spacecadet

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Thanks John - I know what you mean re conflicting advice, that's why I called it a "Dark Art"...it seems that there are so many options and many could be right but many could also be wrong!!  I hadn't thought about the latin name of flowers so that's a good tip too.

 

Mark - thank you - I'm taking what you say that basically as long as I get the really important words in Ess and Main then use Comp as little as possible.  Am I right about using the minor place name ie Kent, England in the Comprehensive section or should I be leaving that out completely? Apols for appearing a bit slow but I just wanted to make sure I'd got the right end of the stick :)

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My impression is that caption search significance is high enough that you don't need to repeat it. Doing so won't hurt, it's just extra work.

However what with Kent being the garden of England, assuming it's relevant to the image, I'd want that phrase in the mains at least.

I often include singular and plurals regardless of the content because it's clear to me that they are used interchangeably by some searchers.

Edited by spacecadet

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I had one of my images searched with the subject plus "blue sky" so I include blue sky. In case someone wants the subject to stand out against a blue sky instead of a cloudy one.

If you want "carpet of anemones" surround it with quotes or separate it with a comma on each end of the phrase. I don't think anyone searching for carpet will bring up your image.

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Am I right about using the minor place name ie Kent, England in the Comprehensive section or should I be leaving that out completely? Apols for appearing a bit slow but I just wanted to make sure I'd got the right end of the stick :)

 

For all keywords you just need to think about what customer searches you would most expect your image to be suitable for, and arrange your keywords accordingly. For example, someone might be looking for 'kent in spring', or 'kent church' etc. If you think your pic is a very good generic example of something in Kent, I would be inclined to put it at least in the Main and probably (if there's room) in the Essential keywords.

 

Alan

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Thanks Mark and Alan - what you say makes absolute sense and gives me a bit more confidence about keywording generally.

 

Ed - yes I have read that page many times and whilst its helpful there's a lot that it doesn't say...but then I suppose if too much was given away on how to do it absolutely right everyone would be at the top of the rankings :)

 

Betty - what you say also makes absolute sense...my feeling has been that by using the quote marks when using terms like carpet I'm keeping the image safe from coming up in irrelevant searches.  I'm interested about what you say regarding when one of your images comes up in a search.  How do you see what search terms your image has come up in - is it in Alamy measures?  I haven't really got to grips with that tool yet.

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I had one of my images searched with the subject plus "blue sky" so I include blue sky. In case someone wants the subject to stand out against a blue sky instead of a cloudy one.

If you want "carpet of anemones" surround it with quotes or separate it with a comma on each end of the phrase. I don't think anyone searching for carpet will bring up your image.

 

I'm not sure this works. On several occasions, I have had words matched which are in a keyword phrase taken out of context.. indeed it happened yesterday with image ENYDFD. 

Amongst the key words/phrases are "crazy golf" and "dad". Yet according to 'Alamy Measures' someone found this image by searching for "crazy dad"... even though 'crazy' doesn't exist on it's own as a keyword.. the 'golf' bit in 'crazy golf' was ignored.

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I had one of my images searched with the subject plus "blue sky" so I include blue sky. In case someone wants the subject to stand out against a blue sky instead of a cloudy one.

If you want "carpet of anemones" surround it with quotes or separate it with a comma on each end of the phrase. I don't think anyone searching for carpet will bring up your image.

 

I'm not sure this works. On several occasions, I have had words matched which are in a keyword phrase taken out of context.. indeed it happened yesterday with image ENYDFD. 

Amongst the key words/phrases are "crazy golf" and "dad". Yet according to 'Alamy Measures' someone found this image by searching for "crazy dad"... even though 'crazy' doesn't exist on it's own as a keyword.. the 'golf' bit in 'crazy golf' was ignored.

 

 

Hmm.. I just realised that the caption on this image reads, "A father and son playing crazy golf in Windsor." Thanks to Ed's post above just realised that the caption is searchable. Might 'crazy' be coming from the caption I wonder? If so, would this mean that putting meaningful, human readable sentences in a caption can mess around with the search results?

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Betty - what you say also makes absolute sense...my feeling has been that by using the quote marks when using terms like carpet I'm keeping the image safe from coming up in irrelevant searches.  I'm interested about what you say regarding when one of your images comes up in a search.  How do you see what search terms your image has come up in - is it in Alamy measures?  I haven't really got to grips with that tool yet.

 

My own experience shows that using quotes doesn't actually help, but in fact CAN cause problems. Where you use quotes, the image can still be found by searching for one of the words within quotation marks even if the other words are not used. From posts I've read in the forums about this before plus my own experience, Alamy's search engine actually ignores quotation marks. So there seems to be no way to prevent people finding irrelevant images, but it's the same for everyone so isn't a huge problem and you just have to take that into account when keywording and choosing which order to put words and in which of the keyword fields.

 

Alamy does have some system though, the details of which are a bit of a mystery, where their search engine stops some images appearing even if you have the search words in your keywords. For example, I recently had an issue with a couple of photos I have of a pub called The Swan. If you searched for The Swan then my images would not appear in the results, and whether I used quotes around the phrase "The Swan" or not, it still didn't appear. Using quotes did cause a problem though as many of the keywords that weren't surrounded by quotation marks were showing as if they DID have quotation marks. The only way to possibly stop this "bug" (which Alamy are aware of but never got back to me about it) would be to use a comma after each word for any images where you use quotes somewhere within the keywords. Like I said though, I don't think using quotes actually helps anyway.

 

In my situation with the pub, I was able to find my images once I put The Swan Pub in the keywords without quotes, and keeping those 3 words together as a phrase. If someone searched for a swan, my pub images would still appear in the results and I see no way to stop that.

 

Keywording as a bit of a black art and different people will tell you different things and some may not agree with all I've said here! Good luck with it all.    :)

 

Geoff.

 

 

 I had this same problem with an African scops owl I uploaded. It appeared when I searched for scops owl but not when I searched African scops owl. I emailed Alamy and they forwarded my email to the technical team. I never heard from them but when I just searched again for the first time in a few days I see the problem has been corrected. I didn't try quotation marks at all. Alamy has been reported to say that a few words appearing between two sets of quotation marks will be treated "as a phrase". I have no idea why they do that or what the results are but I am staying away from quotation marks most of the time.

 

Paulette

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Thanks Mark and Alan - what you say makes absolute sense and gives me a bit more confidence about keywording generally.

 

Ed - yes I have read that page many times and whilst its helpful there's a lot that it doesn't say...but then I suppose if too much was given away on how to do it absolutely right everyone would be at the top of the rankings :)

 

Betty - what you say also makes absolute sense...my feeling has been that by using the quote marks when using terms like carpet I'm keeping the image safe from coming up in irrelevant searches.  I'm interested about what you say regarding when one of your images comes up in a search.  How do you see what search terms your image has come up in - is it in Alamy measures?  I haven't really got to grips with that tool yet.

Yes, you can find the search terms used in Measures. I don't understand how to use the function as well as I should, but at least any zoom I get, I click on the pseudo name in measures and see the search term. As pointed out to me, once you are on that page, click on "zooms" and it will bring your zooms to the top of the column.

 

I have used quotes for many years, back when Alamy tried to implement many annotations. Then I quit. Then in the past year, I do use them, but I also put commas after each keyword. If the phrase is very important to the image, I do use quotes then type the phrase again surrounded by commas. I figure I'm protected that way no matter what tweaks are being done to the system. This method, while taking extra time, seems to keep my searches appropriate.

And yes, you'll find everyone seems to have their own ideas of the best way to do it. This is mine.

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Wow thank you everyone - it seems that it really is a dark art!!  I've not used commas at all but it makes sense to just double it all up and use them as well as quotes - I'll also have a little play with Alamy measures and see what's coming up under each search.  It is interesting to note that the caption is searchable so I think I'm going to have to be a little more careful about what I put there too.

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Wood, wood, ...

 

Ups... I hope there's no difference for big and small letters in search? :( I already have to many keywords when describe some long name places and objecs... If I have to re-edit files again to add big/small letters... ouch.

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Thank goodness for that Geoff - I think there might be a meltdown if caps were an issue :)

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Wood, wood, ...

 

Ups... I hope there's no difference for big and small letters in search? :( I already have to many keywords when describe some long name places and objecs... If I have to re-edit files again to add big/small letters... ouch.

 

Whoops... my mistake... I just meant wood, woods, woodland as obvious alternate keywords... not suggesting that capitals 'count'...  :unsure:

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Interesting discussion. I was just rereading alamy's instructions on keywording - following the link Ed posted (thanks). I was surprised that they suggest:

 

"Although you have 50 characters, try to limit yourself to just 35" for the essential keywords.

 

I don't remember reading that before. Does that mean it works against you if you use all 50 characters? I'm not sure why this would be the case. I'm always using as much of that 50 as I can. Should I be moving some keywords out of there and in with the rest?

Edited by MariaJ

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Oh, good to know. I was using all 50 characters as I can too...

 

In details, how the serach works actually? If I put a word (3 different) to each window (essential, main and compr.), does client need to choose one of the window character to hit the result? I mean, will he find my work with the keyword from last window if he uses it as first and most important phrase?

 

I hope my Q makes sense to you :P

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Essential keywords are the most significant, followed by main, then comp.

Alamy describes them as very high, medium and low significance respectively.

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Yes, but how it works for client? Doesn it push essentials high and compr. far away in search results or what? Does client choose the significancy when do the search? 

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If you look at Alamy Measures you will see the exact words the client used. If I search for Male Lion Namibia the images that come up first will have all those words in the Essential field. The ones that have the words in that exact order will be at the very top. If those words are only in Comprehensive the image will appear a lot further down.

 

Paulette

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Its a good question about the number of characters - if you use 50 characters instead of say 35 in the essential field does it work against you?   Any thoughts?

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This dark art is giving me nightmares. I have a Stockimo image of a domestic cat drinking from a sink faucet and I just noticed that it appears in searches for cat drinking but if I add any of the other keywords it tends to disappear. I am very conscious of putting in domestic cat for a household cat because most of my cat images are of wild cats. I have an assortment of cats in Stockimo and some only appear if I put tabby in the search. Just domestic cat only brings up a few of the cats that have those words in the keywords. There seems to be no consistency about when all of my keywords count and when only some of them do. I spend a lot of time trying to get accurate and complete keywords. Why are the images not appearing???? Very frustrated.

 

Paulette

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