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I think I have narrowed the problem down to the word "domestic". I have 17 domestic cats on Alamy and only 4 of them turn up if I search "domestic cat" (without quotation marks). I checked Alamy Measures and, yes, people do search using the words "domestic cat". Sigh. I suppose I have to make a list of the ID numbers of the images that are not showing up and email them to member services. What is going on? I used to think I wasn't affected by this search problem but now I know I am and it is not because of the use of quotation marks in my keywording. What do do? Does it make sense to spend time uploading and keywording when it is some kind of lottery whether my images will show under all the words I have carefully chosen? I am not going to be able to check all the search possibilities for all of my images and I assume there are more problems hidden away.

 

Paulette

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This is so discouraging.

 

Paulette

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I'm sure if you look at your searches you'll find examples showing that really any word from any field can be mixed in a search result.

Example in mine from this month - woman juniper.

 

Caption:

Passengers leaving a Class 334 suburban electric multiple unit train: lower level, Glasgow Queen Street Station

 

Esskeys:

Glasgow Queen Street Station, platform, train,

 

Main:

passengers, passenger, woman, walking, transport, public transport, people, "Class 334" electric multiple unit, "rolling stock", EMU, Scottish, UK, transportation

 

Comp:

"Class 334 Juniper EMU",  United Kingdom, British, Great Britain, Europe, European, British,

 

So neither commas, quotations or different fields prevent words from being linked in search results.

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I'm sure if you look at your searches you'll find examples showing that really any word from any field can be mixed in a search result.

Example in mine from this month - woman juniper.

 

Caption:

Passengers leaving a Class 334 suburban electric multiple unit train: lower level, Glasgow Queen Street Station

 

Esskeys:

Glasgow Queen Street Station, platform, train,

 

Main:

passengers, passenger, woman, walking, transport, public transport, people, "Class 334" electric multiple unit, "rolling stock", EMU, Scottish, UK, transportation

 

Comp:

"Class 334 Juniper EMU",  United Kingdom, British, Great Britain, Europe, European, British,

 

So neither commas, quotations or different fields prevent words from being linked in search results.

 

 

I'm not certain who you are responding to. I certainly used to be able to find my images in searches using words in the keywords regardless of which field they were in. Now most of my domestic cats are not showing if I use that word when I search.

 

Paulette

 

Edit: I think perhaps you are responding to Arletta, not to the problem I am having.

Edited by NYCat

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NYC, it was only a general observation about how the search actually works, as opposed to how they say it works. I have no help for your problem, sorry; or I'd have quoted you and answered directly.

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I think I have narrowed the problem down to the word "domestic". I have 17 domestic cats on Alamy and only 4 of them turn up if I search "domestic cat" (without quotation marks). I checked Alamy Measures and, yes, people do search using the words "domestic cat". Sigh. I suppose I have to make a list of the ID numbers of the images that are not showing up and email them to member services. What is going on? I used to think I wasn't affected by this search problem but now I know I am and it is not because of the use of quotation marks in my keywording. What do do? Does it make sense to spend time uploading and keywording when it is some kind of lottery whether my images will show under all the words I have carefully chosen? I am not going to be able to check all the search possibilities for all of my images and I assume there are more problems hidden away.

 

Paulette

 

 

I've written about this several times now, including directly to MS, but have yet to receive a response from Alamy. I resurrected a thread several days ago that I started weeks ago, giving details of a similar problem as you that I'm finding with more of my images. Nobody has responded to that post yet. I'm sure that most contributors are having the same issues but are unaware of it. It certainly does seem like a bit of a lottery whether your images appear in searches or not. Usually mine do, but now and then they don't, and it's a clear bug in the way Alamy's system works. I've spent time before giving details of exactly what's happening with some of my images and how one is keyworded differently from another, and I have tried to do my own fault-finding to work out where the problem lies. I get no response though.

 

Geoff.

 

 

I have just written to member services and have given them the reference numbers of the images that should show up. I expressed concern about the problem so I hope it will be looked at as something other than just a problem with a few images. I am sure this is not just happening to Geoff and me. Before I emailed member services I did a few experiments. I tried putting "domestic cat" in as a phrase in Stockimo and, as I expected, that works. I just don't want to have to put in Domestic Cat, Tabby Cat, Sleeping Cat, etc. etc. Single keywords used to do the trick. Proximity and word order counted but images did appear somewhere in a search. Since Betty has written of having success with using commas between keywords I tried that also. It didn't work with an image from the regular collection but did work with a Stockimo image. I didn't put commas throughout but used them in the section that contained "domestic" and "cat". It is really awkward to add commas in Stockimo because you have to change to the other keyboard. I don't know how long this has been going on but it sure is new to me. Also, the images in question are from Stockimo and from images in the main collection that have reference numbers beginning with "B". So those were keyworded a long time ago. I don't have many domestic cats so presumably it isn't just the "B" images that are affected.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat

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I don't understand why adding commas doesn't work for some of you. I just searched the common phrase of Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy which is what's on the front of the restaurant and my images are on the first page. Then I searched Panda Express and there they are.

Then I searched false sunflower and my oxeye image (false sunflower) is at the bottom of the first page. It is working perfectly for me.

 

When I first started adding commas, I did searches to see if my images came up. They did. I march on. So I'll shut up about it, and maybe mine will show before some others'. ;)

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I am glad they work for you, Betty. You are super. I thought I was doing great NOT using commas or quotes until I accidentally came across problems. I really don't have the patience to try all the varieties of searches for each of my images so I imagine any other problems I find will again come up accidentally. I'll probably check more than I used to but doing them all is pretty impossible.

 

Paulette

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It's always been the perception that keywording is a dark art, and being held to 35 - 50 characters certainly does challenge you. As to what you put where, sometimes it's worth looking back at what's been searched for within Alamy measures. I'm very fortunate to live in Stratford upon Avon (19 characters) and have a number of images of the River Avon (10 characters) - both appear within Alamy measures at regular intervals, so they are something that is worth putting into the essential keywords - but that leaves little to add any other detail. Shortening to Stratford (an area within East London) can create extra characters but can give you a very different urban image!

 

It's been an enlightening read through all of the posts - I've always added comma's, and now know that we don't need them, and the 35 characters may or may not be important to how images are shown. I've also had plenty of images not appearing when searches have been requested, even when I know that they're on the system - I've always regarded that as being "there are in more than 50m images on the system - it can't pull up everything" - perhaps I should think again.

 

Martin

www.windmillskies.com

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It's always been the perception that keywording is a dark art, and being held to 35 - 50 characters certainly does challenge you. As to what you put where, sometimes it's worth looking back at what's been searched for within Alamy measures. I'm very fortunate to live in Stratford upon Avon (19 characters) and have a number of images of the River Avon (10 characters) - both appear within Alamy measures at regular intervals, so they are something that is worth putting into the essential keywords - but that leaves little to add any other detail. Shortening to Stratford (an area within East London) can create extra characters but can give you a very different urban image!

 

It's been an enlightening read through all of the posts - I've always added comma's, and now know that we don't need them, and the 35 characters may or may not be important to how images are shown. I've also had plenty of images not appearing when searches have been requested, even when I know that they're on the system - I've always regarded that as being "there are in more than 50m images on the system - it can't pull up everything" - perhaps I should think again.

 

Martin

www.windmillskies.com

 

If you are doing an Advanced Search so that only your images are appearing and you don't have to go through EVERYTHING on the site you should see your image coming up for any of the keywords you have added. 

 

Paulette

 

Edit: I just decided to see what happens if I search for "domestic cat" in Manage Images. Only two show up -- both from the main collection. The two from Stockimo that show up in a search of Alamy don't appear. I think that makes sense because we don't keyword those images in Manage Images. I don't think anyone would suggest that searching our keywords within Manage Images should be leaving some images out.

Edited by NYCat

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I'm glad you have written to MS directly too Paulette. I think if others reading this thread checked through some of the search results for their own images they would find the same problem.

 

Commas - Alamy automatically adds them so you don't need to EXCEPT for when you use quotes, as the system seems to randomly put phrases together AS IF you have used quotes where you actually haven't. I have never seen that happen though for any images where I do not have any quotes in the keywording (I'm still working my way through my images, undoing all that work of adding quotes and square brackets in the past!). If you search your own suspect images then you can look at the "zoom" screen and see where Alamy's system as either added commas not.

 

My recent issue that I noticed with images not being found was with Oxeye Daisies. Anyone searching "Daisies Oxeye" won't find my images, despite having those words next to each other in that order in my keywording. I have the words the other way around too, and searching for "oxeye daisies" DOES find them.

 

Geoff.

 

If I search for "daisies oxeye" . . . (that is, WITH quotation marks in the search term), I get 58 results. In this case, the search will only return the phrase "daisies oxeye", deterimined in keywords by the two word phrase contained between quotation marks or, more commonly now, between commas.

 

If I search for    daisies oxeye  . . . (that is, WITHOUT quotation marks in the search term), I get 808 results (which is sort of what I'd expect). In this case, the search will return any image with daisies AND oxeye in the keywords, regardless of word order or proximity.

 

Is the absence of your images in differently constructed searches related to this . . . that is, are you using quotation marks in your searches?

 

dd

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my search was for "false sunflower" but without the quotes,  My keywords are false sunflower surrounded by commas. Not in quotes.  Sometimes I will put a phrase surrounded by commas, and again in quotes.  For instance, in eskeys, "Oxeye Daisies"  then in main, false sunflowers,oxeye daisies,oxeye daisy"false sunflowers"flowers,flower,plant,etc. 

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my search was for "false sunflower" but without the quotes,  My keywords are false sunflower surrounded by commas. Not in quotes.  Sometimes I will put a phrase surrounded by commas, and again in quotes.  For instance, in eskeys, "Oxeye Daisies"  then in main, false sunflowers,oxeye daisies,oxeye daisy"false sunflowers"flowers,flower,plant,etc. 

 

Betty, as certain as you are that your method works I used to be just as certain that no commas and limited quotes was working for me. It is still working for 99.99% of my images. There is some sort of glitch with some tiny (I hope) percentage of images. I hope the problem never pops up for you. I tried commas on one of my problem images and, alas, it didn't work. This situation isn't normal. there is something wrong and I hope Alamy will fix it.

 

Paulette

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The art of dark keywording.... :) ​ - not only because I often do it at night...

Edited by Niels Quist

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It does seem to have something to do with word order. I can understand that if I have put "domestic" in the keywords somewhere after I have put "cat" then the image would come up later in the search but for it to not show up at all in a search for "domestic cat" just isn't right.

 

Paulette

 

Edit: I took another look at my African Scops Owl, which is the first one with a problem that I noticed. I did put African Scops Owl in that order in the caption and keywords and I had to have Alamy fix it so it would appear in a search for African Scops Owl. It was only appearing as Scops Owl. So the order of keywords isn't the only issue.

Edited by NYCat

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I just noticed a search results problem based on some recent searches I saw in All of Alamy.  The search for 'Vancouver mountain' yielded only 32 results according to Measures.  Since Greater Vancouver has three North shore mountains, and there are many mountains on Vancouver Island, it didn't make sense to have so few results.   I did the search myself and it yielded 30 results. 

 

When I searched for 'Vancouver Grouse Mountain' it yielded over 500 results.  How can 'Vancouver mountain' yield only 30 results??

Also, 'Grouse Mountain Vancouver' gives 165 results (?!).

 

Two of mine were on the first page of the 'Vancouver Grouse Mountain' search, yet none appeared in the 'Vancouver mountain' search.

 

Something is not right here. 

 

Btw I added the quotes for the above examples but did not use them in any search.

Edited by MariaJ

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My reply so far from member services was...

 

"We’ve taken this up with our search engine team, we will provide you with an accurate explanation once we have an update."

 

I think it wouldn't hurt if you also email them about your experience. There is definitely something wrong. The first time I noticed my problem with "domestic cat" the image could be found if I searched "cat drinking" but not at all if I searched "domestic cat drinking". Domestic was in the keywords but it seemed to eliminate my image from searches.

 

Paulette

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I just sent them an email with the results of my searches.  I also discovered similar search irregularities when searching for my own images within Manage Images.  e.g.  Vancouver Grouse Mountain yields 15 images, and Vancouver Mountain yields none.

 

I found the search problems after looking at recent customer searches in all of alamy.  What concerns me the most is that customers have searched for these images and the ones I have aren't showing up.

 

 

Maria

Edited by MariaJ

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my search was for "false sunflower" but without the quotes,  My keywords are false sunflower surrounded by commas. Not in quotes.  Sometimes I will put a phrase surrounded by commas, and again in quotes.  For instance, in eskeys, "Oxeye Daisies"  then in main, false sunflowers,oxeye daisies,oxeye daisy"false sunflowers"flowers,flower,plant,etc.

 

 

 

Try searching for your image ID: DA5R31. It's a trumpet vine. In your keywords you have "trumpet vine" as a phrase, and also trumpet and vine separately with commas.

 

Search for "trumpet vine" (without quotes) and you'll find the image.

 

Search for "vine trumpet" (without quotes) and your image is not found (neither are your other trumpet vine images, although I didn't check the keywords/phrases on the others).

 

Although someone looking for a trumpet vine will likely search for "trumpet vine", it shows that things are not quite right. If you were to add "vine trumpet" as a phrase, it would be interesting to see if your image then appeared in the results. In the case of my Oxeye Daisies, that didn't make a difference, even though it should have.

 

Geoff.

Geoff, this image was taken and uploaded in 2013 which was before, I believe, that I started using commas. Seems like I started using commas in 2014 sometime. I have not gone back and put commas in my older work. I would go mad. Although I did use quotes, sometimes. Tomorrow I'll try to remember to try your suggestion, "vine trumpet" and see if it works.

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As far as "the only time they don't have commas is when you've used quotation marks", that is not so (in my experience).

 

Demonstrably, for example this image . . . the keywords are displayed, as I intended and exactly as I entered them, as either single words separated by a comma, or two (or three) word phrases contained with commas, exactly as I intended and entered. In this specific case, no quotation marks were used..

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo

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As I keep saying Betty, the system puts the commas in. No matter how you did the keywords, the way the system has stored them in its database can be seen when looking at the zoomed view after doing a search. This shows which words have commas and which don't. The only time they don't have commas is when you've used quotation marks somewhere in the keywording for that particular image. With your trumpet vine image there ARE commas surrounding both trumpet and vine. Whether you typed them yourself or not is immaterial.

 

Geoff.

 

As far as "the only time they don't have commas is when you've used quotation marks", that is not so (in my experience).

 

Demonstrably, for example this image . . . the keywords are displayed, as I intended and exactly as I entered them, as either single words separated by a comma, or two (or three) word phrases contained with commas, exactly as I intended and entered. In this specific case, no quotation marks were used..

 

dd

 

 

That's strange, as there are many phrases shown there. Maybe if you've used commas yourself, then the system detects that and doesn't add commas of it's own?

 

Geoff.

 

 

I think that may be the case . . . I have images where some phrases are contained in quotation marks, some in commas (for the same image), and both phrases show as phrases.

 

thinking about it some more . . . if you use NO commas or quotation marks, the system will separate all words with a comma. HOwever, if you use SOME commas, the system recognises two and/or three (I think) more words as a phrase if they're NOT separated by commas.

 

I think . . .

 

Probably . . .

 

Maybe . . .

 

dd

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Hmmm  . . forget what I said about 2 or 3 words NOT separated by commas (and where commas are used on other words)-- here is an image where I used commas exclusively in the keywords (not a single quotation mark) and it correctly displays a four-word phrase (which I intended and entered as four words NOT separated by commas).

 

It does then appear that if you use commas somewhere in a set of keywords, strings of words without commas in that same set of keywords are displayed (correctly) as phrases.

 

I have always thought this is how it was supposed to work (certainly of late at least) but forgot about four-word phrases, but I'm not sure this has any bearing on the problems others have described previously in this thread.

 

Off to see if I have any five-word phrases defined by use of commas :-)

 

EDIT: Yep, I have an image that has a five-word phrase correclty displaying as a five-wordl phrase, using only commas in the keywords . . . but not sharing this one, it's a very common phrase/concept that no one else has covered in Alamy :P

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo

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My domestic cats have appeared this morning. No email from Alamy. I am happy about this but wondering still whether there will be other images not showing. It's impossible to check every image in every possible way. Are the rest of you seeing your problems resolved?

 

Paulette

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No. I deliberately put them back to the original keywording after doing my tests of what would happen with commas and phrases. I sent them a list of the 13 reference numbers. Too bad this doesn't look like a real fix of the problem.

 

Paulette

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Oooops. I just checked Manage Images and only four are appearing so it hasn't been fixed there.

 

Paulette

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