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Pearl

Search engine still broken

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....

 

B5PRRT

BTDGB9

BTDM9G

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Yes, those three images come up first but for 5,730 photos. Maybe it's got to do with the fact that I'm in Germany right now. Different algorithms for different countries?

 

 

same three images and 5,730 photos ... and I am also sitting in Germany

 

Edit: Although the bottom of the alamy page states: "We think you're in the UK. If we've got it wrong Click Here"

NB: I changed that manually yesterday to get GBP displayed. 

Edited by hdh

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Just curious! Want to know if everybody sees the same search results for exactly the same keyword order. Apparently, from the example above it shouldn't be the case :wacko:

 

Test:

  • Search box on home page
  • add the following keywords: museum interior France (use capital F in "France")
  • select "relevant" tab
  • only RM and RF ticked (but with no other filters applied)
  • select large thumbnails
Which first three images do you get?

Total number: 5,895 images

First three references:

 

B5PRRT

BTDGB9

BTDM9G

 

Cheers,

Philippe

I get those three images as well, but my total is 5868, different than everyone else. I'm in Canada. I'm curious what others from Canada or US get.

 

Maria

Edited by MariaJ

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Hmmmm ..... seems that location does indeed play a role.

So why do searchers from certain countries see less pictures than others? :blink:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Perhaps some of the images have restrictions so they don't show up in certain countries?

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But does not really explain the discrepancy between "hotel paris las vegas" and "las vegas hotel paris" which I believe everybody has? 

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Philippe may be onto something but it doesn't explain the discrepancy I found which made me start this thread in the first place.  I know my 5 images for walking dog park UK have no restrictions that would make them disappear when that particular search order is used, but they do vanish along with 100s of other images.

 

Pearl

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museum interior France - 5918 results, first three are:
B5PRRT
BTDGB9
BTDM9G

No matter which country I choose.

For: "hotel paris las vegas" and "las vegas hotel paris" my results are 1006 to 7065 - some difference ;)

Edited by Arletta

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Forgot the original search terms, I can also confirm the discrepancy between  

"walking dog park UK" (59 Images)  

"park walking dog UK" (1,406 Images)  

"dog walking park UK" (59 Images) 

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In the case of my domestic cats I had been able to narrow it down to the word "domestic". The presence of that word prevented the image from showing if the searcher used the word "domestic"..... though that was not the case with every image of a domestic cat. It's a mess. By the way, in your test I get 5889 images here in the US. One time I couldn't find an image that had been featured on the home page and when I wrote Alamy about it they said it wasn't available in the US.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat

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I'm in the US (New York) - Here are my results:

 

Hotel paris Las Vegas 1216

Las Vegas Hotel paris 7106
 
museum interior France 5889
B5PRRT
BTDGB9
BTDM9G
 
I searched RF and RM with "Relevant" images. "Creative" would certainly limit the number. My thought was that the country you're searching from would make a difference too because some RM images could have restrictions.
 
I do my best to keyword in a way that makes sense but find weird glitches too. I worry most about word order and getting the most important words into Essential. With 60 Million images I think it's a miracle that some of mine end up on page one for simple searches. I wonder if Alamy cycles the images so that not everything in the database shows up for every search? 
Edited by Marianne

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Could there be a flaw in that the search engine is only giving images with the keywords in that order. I can't check it because Alamy just has the keywords listed alphabetically so can't tell word order. Perhaps Pearl could compare her dog walk photos to the order of the search words and see if that is an issue.

 

Jill

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Could there be a flaw in that the search engine is only giving images with the keywords in that order. I can't check it because Alamy just has the keywords listed alphabetically so can't tell word order. Perhaps Pearl could compare her dog walk photos to the order of the search words and see if that is an issue.

 

Jill

My keywords are in a different order in each of my images and are not necessarily together in any of them.  The issue seems to be having UK adjacent to park in the search terms irrespective of how keywords are ordered in the image.

 

Pearl

  • Upvote 1

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Could there be a flaw in that the search engine is only giving images with the keywords in that order. I can't check it because Alamy just has the keywords listed alphabetically so can't tell word order. Perhaps Pearl could compare her dog walk photos to the order of the search words and see if that is an issue.

 

Jill

 

Word order is not the whole story. One of my domestic cats that did not appear has a caption that begins "Domestic Tabby Cat". I have just discovered another wrinkle. My domestic cats have been fixed in a search from the home page but not in Manage Images and I now discover that it hasn't been fixed in "More by this photographer". Only four images appear but I have seventeen. It is so mixed up that I can't see a way to properly keyword. I don't use commas and rarely use quotation marks except for my name. I will certainly pay more attention to word order but I have very little faith at this point. I've only found the two instances of a problem in my images but I wonder how many are there and undiscovered.

 

Paulette

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Must have something to do with the keyword "park".

 

 

No, not just park. I just tried:

 

london eye gondola uk

 

and that returns different numbers depending on the order of the keywords.

 

And it's not uk either because "sequoia national park usa" also varies.

 

Alan

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Keyword order must be influencing this. For example I can see how 'dog UK' in sequence may return more images than 'park UK'. 

Edited by digi2ap

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It's reasonable that your keyword order will affect the order in which your images come up in a search.  But the keyword order shouldn't make the images disappear from a search.

 

e.g.

Mountain Vancouver 266 images

Vancouver Mountain 30 images

 

Both those are far too low as there are many mountains in Vancouver area.

 

Grouse Mountain Vancouver 166

Vancouver Grouse Mountain 518

 

Frustrating as I have images that are not showing up in these searches.

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Mountain Vancouver 266 images

Vancouver Mountain 30 images

 

 

Mountain in Vancouver: 2137 images!

 

Alan

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It's reasonable that your keyword order will affect the order in which your images come up in a search.  But the keyword order shouldn't make the images disappear from a search.

 

e.g.

Mountain Vancouver 266 images

Vancouver Mountain 30 images

 

Both those are far too low as there are many mountains in Vancouver area.

 

Grouse Mountain Vancouver 166

Vancouver Grouse Mountain 518

 

Frustrating as I have images that are not showing up in these searches.

 

My understanding of it is that the search engine was tinkered with to try and intelligently not show searches if it believed someone didn't want to see certain images. So someone searching for "Vancouver" probably wouldn't want to find images of mountains. I'm all for that IF It works and "guesses" correctly. If you were to put Vancouver Mountain Vancouver in your keywords, those images should be in the results whichever way they round they are put in the search. That's where the problem is, that it isn't always happening like that.

 

Geoff.

 

 

A customer recently did do a search for Vancouver Mountain, as I discovered in A of A.  That's how I discovered the problem.  I saw that search only produced 30 images which definitely was not correct. 

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Keyword order must be influencing this. For example I can see how 'dog UK' in sequence may return more images than 'park UK'. 

 

 

The keyword order does make a difference to the position of the images in the results, as it should, but all images should USUALLY still show up no matter what order the words are in. I say usually because there are cases, according to something Alamy said in a fairly recent post on the forums (several weeks to a couple of months ago) that the search engine won't display some results. An example that I had was with a pub called The Swan, where a search for swan didn't show the image - Or something like that anyway. So basically the search engine guesses that someone wants to find a swan and not a pub or visa versa. Basically I added various phrases to my keywords that covered any search with the words in any order, and that sorted the problem out. In some other cases though, having all possible phrases hasn't worked.

 

So something like "park UK park" (without quotes) would cover a search for "park UK" and "UK park". It isn't always working out like that though.

 

Geoff.

 

 

Instead of fiddling with keyword combinations resulting in a search engine that works faulty, would Alamy not better educate their clients. Honestly, it doesn't take rocket science to add "swan" "pub" in the search box to find pictures of the "Swan pub". And you don't have to be Einstein to see images of a "swan swimming in a lake" popping up by simple typing the keywords "swan" "bird" "lake" or "swan" "water" or "swan" "swim" "swimming".  :rolleyes: 

Honestly, I don't understand clients who would look for a certain subject by just using ONE keyword. ......... and there are obviously plenty when you take a look at AoA (right now on AoA: concept / water / landscapes / art / man / ...... what's the point in looking for just one of these words?  :wacko: )

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I couldn't agree with you more Philippe.  And for the Leicester example couldn't they search Leicester NOT London or Leicester NOT square if they only want Leicester rather than Leicester Square.  Alamy are trying to be too clever (and failing) instead of teaching their buyers to be clever or less lazy.

 

Pearl

Edited by Pearl
  • Upvote 2

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One does not teach clients one learns from clients.

 

wim

  • Upvote 2

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It feels as if Alamy's current search engine has had patches added on top of patches making the effect of any changes in their algorithms hard to predict.

 

I wonder if Alamy should drop it's own internal search engine and instead utilise a third party (e.g. Google?) "search engine service"? If such services are available it could work using the keyword lists that appear on the "Buy this image now..." pages. The third party engine would do the indexing of all the images on Alamy.com, conduct the search and produce a list of images. Alamy then applies any filters (e.g. [WOP] etc.), then sorts the remaining images according to their image rank and presents the results.

 

Are Alamy are trying to be too clever? If they used a Google engine, at least the search syntax would be common in both Alamy and general web searches. But I suppose Alamy would loose what they see a USP (i.e. specially optimised search results). Mmmm...

Edited by M.Chapman

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It feels as if Alamy's current search engine has had patches added on top of patches making the effect of any changes in their algorithms hard to predict.

 

I wonder if Alamy should drop it's own internal search engine and instead utilise a third party (e.g. Google?) "search engine service"? If such services are available it could work using the keyword lists that appear on the "Buy this image now..." pages. The third party engine would do the indexing of all the images on Alamy.com, conduct the search and produce a list of images. Alamy then applies any filters (e.g. [WOP] etc.), then sorts the remaining images according to their image rank and presents the results.

 

Are Alamy are trying to be too clever? If they used a Google engine, at least the search syntax would be common in both Alamy and general web searches. But I suppose Alamy would loose what they see a USP (i.e. specially optimised search results). Mmmm...

 

Google Search would not be able to use Alamy Rank though. It wouldn't be able to access data such as previous sales etc. They would also be at the mercy of Google changing the algorithm (which I believe is under constant change).

 

Where I would like to see better use of Google is the indexing of the site from a Google Search. If I reverse search my images the majority don't track back to an Alamy page (Tineye is better at this).  I would like there to be a 100% hit rate on this.

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Now another anomaly.  Going through measures today there was a search for walking man. I had 3 images returned for my main pseudo, out of 1800 viewed.  So I did my own search and, sure enough I apparently have only 3 images for that search term.  So I searched hiking man and had 29 images returned.  Every one of those 29 images has the word walking in the keywords so why were they not found when searching walking man?  So I studied the keywords in the 29 images and found that the 3 that were returned for walking man were the only ones with those two words together in that order.  

 

Now it is looking as though the search engine will only find images for certain multi word searches if those words happen to be together and in the same order.  This is a significant change which has serious implications for keywording if we want our images to be found.  Oddly though, the same did not apply to my search for hiking man. What a mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Pearl

Edited by Pearl
  • Upvote 3

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I have written again to MS and copied to Alan Capel.

 

Pearl

  • Upvote 2

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It feels as if Alamy's current search engine has had patches added on top of patches making the effect of any changes in their algorithms hard to predict.

 

I wonder if Alamy should drop it's own internal search engine and instead utilise a third party (e.g. Google?) "search engine service"? If such services are available it could work using the keyword lists that appear on the "Buy this image now..." pages. The third party engine would do the indexing of all the images on Alamy.com, conduct the search and produce a list of images. Alamy then applies any filters (e.g. [WOP] etc.), then sorts the remaining images according to their image rank and presents the results.

 

Are Alamy are trying to be too clever? If they used a Google engine, at least the search syntax would be common in both Alamy and general web searches. But I suppose Alamy would loose what they see a USP (i.e. specially optimised search results). Mmmm...

 

Google Search would not be able to use Alamy Rank though.

 

 

That's why I suggested the third party search engine just supplies Alamy with a list of all images that match the keywords. Alamy then applies the filters and sorts the image according to rank before displaying the results. I'm sure I've seen quite a few websites with "internal" search boxes that say "powered by Google".

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Google Search or any other third party search would have to be customized to use Alamy's essential/main/comprehensive prioritization. And what are the odds that Alamy's code would have a place for a clean interface with it?

Edited by Bill Kuta

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