Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Pearl

Search engine still broken

Recommended Posts

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?

 

Good point, I didn't think of that, and yes, given the problems we've seen over the years suggests Alamy's code has grown and grown and may no longer be as well structured as they'd like.

 

In my previous life I was responsible for product development that included software. Over the years I relied on a few software engineers who had been with the company for years who kept adding to the code to add new features. We suffered from bugs, delayed release dates, unpredictable behaviour. Then the company had a shake up and I ended up with a new younger software team. They started from scratch and "re-engineered" the software from the ground up using all the latest techniques (structured design, data flow diagrams, use case models etc.). It was a revelation. They very quickly replaced the old software with new code that worked reliably and predictably.

Edited by M.Chapman
  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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?

 

Good point, I didn't think of that, and yes, given the problems we've seen over the year's suggests Alamy's code has grown and grown and may no longer be as well structured as they'd like.

 

In my previous life I was responsible for product development that included software. Over the years I relied on a few software engineers who had been with the company for years who kept adding to the code to add new features. We suffered from bugs, delayed release dates, unpredictable behaviour. Then the company had a shake up and I ended up with a new younger software team. They started from scratch and "re-engineered" the software from the ground up using all the latest techniques (structured design, data flow diagrams, use case models etc.). It was a revelation. They very quickly replaced the old software with new code that worked reliably and predictably.

 

Been there, both done that and managed it for others!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

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?

Good point, I didn't think of that, and yes, given the problems we've seen over the year's suggests Alamy's code has grown and grown and may no longer be as well structured as they'd like.

 

In my previous life I was responsible for product development that included software. Over the years I relied on a few software engineers who had been with the company for years who kept adding to the code to add new features. We suffered from bugs, delayed release dates, unpredictable behaviour. Then the company had a shake up and I ended up with a new younger software team. They started from scratch and "re-engineered" the software from the ground up using all the latest techniques (structured design, data flow diagrams, use case models etc.). It was a revelation. They very quickly replaced the old software with new code that worked reliably and predictably.

I'll have to admit to having been on all sides of your scenario at various times in my former life! Edited by Bill Kuta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 GOOD NEWS! It seems to suggest that AT LAST Alamy are trying to implement quoted keyphrases. OK, they're making a mess of it so far but if this is work in progress I am mightily pleased!

 

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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 GOOD NEWS! It seems to suggest that AT LAST Alamy are trying to implement quoted keyphrases. OK, they're making a mess of it so far but if this is work in progress I am mightily pleased!

 

Alan

 

So you are happy to keyword with every possible combination of words and go back through images already on line to do the same?  Seems like a nightmare to me.  I am quite happy for images with the exact word match to come up first but for the rest not to come up at all is crazy.

 

Pearl

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Result - walking dog park UK now returns 1413 images including the five of mine.  So Alamy is listening as that has been fixed. Thanks Alamy

 

Pearl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Result - walking dog park UK now returns 1413 images including the five of mine.  So Alamy is listening as that has been fixed. Thanks Alamy

 

Pearl

 

Pearl, is it fixed in Manage Images too? My domestic cat search in Manage Images still only returns four results out of my seventeen.

 

Paulette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

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 GOOD NEWS! It seems to suggest that AT LAST Alamy are trying to implement quoted keyphrases. OK, they're making a mess of it so far but if this is work in progress I am mightily pleased!

 

Alan

 

So you are happy to keyword with every possible combination of words and go back through images already on line to do the same?  Seems like a nightmare to me.  I am quite happy for images with the exact word match to come up first but for the rest not to come up at all is crazy.

 

 

No of course I'm not, which is why I said it was a work in progress and they had screwed it up. I'm just pleased that the work is in progress.

 

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Result - walking dog park UK now returns 1413 images including the five of mine.  So Alamy is listening as that has been fixed. Thanks Alamy

 

Pearl

 

Pearl, is it fixed in Manage Images too? My domestic cat search in Manage Images still only returns four results out of my seventeen.

 

Paulette

 

Yes Paulette, it seems to be fixed in MI as well.

 

Pearl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Result - walking dog park UK now returns 1413 images including the five of mine.  So Alamy is listening as that has been fixed. Thanks Alamy

 

Pearl

 

I just hope they're not just fixing the keyword combinations we report, like national park and walking dog park UK (which are now solved) but that they review the whole "mechanism" of their search engine. 

Anyway, Las Vegas hotel Paris still shows the same problem as do probably hundreds of other combinations. 

Keep checking and reporting I'd say. It's important!  :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I fully agree Philippe. I was just relieved to know that they are at least taking it on board that there is a problem.  We need to keep bombarding them so that they realise how extensive the problem is.  At the same time, however, it's not really our job to check the search engine for them.  It's very time consuming and we don't even get a THANK YOU.  The tech team are probably paid a lot more than me, even if they are in India. 

 

Pearl

 

 "Got a reply yesterday from MS and the search engine team is looking into the problem."

 

Philippe's next post came in whilst I was typing - good news and about time.

Edited by Pearl
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Result - walking dog park UK now returns 1413 images including the five of mine.  So Alamy is listening as that has been fixed. Thanks Alamy

 

Pearl

 

Pearl, is it fixed in Manage Images too? My domestic cat search in Manage Images still only returns four results out of my seventeen.

 

Paulette

 

Yes Paulette, it seems to be fixed in MI as well.

 

Pearl

 

 

Thanks for the reply, Pearl. I still have the problem in Manage Images so I have just emailed member services about it.

 

Paulette

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Result - walking dog park UK now returns 1413 images including the five of mine.  So Alamy is listening as that has been fixed. Thanks Alamy

 

Pearl

 

Pearl, is it fixed in Manage Images too? My domestic cat search in Manage Images still only returns four results out of my seventeen.

 

Paulette

 

Yes Paulette, it seems to be fixed in MI as well.

 

Pearl

 

 

Thanks for the reply, Pearl. I still have the problem in Manage Images so I have just emailed member services about it.

 

Paulette

 

 

Oh, mea culpa. The ones that are missing are my Stockimo images. Of course they don't appear in Manage Images. The original problem was with both Stockimo and regular images and just happened to be the same number of images. Brain wasn't working properly. Member services replied to my email immediately and explained it to me.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Folks:


 


I think this post should be here rather than where I put it last night in Dark Art of Keywording.


 


My cats are being affected by this curious keywording problem too now.  If I search using the words:  Cyprus cats    5 of mine  appear.  3rd image in the search.


 


However, if I search for  Cyprus cat  singular  only 2 appear despite one image being similar to 3 others containing the very same keywords.  Why are these 3 images


missing?  Even though there is a group of cats I added the singular word as we were told this was the correct way to keyword.


 


Is there a clue here?  or is it just a random mess?  


 


Hmmm. Too much time is devoted to keywording to lose out on searches.


 


Perhaps the fact that Measures hasn't been updated today means that this problem is being investigated.


 


Kathy


 


Kathy


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Perhaps the fact that Measures hasn't been updated today means that this problem is being investigated.

 

Or it could mean that Alamy have outsourced most of the IT to a company in India and as India is predominantly shut down today as it's Diwali, things aren't running as fast as they might!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Perhaps the fact that Measures hasn't been updated today means that this problem is being investigated.

 

Or it could mean that Alamy have outsourced most of the IT to a company in India and as India is predominantly shut down today as it's Diwali, things aren't running as fast as they might!

 

Ah ha!  Thanks for pointing that possibility out Matt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is Veteran's Day here in the US and my dashboard says there was an update today but there hasn't been in Measures.

 

Paulette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone

We would just like to clear up a few points about the search engine. It is no secret that we have been trying new ways to improve the search results over recent months. One of these technologies has been to try and deal with inappropriate images appearing high up in the search results e.g. "cat scan" or "cat island" appearing high up in a "cat" search, "zebra lionfish" appearing high up in a "zebra" search. For instance, before we implemented any changes, the first four images for a zebra search were not of zebras at all - a result set we are sure that you will agree is not helpful. We have implemented a new technology to try and deal with such instances. For the most part it is working well and search results have improved considerably.

However, as has been discussed here, there have been a small number of anomalies with the system which have led to some images not appearing for search results which they should have appeared for. We are in the process of fixing these anomalies and hope to have a change to the system implemented in a matter of days. We would like to thank those contributors who have emailed us abut a specific problem they have identified. Where possible, we have tried to implement a specific fix for that problem.

As regards keywording strategy, we would advise contributors to keyword in the way they always have.

 

You do not have to re-keyword your images.

 

Thanks for your patience.

 

Alamy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone

 

We would just like to clear up a few points about the search engine. It is no secret that we have been trying new ways to improve the search results over recent months. One of these technologies has been to try and deal with inappropriate images appearing high up in the search results e.g. "cat scan" or "cat island" appearing high up in a "cat" search, "zebra lionfish" appearing high up in a "zebra" search. For instance, before we implemented any changes, the first four images for a zebra search were not of zebras at all - a result set we are sure that you will agree is not helpful. We have implemented a new technology to try and deal with such instances. For the most part it is working well and search results have improved considerably.

 

However, as has been discussed here, there have been a small number of anomalies with the system which have led to some images not appearing for search results which they should have appeared for. We are in the process of fixing these anomalies and hope to have a change to the system implemented in a matter of days. We would like to thank those contributors who have emailed us abut a specific problem they have identified. Where possible, we have tried to implement a specific fix for that problem.

 

As regards keywording strategy, we would advise contributors to keyword in the way they always have.

 

You do not have to re-keyword your images.

 

Thanks for your patience.

 

Alamy

Good to hear from Alamy, especially that they are trying to fix the issues we have raised and, hopefully, those yet undiscovered.

 

Many thanks for the update Alamy, it's good to know that you are listening.

 

Pearl

Edited by Pearl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pearl I have experienced the same issue as you a few times in recent months, again in an attempt to see where my images sat under certain searches. I also wrote to MS about the problems.

 

I'm pleased to see the alamy response above and trust a speedy resolution will be found.

 

The errors in my own searches occurred on a fairly simple search - Australian fire engine- and variations of such

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Alamy. I must say my problem with "domestic cat" has made me start thinking about adding my adjectives first. I usually go for the main keyword, i.e. cat, cats, followed by other descriptions I can think of. A different order might get me a better result.

 

Paulette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more anomaly I have found with the way the search engine is currently working is that in the past I have been able to string together three of four seemingly unrelated keywords and then perform a search that would take me directly to my images.  Now when I do that I get the "Sorry, but we couldn’t find any matches" message.  The search engine seems to be ignoring my keywords.  I don't think this is what Alamy intended with the new changes.  I just wanted to post this to let them know.  As an example when movie star Harrison Ford crashed his airplane in to a Santa Monica California Golf course I remembered that I had photos of the type of airplane that he had crashed.  After I had uploaded and keyworded those photos I played around with searches using random orders of keywords to see what would happen.  I could search using terms like " ford, santa, airplane" and it would take me directly to my images.  Now the search engine finds nothing.  That makes me think customers are encountering the same problems which would create frustration.  I am wondering if this is a permanent change in which case what do I have to do to get my keywords to work again or is Alamy working on fixing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more anomaly I have found with the way the search engine is currently working is that in the past I have been able to string together three of four seemingly unrelated keywords and then perform a search that would take me directly to my images.  Now when I do that I get the "Sorry, but we couldn’t find any matches" message.  The search engine seems to be ignoring my keywords.  I don't think this is what Alamy intended with the new changes.  I just wanted to post this to let them know.  As an example when movie star Harrison Ford crashed his airplane in to a Santa Monica California Golf course I remembered that I had photos of the type of airplane that he had crashed.  After I had uploaded and keyworded those photos I played around with searches using random orders of keywords to see what would happen.  I could search using terms like " ford, santa, airplane" and it would take me directly to my images.  Now the search engine finds nothing.  That makes me think customers are encountering the same problems which would create frustration.  I am wondering if this is a permanent change in which case what do I have to do to get my keywords to work again or is Alamy working on fixing it.

See Alamy's post above.  You could always email them anyway with what you have found.

 

Pearl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope Alamy is not only fixing the specific problems we report like "national park" and "walking dog park UK", but will review the whole search engine mechanism. There must be lots of faulty combinations still undiscovered. And - honestly - it's not my job to look for them  :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Agree but my interpretation of what Alamy said is that they have dealt with the specific issues reported and are working on an overall fix.  Hope I'm not wrong.

 

Pearl

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 " ford, santa, airplane"

That is a tricky one in which interesting forms of transport for St. Nick could be imagined. But if the search engine has to exclude odd searches I'd concede that would have to be one of them. But then I don't have any photographs of Han Solo's aerial machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an update to my situation.  I contacted member services with the problem I am having with the search engine.  I received a reply asking for more information.  Before I replied I did some more testing and discovered that the problem I am having with my keywords not returning any images is restricted to just three of my images that I know of.  I tried using random sets of keywords from other of my images and always got correct results.  There could be other images affected but it would mean testing thousand of images to find out.  I sent that more specific information to MS and am waiting for a reply. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.