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Pearl

Search engine still broken

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...............I've now received a reply from MS regarding the problem, which the does seem to have been misunderstood somewhat. However, the reason I'm posting here is because of the comments at the end of their reply to me:

 

"On a further note the essential, main and comprehensive keywords are now combined and sorted in the alphabetical order after removing duplicate keywords. The order in which you enter isn’t important, all it matters is the relevancy of the keywords. At a customer’s point of view what matters is that the images returned in the search should be relevant to their keywords."...........

 

Ian D

 

Regards Alamys reply to Ian D ("The order in which you enter isn’t important, all it matters is the relevancy of the keywords")I have recently noticed some strange (to me) results regards positioning of my photos returned using only search words included in my 'essential keywords'. I have a few landscape images taken in USA, and all of these use the same format for essential keywords, ie, usa landscape, followed by area name, then State, so an actual example would be: usa landscape grand teton national park wyoming.

 

When I search using just the first two words in my essential keywords (usa landscape) filtered for photographs, ie, not all images, 305,313 results are returned and I have 2 images displayed on page 1 of 3,393 pages.

 

When I search using third and fourth words in my essential keywords (Horsehoe Bend, again filtered for photographs), 1,261 results are returned and my first image appears on page 5 of 15 pages.

 

Using search words three to six in my essential keywords (Grand Teton National Park), 9,743 results are returned and my first image appears on page 19 of 109 pages.

 

If, according to Alamy, order of keywords is not important, it seems strange that the positioning of my images in returned search results are so variable using examples above. If I get page 1 of 3,393 pages for example 1, should I not get higher positioned results for examples 2 and 3 above??? This is not about whether my images are included or excluded in search results as mentioned in previous posts above, but trying to comprehend the positioning variability of my images when they are returned in searchs.

 

Although I have no idea what my Alamy Rank figure is, its unlikely to be high given the small number of sales I make (just 10 reported this year), so while its nice hitting page 1 in my first example, personally I think this considerably overstates my rank, and the results obtained are some sort of freakish behaviour by the Alamy search engine (although I would love to be proved wrong!!). My annualised CTR tends to be slightly above average, so examples 2 and 3 above are more likely to be representative of where my images would be positioned in a search.

 

Given these examples of wide variations in image search position results, essential keyword order does seem to make a difference in search results......and therefore.....Alamy are wrong?????

 

 

Not sure of the details of your search based on what you said, but if you're not including "usa landscape" in all three searches, then it's not a valid comparison. You're assuming that all images by everyone involved in your searches include "usa landscape" in their essential keywords.

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Ian

 

I can understand that only using 'Essential' keywords in a search would probably produce different results to a search using only 'Main' keywords, but I don't understand how there could be such variability in search result positioning when only 'Essentail' keywords are used, eg with my earlier examples, landing on page 1 of 3,393 pages (using first two essentail keywords) as opposed to landing on page 19 for 109 pages. Do the order of all words in just one keyword category (eg Essential) really account for such variation in search position results?

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Ian

 

I can understand that only using 'Essential' keywords in a search would probably produce different results to a search using only 'Main' keywords, but I don't understand how there could be such variability in search result positioning when only 'Essentail' keywords are used, eg with my earlier examples, landing on page 1 of 3,393 pages (using first two essentail keywords) as opposed to landing on page 19 for 109 pages. Do the order of all words in just one keyword category (eg Essential) really account for such variation in search position results?

Absolutely, Phil. The order and proximity of keywords in any field will make a huge difference - which makes perfect sense. You want words that are searched together to appear at the top of any search results. For instance, if a buyer does a search for "National Park", he clearly doesn't want images to appear on the first page which might have, for example, the words "car park washington national airport". Those images would eventually appear, but at the very bottom of a search.

 

(I've actually picked a bad example, in that Alamy still haven't resolved the anomalies of a search for national parks!!)

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Ian

 

I can understand that only using 'Essential' keywords in a search would probably produce different results to a search using only 'Main' keywords, but I don't understand how there could be such variability in search result positioning when only 'Essentail' keywords are used, eg with my earlier examples, landing on page 1 of 3,393 pages (using first two essentail keywords) as opposed to landing on page 19 for 109 pages. Do the order of all words in just one keyword category (eg Essential) really account for such variation in search position results?

Phil,

 

As I understand it the word order in a particular fields is very important.

 

What you could do is take a certain image and experiment with changing the order of the  Essential keywords over a couple of days. (Mon - Fri as the search engine updates overnight). That should give you an idea of how the order changes your searches.

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Ian, Michael, Bill

 

So.....its seems that success in stock photography is primarily about finding search phrases (rather than individual keywords) that buyers use to find those images! Guess I need to print off all the searches in All of Alamy  :(  :huh:  :angry:

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