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Keywords Not Separated by Commas

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I'm new to Alamy. So any help with this would be much appreciated.

 

I uploaded a bunch of images onto my account. When I went to My Alamy to Manage My Images, I noticed that the keywords associated with each image were imported under "Comprehensive Keywords" but each word was separated by a space instead of comma. Do I have to insert a comma for the keywords and then move them into "Essential" and "Key"?

 

Also, what's the difference between "Comprehensive" and "Key" ?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Individual keywords separated by a space is OK. You can keep keyword phrases, eg. "steam train" together by enclosing them in double quotes. You need to move your keywords into the appropriate sections  - see http://www.alamy.com/blog/alamykeywording

 

Lots of threads on the forum on this topic, as well as Alamy's own blogs. Put the camera away one rainy (or snowy) day and spend the time in some serious reading here and you will very likely emerge as a wiser contributor and maybe even a better photographer.

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Individual keywords separated by a space is OK. You can keep keyword phrases, eg. "steam train" together by enclosing them in double quotes. You need to move your keywords into the appropriate sections  - see http://www.alamy.com/blog/alamykeywording

 

Lots of threads on the forum on this topic, as well as Alamy's own blogs. Put the camera away one rainy (or snowy) day and spend the time in some serious reading here and you will very likely emerge as a wiser contributor and maybe even a better photographer.

 

Yes, quite agree, it's good value for your time spent...

 

Also understand how to use commas instead of quotes, when preferred, there are certain rules to observe:

 

http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/4041-multi-word-tags/

Edited by Niels Quist

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In my experience (tested) very careful use of quotation marks works. Just don't do more than one or two instances and be sure they are separated by more than three or four words lest those words in between be treated as a phrase.

 

Paulette

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In my experience (tested) very careful use of quotation marks works. Just don't do more than one or two instances and be sure they are separated by more than three or four words lest those words in between be treated as a phrase.

 

Paulette

 

Indeed.

 

The targeted use of quotation marks or commas to exercise total control in constructing and then locking-in how actual phrases appear in keywords is a well established practise among those of us who prefer our keywords to appear, when appropriate, as full, logical phrases--for those who care about such things, it looks much more professional (and makes more sense) to any observer than a jumble of single words simply ordered alphabetically. Many contributors to Alamy use that system to perfect, consistent effect.

 

But hey, if some folk are happy to relinquish that control and allow Alamy's system to split phrases up into single words and rearrange them alphabetically, it's absolutely no skin off my nose :-)

 

dd

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In my experience (tested) very careful use of quotation marks works. Just don't do more than one or two instances and be sure they are separated by more than three or four words lest those words in between be treated as a phrase.

 

Paulette

 

Indeed.

 

The targeted use of quotation marks or commas to exercise total control in constructing and then locking-in how actual phrases appear in keywords is a well established practise among those of us who prefer our keywords to appear, when appropriate, as full, logical phrases--for those who care about such things, it looks much more professional (and makes more sense) to any observer than a jumble of single words simply ordered alphabetically. Many contributors to Alamy use that system to perfect, consistent effect.

 

But hey, if some folk are happy to relinquish that control and allow Alamy's system to split phrases up into single words and rearrange them alphabetically, it's absolutely no skin off my nose :-)

 

dd

 

 

 

Your way of writing really is very argumentative and uncalled for, as I'm sure you're very aware!

 

I have done a lot of testing on this with many images over many months, and I know what works and what either doesn't work, and also what causes problems with images not appearing because the system has messed things up.

 

Clearly nobody wants to do it the "wrong" way, and anyone who wants to sell images (which of course is all of us) will want to control our keywords ourselves. Alamy themselves have stated that their system doesn't even use quotation marks but ignores them, and I have looked for quotes on that to post here but cannot find them. It has also been said many times by contributors who know what they're doing and have done their own research that quotation marks and other characters are not implemented.

 

If yours and other people's tests show otherwise then I cannot explain it, so of course you should carry on doing whatever you think is best, but I know what works for me and for many others.

 

Geoff.

 

 

Goodness.

 

The word "wrong" does not appear in my post, nor does the actual concept of "wrong (or right)". Nor I believe does any word with similar meaning to "wrong" appear in my post.

 

I very specifically restricted my comments to how to control "how actual phrases appear in keywords", and to those who care about such things.

 

dd

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Also as for quotation marks if you want to use a phrase - This does not make any difference. Keep the words of a phrase together in your keywords but do not use commas, quotation marks, brackets, square brackets or anything else that the "help" pages USED to suggest, much to the annoyance of many, including myself who wasted a lot of time adding those characters to keywords, only to find out later that they were ignored by Alamy's system, and in fact in some cases caused images to NOT be found in searches.

 

For those who do not agree, try doing some testing and compare searches with various different ways of keywording. Maybe things have changed in recent months?

 

Geoff.

 

They may make not make a difference to Alamy's internal search engine, but they appear to make a difference to the keyword strings presented to external search engines. 

 

I use commas and spaces throughout because I believe it gives more reliable control. Admittedly my view is based on the accuracy of the keyword/phrase lists displayed by Alamy below my images and not on the results from Alamy's search engine.  It's a shame Alamy aren't more forthcoming on how the keywords we enter are now interpreted. The original advice on the use of quotes and brackets was never fully implemented, and the keyword strings produced below the image may well not relate to the inner workings of the Alamy search engine.

 

So, I always use commas, and use quotes when needed around phrases. I don't use brackets or square brackets.

Edited by M.Chapman
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In my experience, the list of keywords that anyone can see below images does seem to reflect the way the search engine works. For example, when I've tried using quotation marks before, I've seen that some of the words in that list are not separated by commas (not the same words I've put quotation marks around but other seemingly random words), and that is reflected when doing a search for those individual words, when my images have not appeared. That is why I stopped using quotes, as it was causing those problems that couldn't be predicted. Months ago when this was being discussed at length in a thread, I tested this out with other people's images who believed there wasn't a problem, and I quoted some cases where their images were not appearing in search results despite them having those words in the list. I could see where their keywords did not have commas where the contributor hadn't used quotation marks, and it did fit in with their images not appearing when certain searches were performed. It could well be that using commas between every single word resolved (intentionally past tense) that bug, but as quotation marks don't affect the search results anyway, it seems easier to simply not use them. I take your point though that it may affect other search engines which could matter in some cases.

 

 

 

- and you are sure that you did observe this basic rule (can be read in numerous threads, but this quotation is from SFL's reply in the thread linked to in my above post):

 

Quote

 

This is what Alamy said on this subject a while ago.

We have a small change in the display of keywords in the live. This is part of the recent comp changes we’ve made.

According to the current logic , 4 or less keywords not separated by any specific separator (comma, quotes ) will be considered as a phrase and they’ll not be separated by commas in the live site.

It’ll be separated only if you use any allowed separator (comma, quotes) or if the number of words together is greater than 4.

 

Unquote

 

 

When I experiment with this I always check the keywords in the server updated keywords by moving the mouse curser along the keywords which will show which belong / stick together. If you do not observe the above rules, you may find your individual keywords linked together. (I use more than four words between and only spaces between the ordinary keywords).

 

I think you should to do at least a few experiments more, Geoff    :)

 

 

 

​Edited recently: My source for the quote from Alamy is not SDL, now corrected it to the correct SFL

Edited by Niels Quist
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They may make not make a difference to Alamy's internal search engine, but they appear to make a difference to the keyword strings presented external search engines. 

 

I use commas and spaces throughout because I believe it gives more reliable control. Admittedly my view is based on the accuracy of the keyword/phrase lists displayed by Alamy below my images and not on the results from Alamy's search engine.  It's a shame Alamy aren't more forthcoming on how the keywords we enter are now interpreted. The original advice on the use of quotes and brackets was never fully implemented, and the keyword strings produced below the image may well not relate to the inner workings of the Alamy search engine.

 

So, I always use commas, and use quotes when needed around phrases. I don't use brackets or square brackets.

 

 

 

For example, when I've tried using quotation marks before, I've seen that some of the words in that list are not separated by commas (not the same words I've put quotation marks around but other seemingly random words), and that is reflected when doing a search for those individual words, when my images have not appeared. 

 

That's what I found too. So I also did some testing and found that using commas between independent keywords and between phrases, and adding quotes around phases always seems to work. A bit "belt and braces" but it seems to work reliably.

 

So I decided to swap to using quotes and commas and wrote some Visual Basic to change all my keywords "en masse" with help of a spreadsheet of Metadata supplied by member services.

 

Alamy then made the comment about the 4 keyword rule in the forum (if it's official I wish they'd put this kind of stuff in the guidelines). Nevertheless I decided it was easier to stick with quotes and commas.

Edited by M.Chapman

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This is what Alamy said on this subject a while ago.

We have a small change in the display of keywords in the live. This is part of the recent comp changes we’ve made.

According to the current logic , 4 or less keywords not separated by any specific separator (comma, quotes ) will be considered as a phrase and they’ll not be separated by commas in the live site.

It’ll be separated only if you use any allowed separator (comma, quotes) or if the number of words together is greater than 4.

 

Unquote

 

 

Absolutely and consistently and demonstrably correct Niels.

 

dd 

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They may make not make a difference to Alamy's internal search engine, but they appear to make a difference to the keyword strings presented external search engines. 

 

I use commas and spaces throughout because I believe it gives more reliable control. Admittedly my view is based on the accuracy of the keyword/phrase lists displayed by Alamy below my images and not on the results from Alamy's search engine.  It's a shame Alamy aren't more forthcoming on how the keywords we enter are now interpreted. The original advice on the use of quotes and brackets was never fully implemented, and the keyword strings produced below the image may well not relate to the inner workings of the Alamy search engine.

 

So, I always use commas, and use quotes when needed around phrases. I don't use brackets or square brackets.

 

 

 

For example, when I've tried using quotation marks before, I've seen that some of the words in that list are not separated by commas (not the same words I've put quotation marks around but other seemingly random words), and that is reflected when doing a search for those individual words, when my images have not appeared.

That's what I found too. So I also did some testing and found that using commas between independent keywords and between phrases, and adding quotes around phases always seems to work. A bit "belt and braces" but it seems to work reliably.

 

So I decided to swap to using quotes and commas and wrote some Visual Basic to change all my keywords "en masse" with help of a spreadsheet of Metadata supplied by member services.

 

Alamy then made the comment about the 4 keyword rule in the forum (if it's official I wish they'd put this kind of stuff in the guidelines). Nevertheless I decided it was easier to stick with quotes and commas.

You all know I have expounded on this at length, so I won't again. Anyone can find it in searches.

Nutshell, I use commas and quotes between every keyword. And either define phrases with commas or quotes on each end. I'm very happy with the results, and most of the images I've used this method on is found on the first page, if not, on page 2 or 3.

I no longer will try to change minds because those who don't believe in how I do it have their own preferences, as it should be.

We each have to find our own path, even if that path abruptly veers off from time to time.

 

Like when new rules are implemented after we've spent numerous hours perfecting our method within those rules.

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Also as for quotation marks if you want to use a phrase - This does not make any difference. Keep the words of a phrase together in your keywords but do not use commas, quotation marks, brackets, square brackets or anything else that the "help" pages USED to suggest, much to the annoyance of many, including myself who wasted a lot of time adding those characters to keywords, only to find out later that they were ignored by Alamy's system, and in fact in some cases caused images to NOT be found in searches.

 

For those who do not agree, try doing some testing and compare searches with various different ways of keywording. Maybe things have changed in recent months?

 

Geoff.

 

They may make not make a difference to Alamy's internal search engine, but they appear to make a difference to the keyword strings presented external search engines. 

 

I u

 

se commas and spaces throughout because I believe it gives more reliable control. Admittedly my view is based on the accuracy of the keyword/phrase lists displayed by Alamy below my images and not on the results from Alamy's search engine.  It's a shame Alamy aren't more forthcoming on how the keywords we enter are now interpreted. The original advice on the use of quotes and brackets was never fully implemented, and the keyword strings produced below the image may well not relate to the inner workings of the Alamy search engine.

 

So, I always use commas, and use quotes when needed around phrases. I don't use brackets or square brackets.

 

 

 

 

This is an interesting topic you're raising, as it is not only Alamy's search engine which should be important to us.

 

There are two keyword strings. One is the one below the image, and the second one is in the keyword metadata, visible when you open the source code of a page.

 

 

In the keyword string below the image, the keywords/keyphrases are listed alphabetically and are obviously affected by using commas. The keyword string in the metadata is also affected by commas, but there's something more: the metadata keywords are just the first ten keywords/keyphrases from the list below the image. If you have more than ten, they are just truncated. 

 

Example from one of my images:

String below the image: "alps, canton of uri, central switzerland, eggberge, eggbergen, europe, fluelen, flüelen, forest, front, grass, horizontal, landscape, meadows, mountains, nature, outside, panorama, switzerland, tree, uri"

Metadata keywords: "alps, canton of uri, central switzerland, eggberge, eggbergen, europe, fluelen, flüelen, forest, front"

 

 

This makes me rethink if I should really add "europe" as a keyword, since it might take the space of a more important keyword in the metadata.

 

 

However, I'm not sure how relevant these two keyword strings are to Google, as it might look like keyword spamming. AFAIK know, Google weights keywords embedded in text much more than keywords just in a row, no matter if visible on the page or hidden in the metadata. My personal opinion/conclusion is therefore: if you care about external search engines, make sure your image captions and descriptions have all relevant keywords embedded in phrases.

 

 

Christoph

 

 

 

Edit: improved formatting

Edited by chrumu
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Also as for quotation marks if you want to use a phrase - This does not make any difference. Keep the words of a phrase together in your keywords but do not use commas, quotation marks, brackets, square brackets or anything else that the "help" pages USED to suggest, much to the annoyance of many, including myself who wasted a lot of time adding those characters to keywords, only to find out later that they were ignored by Alamy's system, and in fact in some cases caused images to NOT be found in searches.

 

For those who do not agree, try doing some testing and compare searches with various different ways of keywording. Maybe things have changed in recent months?

 

Geoff.

 

They may make not make a difference to Alamy's internal search engine, but they appear to make a difference to the keyword strings presented external search engines. 

 

I u

 

se commas and spaces throughout because I believe it gives more reliable control. Admittedly my view is based on the accuracy of the keyword/phrase lists displayed by Alamy below my images and not on the results from Alamy's search engine.  It's a shame Alamy aren't more forthcoming on how the keywords we enter are now interpreted. The original advice on the use of quotes and brackets was never fully implemented, and the keyword strings produced below the image may well not relate to the inner workings of the Alamy search engine.

 

So, I always use commas, and use quotes when needed around phrases. I don't use brackets or square brackets.

 

 

 

 

This is an interesting topic you're raising, as it is not only Alamy's search engine which should be important to us.

 

There are two keyword strings. One is the one below the image, and the second one is in the keyword metadata, visible when you open the source code of a page.

 

 

In the keyword string below the image, the keywords/keyphrases are listed alphabetically and are obviously affected by using commas. The keyword string in the metadata is also affected by commas, but there's something more: the metadata keywords are just the first ten keywords/keyphrases from the list below the image. If you have more than ten, they are just truncated. 

 

Example from one of my images:

String below the image: "alps, canton of uri, central switzerland, eggberge, eggbergen, europe, fluelen, flüelen, forest, front, grass, horizontal, landscape, meadows, mountains, nature, outside, panorama, switzerland, tree, uri"

Metadata keywords: "alps, canton of uri, central switzerland, eggberge, eggbergen, europe, fluelen, flüelen, forest, front"

 

 

This makes me rethink if I should really add "europe" as a keyword, since it might take the space of a more important keyword in the metadata.

 

 

However, I'm not sure how relevant these two keyword strings are to Google, as it might look like keyword spamming. AFAIK know, Google weights keywords embedded in text much more than keywords just in a row, no matter if visible on the page or hidden in the metadata. My personal opinion/conclusion is therefore: if you care about external search engines, make sure your image captions and descriptions have all relevant keywords embedded in phrases.

 

 

Christoph

 

 

 

Edit: improved formatting

 

 

That's very interesting. I had only looked at the keyword string beneath the image, I hadn't looked at the metadata. I see the metadata keywords still respect the commas and spaces rule (good). But... as you correctly observe, the metadata includes just the first 10 keywords or phrases taken from all three keyword fields (Essential, Main, Comprehensive) combined, determined by alphabetic order alone. No priority is given to Essential keywords.

 

I'm no expert, but doesn't this represent a missed opportunity for Alamy and therefore contributors? Surely the keyword meta data should simply be a list of (up to ten) keywords drawn from the Essential keywords field, taken in the order they were entered? Alamy please take note. It may not make a huge difference (if the data actually on the page is given higher priority), but in a world with millions of image searches per day (or per hour?), even small changes to improve ranking could be significant?

 

In the meantime, your comment "If you care about external search engines, make sure your image captions and descriptions have all relevant keywords embedded in phrases" is well made. It's certainly not sensible for contributors to try to manipulate their keywords so that the first ten (drawn from all three keyword fields in alphabetic order) are particularly useful - unless of course they never enter much more than ten keywords. :wacko: 

Edited by M.Chapman

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