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In trying to keep from falling into the trap of keyword spamming, I wondered if anyone here could answer this question:

 

If I have the keywords "swallowtail" and "butterfly" for an image, is it redundant to add "swallowtail butterfly"? Or, by having "swallowtail butterfly", does it make it more likely that my image will show up higher in the search results if a customer searches for "swallowtail butterfly"?

 

And, going the other way, if I have only keyworded "swallowtail butterfly", will my image appear in search results for just "swallowtail" or "butterfly"?

 

Megan

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Go to All of Alamy,

aka AoA,

aka Home > My Alamy > Customer search activity - all of Alamy.

 

Set the date as far back as you can. At this moment: 01-Sep-2015.

As the search term, use %swallow%tail%.

Why not %swallowtail% ? You may miss the odd person (usually American) who has been searching for Swallow Tail.

Why the %? Because otherwise you only get searches beginning with Swallowtail and not something like Tiger Swallowtail.

In this case there's no need for the last %, but in some cases there might be, so just stick it in, just in case.

 

Use some of the phrases clients have used. Save your image.

When the image has gone live, search for your image, using the keywords from AoA and some you would use yourself, if you were the client.

 

Not satisfied with where your image has landed for one or more keywords or search terms? try moving the keywords around and repeat. And rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat and... you get the idea.

Make a note of what you find. And apply that knowledge to all your images. It may not work for every subject though.

There have been anomalies for topographic terms, especially big cities. (And I'm pretty sure there still are.) There's endless tweaking from Alamy's side as well.

So there's no end to the rinse and repeat.

 

But because you're only just starting out, this is the moment to find out. Once you have hundreds or maybe even thousands of images, it'll be a nightmare.

 

wim

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Thank you very much for such a detailed answer, wim! I'm definitely going to play around with AoA and experiment with different search phrases used by clients.

 

Thanks again!

 

Megan

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Also it would be best if you found out which of the many Swallowtails your photo is of, in case someone is looking for a particular species.

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In trying to keep from falling into the trap of keyword spamming, I wondered if anyone here could answer this question:

 

If I have the keywords "swallowtail" and "butterfly" for an image, is it redundant to add "swallowtail butterfly"? Or, by having "swallowtail butterfly", does it make it more likely that my image will show up higher in the search results if a customer searches for "swallowtail butterfly"?

 

And, going the other way, if I have only keyworded "swallowtail butterfly", will my image appear in search results for just "swallowtail" or "butterfly"?

 

Megan

 

No it's not redundant - if it was me I'd enter the following;

 

swallowtail,butterfly,"swallowtail butterfly"

 

Entering "swallowtail butterfly" may (or may not) affect Alamy search results (Alamy's inner workings are a bit of a mystery). However, it will very probably improve external search engine results since forcing these two words to appear as a phrase is the only way to get them to appear next to each other in the alphabetically sorted keyword list which Alamy makes accessible to external search engines. Look at the keywords that appear below your images in Alamy webpage displayed to customer.

 

Some will argue that you don't need to use both commas and quotes and so 

 

swallowtail,butterfly,swallowtail butterfly

 

should work just as well.

 

I use both, as belt and braces measure, as there have been times when not using quotes didn't seem to produce the result I wanted.

 

PS. Don't forget to add the scientific name too!

Edited by M.Chapman

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As Mark said,

swallowtail,butterfly,"swallowtail butterfly". Is how I do it, too. At least on everything in the past year or two. And my stuff is found pretty high up in searches for the most part.

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I've been wondering the same about "London Bridge" recently. There are a lot of bridges in London. I've just done a search and I notice that 'London bridge' and 'bridge London' do bring up very different results.

Edited by Phil Robinson

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I've been wondering the same about "London Bridge" recently. There are a lot of bridges in London. I've just done a search and I notice that 'London bridge' and 'bridge London' do bring up very different results.

 

Which is where AoA comes in handy.

Searches change over time as well. So it may well be that once they used to search for London bridge, but now they mostly are looking for bridge London.

The importance of word order has been with us for a couple of years now. Don't tell the others.

 

wim

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Totally agree with wiskerke on the nightmare part! I am living out that nightmare now. Have to go through over a thousand photos to redo most of the keywording :-S I should really have spent a lot more time at the beginning to fully understand the keywording. Strongly suggest you do likewise :-D

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I've been wondering the same about "London Bridge" recently. There are a lot of bridges in London. I've just done a search and I notice that 'London bridge' and 'bridge London' do bring up very different results.

 

Which is where AoA comes in handy.

Searches change over time as well. So it may well be that once they used to search for London bridge, but now they mostly are looking for bridge London.

The importance of word order has been with us for a couple of years now. Don't tell the others.

 

wim

 

 

 

Totally agree with wiskerke on the nightmare part! I am living out that nightmare now. Have to go through over a thousand photos to redo most of the keywording :-S I should really have spent a lot more time at the beginning to fully understand the keywording. Strongly suggest you do likewise :-D

 

I'm so constantly paranoid that the powers that be will alter the search algorithm on a whim (and, in fact, don't even incorporate some of their own original keywording recommendations into the algorithm - quotes, square brackets, etc.) that it's sometimes often difficult to find the energy/inclination to change anything.

 

With the (imminent?!) changes afoot, I'm tempted to leave well alone until I see the impact of the latest system.

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Also it would be best if you found out which of the many Swallowtails your photo is of, in case someone is looking for a particular species.

Definitely! I'm very interested in butterflies, so everything is always identified to species. I use both common and scientific names in my keywords.

 

 

In trying to keep from falling into the trap of keyword spamming, I wondered if anyone here could answer this question:

 

If I have the keywords "swallowtail" and "butterfly" for an image, is it redundant to add "swallowtail butterfly"? Or, by having "swallowtail butterfly", does it make it more likely that my image will show up higher in the search results if a customer searches for "swallowtail butterfly"?

 

And, going the other way, if I have only keyworded "swallowtail butterfly", will my image appear in search results for just "swallowtail" or "butterfly"?

 

Megan

 

No it's not redundant - if it was me I'd enter the following;

 

swallowtail,butterfly,"swallowtail butterfly"

 

Entering "swallowtail butterfly" may (or may not) affect Alamy search results (Alamy's inner workings are a bit of a mystery). However, it will very probably improve external search engine results since forcing these two words to appear as a phrase is the only way to get them to appear next to each other in the alphabetically sorted keyword list which Alamy makes accessible to external search engines. Look at the keywords that appear below your images in Alamy webpage displayed to customer.

 

Some will argue that you don't need to use both commas and quotes and so 

 

swallowtail,butterfly,swallowtail butterfly

 

should work just as well.

 

I use both, as belt and braces measure, as there have been times when not using quotes didn't seem to produce the result I wanted.

 

PS. Don't forget to add the scientific name too!

 

 

 

As Mark said,

swallowtail,butterfly,"swallowtail butterfly". Is how I do it, too. At least on everything in the past year or two. And my stuff is found pretty high up in searches for the most part.

Thank you both for clarifying that! It's good to know what other folks here do with keywording. Best to learn from the pros early so I don't have to re-keyword hundreds of images later.

 

Totally agree with wiskerke on the nightmare part! I am living out that nightmare now. Have to go through over a thousand photos to redo most of the keywording :-S I should really have spent a lot more time at the beginning to fully understand the keywording. Strongly suggest you do likewise :-D

 

My goodness, that is indeed a nightmare! I wish you the best going through and re-keywording all those images.

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