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Joseph Clemson

Best practice for keyword phrases in new Image Manager/search.

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I'm wondering what conclusions people are coming to on best practice for tagging and supertagging keywords and keyword phrases.

 

I'm particularly concerned with the use of keyword phrases as a unit and whether to use the individual words from the phrase as a further tag. and which of these, if any, to assign as a super tag. In examining my legacy images I am finding in most cases that all the current super tags are single keywords which the Image Manager has assigned as such. For the most part I also have corresponding keyword phrases in my list of tags, but they are just ordinary tags.

 

To use a fictionalised example, in keywording my image of the shop exterior of 'The Purple Scorpion Shoe Shop', I think it  is best to supertag the whole phrase and probably 'purple scorpion' and 'shoe shop'. However what about the single keywords 'purple', 'scorpion', 'shoe', 'shop'. Each of these alone is capable of resulting in false positives. Should I just remove the supertag status from them? Should I delete the single keywords altogether and just rely on the keyword phrases?

 

Any insights from those of you who have delved into these things? Such keyword editing as I have done so far doesn't seems to have much of a positive impact and I would like to know what is the best way forward as I strive to edit the next 2000 images.

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Thanks for the response, Geoff.

 

Unfortunately doing nothing may not really be a realistic option. Many of my images now have single word supertags, and often they are misleading in isolation and likely to lead to false positives. At the time I uploaded my legacy images, I placed the single keywords in the 'Essentials' box; Alamy's advice at the time was that the proximity of the single keywords to each other would cause them to be treated as a phrase. I took them at their word on this but it now seems to have worked against me.  I included the keywords phrases as well, but they were in the main keywords box and so have not been supertagged.

 

The Alamy best practice blog doesn't really advise what should be done with single keywords in these circumstances, which is why I am looking to the wisdom of the wider community.

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I would definitely put  phrases together and only use single words that pertain to the image.  Using the word "scorpion" would not be beneficial to that image as anyone simply searching scorpion wouldn't be looking for a shoe shop.  Same with the word "shoe".  Using the phrases helps in keeping unwanted views away as it lowers the value of your tag if it has multiple words as opposed to a single word.

 

Although I do see it unlikely that anyone would do a search with the single word "shoe", it's better safe than sorry.  I figure if a single word out of a phrase is a noun, then you know it will call up all images of that noun.  I would do maybe "purple scorpion shop" as well as the full "purple scorpion shoe shop" but not "purple scorpion".  As well as "shoe shop" and tags substituting "store" for "shop".  

 

Jill

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Ok. Thanks for the input. It looks as though I will have to make all the relevant keyword phrases into supertags and relegate relevant single words to ordinary tags. I'm still unsure about single words which cause ambiguity as I don't want to push my images any furher down the results than necessary, but, on balance I think I will probably delete them in order to avoid false positives and hope it doesn't have too negative an impact on search results. I'm fairly sure that my captions are about as good as they can be because I've always taken care to make that so, but I will check those too.

 

I would like to think that putting a big chunk of effort into optimising my keywording according to Alamy's recommendations will bear some fruit. Hopefully, Alamy will not move the goalposts afterwards.Time will tell.

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I have been following the principle outlined by Jill above, based upon the guidance provided by Alamy. So I've spent many a happy hour replacing, for example "blue" and "sky" with "blue sky".

 

Will this make any difference, I've no idea. It's an act of faith....

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I have been following the principle outlined by Jill above, based upon the guidance provided by Alamy. So I've spent many a happy hour replacing, for example "blue" and "sky" with "blue sky".

 

Will this make any difference, I've no idea. It's an act of faith....

 

I've been doing pretty much the same but have to admit that I've been procrastinating as of late.

 

As Alamy suggests, I've also been trying not to mix concepts -- e.g. "vancouver, chinese restaurant" rather than "vancouver chinese restaurant". Actually, this is always how I've tended to keyword. Just wish I had used commas rather than spaces more often. :(

Edited by John Mitchell
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And I'm so glad I went to the extra trouble (and, yes, it was time consuming) to use quotes and commas. Yet, John, I got a bit lazy sometimes and used only spaces in Comprehensive. Now I have a supertag of "Oklahoma City Oklahoma day daytime nobody outdoors horizontal ". Or similar.

 

Thank heavens I wasn't lazy TOO often. Just enough to drive me crazy.

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And I'm so glad I went to the extra trouble (and, yes, it was time consuming) to use quotes and commas. Yet, John, I got a bit lazy sometimes and used only spaces in Comprehensive. Now I have a supertag of "Oklahoma City Oklahoma day daytime nobody outdoors horizontal ". Or similar.

 

Thank heavens I wasn't lazy TOO often. Just enough to drive me crazy.

 

I can put part of the blame on technology. I included commas in my keywords before uploading, but they were stripped by Alamy. Their system did recognize the spaces. However, I've ended up with broken phrases -- e.g. cloudy, sky, british, columbia, north, america, etc. -- in the new AIM more than megatags, although I've got those as well (not sure why). Search results don't seem to have suffered much, but I am being a good boy (when I feel like it) and am slowly gluing things back together.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I must admit I'm more confused than ever. Alamy said that individual words within supertags would still be searchable so to me it makes sense to use supertags rather than single tags and I don't see why you would want to use a tag more than once. However I see here that folk all have their own way of doing things which they swear by and it seems to work for them. Yesterday I experimented with my old BHZ image and added BHZ to the caption. My image today now appears on page 4 instead of page 17. It seems that Geoff has a point even if Alamy don't approve. As I move forward I will pay as much attention to captions as I do tags, but I'm under no illusions that this will be a final fix. I do wish Alamy would be more forthcoming about how it all works, it would save everyone a lot of time.

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The weight given to the caption seems frighteningly strong. Taken to its logical  conclusion, for the savvy contributor determined to maximise their position, the caption will become another keyword field with less regard for a description of the image in good English prose and more regard for packing in as many keywords as they can.

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I do wish Alamy would be more forthcoming about how it all works....

 

Do you think they know? I'm not sure they do.

 

If they do know, then I'd have expected some fixes to the search engine faults to have been made by now (it's 3 months since faults were reported). I suspect the search algorithm code has got a bit too complicated over the years and they are maybe having to do a complete rewrite and/or wait for that extra software engineer they're recruiting.  

Edited by M.Chapman
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