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Tagging, order of priority?


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I am confused (not hard!) as to whether the order of tags and supertags is important. What I mean is if I had an image of A market in London for example, and in my supertags I had vegetables, fruit, stall, vendor, X market, London.....etc etc, would it appear higher in a search for X market, London, if I adjusted the order of the supertags, placing X market, London, before the other supertags?  If it is, is there an easy way to move them around? Thanks

 

 

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3 minutes ago, TeeCee said:

Don't worry about it George - this misconception may have been my fault. Just use your supertags for the most important terms or phrases, in any order you like.

 

thank you, I was getting worried that all of the legacy images I have already gone through would need to be done again! Phew.

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If a customer searched for London market, presumably the tag "London market" would rate higher than the separate tags London and market. This is the line of thinking that I have been adopting recently. However this is pure conjecture, I speak from a position of profound ignorance as far as these matters are concerned :(

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I have to admit that I've no idea whether the order of tags and supertags makes any difference (I doubt it) but - pedantic ancient teacher/trainer that I am - I'm compelled by nurture to select my supertags in narrative order.  Old habits die very hard :)

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9 hours ago, Bryan said:

If a customer searched for London market, presumably the tag "London market" would rate higher than the separate tags London and market. This is the line of thinking that I have been adopting recently. However this is pure conjecture, I speak from a position of profound ignorance as far as these matters are concerned :(

That's right, and "leadenhall market london" higher that that. It's supposed to work like that anyway. So OP should omit commas because they will split up the phrases.

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Hi all, thank you for taking time. Just to clarify I only put the commas above to seperate the words for my question in this post, I don't put them in when tagging and would definitely put X Market, and X market London as seperate tags. My main concern was the order they sat in. Thank you again, I will carry on updating and amending as I have been. Have a good week. Jenny

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At the Photography Show at the NEC yesterday I asked a similar question at the Alamy stand.....the answer was that the search engine picks out  firstly supertags, secondly the caption and thirdly the Tags........this also means that it doesn't make a lot of difference if you meet the 'Optimised' criteria of having 50 tags as they are the least important.

 

I hope I got that right.

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

But the point is that while Alamy do provide general guidelines, they are not offering absolute guarantees. They will tweak as required. We cannot expect things to be frozen just because it makes life easier for us. Sure you want to know certain things to help yourself, but that cannot be and should not be Alamy's main concern and we should not expect it to be.

 

I don't recall any statement from Alamy about tags being more important than Supertags - it does sound like one of those forum theories.. 

 

A theory it may have been (since Alamy don't tell us what's going on), but it was based on repeating searches whilst changing the supertags, tags, captions and observing the results. I think it was pretty clear at the time that caption, tag, supertag priorities weren't working as they should. Then Alamy made a fix (presumably) because it started working properly.

 

I think the point is that, if Alamy was a bit more open about such matters, then contributors and Alamy could work together better as a team to provide the customer with the best experience. I'm still searching for a way to ensure my best images of a given subject appear first (that would be better for the customer, Alamy and me). At the moment it's a bit of a lottery. There are clearly factors which have a much greater effect on order of my images than whether I put a keyword in the caption, supertag or tag (maybe based on whether image has previously sold, or been zoomed, or viewed or when it was uploaded?) These other factors seem to carry a much greater weighting than whether I put a keyword as a tag, supertag or in the caption, frustrating my efforts. 

 

For example, if I search for "Loweswater", my worst image related to Loweswater (EC1Y0D) appears first at postion 6 on Page 1. I know it currently has Loweswater in caption and as a supertag, but the only way to get it to move down the rankings is to have Loweswater as a tag only. If I leave Loweswater in the caption it always appears first. This image has never been sold, but has been zoomed. So it's possible that the zoom is counting in this image's favour which is perhaps logical (although in this case they probably zoomed it to see what on earth this sign has to do with Loweswater) . But I've repeated this test on other images of mine and I have images coming up first that have never been sold or zoomed, in spite of my efforts on to ensure I've used tags, supertags and captions in a way that complies with Alamy's recommendations.

 

I might call in on Alamy tomorrow at the NEC to discuss.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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23 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Could you be specific about what Alamy could do to help you? What tools or what information would you like that you don't have at the moment.

 

I'd like a way to control which of my image(s) that match a search term appears first, or to understand what other factors are supposed to affect their relative position. At the moment  it feels like the search algorithm still has bugs in it... but this is probably because I don't understand all the factors used. :unsure:

 

There are other behaviours that the current algorithm demonstrates which are interesting. For example the way pseudo rank usually beats everything else.  For example the way all matching images from a highly ranked contributor will typically be placed higher than any images from lowly ranked contributors, irrespective of where the search term appears in their captions, tags and supertags. Also the weird results produced by the 'dispersal algorithm' and how all matching images from a contributor appear to be treated as a set and presented as a variable spaced chain. I wouldn't want Alamy to explain these things, but I would like a way to exert more control over the order in which my images appear.

 

Alamy's challenge is applying a sophisticated search algorithm to over 110 million images and giving results within a second.... Boggling...

 

Mark

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35 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Haven't you already got this means for the example image you mention - you can remove 'Loweswater' from both caption and supertags and have it only in tags and description? Another option might be to move it to a lower ranking pseudo. 

 

It seems sensible to me that those with high ranking get high image placements. They had to earn that ranking through sales and zooms. 

 

Yes, ideally I would put Loweswater in the caption and as a supertag for my best images, and have it in the caption and tag only on the less good images. My point is that that approach doesn't work very reliably because the other factors (which Alamy don't tell us) seem to dominate. It feels as if the wighting given to the caption is still a bit too high.

 

Absolutely agree that it's best for those with high ranking to get better placement. But my limited testing suggests the current algorithm may lead to views they might not expect (e.g. when their image with a word matching the search term in an ordinary tag appears higher than images from most other contributors which have the search term in both caption and supertag).

 

Mark

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

What would be the mechanics of selecting which image would appear first for a search. As you say the search system is already mind-bogglingly complex.

 

My question was how would you envisage it working within the existing Alamy Image Management ( AIM) system for you to choose your top ranking Loweswater image to appear before all your others of Loweswater. 

 

You say that you'd like to be able to do this, I wondered how you imagined it working in practice.

 

Thanks. Now I understand the question. The mechanism is already there in AIM. I'd like images with the search word appearing in a supertag to more reliably beat images images which don't. It feels (for me as a contributor) that Alamy's hidden "magic sauce" is currently weighted too strongly when determining image placement. I accept however that Alamy can very quickly monitor the bigger picture (downloads versus views) and so have hopefully tuned the weighting factors based on what is best for sales. Indeed, given some of the "spam" tagging there is on Alamy, maybe they are right not to rely too much on our super-tags versus tags versus captions and go with previous views, light-box saves, zooms, downloads and sales as being more important in determining image placement. If all contributors followed the rules conscientiously it would probably be a different story.

 

Mark

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4 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

What would be the mechanics of selecting which image would appear first for a search. As you say the search system is already mind-bogglingly complex.

 

My question was how would you envisage it working within the existing Alamy Image Management ( AIM) system for you to choose your top ranking Loweswater image to appear before all your others of Loweswater. 

 

You say that you'd like to be able to do this, I wondered how you imagined it working in practice.

 

This used to work perfectly with different pseudos. Not anymore.

I would have a pseudo with images that would perform well for one or two word searches and a pseudo that did well for more complicated searches.

Now for a famous World Heritage Landmark I do have an image on row 1. It has sold once, probably because everything on row 1 sells once a year. It moves maybe one place when I put it in one or in the other pseudo.

 

Now the order of my images are:

 

First number is the position of the image; second number the times this image has sold in the past.

   10  -  1
   95  -  3
118  -  0
228  -  4
247 -  13
266  -  -
285 -  24
331  -  0
350  -  0
424  -  1

950  -  0

 

Needless to say this landmark that previously sold up to 10 to 14 times a year,  was only sold 3 times in 2017. (Well + 2x in January 2017, but those were reported from previous year. One was 5.94 and the other 180.00 )

 

Btw that one on position #266 is a new upload from last week.

Previously a new upload would come in on top; now square in the middle. Good to know, but it does take away my will to live upload a bit.

 

Now I'm not saying my images are better than the images of someone else who's in front of me.

But I am saying that I am a lot better in picking my own bestsellers over my own also-rans than the Alamy algorithm.

Unless of course this is by design and the Alamy algorithm actively is discouraging bestsellers. Considering it gaming the system.

 

wim

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6 hours ago, wiskerke said:

But I am saying that I am a lot better in picking my own bestsellers over my own also-rans than the Alamy algorithm.

 

My sentiments exactly. 

 

6 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Previously a new upload would come in on top; now square in the middle. Good to know, but it does take away my will to live upload a bit.

 

It's a bit worrying if a contributor with such a good sales record feels deterred from uploading. If all other things are equal (e.g. a batch of freshly uploaded and identically tagged images) the order seems to depend on Alamy ref no, but after a while it changes. 

 

6 hours ago, wiskerke said:

First number is the position of the image; second number the times this image has sold in the past.

   10  -  1
   95  -  3
118  -  0
228  -  4
247 -  13
266  -  -
285 -  24
331  -  0
350  -  0
424  -  1

950  -  0

 

From your data it looks like number of previous sales may actually demote an image... I suppose it's a way of "churning" the results the customer sees, but not very encouraging for the best selling contributors.  That fits with something I've seen in one of my tests, but I don't have enough sales to draw any statistically significant conclusions. The other thing I'm seeing (which your data doesn't show) is that the dispersal algorithm seems to space my images by either 2 or 19. In a search for Uppingham, my images appear at positions 7, 9, 28, 47, 66, 68, 70, 89, 108, 127,146, 165, 167, 169, 188, 190, 192, 194, 196. The one at position 192 is the one that has sold and is tagged such that I would have expected it to appear somewhat higher in the sequence. However, a quick look at some of my other sellers shows they are doing well in their search positions.

 

Alamy's "magic sauce" works in mysterious ways... . Although it wouldn't surprise me if there aren't still some bugs in the algorithm. :unsure:

 

Mark

 

 

 

Edited by M.Chapman
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Two of my Ffestiniog railway images appear on page 1 and 2 of a search (both are not optimised -and have 10 supertags, 48 tags) ahead of an optimised image on page 2 (10 super tags, 50 tags) all have captions.....thus proves 'optimised' doesn't really matter in this case at least.....which concurs with advice at the NEC.

Between us I think we'll end up with our own Enigma Machine....

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In my list this is the state of the keywords:

First number: position

Second number: 

L = legacy keywording;

N = newly keyworded.

Third number:

O = orange

G = green


  10  -  L - G    
  95  -  L - G
118 -  L - G
228 -  N - O
247 -  N - G
266 -  N - O
285 -  N - G
331 -  L - G
350 -  L - G
424 -  N - O
950 -  L - G

 

wim

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Absolutely no idea what this means.

 

Sorry for that.

 

Legacy keywording means: the complete keywords are still as they existed before AIM and the introduction of discoverability.

Green and orange are the different tiers in discoverability.

My list is the list in my answer to one of your posts.

Where the first number is the position of my images of a famous landmark in a search for that landmark (=three words).

It looks like orange or green makes no difference; and/or that re-keywording makes no difference. One could conclude the exact opposite as well.

I have no idea. However if other people are seeing the exact same pattern in their results, like that legacy keywording tends to take precedence over re-keyworded images, or that green does trump orange, or that these are factors in the distribution of one's images within a result, that would be significant.

 

Does this help?

 

wim

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3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Thanks Wim, it is me not being very clever so not your fault.

 

The one that I would like to know is how much difference Supertags make. I don't meant the ones from legacy images but from new ones uploaded now. 

 

Personally I would like to concentrate on writing a good strong accurate caption, complementing it with keywords - all of which I do on Photoshelter - and then do nothing within AIM.

 

But how much am I losing out if I don't do all this painful ( literally for me) Supertag stuff?

 

My list suggests that Supertags generated by AIM work just as well as my own, or better.

 

wim

 

edit: generated meaning at the time of conversion more than a year ago.

Edited by wiskerke
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13 hours ago, geogphotos said:

For editorial images I am very comfortable with the idea that Caption is King. 

 

I agree with this 100% and would extend it to commercial/advertising images as well.

 

I caption and keyword RAW files in Bridge. 

 

I try to write a readable caption in bridge containing my supertags, with the most important supertag starting the caption.
 
My keywords in bridge are arranged in order of importance so that when the JPG file comes into AIM I simply make supertags out of the first 10 keywords. Assuming there are 10 keywords supertag worthy.

 

The optional section can often be filled out in gang fashion. For instance select all images 5, 10, or whatever, containing people or property and make them editorial only all in one operation. Often the same for location. This section is optional so things like counting the individual people in each and every image, I do not bother with.

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

..or worse? It has to be one of them :unsure:

 

Probably not worse, because the top 3 have keywords that were converted from the old ones.

 

This answer took me a while because there are a lot more variables of course like what sold in which year and for how much.

And I was missing those figures for the image in the #2 spot on #95 because it is in one of my worst pseudos. It did sell 3 times for 609.57 gross, but that was in 2015 ($16.43) and twice in 2010 ($527.29 and $65.85)

Now the one in my #7 spot on #285 is the most interesting: it sold in 2017; 2016; 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012. 24 times in total. Not always for the best fees, with an average of just under $30: that $180 in 2017 was the highest. It was my most recent image of that subject until last week.  Most sales in 2017; most sales in all - but it will not appear any higher than it does at the moment.

Could I have a little less magic sauce please. It's a bit heavy on the stomach.

 

wim

 

 

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