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Following on from a post in another thread:

 

Quote

... CTR and irrelevant results actively harm you, making your images less prominent if people don't click on them often. It probably doesn't harm the people with specialist collections, those doing lots of flowers and species for example, because any search for those subjects is always going be on-topic, but if you're shooting more generic stuff or news I can't imagine it's easy to keep a good CTR up. I'm struggling with it myself on my images, trying to weigh adding realistic keywords against the possibility of dragging my CTR down with unwanted results.

 

The interesting thing about it all is that Alamy simultaneously punishes people for having too many bad keywords, while also featuring an arbitrary discoverability rating that encourages overkeywording. Some subjects are easy to genuinely reach 50 keywords on, but I suspect some people are trying to get "good discoverability" at the expense of their CTR, when discoverability isn't a factor in search prominence at all.

 

I'd be interested in what sort of CTR the really prolific news and event type uploaders have. Surely they get lots and lots of false positives from keywording and from the words of the longer captions, but they still seem to sell. I guess maybe CTR matters less in certain subject areas, and it obviously doesn't affect live news either, but I guess that if you're shooting subjects that are heavily represented (or concepts, or generic type images) then CTR is your most important asset.

 

I'm still learning the CTR system, which is giving me a lot of questions. For example, whether it's worth removing perfectly decent keywords due to false positives, or whether it's worth uploading images at all if I don't think they'll often be used when they show up, or whether I should upload more than one or two photos of a subject or cull images after they're no longer live news because of the huge negative impact that a single misplaced search could give me if that means 10 views without a zoom. It seems complicated.

 

So, I'm wondering what the experienced contributor's thoughts are on CTR. Do you pay much attention to it? Do you notice an impact on your sales when it goes up or down? Do you delete images that aren't getting zoomed, or is quantity and ignoring CTR the answer?

Edited by Katie

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No;no;no; quite probably.

Mine is pretty low, usually around half the Alamy average, except for the odd spike.

I have a spurious correlation around the end of last year when I had a very good few months, but of course reports lag behind CTR by at least a couple of months, so watch out for that.

Edited by spacecadet

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I shoot only stock and not live news.

CTR is a good indication if clients think your images are useful. It is also a way to measure if your keywording and captions are adequate. I think higher CTR over a year or so will result in more sales. However it is only part of the secret Alamy sauce that will determine your success.

 

I try to avoid keywords that will result in false positives. Sometimes I use keyword phrases to cut back on false positives. For instance turkey; male turkey; tom turkey; but not MALE all on it’s own, as there will be too many false positives. Total elimination of false positives is not possible.

 

I try to upload images that have a high sales potential. I will start to get picky once a group of similar images goes over five. However I will often add more than 5 images from the same shoot in order to give clients a choice of images. Anything more than 5 should have different photographic approaches to the subject, or different subjects. Remember this may mot apply to live news.

 

With people, without people; portrait format, landscape format, room for type, no room for type, humorous, not humorous, backlit, not backlit etc.

Sometimes I will do a search for the subject on Alamy to see the competition before uploading.
 
I shoot stock images in abundance and experiment a lot. I usually only submit about 10% of a shoot. Remember I do not shoot live news

 

I delete images if they are out of date, but not yet historical. This probably does not apply to live news. I delete old images that are inferior to my newer images. I never delete good images because they have not yet sold.

 

I think the idea of uploading a very large number of images and sales will follow, is a trap that you will have trouble escaping a few years down the road because you will have a lower CTR. Submit for quality and variety, not quantity.

 

At an event you want to get good shots of all personalities and some good action, so at events you submit more. When you get away from events you probably submit less. Just the way you are doing with your 332 submission to date.
 

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I include all keywords that are genuinely relevant and nothing else. I don't keyword things which are entirely incidental to the picture. I gave up worrying about false positives years ago - we're all in the same boat. My sales have increased steadily year on year so I must be doing something right.

 

Alan

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Sales do seem to be very important when it comes to placement in search results. CTR has always smacked a bit of hocus pocus to me, but no doubt it is an ingredient in Alamy's "special sauce". Having said this, I saw a big spike in CTR during April, and it turned out to be my best month so far this year. In general, though, my CTR stays at around the Alamy average, and my sales numbers are remarkably consistent from month-to-month (10-13 range). I've been on this plateau for a couple of years now.

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Sales are more important than CTR.

 

1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

Sales do seem to be very important when it comes to placement in search results.

 

That's my belief too. CTR seems to carry less weight than sales in determining a contributor's rank.

 

Mark 

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I can't say for sure how much weight is placed on CTR. However, I do know for sure that when Alamy tweaked their search engine in the early part of this year (up until recently, when they tweaked it back again), my CTR suddenly improved dramatically (up to 1.00).  This improved CTR was followed by a consequential period of noticeably improved sales. Now my CTR has dropped again (0.36 last month) and sales have also slowed noticeably. I believe, for me at least, there is a close correlation between CTR and sales and I do all I can through goodkeywording practices to make sure I achieve the best CTR I can with the portfolio I possess.

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On 01/06/2018 at 16:22, Katie said:

.....

Do you delete images that aren't getting zoomed, or is quantity and ignoring CTR the answer?

 

If I deleted every image that didn't get zoomed I would have a portfolio of about 250 images  and well over half of my sales would never have happened. Zooms (or sales) may not come along for donkey's years on a given image. Patience is your friend here. However, as I noted above, I pay attention to CTR and balance quantity with quality, avoiding excessive similarity. 

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Hi Everyone.

I joined Alamy in Apr 2019. Is the CTR number still relevant in placing one's images higher in searches? I've got 3 zooms on 226 views (CTR=1.33), which seems to be reasonable. But of course, it is meaningless without sales. I've got one sale to date.

I realize I probably need to upload quite a few more images which can help increase views, and potential sales.

 

Have a great weekend, all.

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Oof...

Edited by John Morrison
Don't know what I'm doing...
  • Haha 1

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12 minutes ago, AlexG said:

Hi Everyone.

I joined Alamy in Apr 2019. Is the CTR number still relevant in placing one's images higher in searches? I've got 3 zooms on 226 views (CTR=1.33), which seems to be reasonable. But of course, it is meaningless without sales. I've got one sale to date.

I realize I probably need to upload quite a few more images which can help increase views, and potential sales.

 

Have a great weekend, all.

 

Your CTR is a rough and ready guide to the way clients relate to your images... but no more than that. Converting a view into a zoom is good... but converting a zoom into a sale is what counts. And, yes, you'll need a lot more pix before your numbers become relevant. Upload your best pix, keyword accurately... and don't bother so much about CTR...

  • Thanks 1

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3 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

 

Your CTR is a rough and ready guide to the way clients relate to your images... but no more than that. Converting a view into a zoom is good... but converting a zoom into a sale is what counts. And, yes, you'll need a lot more pix before your numbers become relevant. Upload your best pix, keyword accurately... and don't bother so much about CTR...

 

Thanks a lot for the tip, John!

I see your portfolio is rather large and with good variety. How are your sales? How many do you average a month, if you don't mind me asking?

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All I can say is that when my CTR is really high, I get a more zooms than usual, so I would say that it's important when it comes to getting images seen by buyers.

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6 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

All I can say is that when my CTR is really high, I get a more zooms than usual, so I would say that it's important when it comes to getting images seen by buyers.

 

I think your CTR is affected by zooms too. So the more zooms the higher your CTR.

 

Allan

 

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I am probably not typical-largish specialist collection,no files with green discoverability,no submissions for about 5 years but payout every month. My CTR seems to yo yo between about 0.55 and 1.1 on an almost monthly basis but the ratio of sales to zooms remains fairy constant at 1 to 3. 

 

i think that as my CTR rises then I get more views,zooms and sales but as the views increase they become less relevant and so the CTR drops and the views and zooms drop but become more relevant and CTR starts to rise. This may be a consequence of very minimal keywording.

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Don't know how important CTR actually is, but there's some excellent advice from contributors in this post. 

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