Frustrated With Fine Art America Search Results That Will Never Include My Work.
I have noticed this and I can NOT figure out what the problem is. I have relevant tags and I have many paintings listed in my galleries, but regardless of my searches I do on Fine Art America, my art NEVER shows up in searches. Many unrelated search results do, Flower paintings searched come up with figure paintings for example, none of my flower paintings, none of mine that would be related will show. Say Butterfly, Oil Paintings, Impressionist Oil paintings, Flower paintings, Flower oil paintings etc etc I am simply never shown in search results. I am diligent not to use words that do not relate and I would think that some of my work would show up some of the time. BUT NOTHING!!! As a result I have far and few between sales.
This has been a great frustration to me and it's beginning to upset me very much. Anyone able to tell me the "Secret" to being honored in search results.
Is my work too crappy or what??? I'm sorry for sounding upset, but I am losing my patience. I'm sad and discouraged!
FAA search on the first image in your portfolio, using search tag "Gloria swanson", shows up in the first page. Search terms like "flower" have a gazillion results because it is painfully common so you will have to flip through hundreds of pages, did you look through all those pages? -W
the search places people that sell first, followed by popularity (comments, votes, etc). the more you sell, the higher you'll be. this is why you can't rely on the search, but you have to advertise what you have to everyone. you could use more descriptive keywords in your images though. they all seem very basic.
adding things like path, journey, your name, singular and plurals, etc. the paint method, the look and style, the colors etc. you can sponsor words as well to show up on the first page. but if they are common, you'll be mixed with the rest.
i can see this selling, but the words are sparse. what kind of cat is it? feline, cat,cats,kat,kats,furry,hairy,hair,whisker,whiskers,face,eye,close,eyes,gray,on black, portrait, etc. anything that can attract attention to the thing.
turning on the loupe helps a customer know that an image is clear. setting up cards as well may bring people in.
Thank you Wingsdomain Art and Photography. I went down about 16 pages for impressionist oil paintings, I did a few others with 10 or so pages but nothing.
Thank you Mike. I have the hardest time thinking of keywords the ones you mention for my "Buster Drinking" make sense now that I see them. I'm not very creative in teh kwyword arenea I guess, I must work on that.
What is loupe? Is it the zoom feature, I thought that is automatic. Is it not? Where do I turn this on?
What is cards?
Wow. I see you have been at Fine Arts America since almost the beginning.
There will be many approaches to what people will see that will help you. Exposure is the key word. Maybe joining some more vital groups. I believe that getting votes, comments , and views will give you word of mouth. I've been working with this Self Promotion Skills Group thread of folks and my exposure has increased and sales have followed. (Just had another today) http://fineartamerica.com/showmessages.php?messageid=1183149&showall=true. Check it out. There are many other groups that are doing the same. Join in and see what happens!
EXPOSURE IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY... NOT FINE ART AMERICA'S.
I hardly believe it has anything to do with your talent. Your work is great. Love this one!
the loupe is that little green box that lets you magnify the image. you can click mine to see up close, i forget what it's called in the edit though.
to sponsor words, you need to enter a search phrase, on the third line you'll see - sponsor this word. take the code they gave you and place it on an outside website - not this one - and after it verifies, then you have that word. and the plural is separate of course. otherwise when you log in, it's one of the nag screens.
Thank you Glenn. I agree each artist has to self promote. I have a few blogs and domain sites I use to do that. It just seem illogical to me that any site would have a "search" and then not give preference to relevance over irrelevant inclusion. I look at it from a buyer's point of view. I look for impressionist sunflower paintings and get three pages search results.
Some are not sunflower paintings at all. The one sunflower painting I have in my galleries with both relevant keywords sunflowers and impressionist, is not at all included in the results even though it is only three pages search results.
Ok Mike... I see the green loupe box in your gallery. I am familiar with this and though it was active in my galleries as well. Can you check and see if it works, please?
It works when I look at my images but does it work just for me or for everyone else too?
because it's a business and while it would make more sense that it would act more like google, it bases it on who sells. there is a lot of junk on this site that would never, could never get a sale, and the bad ones sift to the bottom (theoretically), this way the search sort of filters out the rest of them. i guess figuring that if your work is good, then it should sell, so the work must be good enough to sell, therefore, it should be seen first because it's a higher quality.
but of course the drawback is, the same people are always at the top. there are huge arguments against the search, but for now you have to play with the system. each day promote some of your stuff to twitter, facebook and such. go onto groups, get featured. entering contests helps build up internal popularity, which helps you rank a bit better as well. it's like one big role playing game where you have to build up your magic points.
you'll have a tough go at impressionist, lenoid sells like every day, and he has like 2500 paintings. so that will be tough. as far as your search phrase - you have sunflower, but your image you have there only has sunflowers -- with an s - it counts as a different word.
so when you list it you have to play all odds
sunflower,sunflowers, sun flower, sun flowers, flower, flowers, impressionistic, impressionistic painting, etc along with colors and such. if you typed it with an S - your on the third line.
Thanks Mike and thanks Wingsdomain Art and Photography
I was afraid variation would be considered key word spamming, so I was holding back on key words. Won't make that mistake again.
I will go in to all my listings and put more keywords in it like the variation and the plurals and so on.
So I guess sales comes first. I wish they mix it up to give buyers a variety of choices for impressionism and a more equal exposure to all sellers that paint in that style
Different artist have different styles even in impressionism, and as a buyer it would be nice to see a variety but I guess when it comes to Impressionism it all belongs to Leonid.
I wonder if I should list any more of my Impressionist works. They just don't sell here. I may just have to do POD myslef and use a couple of really good vendors online I scoped out and sell Impressionist Oil Reproductions on ETSY and only abstract derivatives here. Worth considering. So far this year all I sold are abstract derivatives of my impressionist oil paintings.
Sorry if that seemed a bit blunt but the fact is that impressionist oil paintings has 5200 results. Sunflower has 10K plus. Butterfly and flower have 10K plus. The simple fact of the matter is that there are a lot of images in all of those searches. Going through 16 pages and saying you don't show in the search is incorrect. You mean you are not in the first 16 pages of the search.
FAA does not market for you and the search is weighted heavily on sales. That means you need to market your own work to get sales in categories like you listed above.
Here are some good links to discussions in our forum and elsewhere about marketing your work
I get your point JC and THANKS for the links. They will come in very handy.
I'll forward them to my husband who is helping me with this as well. So thanks again.
What may not have come across enough, is that I did many searches over the years and actually my husband who helps me a lot lately, is the one that digs even deeper and he is the one that noticed this mostly. He is the mathematical brain in the family. He can sit there a dig page after page searching for my impressionism drilling down patiently and noticing the irrelevant search results.
As impressionism, turns in to abstract turns in to photography and none of my work that ACTUALLY IS IMPRESSIONISM is anywhere to be found.
A search for "Paintings of Italy" has a painting of Paris on the first page and as I drill deeper, there are as many paintings of France in there as of Italy (mind you I search "Paintings of ITALY) plus all sorts of stuff non Italy related. It would be logical to have all Italy related art FIRST including "my work" that is relevant, and then, if any, paintings of Paris France.
I never knew that Paris is in Italy. As a buyer I would probably go WTfungus???
I would think on a rare occasion something of mine would pop up if it is highly relevant, but nothing. Oh well. I expected logic from a computer search feature but logic is not what I get.
I am expecting too much I know.
It's all about the keywords here. Example: your Gloria Swanson came up on the first page, #8, which is very good. Your next painting "Great White Shark" didn't come up in either the "painting" category or the "All" category! Because, you didn't use "great white shark" as a keyword and using it in the description doesn't help,since titles are not searched!
there are some artists who think that putting their home town is a good idea. but it just confuses the results. like a guy from turkey, messed up thanksgiving searches. paris, might be their name, where they live, name of their company, etc. but if you think it's spam you can report it.
I agree Mike. Hometown is irrelevant. Name of artist is relevant, because someone may search for that artist by name. But home country. That is spam. I was born in France, I grew up In France and in Germany, I have a step father from Turkey and a Husband from Texas and I lived in three different states in the US. Should I put all that in each listing. I think that would be spam and any intelligent person knows this.
I wish there would be system of enforcing key word relevance other than having to rely on other artists sitting there finding the offenders.
Ha ha Mike that thing about Thanksgiving and Turkey is funny and frustrating for those that were affected. If it were a painting of Istanbul or the Blue Mosque and he used Turkey in his key words that would have been totally relevant. I guess "Turkey Bird" and "Turkey Country" two different things spelled the same can be troublesome. Having categories like Holidays, Animals, Countries etc. could section out these themes.
there is. if they are reported, and they have a number of things that are spam, they will be told to fix the words or all of their images will lose all of their words, and sponsored words. i do know it has happened to a few people.
I haven`t sold many and I don`t get a lot of comments, nor am I involved in the groups anymore, but I have discovered that to get on the first page of searches is to put up quality work.. and I mean high resolution images... I just searched one of mine that had the common tag of "garden annual" and found five of mine on the first page... there are 43 pages.... just my 2 cents...
I don't think lack of resolution/quality is an issue with me. If image quality was a criteria I would have to be right up front.
But my category for the most part is paintings/impressionism and yours is photography so my there is a difference.
I suspect tags are part of the problem, and maybe something else my husband will probably figure it out.
New frustrations! I wanted to start a new topoc for my frustrations, but the link will not work. That in it's self is frustrating. late there have been some changes to the activity on my FAA account. First, when I try to open the FAA page a new page pops up about some kind of survey or contest to win money. Second, a little pop-up button saying "similer" in contastly getting to the way of using the FAA page. Now there is new thing sjowing framed photos that gets is contastly in the way of clicking to a new place on FAA. I am finding it very difficult to move from page to page in my gallery to select an image for a contest. Is this junk from FAA? How can I turn it off?
It might be an idea to incude random selections from artists fitting the search criteria so that stuff that is never seen can be shown up front at random, This could just be 30to50% of the hits found that way collectors can see more instead of exactly the
Same top selles and other less big sellers can get see once in a while...
the thought came up that other people should be seen. but i don't think it will change. mostly because - how do you decide what is shown? the customer shouldn't see the junk files. and it's easy enough to game the system to gain popularity. i'm sure you've seen some of the stuff that is sold here, it's not the best looking stuff in the world. you wouldn't want them to see those first. which is why in some ways it is better. i do think we should have more images on one page, and either a larger sponsor section, or one on every page looked at.
Thank you Jason.. that is a great suggestion and I think very business savvy too. From a buyers point of view, if I come back and do searches and see the same sellers while at the same time being told how many artists are actually selling on FAA, I may be just a bit confused as to why they do not get to show a greater selection and diversity.
I was asked by someone today artists we have to pay to show in searches because certain artist show a lot and all the time so they thought those artist are paying extra for that.
@ Roy... THAT is the premise of my Abilene theory and how I get most of my sales. It is extremely easy to get to the first page when there is only one.
@Linda... Mike is right. That is not FAA doing that you have some sort of Malware/Spamware on your computer that is doing that.
@ Sharon... Resolution doesn't really matter in the search results that I know of. Quality does come into it but usually by sales etc. While you may not sell many you may sell more than the people within that search. Keep in mind, some categories people may not sell many so even selling a few will drive you to the front.
Mike , ginette maybe every painter and photorapher could tick box there 5 or 10 best images only to be included in the extra unseen Search results. Obviously if the don't match the search criteria they won't Show up, but If the collector s simply alerted to new r other stuff that as never showed and of this 30to50% they could stand a chance of being seen. There must be buyers who after seeing the same hits just go else where instead of ploughing through the rest... Might work all round as they might come back more to see ever changing results and that increases chances of another top seller being bought again too...
Random searches, you can do that now with a sponsor.
There are some issues as I see it for random searches. One, you can get some real junk coming up. (used my own as an example below)
Beyond that, keep in mind buyers do not see the same page again and again on the search. They come, they search, they buy OR they think about it then come back and buy. Now there is an issue with that second part, if they run a search, and come back to buy and run the same search they find different images and cannot find the one they came back to buy.
Search takes into consideration many different factors when determining the sort order of the images.
It takes into consideration:
1. the relevance of your image keywords
2. the number of times an image has been sold
3. the number of times an image has been favourited
4. the number of times an image has been commented on (by others. Your own comments on your work do NOT count)
5. how long an image has been on the site
6. the number of times an image has been featured in a group
There are more than 25 different criteria that the search engine evaluates.
This is exactly the same thing that Google do. You have to have good rankings to be in the first pages of Google. They also have a limited number of pages and some sites never see the light of day.
No way would there ever be a random showing of work on the first pages and I am sure you can understand why if you look at some of the images. Sorry, rude but true.
On this site the keyword is KEYWORDS
On Google and beyond it is titles and descriptions
Hope this helps
Social Area Manager
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Not random, but to add to the search results a % of results from the new uploads or lost uploads which could be a best 10 of the artist that are marked as best, that must match all the existing keyword criteria. It really does look like b lock vote commenting occurs at present. Of course that could be completely untrue in which case it isn't ...
This comes up quite a bit and I will tell you right now a shuffle is not happening.
A shuffle sounds good when you are not on the front page but there is an issue.
OK, first of all the people there work hard to get there. Kind of like a reward for effort thing. Beyond that there is the lack of constancy mentioned above but there is more.
Right now, there is a path to get there but it takes marketing and it takes work. IF you went with a shuffle it would be random. So, aside from the bad images coming up lets say you have an image of NYC. There are 10K plus images with NYC. There are 36 images on the front page. That means you will get there 3.6 times in every thousand searches. So, if you rely on a random shuffle search to sell you will be on page one 36 times in 10,000 searches. Do you really think that will help you sell? Even if they open your work, which isn't a given, you will get 36 views in 10K searches....
I can get 36 views by spending five minutes marketing.... So, the fact is, a shuffle search will not help you sell. marketing will !
What Beth said is very important. I suspect that in their search ranking algorithm that sales have higher weight than most other factors. This makes sense, because FAA wants to sell prints, and to make artists who sell prints prominent. This can be a catch 22 type of problem if your art falls into highly used keyword searches. "Flower". It can be very difficult to make enough sales to show up on the flower page.
First and foremost is your marketing, as JC and others point out. Marketing primarily requires things you do off of FAA, either in other parts of the internet where customers are likely to lurk, or (gasp!) IRW, in the real world.
Second, make sure you use a broad range of relevant keywords. This list has appeared before in threads on this topic:
Literal - e.g. “boy, girl, children, beach, sun, sand, sky, car, shadow”.
Attributes - e.g. “happy, smiling, walking, blue, young, old”.
Location - be specific, e.g. “The White House, Washington DC, USA”; or generic, e.g. “office, school, home”.
Interaction - e.g. “chasing, playing, moving, touching, shouting, flying”.
Concepts - e.g. “heat, power, happiness, strength, humour, teamwork, tranquility etc”.
Broad subjects - e.g. “lifestyle, travel, sport and business”.
Techniques - e.g. “predominant colours or shapes, black and white, grainy, blurred, digital manipulation”.
Standpoint - e.g. side view, rear view, from above, from below
Environment - e.g. spring, summer, autumn, fall, winter, sunset, sunrise, indoor, outdoor, interior, exterior
Composition - e.g. close up, macro, extreme close up, low angled, full length, cut-out, isolated
Minimalism - e.g. nobody, empty
Redundant - e.g. shots, pictures, images, macros
Pose - e.g. looking at camera, smiling, angry, standing, lying, sitting, walking, facing front
Human - e.g. one man, three women, crowd, queue, group, people, person
Qualifiers - e.g. large, big, small, multi-generational, black, white, caucasian
Abstract - e.g. odd, unusual, concept, quirky, funny, humour/humor
Decades - e.g. 1940s, 1950s, 1960s
Nationality - e.g. european, dutch, british, english, american
If you ponder this list for relevant keyword "dimensions", and perhaps use an online thesaurus, you will get many more search hits, sometimes on pages with few other hits.
Third, do some experimenting on artistic subjects that interest you, and when it's a likely keyword with few results, you have a potential assignment for your art. Think of a commercial artist or photographer, who should be able to work "on assignment". But you get to choose assignments which interest you and have added sales potential.
I am going to add a little bit more to the front page myth.
OK, lets say you sell enough to be on the front page of one of the mega searches. I am going to use the Brooklyn Bridge as my example. 2649 image results and growing. Every photographer and painter that has ever been to NYC produces an image of it. The image below has spent a year on the front page and is on the top of page two now. It gets rave reviews IRL and online. It has 1448 views. Comments run down the page..... It is actually one of my personal favorites.
It has sold quite a few times but only as a card and then they were all when I had my cards at a buck or two. Total income from being on page one or two? about ten bucks. Ten freak'n bucks....
Oh, now images I have that are way under 100 views have made me some real money but that is because everyone else isn't shooting or painting the same thing. The lesson? Either stay out of the sea of anonymity by producing work in less saturated categories OR market your work.
But handle Greg's list with care .... just because you photographed a dog inside a home in Washington DC, USA, doesn't mean it is appropriate to use the keywords Washington DC, USA.
At least one member keywords like that and it's driving me up the tree!
JC, I'd love to know the five minutes marketing secret that gets 36 views on the search results on FAA. I mean that in all sincerity not trying to be cute. I do lots of marketing.
It isn't like I just started this yesterday. I've been round the block a bit. Not claiming to be an expert but certainly not a novice either. I must be spending my time on the wrong marketing. None of what I do gives me took me results on FAA in the main search pages for most of my impressionist work. I know my tags are a major problem I will fix that. Is that what you are referring to when you say marketing?
I use the store embeds widget on two of my blogs
http://www.ginettefineart.com/blog/galleries/ and abstractartandmore.com
http://www.abstractartandmore.com/home/shop-for-art/ I have at least 4 blogs that I post to almost daily, linking to listing in my FAA store. All that gives me exposure but it has nothing to do with FAA Search pages. I want to know about people that land on FAA and should be able to find my work too, vocationally in the main search, which is where many people end up.
I use Pinterest, Wanalo, Blogpost, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media every day just to promote. All I do is lately is marketing. Who has time to paint or create?
I'd love to see an art POD web site that actually helps artists promote, not just solicit artists to post art and then forget them!
There are many POD companies that can print for less at great quality ( I got some samples lately) and drop ship, so part of the allure for someone like me to come to FAA is to get support in promotions to help generate sales so I can paint instead of spending all my time promoting. I like to get some exposure through name recognition like FAA and as long as I follow the rules I think my art should be included in search results appropriately SOMETIMES. I talk about myslef because I do not speak for others, others may feel the same or not that is their prerogative. I don't like to be stagnant and FAA has been stagnant lately more so then usually.
There is another POD company, I won't mention the name, I have been with for many years at least they have given me some love and featured me a few times on their front page.
While I love certain features of FAA better, the store embeds widget is one of them, they're is a lack of interest in the artist themselves it seems. I know there are groups, I'm nat talking about groups but about FAA the Company and their appreciation of artists.
Now it's not the end of the world of course, there is always a door opening when one closes, but I like to point out things as I see them.
Each sale I had so far this year was generated by me, my blog and ETSY Store, people contacted me and then I guided them to FAA to buy a print or two. I like to think that for my membership fee I get a bit love from FAA, and be at least included in search results when I have relevant art, before non relevant art is given preference. I'm not asking for anything special just the logical inclusion in search results based on my art, relevant key words, and the fact that I pay a membership fee for a pro store (quote: which are designed to give you greater exposure and sales opportunities)
You seem to be doing all the things I know to do to produce views so you should be getting views regardless of search placement. (36 views in a day for five minutes of marketing btw, not every five minutes.)
30/year is not much mind you when compared to most other PoDs and pennies compared to Etsy. To have all of your images on Etsy would cost you $219/year. I know IK charges more than FAA. For me, Etsy would cost $923/year.
As far as relevancy, spam tagging is an issue everywhere as there is no program that can tell the difference between a street in Paris and one in Rome. So, here we have to rely on people reporting the problem.
Thanks JC. I do very much appreciate the time you took to enlighten me. Time is valuable and I am grateful! I just got my new camera delivered... another ocean of new stuff to learn.
If my body got as much exercise as my brain I would be a size four. :-) Thanks again to all ! I shall leave for now and unpack my camera.
The only way a POD website could promote it's artists would be to limit the number of them - meaning the first 25 or so would be it - and it would be rare to accept another unless their marketing didn't sell the someone in their stable already. Marketing is time - time is money. I once talked to an art marketer - I was fortunate to have her ear for free - consultation was usually $100/hr and IF she took you on - it was a fee plus percentage.
The POD would have to charge a real fee for being a member and then also take a percentage over the cost of the printing and shipping.
That's why FAA, IK, and others don't promote anyones work - or even favor them - unless they are bringing them in more than just the joining fee.
Thanks Mike! Is there any benefit to adding the product type as keywords - eg cat canvas prints, cat framed prints, cat greeting card - or is that a waste of keyword real estate? (I edited my previous post to ask this, but didn't realise there were additonal posts after mine!
not really because this side of the site adds that word and others. i usually add it once, because i know my artist site doesn't have the extra spammer words. so don't waste the space. add plurals, colors, add spaces between names where people might misspell it. misspell words, add your name, etc. if you know any specialized names, like a certain breed of horse or a certain job related to a horse, do that.
"As far as relevancy, spam tagging is an issue everywhere as there is no program that can tell the difference between a street in Paris and one in Rome. So, here we have to rely on people reporting the problem."
FAA can do a number of things if it is serious about addressing the issue. A 'report spam' button to notify HQ about mistagging and the manpower to seriously and professionally deal with the issue would be a good start. Reporting spam-tagged images is a PITA in the current set-up.
More severe penalties for persistent spam taggers would be another. Limiting the number of tags allowed would be another.
Spam tagging is not really an issue at Alamy, because they use a system which among other things simply pushes back unrelated works that show up in a search and are not clicked on. Adding as much tags as possible has the exact opposite effect it has here. I guess they realize their buyers simply don't want to waste their time looking through tons and tons of unrelated stuff. I don't think FAA buyers want to either, but its not going to change anytime soon I think.
I just looked, and there are over 2000 images under 'fleur' and over 700 images under 'flor'. But you'd have a much better chance than competing with 10,000+ 'flowers' if visitors thought to look under those tags!!
Michelle. The canvas and greeting card things are added by FAA it would be a waste of space.
Foreign languages are a good idea to tag with if you know them. I use that foreign English thing myself, like color and colour.
Dean, I actually agree with most of your suggestions though hiring the staff would take money. I am going to put the report spam tag suggestion on the list. I think 500 characters is not a bad limit by the way if used properly. I know I have a lot of images that simply need more than the 12 words other sites allow.
I've sold 4 images in the 2 months I've been on FAA...But only one as a result of someone finding my work just on FAA...the other 3 images were seen by my "list" of pals on facebook.
FAA posts our images (if we like) on our facebook page but the icon is tiny. So I add a bigger image just above the tiny FAA icon. As one buyer said just recently, "wow I love your art gallery on facebook."
Of course it helps if you have hundreds or thousands of pals on facebook.
That is the key Robert. Many very good artists go a long time without a sale on here. The difference is marketing and getting your work seen off site. Four images in two months is very good, oh, and those four sales do help you move up in the internal search but off site marketing will usually trump the internal search.