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This falls into the catgory of "beating a dead horse", but I had another "incident" today. I've been trying to get my keywords right and have watched the results, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I've got a few images in my "Glacier National Park" category and I've been trying to get some further towards the front, than page 16, when I do a search for "Glacier National Park". Like everyone here, I think that if I can get some images in the first 100-200 group, people may see my images and then go to my site and view the others. With that said, last night, as I was inspecting my keywords, I noticed that most of my images in this category do not have "Glacier National Park,in the title. Wow! What a brainstorm, this should/might really help with the search engines.
So I took one image, "Lovely Lily", a Corn lily image, and added "Glacier National Park" to it's title and then went to bed, knowing nothing happens until after 12:00 a.m.EST.
I got up this morning, coffee and bunny slippers and checked in to see where my new image might be, page 13, 10, 7, or maybe in the 100's!!! Did my search and low and behold, it didn't come forward, but was PUSHED BACK TO PAGE 21, number 732!!! After a bunch of images that should be included in the search for "Galcier National Park"!!!!
Sean, can you explain how this happens and why the "robustness" of the search engine deteriorates after 8-10 pages. There are images ahead of mine, that say "Half Dome", but has the national parks as a keyword. I would think the logic is that the "Glacier" in the search title should trump any images tha don't have that word, but grabs instead the national park word, while there are still hundreds of Glacier National Park, further back?
Without sales, our keywords are our most valuable tool and it the tool is broken, then it needs to be fixed.
If you do a search, there is a post somewhere where Sean explained that many factors go in to the presentation order of images in the site search. He will not say which factors have how much weight in the algorithm, except to say that sales is most important. Other things that matter are votes, comments, etc. So, even though all keywords are created equal, there are other factors that affect placement of images in the search.
Also, as far as I know, the title of the image is not factored into the search at all.
Rich, Bring your clients to your artistswebsites and the search function will work exactly the way you envision it for you. Or write your own pod code and build your own pod site and you can do whatever pleases only you and you will only have yourself to answer to.
Loree, as a newcomer here and without any sales, my only tool that I have any control over is the keywording, until someone sees my images and decides to make a purchase, for that image. "that many factors go in to the presentation order of images in the site search. He will not say which factors have how much weight in the algorithm,". Mysterious at best. In order for me to make a sale, someone, other than the customers I now have, have to be able to see my images. If I/we don't understand the "recipe" to get our images closer to the top and in my case, I actually moved my image backwards, we/I may never get the opportunity to sell something. And the opposite is probably true, the title plays some role,because when I added "Glacier National Park" to the title, the program saw it and sent it back into the "hinterlands"!!!
Wingman, I still have a VCR blinking 99.99!!! I don't think Ill be writing any code soon. I have an upcoming event and have already made new cards to hand out, pointing them to my artist's website.
Beth, thanks for the reply. And I think that this is certainly not an emergency, more chronic and can wait until Sean can answer this,
I don't know if its a good idea to change the name. Changing the name also changes the web page name. It may also change the statistics associated with that picture back down to zero. I am not sure the title has much to do with anything anyway. Put your words in the keywords, and make sure "Glacier Nation Park" is there. Also maybe "Glacier, National Park, Park" and so on and so on...
It just takes time to get your works up front. Visitors, comments, votes, sales all play a part, and eventually you can work your way up if you have those components. Also, sponsor key words... I think that has helped me.
I have discussed sales/weighting of the search here on FAA many, many times which has spurred on heated debate with little or no results other than me be ostracized and images being ranked somewhere in Alpha Centauri . If you took Bernie Madoff and gave him several hits of acid and finished this off with a dose of a congressional hearing on corruption you would then have the algorithm that is in use.
"He will not say which factors have how much weight in the algorithm,". Mysterious at best"
My understanding is google doesn't release info on their search algorithm either, they are in fact a well guarded secret. Sean has at least given you/us a list of things that are involved if you can spare some of your valuable time to do your own research and maybe listen to some of the advise given to you freely by other FAA members on how to promote yourself and everything will fall into place.
1ST fact, I'm am not asking Sean to divulge any code, to maybe run away and start my own site! LOL. What I am asking, and maybe Jeff hinted at, is why my image when backwards, when I added a "keyword" to the title.
Phil, I'm there with you man! I feel that the questions I am bringing up and when answered, would benefit all, seem to make me the "Gadfly 2012"!!! LOL. But it shouldn't be this hard with this size business and this income stream,
You are assuming that changing the title caused the image to move down in the search results. My understanding is that the search is dynamic. So the factors involved (views, comments, votes, etc.) are constantly changing and being re-valued by the search engine based on "when" they happened. You can't assume cause and effect with the change in title. Maybe changing the title "disconnected" comments and votes from the original image. Or maybe others in the search received views, comments, votes, etc. in between. Or maybe a natural "aging" happened, where comments, votes, etc. lost their importance in the search because the time they happened was past the window of when they are considered. There are many factors that contribute to search order, and they change constantly as time passes.
Worrying about it and how to outsmart it is a waste of time. Marketing is a much more worthwhile way to expend your energy.
I thought about what you said, prior to my experiment. I recorded all the "old positions"of my other images, before I made my change. The only image that moved was the one I "edited". All the others stayed where they were, not a coincidence. Saying the " search is dynamic" means to me, that it has no rules or confines, it can sorta do what it wants to do, when it wants to do so! Not a good sign if true.
you are hearing only what you want to hear so nobody will be able to help you. Look, you changed the title of your image, that screws everything up including your ranking as Loree also suggested, it's a brand new image as far as FAA is concerned. In trying to outsmart the system, you screwed yourself, buddy! Lol. Now do something productive and promote yourself like a number of us have been advising.
No that's not what dynamic means. It means that a comment or vote from last month does not carry the same weight as a comment or vote from yesterday. So maybe by changing the name, the comments etc. were no longer attached to the image in the database?
Are you suggesting that any time we "edit" an image, we go back to the end of the line? Or are you saying the title, once it's established, can't be changed? Does this seem right to you? This was an experiment. And I learned something from this. If there were a set of guidelines that answered these questions, then maybe this would be the case and you are right. But, by trying to improve the search results, I made it worse?
Don't think so and if I'm wrong, not a good system. But keep talking.
I had no comments associated with that image, hence, no reason for this to be banished to the "700's", where images go to die! LOL. And if you, like Wings, are telling me this, then why isn't there something like this, listed for new members to learn and understand. Just think, that wasn't the case,but please keep trying to add to this thread, if you want,
Go to one of your pictures, and note the web URL in the address bar. The address is made up of your name and the name of the picture. Changing the name of the picture, changes the web URL. So...this could cause all sorts of problems. Plus, if you have been index by bots, such as google, your picture would no longer be found because of the new URL.
Rule of thumb, unless you absolutely have to, never change the name of your picture.
At least this now makes some sense, not good sense, but I can see how this happens. So would the converse of this be true and I go back and revise the title back to what it was, it will be back on the old page? Too much to hope for? "Back to the Future"!
I have noticed that if I have a vote on a picture, and I change the photo because I do some more work on it and like a new version better, the vote goes away. OK, the photo isn't the same, so the vote shouldn't be tied to it anymore. Got it.
Then, one time, I added a keyword I thought would be helpful after the photo had been up a bit and had a vote. That erased the vote, too. That one surprised me a bit.....oh well.....
Sorry, Emily, I don't know about the votes, but yes, Rich, if you go back and revise the title back to what it was without changing a jota of anything else, it will be back on the old page. However, since the new name is now also already in the db the new name will come up on PAGE 21, number 732 with a red x. It takes a while until it disappears.
Of course we try to outsmart the system, nothing wrong with that unless we get too greedy, right, W ?! .. ;-)
Of course we shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes. So what?! It's still fun and keeps the gray cells in our brains active and forces them to go in more than one direction. In fact, it's a good feeling to still be able to outsmart artificial intelligence every now and then.
But if we talk strictly serious business Jeff couldn't have said it any better: Unless you absolutely have to, never change the name of your picture.
If I'd have an answer to your initial question, Rich, I would tell you. If there is one I haven't figured it out yet, but I'm afraid there is none, at least none that one of us low-lights could give you.
@Emily, are you sure that the vote was actually erased? I often see images were the vote counter says 0, but when I vote for them it tells me that they have had XX votes and XXX views. Perhaps your votes are really still there. Hit the vote button and see. I think it might tell you how many votes it has even if you have already voted for it.
Well, it may not have had any comments, but it may have had votes or views or any number of other factors that play into the search. Of course you can change the name of an image if you want, change keywords, whatever. But, it's not so surprising that changing things would change the search order. As I said before, promoting your work outside FAA is probably a better way to spend your time.
Emily and Jim, The first example, sorta makes sense, after all, I guess, like you, it is a new image, ish! But adding a new or better keyword shouldn't have any negative effect, at least to my thinking.
Christine, Jeff, I will , never, never, never, never ever change a title again!!!!! Or until I foget!
OK, checked it. Of course, I have no idea how many people may have come by and voted since I did those changes, but yes, it seems the votes may still be there. It shows 0, but when I click on it, it shows 3.
Thanks for the heads-up!
By day I figure out the rules of placement for Google and do a pretty good job at it. To say FAA search is working smooth would be a lie, it's to easy for one keyword that has little to do with the search to put an image on the first page and I have yet to figure out why.
The funniest part about what I have seen is all the comment spammers posting when someone makes a sale... they have no clue this pushes them further back :-) the more attention and image receives, the bigger lead it gets. (simple math right?...no one will ever accuse them of being the brightest bulb in the room, but they help me know when someone sold hahahaha)
these examples are on page one of the search result for matching a single keyword, without theme (which is no easy task to take into account)
general rules of google do not apply here, this I understand. That said what could cause the skew to an image's placement.
Keywords (spamming >if it's not on the list it won't match, to many may be bad too),
number of times the image has been sold (seems to hold the most weight),
number of people watching an artist (almost ruled out),
number of image views (almost ruled out),
number of comments,
number of votes,
number of favorites,
number of +g's, twits and the like.
I have found nothing that indicates descriptions or image names mean anything, which is a shame on the description. I have not checked backlinks and need to work on something that will produce $ FAA is not it. Things like this have only made me question my ability as a photographer and SEO guy, which Google has already validated by placing more than a few sites on the first page for targeted keywords :-).
You're singing to the choir! Of course the coofee issue is the easiest, one of the keywords is "cars and coffee", pink roses, not so easy. Some of it is by design, "brown flowers" used as a keyword in a search result of "pink flowers", stuff like that. Other issues seem to be a weakness in the search engine, as I have been told, by people in the industry, who I have shown this site too, for opinions.
And I assume, "contests" and "group membership" are also a non-skewing elements.
on the pink flowers it's part of the keywords you can't see you have to go to the artist site to see it, so it's all on page, or there would be no match. features would be more of an item than contests, unless they are won....bought, traded or whatever lol (some are legit, but most are just food for the FAA linkwagon)
Group membership i didn't really look into but lots of the first page results have none of that stuff listed and it is listed when featured at a minimum. I'd say by far the strongest factor is sales and why not, that's a great predictor of what will sell, but that combined with miss tagging equals a bad joke.
I should be adding some tags to my images that already sold :-)
BTW had to change my name back to the original, as when I edited some images today to add the watermark disclaimer, i broke a bunch of links. The system automatically changed the URL to image../b-l from image.../balanced-art Dynamic changes are nice when you know what to expect and I was not expecting that! My Name is Bruce, my site is http://balancedart.com
I'll add that one should avoid changing the title, if possible, ever, as this will confound anybody who has bookmarked your image.
It will also confound a search engine until its bots have rescanned your pages. This is because the title is integrated into the URL for the image.
The title and description have NOTHING to do whatsoever with the FAA search engine. Only your name and the title are in the URL, and a number if this is duplicated.
Your title and description DO affect the search engines.
The first 200 characters of keywords are put on the image page, and thus also affect search engines. Any keywords after 200 characters ONLY affect the FAA search, because they do NOT appear on your image page at all.
I hope I got all this right. I am sure somebody will correct me if I am wrong.
I know "nuttin about nuttin" when it comes to SEO, but I think votes and views play a larger role than you are suggesting. Otherwise, unsold images would never get seen and only pushed toward the front, by the sheer numbers behind them, new inventory/members.
I mean I hope I'm right! Only one small sale so far, of an image that's singular in it's category. The title is "A Grand Piano", which now has 7 votes and 52 views and is number 3 for a search for "grand piano".
I would think that sales, viewing, votes, might be the order of importance, what do you think, based partially on my one sale/image?
I bet I could change tagging on an image ive sold twice to include that and be in first for the term :-) but seriously here let's look deeper at your example You have sold and the comments show that lol and are in 3rd place I post this not knowing how sean is going to view this, but hey just trying to make sense of it, so forgive me in advance for pointing out the obvious. (for members only??? edit to add:Sean has looked at this and says im off-base)
Here are all of the grand piano photos for sale on Fine Art America.
1st) Mike Savad, June 30th, 2011 "Music - Piano - The grand piano"
1 of 1775
5250 x 3700 Photograph - Hdr Photography
0 comments = no sales more or less
0 views features etc
(questionable as to if printable..filter & HDR sure, but look close > no offense mike, just simple truth)
Main keywords :->>>suburbanscenes photographs, framed photographs, hdr photographs, scenes photographs, you photographs, suburbanscenes canvas prints, framed canvas prints, hdr canvas prints, scenes canvas prints, you canvas prints
2nd) Robert Suits Jr, November 25th, 2009 "Mom's Piano"
1 of 47
4230 x 2821 Photograph
7 comments maybe 1 sale (earlier in FAA)
no features etc
Main keywords: piano photographs, music photographs, baby grand piano photographs, black photographs, white photographs, piano canvas prints, music canvas prints, baby grand piano canvas prints, black canvas prints, white canvas prints
Rich Franco 1 of 206
December 27th, 2011 "A Grand Piano"
4000x 5000 Photograph - Digital Photography
no features etc
Main keywords: ballroom photographs, piano photographs, grand piano photographs, formal piano photographs, breakers photographs, ballroom canvas prints, piano canvas prints, grand piano canvas prints, formal piano canvas prints, breakers canvas prints
By these notes, it seems bigger is better, the bigger the resolution and the bigger your "library" (a growing trend here) the more likely you will be in first, since it does not seem that the image in first has sold or supports a tight keyword group. Your image has more votes and comments, disproving the strength of these activities, even your sale seems to be out weighed by the sheer preponderance of the library regardless of quality for the individual image.
all I can say is go big and get lots of views! upload as much as you can lol
A small interjection of my thoughts on this....to me, what you say Bruce is right on....what gets the SE attention are mostly printable photography, just my opinion. I don't think original paintings, with their attendant printing problems due compared lack of sharpness=easily printed, get a fair 'go' here in the scheme of things........can't prove this theory....just a nagging feeling, from a painter's pov.
I noticed when I make a sale ALL my images move up in the search. So, it's probably likely that Mike's image is first due to the amount of sales he makes, regardless of whether it's that particular image or not..........
Good eye and great info! Unfortunately this says nothing about the individual images within the search, which is the most important aspect of the search. Google didn't get to first place by playing horse shoes, they got there by providing what people wanted, based on what the page said was there.
Ms.V, I think an issue with painters is the context or subject matter of their work. Photographers have an easier time, Grand Ballroom, Grand Piano, Smoky Mountains,etc. Those words to me are very specific and generally very seachable, vs. "Tomorrow's Morning", "Tea for two", "Lazy River", and I'm being very loose with my titles but I hope you get my point. I would think seaching for a photograph is easier and more profitable than a painting.
And I'll think about the sharpness issue, which is just following a recipe, like my famous "NY Style Cheesecake"!
Just touching base!:) Like your new title! I only read the odd one as I don't want to take on another aspect of photography just yet. Your discussion with Murray about RAW was interesting, absorbed some of it and even understood what my new book was quoting about RAW. I was going to post it but am still internalising. It's good to know that the info is there when i am ready though. I bought a great book for 12.00 about digital photography. Also, I borrowed Photoshop elements 7 for dummies from library, also a book about desktop publishing. Thinking of my illustrated poetry book!Lol! Still a vision:))) By the way did a bit of work on the leaf in the lake but not happy enough with it yet. Love cloning and smudging. :)
Learning all this must agree with you! You appear younger everyday!!! That's smart getting some books, but also, visit Youtube and watch a few videos, cloning and such. And the secret to some of the tools, like cloning, is choosing the right size brush, the hardness/softness of the brush, and the opacity/flow, which I sometimes start around 30-40% each, to see the effect.
You can also watch videos about Photoshop CS5 because most of the tools are the same and the technique will be the same,
When talking about search on FAA you really need to think about two things...the FAA search tool and external searches like Google. To be entirely honest after the flaw I pointed out that makes its virtually impossible to find my ice sculpture image through FAA's search, the only one I concentrate on is Google. I know how it works.
@Rich, haha, I wondered who would pass a remark about my youthfulness first! I plan to get even younger. It really began after me repeating on several threads how we can change our ideas and beliefs and perspectives from one moment to the next, in certain situations, so i thought to visually express this why not show my changing faces, not just once or twice, but weekly or daily.