RELEVANT Relevancy Searches

I take changes here at dreamstime with a grain of salt...the administration usually does a good job of testing and tweaking until the change is fair and positive. BUT recently I have noticed a distinct downgrade in many of my images appearance in a search. When "buyer searched after" words are noted, I click on that search and see how far they searched into the hundreds of pages to find and purchase my image. The addition of the "best-selling" search option was very nice, even though it really doesn't enhance my portfolio as I have been here since 2005 and some of my best-sellers have been around a long time. That option aids quick-selling new images...which is great...I like to think I have many of those as well. The one search that I fall back on as helpful and telling is the Relevancy search, and that's why I'm posting my first blog. Today I sold an image, Cartoon Kids Dance

It is an image that I uploaded at the end of January and has 5 downloads since then. The words "children dancing" were used in the buyers search. When I clicked on that search, my image appeared on page 3 of 7 results, far behind such images as a dancing penguin, santa, tree, ants and innumerous lines of children standing stock still, feet firmly planted like a row of paper dolls. I won't show these less relevant images because I don't criticize them, they are perfectly fine images just not nearly as relevant to the search as mine was. I am a longstanding exclusive contributor who still adds new images on a monthly basis. I don't expect special treatment, just fair treatment. I also buy Dreamstime images at my workplace and hate digging deep into search results to find images that truly are relevant to my search words. It's very frustrating and that frustration sometimes leads to no sale whatsover, just a jump to a different microstock site.

Photo credits: Connie Larsen.

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When we search for dancing/eps, nothing happens. No search, just the home page. If we search by kids dancing, as you named the image, you are right there on the first page. I guess the title is more important, but not the only one.
Doing the exact same search, I got the same 7 pages and you are on 3rd. Anyway, most images were of kids ar children dancing.


Interesting. I wonder if the search results are different for you than for me. When I do the search, your image shows up on page 4 of 9 (with 200 images per page). It looks like just about all of them on pages 1-3 have either "children" or "dancing" in the title. There are a few that do not that appear on the 4th page a bit before yours. However, they have one or both of these terms in the description, but your image does as well. It would be most interesting if we are getting different search results.


That would be an easy explanation, but if you look at the titles of the irrelevent images that appear on the pages before mine, there are many with neither children or dancing. There are things like "Cute Little Angel" and "Penguin"...and on and on.


I think the DT relevancy search places a lot of importance on the title. Since neither "children" nor "dancing" appear in your title, it really isn't surprising that it is found so far down in the search results. DT seems to look for exact matches, not just words that are very close. Dance, dancing, dances, and danced seem to be considered as entirely different words.


Melonstone...Exactly!...isn't it frustrating how many unrelated images show up so early in the search? Any child-like theme should not be labeled "children" and any image of a group of children standing is not dancing. I'm using this particular incident as an example, but I'm sure there are many unsuitable images in many searches. It just makes me wonder what the criteria for the relevancy search entails.
Enigmacypher...thanks for your input, I will have to look into that. In the early days when eps files were first accepted I used that mostly for my own benefit to see quickly which of my images was actually uploaded as a vector file.


I'm not sure how the search engine treats a slash (/), but you might consider having a space between dance and eps (there are several different ways "dance/eps" could be interpreted by the search engine). Also, children only shows up in your keywords, not in your description or title. That may make a difference as well in a relevancy search.


Interesting! A search for “children dancing” gave 23 pages and in the first six pages alone (most relevant) there are two shots of an auditorium with crowd sitting down on seats & no dancing, illustrations of a dancing monkey, penquin, giraffe, frog, ants, pig, rabbit, red pepper, ice cream cone, doll, rat, jelly fish, bees, elephant, cat, Santa Claus and a robot; there’s a mother kissing a baby and a swan spreading its wings, several pairs of dancing shoes and various coloured pencils. On all 6 pages there are children standing or running (which isn’t dancing) or simply portrait (head & shoulders) shots so you can’t tell if they’re dancing or not.

Very frustrating for buyers when the genuine “children dancing” shots are lower in the search results than images that don’t exactly match the search criteria.


To isolate the problem it would be interesting to know if those children with their feet stock still, (I like that) have dance dancing party and such in their keywords. If they do then the photographer spammed. If they don't it is the search algorithm that plays god every Tuesday and Thursday, (just saying, I don't know when the search engine plays god, instead of just doing a simple job of search.)

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