The search engine revealed

Many questions have been asked and heated debates started on this subject in the last few years. It is that thing each and every contributor wonders about at least twice a day when checking account statistics and sales. It is one of Dreamstime's greatest mysteries and best kept secrets: the mighty SEARCH ENGINE, the one we all want to get to know better. Everybody knows a few search criteria to function for sure, has heard of some that might influence placement and guessed that there might be others more to be taken into account. Between fact and fiction, real life and myth, truth and speculation, we are always left baffled, ceaselessly wondering what in earth's name sets the "creature" into motion. What stirs it to place my or your images on the first or, alas, last page?

The criteria have been circulated, hinted at or alluded to many times on the message board or in blog articles. If someone spent a quite considerable amount of time to search through posts and blog articles, they would undoubtedly discover how the engine really functions. But, as we all know, this would take a lifetime because we have been quite chatty in the last years and written some thousands threads, haven't we? No worries, we will not subject you to such endless work and efforts.

Due to the increasing curiosity and frustration arousing from the secrecy, it has been decided that some crucial criteria must be publicly known at last.

First and foremost is relevancy. You've heard it before and we recommend, nay, encourage, we preach it. Title, description, keywords and categories are decisive criteria in placing your images on the search pages returned. Short title, concise description, average number of keywords and appropriate categories will do miracles.

Second is, as you might have guessed, exclusivity. If you are an exclusive contributor, your images will always be better placed in searches. Exclusive images also enjoy the advantage of being better placed but nothing compares to being full exclusive.

Another criteria is referral participation. If you participate in our referral program, you have referred members to our site and, moreover, these members have transactions, you will get a plus in the search algorithm. The number of badges/banners on your personal site may be taken into consideration if the case.

You might not have thought of this, but yes, messages and posts also count. Blogs matter but only if they receive the free credit - and the credit is rewarded only to useful/interesting articles. Posts on the message board are counted and so are messages sent to support. We hate to say this but if your messages are not nice, you get a minus.

And this takes me to another criteria: warnings received from editors. We are indeed in the habit of monitoring your general conduct, your behavior or misbehavior. If you have received warnings from our admins or your account was at one time suspended, the placement of your images in searches is negatively affected.

Your artistic statement is also taken into account. If it is acceptably lengthy and it shows that you took the time and consideration to add valuable, interesting info about yourselves and your work as photographers/artists, the search engine will be favorably adjusted for your images.

One very important criterion is, of course, donating images to the free section. We do appreciate such charitable actions and we assure you that they are not overlooked. Your clicks for the free section are rewarded with points for enhanced search placement.

Last but not least, upload consistency is of high importance. Contributors whose active participation and constant desire to be a part of our community are obviously privileged. Those who contribute all the time and upload images without long periods of inactivity are very likely to be better placed in searches than those who are inconsistent.

© Yanc
All in all, these are the primary criteria on which our search algorithm is based. There are other tiny factors which we cannot reveal due to company confidentiality policies but you can rest assured that the ones mentioned above are top major. Of course, we may not like the color of your eyes and reset the search algorithm for your files in particular one day. The color of one's eyes is quite important and can be a new criteria anytime :). But we'll never know, will we?

The Dreamstime Team

Disclaimer: This article was published on April 1st and we kindly ask you to read it accordingly. While it may convey some true data, it also contains false info that was meant only as a pun, joke, trick. We have decided to write it in a more believable manner but truly hope we have not hurt anyone's feelings. Some of the points above are real facts and others are pure invention.

Photo credits: Aspect3d, Nabeel Zytoon, Yanik Chauvin.

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September 25, 2015


Very interesting information. Thanks.

July 29, 2015


Great article, learned much as to placements and exposure. How do I find out about stock rank?

February 20, 2014


Very useful information,. I guess that one can be good on all aspect
but the more you comply with these guidelines, the more exposure your images have

June 17, 2011


I have great blue eyes :)) just for your info...

January 21, 2011


So now I realize why Yuri Arcurs has so few sales here. The guy has only 8 posts on the message boards :D

January 21, 2011


Wow, this is very informative. I look at things in a whole new light,Let me say you guys are the best,I randomly look at other stock sites and your attention to details and photos are the best. Good Day...

May 04, 2010


thanks for sharing it

May 04, 2010


OK, got to learn a few points here, and hence marking this as an useful post.
Agree with that on upload consistency.

April 27, 2010


Thanks for sharing :)

April 20, 2010


It‘s useful,great thanks...

April 19, 2010


hi carmen,

April 08, 2010


Wow... I knew some of this data, but this blog gives me a much better idea.... Now we know what to do.... Thanks.

April 08, 2010


This is a very important article.It made me get much harvest from it!
Thanks for sharing it!

April 08, 2010


Thx for sharing this! Good idea :)


April 07, 2010


Carmen, thank you for your suggestions. I think they're all-true, just more or less relatively. One thing in common, we got the same percentage in the Stock Rank :)

April 06, 2010


Thank you very much for your acknowledgement. Great blog

April 06, 2010


great info, keep up the good work.

April 06, 2010


Thx Carmen, most of it I suspected (but I wasn't sure, that consistency counts, although it sounds logical :)

@Alvera: that bla-bla, maybe it takes you farer from your goal and not closer (I just guess ... :-)

April 06, 2010


Very good, Carmen, LOL! Too bad that I have perfect blue eyes and they wont be considered... All and all, I think participating actively in DT community makes a difference, and thats probably true.

April 06, 2010


Counting how many times you mentioned Dreamstime in your Twitter and Facebook pages? Good idea!

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