24 Jan 2008 Dreamstime Killer Keyword Information

Earlier this month Dreamstime introduced a new feature which shows their contributors the keywords that result in their photos being sold. Here’s what it looks like:

Dreamstime's Keyword Feature

The usefulness of this information is instantly obvious. As Dreamstime contributor Mark Payne said in the related forum thread, “this feature puts excellent market data into the hands of those able and willing to put it to good use”.

Having feedback on which keywords are working provides Dreamstime contributors the opportunity to evaluate and refine their keyword strategies. As Dreamstime founder Serban Enache pointed out when announcing the feature, it also provides further evidence that keyword spamming doesn’t help sell more photos.

Enache also noted that the system has a small – less than 1% – error rate which results in inaccurate keywords. This is caused by buyers navigating away from search results before purchasing.

Clicking on the keywords will repeat the search so contributors can see where their photos appear in the search results. Early reports show no consistency as to where in the best match search results the sold photos appear.

Among the uses are: discovering which keywords are popular; confirming which keywords are generating sales; auditing similar photos to ensure popular keywords are present; analyze search result placements for particular keywords; and know which keywords to use in the title and description fields.

Speculation has already begun in the forums over how this feature can be expanded. The obvious next step is to provide a list of all keyword searches that resulted in sales on each images’ detail page. Or a listing of keywords for a contributor’s entire portfolio, sortable by frequency and earnings.

This development has been universally welcomed as it helps both contributor and agency. All microstock agencies watch each other closely so we can expect to see others follow Dreamstime’s lead and implement similar functionality.

3 Comments
  • Photonomikon
    Posted at 00:57h, 25 January Reply

    The way this works in some cases is at least bizarre.

    Example 1: a red heart on white background created in Photoshop was downloaded with the keywords “valentine gift”. First, there is no “gift” keyword in my image. Second, I clicked thru the first 20 pages of the search and couldn’t find my image. I then ordered by downloads and again flipped thru the first 20 pages and nothing.

    Example 2: a camel’s head sold with the keywords “sela ward”. Not only does my image not include these keywords but they are also nonsensical and a search by them returns nothing.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 04:18h, 25 January Reply

      Yep, that’s the small error rate that Serban mentioned, caused by buyers performing a search and then navigating away from it before buying. There are many links on an image’s detail page that can take buyers away, such as the portfolio link of the photographer, the ‘similar images’ links, etc.

      -Lee

  • Stephen Strathdee
    Posted at 05:07h, 25 January Reply

    As it stands, I don’t think this feature is a useful keywording resource. It would be much better to see the sales keywords of ALL images on the site so that metadata could be gleaned from competing images.

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