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Picking Keywords

How well you describe an image determines how often the search engine remembers it while searching. The trick is to appear in relevant searches; getting in front of the right eyes makes or breaks an image. Bloating up your keywords to squeeze into searches where you don’t belong will only irritate members who want to find something specific. With 400,000 members searching every day, someone wants to find your image. Here’s how to help them.

What is it?: Describe the subject of your image. You have 50 words to describe all the pertinent details, and the more specific you are, the more likely your image is to be found by the right searches. What is it? Is it a forklift, in a warehouse, moving crates? Two red tulips, close up, beaded with water? A young, energetic, African-American woman, in a business suit, talking on a cell phone, against a white background? Then be sure to tell the search engine.

Describe Everything: Be Specific: Be very specific about the subject. For images of people, include physical characteristics, ages, ethnicity, emotion, and mood. Is the woman grumpy? Is the police officer overweight, or even obese? Is the model effeminate?

Use a few of your keywords for everything happening in your image; each of the primary subjects, the background, the action. Your image is like a sentence; be sure to include each of the nouns (the things in the image) and each of the verbs (what they’re doing) as well as the situation. Imagine you are a newspaper journalist, asking questions about the scene, and answer, who, what, how, why, when and where.

The keywords for this image are: adult attractive beautiful beauty black catchy chick emotion eye fashion fashionable fashioned female feminine gaze gentle girl gorgeous hair haircut hairstyle head hot isabel lady look lovely lusty model natural nice perfect piercing portrait pretty pure seductive sesy stare stunning style teen teenage teenager tempting thinking white woman women young

The keywords anticipate every angle that someone might describe this character from. We know exactly who she is and what she’s doing. People with this scene in mind will find this image, because of the keywords.

Of course, there is a law of diminishing returns. Relevancy is the key. Learn to avoid the unnecessary and won’t get into trouble with keyword clutter. Here’s a good example of knowing what to include, and what to leave out:

The artist could have included keywords like cloud, insect, hand, foot… these things are in the picture, but none of them are key elements. Sky, jumping, meadow, businessman – those are the important ones. Avoid the temptation to run off at the mouth.