BM Discussion: Updated Jan 25th

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Lobo
Mask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesThis user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:31PM
Alright, folks. I've opened this new thread to provide a reboot to the discussion. I have some comments from the Search Team that I'd like to share. Now what I expect is going to happen is we are going to have questions almost immediately. Please appreciate I'm going to be taking all questions to the appropriate folks and getting responses back to you as soon as possible.


I want to address a recurring concern that Best Match is broken because when multiple keywords are searched on, new content is often on the first page of search results.  I’ll explain why that happens in a second, but I want to say up front that Best Match has worked like that from way back - the basic algorithm has not changed and this phenomena  is unrelated to any Best Match testing/optimization efforts, or the cash sales release.

Back to the issue of new content showing up when multiple keywords are searched on – here’s why it happens:  We store relevance data at a keyword level, e.g. we know which pictures are popular for a search on "copy space" or "vegetable", and for single keyword searches we push up those images in Best Match.  However, for combinations of multiple search terms that reduce the search results significantly (many great examples have been reported in this thread), the amount of data that determines keyword-level relevance is much lower than for single term searches.  In this situation, the search engine falls back to other data to determine what to push up to the top of the search results.  We currently fall back heavily on file age, so you see newer content at the top of the search results.  This is one of many aspects of the search engine that we can adjust and will be testing to find the optimal mix of data to fall back on in this situation, but it doesn’t get around the fact that sometimes we don’t have adequate keyword-level relevance data for a search result and have to rely on other data.  Downloads is one of the pieces of data to use to fall back on, but Best Match is not "Sort by Downloads". 

One more thing to keep in mind: customers do not use a lot of search terms , and in general do not narrow down their search results much by using the various search features on the site.  You are likely a more advanced user of the site’s functionality than the average customer.  I say this to keep in mind that most customers are not experiencing the concern described above (new content at the top of search results), because they aren’t getting reduced search results, due to the way they search.


These comments are in response to the BM Investigation Thread:

Thursday November 29, 2012

Please keep it civil and on topic.


Posted By SearchFairy:
Hello, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Mary Forster, I’m the Sr. Director of Search Strategy for Getty.  iStock search became part of my world a few months ago.  I wrote the post a few days ago from “search”, and am stepping out into the spotlight so you know who’s talking.

Regarding Best Match, here’s the scoop.  The engineers have been looking at that sorting mechanism closely in recent weeks, and cannot see anything “broken”.  We haven’t made changes to the basic sorting algorithm in awhile, and there’s no technical evidence that File Age is suddenly more dominant than it used to be.  The (very useful) examples in the forum are generally explainable given the underlying data and how the sort works.  If we do find some not-yet-discovered broken cog that suddenly improves relevance we will certainly fix it, let you know, and rejoice.
Keep in mind that Best Match is a complex beast.  We are trying to balance the mix of file types, the mix of collections, relevance, and file age.  There are a lot of nuances I can’t go into on a public forum, but it’s certainly not as straightforward as “downloads rule”.
 
I’m not saying the sort order doesn’t have room for improvement, and you’ve pointed out some areas that could potentially be improved (falling back more on image-level downloads more and file age less when we don’t have strong keyword-level relevance, relying on the relevance of a single keyword if the combination of keywords doesn’t provide good relevance, etc.).  Improvements like that take time to create and test out, and are not a quick fix.   I don’t know if it makes you feel better, but the same struggle of relevance/age/collection exists on other Getty sites, and other stock photo sites.
 
One more thing to keep in mind.  Not only do most customers only use 1 or 2 search terms, most only look at 1 or 2 pages. We are intentional about focusing our optimization on the first few pages, and after that it’s more of the wild west.  So if you’re looking at page 5, you could easily see the unexpected.

Because my job is quite intense I won’t have time to monitor and respond on the forum in real-time, and will rely on Lobo for that (many thanks Lobo).

(Edited on 2012-12-07 18:40:27 by Lobo)





Posted By SearchFairy:
I have an update on Best Match.
 
The search team spent last week trying to figure out how Best Match might have changed.  We are still trying toget to the bottom of that, but over the weekend turned our attention instead to how to make it better from where it is right now.
 
To that end, we are going to turn some dials, increasing the impact that downloads have in search result sorting, and decreasing the impact of file age.  After the change, in general you should see more images that have downloads on the first few pages, and an increase in relevance because of that.
 
The change is scheduled to happen overnight, tonight.
 
Typically we would test changes like this with a small percentage of customers to make sure there are not unintended consequences, but given the urgency of the situation we think it is worth the risk to push it out to all customers.
 
Let us know what you think of the adjustment. 
 
Thank you for all of the examples, they were very helpful in exploring what is going on.




Posted By MaryForster:

After a few days of the tweaked Best Match, I want to respond to some of the common concerns/observations I’m seeing in the forum.
 
But first, thanks for the attentive observations, it provides a level of QA on search like no other site.
 
Primary concern:  Too much newly-uploaded Agency high in the search results!  Yes, absolutely. A combination of three things is causing this:
1.    The content is new (as you know one aspect of Best Match gives a certain amount of boost to new content, albeit less now)
2.    There is an unusual amount of this content (Mr. Erin explained why that is)
3.     It has additional keywords that most istock content does not have.  This bit is crucial for understanding what is happening.  There are three things that lead to the different keywording:
 
a.       Content that starts on gettyimages.com is professionally keyworded to a specified standard, and therefore some terms get applied in higher proportion than istock contributor content.  Examples cited in the forum are Outdoors, One Man Only, One Woman Only, 6-7 Years, and Copyspace.  These sorts of terms are applied more consistently by the professional keyworders, which makes sense (fifteen people who keyword images for a living are more likely to be consistent than thousands of people who do it some of the time). For those searches, the Agency content is more likely to show up.
 
b.      There is not a set keyword limit in the Getty system – the prescribed standard is the limiting factor.
 
c.       Content that starts on gettyimages.com comes with the broader terms from the Controlled Vocabulary, and they are searchable.  iStock content does not have these broader terms searchable.  The terms are mostly “structural” terms in the Vocabulary that do not have search value.  Examples noted in the forum  are Educational Building, Man Made Space, Place of Work, Information Equipment.  Customers do not search on words like this – they use “normal” words like school, living room, office, computer. The structural terms are there, but they are harmless.  It’s far more useful to look at search results of what customers do search on.
And then there’s the original phenomenon I described in my first posting.  When you get into the long tail of multiple keyword searching, relevancy runs out more quickly and new content shows up.  I agree that we run out of relevance too quickly for mutiple keyword searches, and that’s an area we’ll be looking to improve.
 
Other answers:
 
-          The keyword “Setting the Table” clearly mapped incorrectly during the Agency ingestion.  We’ll fix that.  I haven’t seen other examples of completely erroneous keywords like that so I think it was an isolated event. Let us know if you see more like that that are completely wrong.
 
-          Somebody asked why E+ isn’t ‘flooding’ Getty.  Well, it is. Getty’s first few pages of results are more deterministic than iStock’s so it wouldn’t happen on the first few pages.  But if you go back a few pages, you see the impact of a lot of new ingestion.  For example search on “handshake woman”, go back to page 7 (default number of files per page), and it’s all E+ all the time.  Not pretty, but it’s how the formula works.  In a few weeks it will be other content back there.
 
Next steps for Best Match:
 
We’ll go forward from here.  We will experiment with improving Best Match in January, likely in a controlled manner as opposed to throwing out a big change like we did this week.  This week we turned some dials to squelch the “tyranny of the new”, but we need to figure out the best mix of relevancy and recency and price for customers – that is where I am squarely focused.



Posted By SearchFairy:

Hello in 2013.

Here is an update on where we are at with Best Match changes.


We’re going to start with the problem of irrelevant Agency files often flooding the search results.  To that end, the Search Team is building a new “dial” to wave my wand at.  They need a few days to build it and a few days to test it out, so we hope to see this change on the site the week of Jan 14th.  I hate promising delivery dates because what seems simple sometimes becomes complicated, but that is the timeframe we are shooting for.

With that change in place, it will be easier to evaluate the impact of other Best Match settings.  The next broad area I want to take on is the impact of File Age. We turned some dials in mid-December, but now need to finesse it to get a better mix of older and newer files.


That is all for now – will let you know when are ready to make the change on the site.

(Edited on 2013-01-03 17:41:22 by SearchFairy)





Posted By SearchFairy:
Hello,

Here is an update on the new 'dial' to better manage Agency content in search results.  I am still waiting for it to release so I can make use of it.  Once I have it, I need a few hours to test out the impact offline, and then push the change to the site.  It should be Thursday or Friday of this week, and if not would be early next week.  I apologize for the uncertainty about the timing.

As I said before, this change will improve search results in many cases by removing irrelevant new Agency content from the top of the search results.  It will also clear the waters so we can better see the impact of other Best Match factors, so we can improve the balance of new and popular content.




Posted By SearchFairy:

Hello Again,

Unfortunately the new dial for Agency content has been delayed until Monday. I'll get the adjustment out to the site asap once I have it.

Thank you in advance for your patience, I know it's frustrating.  




Posted By TechVeep:

Howdy, iStockers,


The Dials and Levers that Mary (the Search Fairy) has been waiting for are scheduled for release on Thursday (tomorrow). We want to ensure that we "do no harm" so have kept the latest release in the QA environment for some extra attention just to be safe. Please keep in mind that the dials and levers that we're releasing are intended to provide granular control. The fine tuning will be used to introduce incremental changes that are so small that they may not be immediately obvious to the community!

Thanks for all your attention and passion. We're listening and acting.


Jay




Posted By SearchFairy:


Hi,

I’ll explain what I changed last night and why, and comment on what I’m seeing in search results and reading in the forum.
 
First, as promised, I reduced the boost that Agency automatically gets just for being Agency, so we stop seeing too much newly ingested Agency at the top.  That worked well. Cleared the waters, to see what else is going on.  Location searches have improved because of this in particular (because Agency content has more location terms on it than the typical iStock file).
 
In addition, I increased the impact of File Age a little (back towards what it used to be, before the Dec 10 decrease to reduce zero downloads at the top of the search results).  As several of you have commented, it’s too much, so I think it warrants reducing it a tiny bit tonight. These are super sensitive dials, to be sure.
 
To put this in context, I'm trying to get the right amount of new content in the search results, which can't be too much (bad relevance), and shouldn't be too little (they need a chance to be found).
 
The next step is to let this algorithm be out there for a few days and analyze the impact it has on customer search, and on the mix of collections we are serving up.
 
Next areas to address are:
- get better representation of "middle-aged" content in the search results (between the very new and the very old)
- improve multiple keyword searches (too often result in new content at the top)
 
It is useful to hear your observations of what customers are finding/using, and the impact on search if it’s based on running searches (not looking at your portfolio), and using common search terms.  I know what happens with not-common searches, and with multiple keyword searches (zero downloads at the top).
 
Search Fairy



Posted By SearchFairy 4 Feb:

Hello,


Good news!  We found a problem that has been contributing to the poor results for multiple keyword searches, and the fix will be coming out this afternoon.  Please check it out and let us know what you think. 


Optimistically,


Search Fairy



Posted By Cbarnesphotography:
Search Fairy wrote on Feb 4, "Good news! We found a problem that has been contributing to the poor results for multiple keyword searches, and the fix will be coming out this afternoon." We, as contributors, have been screaming loud, and even more loudly as time went on, that there was a problem as soon as the September 2012 update was implemented.

The larger macro question I have is: Why didn't the company believe that there was a problem and take action sooner?


In response to the above snippet from Cbarnesphoto:


Posted By Lobo:
Mr.Barnes: I can try to provide some clarity on that. There are lots of things going on. We have a number of issues that the contributors have brought to our attention. It's taken some time to make all the different departments aware of how linked everything is. As you might also know, we had some layoff last year that required a considerable amount of time adjust too.

It's not as simple to keep things a float as it might seem. That said, we are getting to a place where we can discuss SOOO much more than we have over the last few years. It's something we hope that will provide us with an to opportunity improve our relations with all of our valued contributors. Be they Non-exclusive or Exclusive. It doesn't matter. The people who choose to contribute here have made an investment with us so it's only fair we show outwardly that we are invested in them.

That said, we still have a long road ahead of us. We don't expect high fives and parades just because we are getting back to the point where we have reopened communication channels. We will continue to dialogue with the contributor base and make changes to the way we address their concerns. All of this is as important to you as it is to us.

On the information people have been providing us: We review their concerns and do our own investigation based on what they are posting. Now, I don't have to tell you that we have found that in some cases there are some 'creative embellishments' to some of the posts, but it all helpful. We should have more to share later today.

(Edited on 2013-02-08 08:24:16 by Lobo)



(Edited on 2013-02-08 08:28:19 by Lobo)
cmannphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:52PM

Since the the Sept "upgrade" we have lost Ratings and Views.


So my question is, are "Ratings" and 'Views" part of that "data" that the search falls back on?


If so, could that explain the difference in the search results since the beginning of Sept?
synthetick
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:55PM
I think there were also examples given to show that this is not just happening with multiple keywords, but with single keywords as well. This is particularly bad with video-only searches eg. a video-only search on the keyword, "Tree." Out of the first 200 results, 188 of them are new files with zero-downloads.
cobalt
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:58PM

Well, at least this is a very understandable explanation of what we are seeing. Thank you for that. 


Obviously I don´t know how this could be improved...except for loads more customers...who with their searches and sales optimize the keyword ranking
jjneff
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 12,500 - 99,999 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:08PM
For me the problem is soley on to much attention on new content being pushed so hard on the first page no matter the how many keywords are used. You need a better mix with older content as well. This business has to be sustainiable for us as well so if you weight so heavily on new content you are pushing us out the door unless we are a factory of production. 

(Edited on 2012-12-05 20:11:13 by jjneff)
Lobo
Mask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesThis user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:11PM

Posted By cmannphoto:

Since the the Sept "upgrade" we have lost Ratings and Views.


So my question is, are "Ratings" and 'Views" part of that "data" that the search falls back on?


If so, could that explain the difference in the search results since the beginning of Sept?

Ratings has never held much weight from what I can recall. I will see if I can confirm that. The same goes for views.
jjneff
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 12,500 - 99,999 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:15PM
Person "A" loads an amazing goat picture 6 months ago and has sales, Person "B" loads an ok goat picture now. Person B gets higher ranking even though the quality is much better from person A. Pull some of that weight back to sales and views!

(Edited on 2012-12-05 20:21:56 by jjneff)
mlwinphotoCLOSED
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:16PM
Posted By cmannphoto:

Since the the Sept "upgrade" we have lost Ratings and Views.


So my question is, are "Ratings" and 'Views" part of that "data" that the search falls back on?


If so, could that explain the difference in the search results since the beginning of Sept?

It's new files that are showing favor in the search results (which I'm all for) and it's the new files that are primarily affected by the lack of ratings and views.  So, the way I see this is that views and ratings don't have much to do with BM search results unless a lack of those two 'features' forces the files toward the top of the search results.  And, if that's the case, I would have trouble understanding why unless iStock is trying to gain added exposure for 'underappreciated' files.....????
Forrestbro
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 12,500 - 99,999 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:17PM

Posted By synthetick:
I think there were also examples given to show that this is not just happening with multiple keywords, but with single keywords as well. This is particularly bad with video-only searches eg. a video-only search on the keyword, "Tree." Out of the first 200 results, 188 of them are new files with zero-downloads.


I agree with synthetick. The search for videos if definitely messed up. For any search I do for videos using just one search term and Best Match, you get a a few results that have some download at the beginning (Mostly Vetta), but then page after page of videos with zero downloads. This is drastically different than the results that you would have gotten a few months ago.
synthetick
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:25PM
Although I am wary to suggest another piece of code to be implemented (and potentially mucked up!), how about this: when keywording each new file, contributors must pick the five top keywords for that file. These keywords would be ranked highest as soon as the file goes on-line. I recall that a footage site that I used to submit to (before I was exclusive) used this system.
IvanJekic
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:27PM

Did you push E+ and Vetta/Agency files out once they made their way to Getty (especially E+)? Several of my best E+ sellers and good DL files are almost opted-out from istock all of sudden! A major concern since they made more than 50% of my montly income.
tjhunt
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:51PM
Thanks for the update, and for giving us a better idea of what's going on. Good questions to be answered, too; hope to hear more.
LEOcrafts
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:55PM

Now a days why non exclusive contents are getting more prefernce than exclusives  in Best match? also why sudden dramatic changes in best match sort from last one month?


thanks
Tammy616
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:59PM
It's not just multiple word searches.   Becuase of the nature of my work I've always since the beginning of time used "reef" as a gauge of what BM was doing.  It was always a mix of old, new,vetta,agency,popular, not so popular, exclusive, non exclusive.    Now there is not a vetta in site (ok...2 in 200), no popular pics at all, a few lines at top with files with "a few downloads" the most being 100, this is in fact the most popular file in top 200 pics.    There are more than 100 (or more) with 0 downloads and the rest with 10 or less (maybe a couple with a few more but not many).   Prior to the BM catastrophe that we all imagining... 1. new files appeared there and if they sold they stayed around on top for awhile, now new files appear for a few days and even if there are sales they disappear.    2. Old popular files that sold resurfaced on BM, now that does not happen.   3. Exclusive and exclusive + used to get a bit more exposure, now they are give no priority at all, in fact they seem to be punnished and sent to the back of the class.  4. No, everyone was never happy,including me,  but regardless BM always appeared to be a fair mix of images and I personally never complained.  Now certain people with 0 downloads just stay there with 0 downloads while other pics, even new ones that sell come and go.  Makes no sense at all.   


Compare a search of "reef" with "business."  The mix in business is EXACTLY what reef used to look like.    Ok, maybe sales are fine and maybe the customers are fine (or perhaps they are just leaving) but WE, the driving force here, the ones who have been here for years and years are dying.  Never in all the time I've been around have I ever seen so any people affected by the BM.  Surely we can't all be imagining this.   Personally since the BM change my sales have dropped to 15% of what they were before change.   This week is shaping up to be 5%.   Sure, some fluctuation, even a gradual reduction is to be expected, but an 85% drop in a few months...?    It's unsustainable.

(Edited on 2012-12-05 21:01:22 by Tammy616)

(Edited on 2012-12-05 21:25:25 by Tammy616)
LeeAnnWhite
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 9:30PM
Posted By Lobo:


Posted By cmannphoto:

Since the the Sept "upgrade" we have lost Ratings and Views.


So my question is, are "Ratings" and 'Views" part of that "data" that the search falls back on?


If so, could that explain the difference in the search results since the beginning of Sept?


Ratings has never held much weight from what I can recall. I will see if I can confirm that. The same goes for views.

I have suspected since the beginning that the disappearance of both "ratings and views" has played some sort of role in all of this.  It must affect more than what has been led to believe.  It must.  Even a non-exclusive newbie like me with a tiny portfolio has been adversely affected since "the great upgrade".  Even I had 2x as many sales in July & August even tho now my portfolio is much larger than it was then.  Some of my files don't even show up when using the "file age" searches.  They just don't appear where they should be, even when sorting by file age.  I think the problem goes beyond just affecting BM.....
BanksPhotos
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 9:53PM
I have withheld commenting as I hoped BM would get worked out, however, with the statement customers do not use a lot of search terms I would like to provide yet another example based on a single term. Frac Sand is a term I requested for the CV over a year ago to accommodate some of my files. A search for Frac Sand will provide a small selection of images, mostly mine, mostly E+ but at least for me a Best Match result, which, if indicative of the site as a whole is very concerning. For those familiar with frac sand mining the most logical search term is Frac Sand. I and others have done this search from different areas logged in or not, on one computer or another the results are always the same. The best sellers are at the very end, the newer files and non E+ are first. In the past, the top sellers always had higher placement within the search and showed up on the first page of my portfolio.

Since there are so few files, the results of this search shouldn't adversely impact me. However, if I and others continue to upload Frac Sand photos the best sellers will continue to get buried. What perplexes me further is the best sellers are old but they are not the oldest when sorted by file age. Which brings me to the fact the best selling files are dead last when compared to everything else, file age, non E+, video, zero sale files, etc.

Contrary to what others have posted, if you toss in Mine as an additional keyword after the original Frac Sand search the best selling files improve placement slightly.

After spending a considerable amount of time with the subject of Frac Sand mining I feel the two best selling photos are better photos than many of the others. If I were a buyer, I would probably be most interested in them and am surprised they no longer have decent placement.

Regardless, this is just an example to illustrate a point. There are only 40 Frac Sand files, the buyers will find the one they want. But what if there were 400 or 4,000 or more, the files which have sold well for me in the past would now be demoted considerably by Best Match. If this is the new normal, within other searches, this would be adversely impacting many contributor's sales. I am all for promoting new files as some of my better work is my newer stuff, however, files with proven track records should not be relegated to the very bottom of the search.

(Edited on 2012-12-05 21:54:59 by BanksPhotos)
steinphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloads
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 10:05PM

Does this mean that the 'issues' that have been discussed in various threads regarding BM have been investigated by HQ and the case is closed?


In other words, is the OP the official response to our concerns as mentioned in oldladybird's post in the previous BM thread?:


"Hey Everyone, please know that we are still looking at this. And quite seriously.

I know it's frustrating and we certainly appreciate that.

As soon as we have something to share publicly, we will."
Juanmonino
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsExclusiveAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 10:25PM
This fact is affecting most of the exclusive members here to see our bottomline seriously affected, and this happenend since the last software upgrade, therefore this issue(new files first in bm when two keywords searched, images falling back in bm when converted to E+ etc) are affecting buyers when purchasing. It is very important you guys fix this thing.
Jamesmcq24
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 11:38PM

Posted By Lobo:
However, for combinations of multiple search terms that reduce the search results significantly (many great examples have been reported in this thread), the amount of data that determines keyword-level relevance is much lower than for single term searches.


Wait, wait... When someone searches for multiple keywords, is this saying the keyword relevance score only counts other searches for both those specific keywords that, for example, resulted in a sale?

That doesn't make sense to me.

If I have an image which has high keyword relevance for each individual keywords "fruit" and "vegetable", and someone searches for BOTH those keywords, are you telling me the high keyword relevance for those terms individually is ignored in favor of keyword relevance that only covers searches for both?

It seems to me like searches for multiple keywords should give you MORE keyword relevance data. If someone searches for "fruits and vegetables" and an image has high keyword relevance for both "fruit" and "vegetable", then it would make sense that it should be highly relevant to a search on both keywords.

Does it not make sense to combine (or average) the individual keyword relevance for each keyword in a multi-keyword search to generate a relevance value?






------

EDIT: Of course, this could lead to an edge case or two where, for example, an image with very high "fruit" relevance has low "vegetable" relevance and is placed above an image with mediocre relevance for each "fruit" and "vegetable" (when a buyer may have preferred the mediocre relevance on both), however this still seems like a preferable sorting method than falling back on "newness".

(Edited on 2012-12-05 23:42:52 by Jamesmcq24)
nullplus
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMember has had a File Of The WeekThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012 11:41PM

lobo / search team - thanks for the info. here are some comments from my side:


> customers do not use a lot of search terms [...] are not experiencing the concern described above


this may be true as far as narrowing down results goes, but here's what a customer recently posted in another thread:


"Best Match -  This used to be one of iStock’s best features. Recently however it makes no sense at all. [...] wanted a “Living Room” image [...] Nice images but nothing to do with Living Rooms [...] Before (emphasis added), you would see a great selection over the first ten pages of best selling images, some recent images, new images too that I presume iStock editors felt should be pushed to the front and so on. Hugely helpful [...] totally dissatisfied with the “new” iStock Best Match (emphasis added)"


whatever the exact circumstances are here (e.g. which timeframe this buyer's experience relates to, whether he used narrowing down or not, whether he used any other advanced search features or not, etc) the point is: buyers are hugely dissatisfied with BM. imho this should be taken VERY seriously and BM should be fixed / optimized / changed, whatever. i don't say this from a contributor's point of view (because, as a contrib, i am susceptible to always be dissatified with BM as long as i don't get a BME every month), but from a buyer's. they are dissatisfied. customers should be kept happy.


and my second point: what is the current official status of this whole BM-affair? is there some more investigation / optimization going on, as oldladybird suggested? or is everything "working as it should"? i know BM is constantly changed and optimized - what i mean is if istock is currently doing any more "out of the ordinary" investigation/optimization on this matter or if we are back to the regular day-to-day business?
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