Best Match Discussion - Feb 15, 2013

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Lobo
This 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 Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:42PM
Hello everyone. As previously mentioned we are going to reboot the BM discussion with a new post and some additional clarity on a number of issues that the membership has brought up over the last few weeks. We are continuing to work through things and are keeping an eye on how everything sorts and will continue to do so over the next few weeks.

A small Best Match update from SearchFairy:

• New files that get downloads do get an increase in the Best Match score. However, the sheer number of downloads are not the only thing that impact the Best Match score.
• For example, the ratio of downloads to views is important. A file that is viewed 25 times and downloaded twice gets less of a boost than a file that is viewed 5 times and downloaded twice. So that's one factor.

Let’s pause here. We know that views are still a big question mark. There are several departments working together to try and isolate the disconnect. From a pure code standpoint, nothing has changed but clearly we are not seeing the same number of views we saw pre-September of last year. Right now we know 2 things… views from logged in clients are being counted when they hit the file close up page and customers using cash and adding files directly to the cart from their search results are skipping that step. We’re not giving up but it does take a little time to pull several sets of complex data, compare them and then make any sort of assessments.

Back to the update…

Another significant part of the overall Best Match score is the relevance or "strength" of a certain keyword within a file. This part of the Best Match score varies by the search done (a file gets a strong boost if the search being done is on one of its strong keywords; it gets less of a boost if the search being done is on one of its weaker keywords). The "strength" of a keyword within a file is determined by actions taken on a file after that keyword is searched on. Several actions count here - views, cart adds, lightbox adds, and downloads.

For all of the examples I dug into, comparing the placement of files that were uploaded on the same day with similar keywords, this is what made the files that were higher in the search results get that higher score (for that particular search). Even though the files with downloads got a boost for being downloaded, the other images within that "set" had been boosted more for actions that followed a search for that keyword. So the other actions have a strong "reward" that sometimes outweighs the download count.

That being said, I agree that the balance of age, downloads, and other actions could be better, to give new files a better chance. We have to be careful though, because if sheer downloads becomes the strongest determinant of Best Match, new content can't compete.

To that end, I want to adjust some of the settings a bit (nothing radical) to give new images a better chance, but without diluting the relevance of search results. I need a bit more time to try different combinations out, and am working with the search team on that.


Updates and additional notes:


Posted By Lobo - Posted Sat Feb 16 7:12AM:


Posted By alanphillips:
Interesting indeed to see such a turn around and see such open discussion of the inner workings of the Best Match. It looks to me as if Search Fairy and her team have been working hard to understand the way this thing works. In fact this is where I start to get a little suspicious. Am I right in assuming that whoever in the past controlled the BM algorithm has now gone away and taken with them all the knowledge of how it works and how it can be controlled? If so, then I am sure that you can count on the contributor base to give all the help they can. but it would be nice to know absolutely franky if what I said is true, or if I am being overly suspicious.

It was this part of the OP that made wonder if the Search Fairy and her team inherited all the details of the inner workings of BM:

"For all of the examples I dug into, comparing the placement of files that were uploaded on the same day with similar keywords, this is what made the files that were higher in the search results get that higher score (for that particular search). Even though the files with downloads got a boost for being downloaded, the other images within that "set" had been boosted more for actions that followed a search for that keyword. So the other actions have a strong "reward" that sometimes outweighs the download count."


Alan, it's not that there was any one person who had a finger on the BM and then smokebombed out of the office. It's that our collection is much more complicated than it has ever been. We now have Vetta, E+, P+, TAC, Editorial, etc. Things are much more complicated.

I might also note that since Mary has come on board she is much more willing to discuss BM. I don't think she was entirely aware at how in the dark the contributor base was on how the inner workings of our search is. Clearly there are aspects of it we still need to keep close but it's a nice change to have all this information sharing going on. I don't blame you for being suspicious but I figure over time we will have everything sorted out.

Anyhoo, Search_fairy is really working diligently with her team to share information with the contributor base. I can tell you from my side of things that it's a welcome change and it's something I hope we can get other departments to do in the future.



Posted By Lobo - Posted Sat Feb 16 11:13PM:

Posted By InkkStudios:
Posted By Lobo:
I think trying to focus on who did what when and all that is pointless. We are moving forward and doing our best to involved the contributor base in the discussion. I can assure you I'm of the mind that it was something we should have done a long time ago. Regardless, Mary has been involved in search related wizardry for longer than most of us have been involved in this industry. Have some patience. Continue to participate in the discussion. Keep things on topic.

The more focused the discussion the more likely we will be able to leverage the findings of the contributor base. I hope I'm being clear. If you have any additional comments UNRELATED to the actual BM I'm always available via site mail.

Lobo, you are avoiding my earlier question. IS the BM documented when changed? Are the changes Documented? I'm picturing dials that are from 0-10 and each one is a different number like a combination. When you change it, are you guys even documenting what it was, and what it was changed to?

I actually thought you were kidding. And based on your post above I still think you are. At this point I have it in my head that you are picturing an analogue interface with everyone at HQ running around in coveralls. Spanners and steam engines all over the place. Terrific. I sort of dig that idea and I'm going to suggest we get that look going on in the event anyone stops by.

Of course we have a data logged on every change. You might recall we have new tools in place now. That is because there have been a number of changes to the site over the years. It's not possible for us to go back to a specific date that would make a portion of the contributor community happy. We are working on making the Best Match work for buyers. Logical changes that reflect our analysis. Not the needs of the specific contributors, but for the contributor base on the whole.

So if you are seriously thinking me stating the obvious is required, I hope the above helps. If not, I don't know what else I can do for you to make it clear that all those logs aren't going to help with what we have before us now. Which is exactly why this thread exists. So please take note of the comments I left in the quoted post you have there. Participate if you like, observe if you have nothing to add. And as always, feel free to contact me via site mail. You can let this thread get back on track now ;)



Posted By Lobo - Posted Sat Feb 16 11:22PM:

I wonder how many people have stopped uploading entirely. I think that would be something that might be handy in our continued investigation on the contributor feedback we are seeing. If you have already posted something that contains your current findings please go back and edit your post to indicate if you have been uploading over the past few months or if you have been holding out until things are looking more to your liking in BM.

To make it easier for us to track how about you just add ETA: YES | ETA: NO
Yes will represent Yes I have been uploading.

Again, you dont have to participate if you don't want to. It might give people a better understanding as to why people are getting differing results. I'm not saying things are perfect, but there has been some progress for some contributors. So let's see what that might mean to things. Please don't just post YES or NO in a post and smoke-bomb out of the thread.

Make sure you provide some of your search findings as well. I'll clear out any of the posts that ignore my instructions so we don't have a bunch of random YES|NO posts clouding the discussion.

Thanks, folks.





Posted By Lobo - Posted Mon Feb 18:

Two several quick notes for people who have decided to skip the majority of my posts(which I will soon add to the OP, not that that helps) before they jump into the conversation:

  • There is no going back to a specific date where you(contributors) were pleased with the sort.
  • Sales, memory lane, summaries of all things unrelated to BM aren't welcome in this thread*
  • Best Match isn't for contributors, it's for buyers
  • We will never please everyone, you don't have to tell us you aren't pleased. It's not like we have a stampede of people coming back into the forums to tell us that they are happy with things(Okay, some of you do, the lions share don't)


I could have gone on and on, but I think you all probably get the point. We would like to be able to view your findings as I know you are actively watching things. As it happens, so are we. However, contributors tend to have a very specific relationship with their investigations which actually helps us so we do want to have an opportunity to see what you are seeing.

Anyhoo, keep things on track. Stay focused. Stay civil.



VIDEO BM DISCUSSION

(Edited on 2013-03-06 07:46:45 by Lobo)
JodiJacobson
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:08PM
Thank you for the update Lobo and search Fairy
hatman12
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveRecognizing those who reach the 100,000 download mark
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:11PM
Great to have so much detail given about the refinement of the BM.  Good work. Thank you very much.
inhauscreative
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 125 Audio downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a Design Of The WeekMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has won a contest
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:16PM
Cool Thanks for the update
NicolasMcComber
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:17PM
Regarding the ratio views/downloads, it seems very strange to me, if as stated this is very important, that the files uploaded post September, which benefit from the best ratios ever (I mean I have had quite a few 1 download for 1 views, which would be 100% ratio) are not higher up. I have uploaded a new series this month to see where things are with new files, and three of the files initially did get that 1 download to 1 view ratio and yet did not get a significant bump up. File 23029120 for example, sold twice in its first few days online, but appears much lower than others in the series that haven't sold when doing a search such as student+isolated on white (it's nowhere to be found with just "student"). Perhaps would it be an idea to dial up that ratio in importance, thus giving an immediate boost to post-September files that did manage to sell and yet temper a bit older best selling files at the same time?
piola666
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:19PM
Good work, good details, good news that we patiently waited.

But can we start working immediately, or is it too rude?

I'd like to ask to the team if there is a difference in BM between photos and videos.
Checking search results make me think not.
And my modest opinion is:
an old good photo, with 6 years or so, with many dwlds may be still a good photo.
But...a good video, with many dwlds, shot 6 years ago, when equipment was surely worst, maybe only 720 or even pal/ntsc is now a good video from a a buyer perspective?
I guess not.

Edit:

I keep on uploading photos and VIDEO.

(Edited on 2013-02-17 05:35:55 by piola666)
CaseyHillPhoto
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:20PM
Yes, this update seems unprecedented in terms of detail. I really appreciate this! Feeling pretty good about uploading.
vkbhat
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:21PM

Lobo, Thanks for the update.


1. If the views are not recorded properly, how about take the weightage away from BM untill the view issue is fixed?


2. Does the order of the keyword important in BM? Why the order of the keyword is changed from the order contributor enters?
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 Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:25PM
Great to get that level of detail, thank you!
Joesboy
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:33PM

Frankly I'm glad this is your problem and not mine


Thanks for the insights
jmalov
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:36PM
Thanks for the update!
DanielBendjy
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:42PM
Update appreciated.
wagnerm25
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:43PM
Posted By casenbina:
Yes, this update seems unprecedented in terms of detail. I really appreciate this! Feeling pretty good about uploading.

More important that BM details seems to be a change in comunication strategy. Deserves a wooo-yay.
franckreporter
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:47PM

Thanks Lobo and Mary Forster !


Please switch the BM to pre 14th Dic when you pushed in front files uploaded in 2003-2004-2005-2006


Now 2012 and 2011 files are completely dead. We are not all here since 2003. thanks.


ETA : Yes , a lot of stuff but at the moment uploading seems to be useless time .

(Edited on 2013-02-17 05:48:51 by franckreporter)
wdstock
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 Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:47PM
Interesting. Please let us know when you actually "turn the knobs" ("...To that end, I want to adjust some of the settings a bit..."). Or has that happened already?

(Edited on 2013-02-15 15:48:59 by wdstock)
lightkey
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:52PM
thanks for the update. I hope something will change soon, as i'm down by 60% in downloads and royalties. I think August Best Match was a good mix of old, popular and new files. I hope in August.
Krakozawr
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:54PM
Just look to the attached screenshot please. Search result provide unnormal big number of similar images of one photographer together. What do You think about?


Screen Shot

LOBO ETA: Your image is pretty large. I've created a link instead.

(Edited on 2013-02-15 16:05:27 by Lobo)
Bike_Maverick
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:54PM
Is there update on why a vetta file approved about a week earlier than regular files falls down below those files? No downloads on any of the files so that shouldn't be a factor.
slobo
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 Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:56PM
Posted By franckreporter:
Please switch the BM to pre 14th Dic when you pushed in front files uploaded in 2003-2004-2005-2006
Now 2012 and 2011 files are completely dead. We are not all here since 2003. thanks.


Out of my last 20 downloads:


2005          - zero
2006          - zero
2007 - 3
2008 - 6
2009 - 5
2010          - zero
2011 - 4
2012 - 2
2013          - zero
lostinbids
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:59PM

Thanks for the update.


I am wondering if the view/dl boost is working.  I have a file from december with 4 dls and 15 views, it is in postition 2417 of the best match for its highest keyword.
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