Best Match Update - April 22, 2013

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SearchFairy
Forum Moderator
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:32PM
Hello, Search Fairy here with an update on Best Match:


Now that we have better tools in place to preview and measure Best Match changes, there are a few changes coming up this week that I’ll describe, and explain the intent of the change.

Last time I posted (March 7), I said that the next changes would be about improving relevancy on the first page. The work to do that is ready to go, and the first change to Best Match will focus on this area.

The basic idea is that the influence of keyword-level relevance within Best Match can now be managed separately from image-level things like popularity and age (they were previously wound up in each other in various ways). I am going to increase the influence of keyword-level relevance, thereby decreasing the influence of image-level popularity. This will get those “been downloaded in the past but not very relevant to this search” images out of the top rows/pages where they have been ending up. The search results will look quite different after this change, and far more relevant to the search. This change should hit the site on Tuesday afternoon.

As for the other critical component of Best Match – the influence of “file age” – there will be subsequent adjustments. The initial change focused on improving relevance will initially continue the unpopular phenomena of showing older images in the top search results, because we will be prioritizing files with proven relevance and it takes awhile for a file to prove itself. The next step, therefore, is to help new images prove themselves regarding relevance. A few days after the initial change to Best Match (described above), we will begin to adjust the thresholds that regulate how a new image performs. The idea will be to find the ‘perfect balance’ so that only proven images show up on the first few pages of results, but it is easier for an image to prove itself and make it to the top pages. We will find this balance gradually, by making a change and watching the impact of the change on customers.

Thanks for your patience as we move towards the right balance of ‘relevant and fresh’.
RobMattingley
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveForum Moderator
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:46PM
Thanks for the update Mary!
jamesbenet
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Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:48PM
Good to know, a few weeks ago something happened that halved my overall downloads and also created a very negative effect to video site-wide. I will be looking forward to this evolving change hopefully for the better in video while not impacting other formats.
debibishop
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 downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:49PM
Posted By SearchFairy:
The next step, therefore, is to help new images prove themselves regarding relevance. A few days after the initial change to Best Match (described above), we will begin to adjust the thresholds that regulate how a new image performs. The idea will be to find the ‘perfect balance’ so that only proven images show up on the first few pages of results, but it is easier for an image to prove itself and make it to the top pages.  


By "new images", are you referring to new images from this point on only? Where will any of these changes leave images uploaded in the last six months? Specifically, those images that have fallen to the end of the line.
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 Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:42PM
Does wording in the title have any effect? Example a picture of a cupcake " Festive cupcake" or "Party time" which doesn't include the word cupcake. Or is it only keyword revelence. Does the description have any revelence?
asiseeit
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Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:48PM
I think she's only talking about keyword relevancy. I don't believe titles or descriptions do anything for iStock searches, only google and other search engine searches.
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 Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:04PM
Thanks Steve.
NicolasMcComber
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:05PM
What about collections? With the announcement that the gates have opened for non-exclusive image factories to flood this marketplace, I'm sure many exclusives would like some reassurance that there is and will be a distinct advantage for exclusive files in BM placement. Remember the "You will see a difference" line? Please say it is still an important part of the mix...
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 Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:09PM

Posted By NicolasMcComber:
What about collections? With the announcement that the gates have opened for non-exclusive image factories to flood this marketplace, I'm sure many exclusives would like some reassurance that there is and will be a distinct advantage for exclusive files in BM placement. Remember the "You will see a difference" line? Please say it is still an important part of the mix...

Non-Exclusive image factories. Who are you talking about? I think we should focus on Best Match in this thread.

There is an advantage for exclusive images in Best Match. That hasn't changed.
NicolasMcComber
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:30PM
thanks. I wasn't sure where to put that comment as it is a reaction to what I've read on the thread about the upload limits being lifted and I just felt that it would be timely to reassure us about the BM advantage for exclusives, which is well, Bm-related, so I put it here. But thanks for saying that, it is reassuring.
Leontura
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Flash downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:28PM
Posted By Lobo:

Posted By NicolasMcComber:
What about collections? With the announcement that the gates have opened for non-exclusive image factories to flood this marketplace, I'm sure many exclusives would like some reassurance that there is and will be a distinct advantage for exclusive files in BM placement. Remember the "You will see a difference" line? Please say it is still an important part of the mix...

Non-Exclusive image factories. Who are you talking about? I think we should focus on Best Match in this thread.

There is an advantage for exclusive images in Best Match. That hasn't changed.

Is it still going to be a big enough advantage? If there is a sudden increase in non-exclusive files, the front page is going to have a higher ratio of them leaving fewer sales for us. It also makes the front page look more like the competition. And our stuff is more expensive, so customers will pay less.
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 Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:41PM

Posted By Leontura:
Posted By Lobo:

Posted By NicolasMcComber:
What about collections? With the announcement that the gates have opened for non-exclusive image factories to flood this marketplace, I'm sure many exclusives would like some reassurance that there is and will be a distinct advantage for exclusive files in BM placement. Remember the "You will see a difference" line? Please say it is still an important part of the mix...

Non-Exclusive image factories. Who are you talking about? I think we should focus on Best Match in this thread.

There is an advantage for exclusive images in Best Match. That hasn't changed.

Is it still going to be a big enough advantage? If there is a sudden increase in non-exclusive files, the front page is going to have a higher ratio of them leaving fewer sales for us. It also makes the front page look more like the competition. And our stuff is more expensive, so customers will pay less.

I read you. I think we will have a solution to that issue soon enough. The Best Match will always benefit Exclusive content over non-Exclusive. We have a few days to see how things shake out. I think it's important to see how things shake out before we pass judgement.
fotoVoyager
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloadsMember has won a contest
Posted Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:36PM
Ha! I finally had a good day here for sales after 6 months of terror only to be told that BM is going to change tomorrow. You couldn't make it up. Have to wait and see how it works out I guess, but I've never had a change work in my favour before.
shank_ali
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveMember has won a contest
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:04AM

I doubt very much these changes will bring the last 12 months of my work forward in the BM search.


Moving forward it might be but ask us to forget about the sorry state this particular search has been these last 12 months and it just wont wash.


Reading my work is higher in the BM search than a non exclusive is not helpful.I fully expect this FACT to continue.
lagereek
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:59AM

As an independant I still look forward to a good BM change and ofcourse the exclusives should have the upper hand, they deserve that.


Lets hope it benefits both camps, shall we.


I am having some good sales here at the moment.


best.
borchee
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:54AM
Finally something! It's almost May and I would like to upload again.
Spencer_Whalen
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:16AM
Please anything to help out video..... Video has been effected drastically by recent BM shifts. Everyone in the video relm is effected. I'm just hoping this will fix the dire situation!
bmcent1
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloads
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:07AM

Posted By shank_ali:

Reading my work is higher in the BM search than a non exclusive is not helpful.I fully expect this FACT to continue.


Okay... guess I have fresh perspective on this. A BM advantage is good for exclusives contributors; it doesn't benefit buyers. Buyers are supposed to be the ultimate focus of BM, so it's sort of at odds. There are even special cases, like former exclusives: if buyers loved their imagery before, they'll love it even more at cheaper independent price points. And, what's best for buyers is good for contributors if it retains and brings back customers.
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 Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:23AM

Posted By fotoVoyager:
Ha! I finally had a good day here for sales after 6 months of terror only to be told that BM is going to change tomorrow. You couldn't make it up. Have to wait and see how it works out I guess, but I've never had a change work in my favour before.

Same here, i would exactly write what you wrote
NicolasMcComber
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:25AM
/
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Posted By bmcent1:


Posted By shank_ali:

Reading my work is higher in the BM search than a non exclusive is not helpful.I fully expect this FACT to continue.



Okay... guess I have fresh perspective on this. A BM advantage is good for exclusives contributors; it doesn't benefit buyers. Buyers are supposed to be the ultimate focus of BM, so it's sort of at odds. There are even special cases, like former exclusives: if buyers loved their imagery before, they'll love it even more at cheaper independent price points. And, what's best for buyers is good for contributors if it retains and brings back customers.

It does benefit buyers... One of the big reasons they still come here is to look at fresh exclusive images, the rest being available for cheaper elsewhere. It has to be a big part of the IS brand and thus must be protected and nurtured.
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