Search Return Order

Posted on 11/21/2006 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

97

SEARCH RETURN ORDER



November 21, 2006

Search return order can have a major impact on the number of images from any given collection that customers are likely to see and thus on the likely revenue such images might generate.

In March I did an analysis of how the various brands on the Getty site fare in Story 810. Given the number of new collections, the number of images Getty has been adding to the site and their intentions to add significantly more, it seems like a good time to update those figures. The results provide some interesting insights.

To find the relative placement of the various brands in the search return order, I wanted to choose a search word that would be likely to give me images from every brand. Thus, I chose the word "vertical" and did a broad search for all images on the site - RM, RR and RF - with this keyword. The search returned 753,500 images. It is interesting to note that back in March there were only 553,841 images tagged with "vertical".

I then looked at which images came up in what order on the first, second and third pages of 90 images each. For comparison purposes I have shown the results of the first 90 and the first 270 for March and November. The final two columns indicate the position where the first image from each brand appears. Stone+ is currently number one and the first image from the Johner Images RF brand doesn't come up until image 239 in the search order.

As might be expected Stone+, Stone, Taxi, TIB and Photographer's Choice come up early and often, but it is interesting to note that due to the increased number of brands on the site only about half as many images are now being shown as was the case in March. In March, Photonica was in the number 3 slot, but now that position has been turned over to Riser. It is also interesting that in the first 270 we get to see more Riser images than either Stone+, Stone, TIB or Photographer's Choice. The only brand that gets to show more images than Riser is National Geographic and while their first images doesn't come up until slot 54 once we start seeing Nat Geo images we see a lot of them. If we count the Nat Geo RF images as well as RM they have a total of 23 images in the first 270.

Based on what we learned from our analysis in March, after about 250 to 300 they start recycling the same search order so most brands will have about double the number of images listed here shown in the first 540 images.
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































March 2006

March 2006

Break

Nov 2006

Nov 2006

Break

Mar 2006

Nov 2006

Type

First 90

First 270

First 90

First 270

First Image

First IMage

Stone+

RM

9

23

5

11

1

1

Stone

RM

9

25

5

12

2

2

Riser

RM

5

14

3

Taxi

RM

8

23

5

10

4

4

The Image Bank

RM

8

22

4

13

5

5

Photographers Choice

RM

8

18

5

9

11

6

Digital Vision

RF

5

16

6

12

30

7

Photodisc Red

RF

5

15

6

10

29

8

Stockbyte Platinum

RF

1

4

4

5

92

9

Photodisc Green

RF

2

9

4

8

33

11

Medio Images

RF

2

7

2

2

41

12

Iconica

RM

6

16

4

9

9

14

Photodisc Blue

RF

2

5

1

4

37

21

Stockbyte Silver

RF

4

1

2

22

Photographers Choice RF

RF

1

5

3

7

23

24

Photonica

RM

10

26

4

10

3

25

Stock Food

RM

1

2

1

3

28

Altrendo

RM

1

1

1

2

44

32

Image Source

RF

1

2

3

100

49

National Geographic RF

RF

2

5

15

52

Hulton Archive

RM

2

4

53

National Geographic

RM

2

2

5

18

15

54

Taxi Japan

RM

2

2

1

3

53

61

DK Stock

RM

1

2

1

1

56

64

Stockdisc Premium

RF

1

1

2

111

74

Ingram

RF

1

2

75

Food Collection

RF

1

1

2

76

Retrofile

RF

1

4

78

Blend

RF

1

1

4

112

80

Photo Alto

RF

1

1

2

99

81

Discovery Channel

RF

1

1

82

Time-Life Pictures

RM

2

1

3

84

Allsport

RM

1

3

85

Red Cover

RF

4

1

2

87

Reportage

RM

2

2

1

3

45

89

3D4Medical

RM

2

92

Bridgeman

RM

2

94

America 24-7

RM

1

103

MIXA

RF

1

3

151

105

Rubberball

RF

1

1

1

90

113

Glow Images

RF

1

1

94

117

Dex Image

RF

1

1

105

125

fStop

RF

1

1

103

126

Lonely Planet

RM

1

129

CSA Plastock

RM

1

130

Johner Images

RM

1

1

106

131

Dorling Kindersley

RM

1

136

Visuals Unlimited

RM

1

137

Panoramic Images

RM

1

1

108

138

Gallo Images

RM

1

1

109

139

Aurora

RM

1

1

110

140

Samba Photo

RM

1

1

1

59

141

Westernd61

RF

1

1

114

147

Stockdisc Classic

RF

1

1

118

151

Stock4B RF

RF

1

1

119

152

LOOK

RM

1

154

Stock4B

RM

1

1

120

155

Reunion

RF

1

1

157

Illustration Works

RM

1

2

1

54

160

Nordic Photos

RM

1

1

126

164

Gulfimages

RM

1

1

128

166

Gulfimages RF

RF

1

1

129

167

Science Faction

RM

1

169

Stock Illustration Source

RM

1

1

132

173

Queerstock

RF

1

1

177

DAJ

RF

1

2

137

181

redchopsticks

RF

1

1

138

182

ArtBox

RF

1

2

183

Asia Images

RM

2

5

2

25

184

Gallo Images RF

RF

1

1

109

185

Hola

RF

1

2

186

Amana Images

RM

1

2

136

187

photosindia

RF

1

1

150

190

Purestock

RF

1

1

191

Imagemore

RF

1

1

154

193

Stock Illustration Source RF

RF

1

1

155

194

Bloom Images

RF

1

1

195

Picture India

RF

1

1

197

Photolibrary

RF

1

1

199

Robert Harding

RM

1

206

First Light

RM

1

1

1

85

207

Minden Pictures

RM

1

1

220

Sebum Photo

RF

1

1

224

Axiom

RF

1

1

226

Workbook Stock

RM

1

227

Neo Vision

RF

1

229

Arabian Eye

RF

1

231

China Span

RF

1

233

SAKI Style

RF

1

234

IZA Stock

RF

1

237

Johner Images RF

RF

1

1

106

239

Stockbyte Gold

RF

104

3D Clinic

RM

Laura Ronchi

RM

Special Photographers Co.

RM

Beateworks

RM

1

71

Pixland

RF

115

Stock Image

RM

123

Image 100

RF

201



As might be expected, once Getty took over ownership of Stockbyte Platinum the brand's search return position moved up markedly. In this case the brand has more images in the first 90 and 270 returns than was the case in March.

Looking at the brands whose first image position went up compared to what it was in March may give us an indication of which are among the favored brands. Altrendo and Blend both had improvements in their position. Both of these companies have also put images in Riser so they get additional slots and the possible benefit of their images being seen earlier as they get the benefit from Riser's positioning.

More and more brands are offering images as RF as well as RM and it seems likely that they will make images available in RR also. In this way they have the potential of getting more slots and a better chance that customers will see one of their images.

It should be kept in mind that searches for other keywords that many brands might not have could produce markedly different return results. If the search was for Cancun, Mexico the results might be much different because many brands would have no images and their slot would be skipped over. Nevertheless, I believe that the search engine is set up to pick images from each brand in the order images appear when doing a broad search on a term like "vertical."



Copyright © 2006 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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