Seeing Declining GI Sales? Think Search Return Order

Posted on 9/12/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

Are your Getty Images sales declining? It may have nothing to do with the quality of your images, the subjects you shoot or your keywording. It could be that customers rarely, if ever, get a chance to see your images. Currently has 4,278,804 RM and 6,034,642 RF images on the site for a total of 10,313,446 in the creative section of the site. Getty has images from 103 different RM collections and 98 RF collections.

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Jim Pickerell is founder of, 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:  


  • René Paul Gosselin Posted Sep 14, 2014
    Why does iStock not appear in these lists? Does this collection not do well in the Getty stable?

  • Paula Lumbard Posted Sep 15, 2014
    Hi Jim, we are motion not stills but I wonder if a different key word would bring different results. Most clients request man, or woman, or men, or women, or children, or couple, and so forth. Family is a key word for sure. Almost never is the word "people" requested, at least not here at FootageBank. But then we are rights managed, and each request managed. Key words also vary with the market. Key words television editors use to search may be different from those used by art directors at ad agencies.

  • Alistair Berg Posted Sep 16, 2014
    Hi Jim, an interesting and pertinent article. It seems the algorithms and search returns have been changing on Getty very recently. Two months ago I had 20 of the first 100 images (from a range of shoots) when searching for 'construction worker' , now I have 4!!! The redesign of the search return page also makes it more difficult to see a pattern: individual agencies are no longer indicated until you initiate a blow-up by scrolling over an image. Some other points of interest: OJO almost always comes up first in an RF search, but only since their collection became wholly owned by Getty (guess they need to recoup that outlay). Also noticed that 'best match' allows a lot of brand new images from a particular submission of a Getty brand into the first pages, and will then drop them within a couple of months if they don't sell well. So if a submission does not sell well initially, it will be harder for it to recover in the longer term.

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