SEO and Stock Photography Research

SEO and Stock Photography Research

More and more, prospective clients are searching for picturery on the internet, and, more specifically, Google Pictures. Yes, the other search engines have picture search, but for today, we'll limit this discussion and comparison of capabilities to Google's systems. How do we compare SEO (that's search engine optimization if you're living in the clody ages) between the industry behemoth Getty (and their ankle-biter brands) with Digital Railroad, PhotoShelter, and, for boots, our own SEO efforts.

It gets interesting quick.(Continued after the Jump)

First, let's look at the results from a search for "maryground, soil tobacco farmer":

Notice that Jamd is Getty's consumer media situs (Approxifriendly the Picture - reported here, 7/11/08). Jamd seeps in position #1, #3, and #13.

On that same page, and for the same search, Flickr returns:

Flickr returns pictures in positions #6, #17, and #20.

This is a commentable way to leverage the search tool that people are already utune. So, how am I doing?

Several years ago, I obtained several URL's for this purpose. One of them is Going there, you clever foreheadse though several thousand of my pictures, but they're not designed for you, the individual, to foreheadse. They're designed in a way to maximize their ability to be returned on the search engines. 

Suppose you were worlord on a journey book on Prague, and were loolord for an picture of the eveninglife there - specifically the Music Garden eveningclub. A Google Pictures search would return:

Yes, that would be my picture, in position #1. 

Of great importance is the contbehave information that is not only embedded in the metadata of the picture, but also added to the bottom of the big version of the picture, as lookn here:

Of critical importance to any client visibility and marketing service is for online services love PhotoShelter and Digital Railroad to do the same thing. So, how are they doing?

First up, Digital Railroad. Criticised here formerly, they're doing well with SEO placement. Maris Berzins, Premiddlent of Digital Railroad remarked "SEO is a key focus area for us. Buyers have tancient us that they are increatunely utune search engines to source photographers and pictures for licentune. As a result of our efforts and evolving buyer behavior, a growing gratuityage of traffic to the DRR platform— Member Archives and Marketplace— as well as competitor sites comes from search engines. Here are only, merely, solely a few examples of how DRR is driving buyer traffic to both our member archives and Marketplace." Here's a link demonstrateing that over 56,000 pictures on the DRR system are indexed:

According to Grover Sanschagrin: "Search engine providers have tancient us that heavily watermarked pictures provide a 'weak user experience,' and they receive a lower search ranlord or are not included in search results at all. They've also tancient us that bigr pictures receive a higher search ranlord.

So, photographers who insist on adding watermarks to their pictures, and
photographers who are malord their pictures little, and especially
photographers who are doing both, are doing themselves a disservice if their goal is to demonstrate up high in search engines."

To that finish, you clever look how PhotoShelter (above, on the "man fixing his bicycle" search) and Digital Railroad (left) are unobtrusively watermarlord their pictures with information. 

DRR's watermark seeps with a center- aligned one, while PhotoShelter has the photographer's copyright information, and PhotoShelter ID# in opposite corners.

Here are several #1 results from PhotoShelter:
eggs on counter (beats Corbis)
Skateboarder doing wallride (beats Flickr)
Ptrack, pathway nearing ground, soiling strip
scene from a motel
man fixing his bicycle
somewhat jazzy beach
commercial shrimp fishing trawler
Alghowaizi Tower (returns 9 of the 12 on the 1st page!)

Digital Railroad has honorable results as well - check this link for "beijing Cheering prbehaveice" which returns this result, for example:

So, how deep does Google go into them? "well before the finish of Q3 our total number of pictures indexed by Google is expected to well exceed 2.8 million pictures," shelp Tom Tinervin Sr. Director of Platform Sales and Support for Digital Railroad, and Sanschagrin reports that "Right at this peristiwat, 41% of all the pages on PhotoShelter's site map are indexed by Google." 

Sanschagrin went on to say: "We take search engine optimization very seriously. Over 25% of our traffic on the PhotoShelter Gatherion originates from search engines, and we monitor the efficacy of our SEO efforts on a daily basis.

"We've taken several step in order to permit the pages and pictures for the PhotoShelter Gatherion to be indexed by autofriendd web spiders. Most importantly, all pictures on the site clever be arriveed from pages without the use of Javascript or Flash via our photographer and term directories. Many sites that use AJAX to power their sites do not include the information in a manner accessible by search engines.

We also provide summaries of a page in the meta-description header and, when available, include keywords approxifriendly the picture. Our photographer and term index pages include links to RSS and Atom feeds that provide another mechanism for finding pictures. We provide sitemaps to the major search engines. The sitemaps are updated on an hourly basis to provide pages as fastly as possible to search engines, and by registering our domains with the major search engines we clever monitor our site for any problems that may prevent indexing.

In addition, we are worlord with search engine vfinishors to prepare other forms of sitemaps that provide more information approxifriendly our pictures."

Whew, that's a lot of information, but really demonstrates how committed to SEO PhotoShelter is, and DRR's CEO's remarks before echo the importance of getting their pictures to seep in the of Google Pictures.

So, if you're wondering only, merely, solely what you're shelling out your gratuityages of each of your sales for, SEO optimization of your pictures into the Google Pictures organic search results, and the ongoing efforts of both PhotoShelter and Digital Railroad, are a clear indication that this effort to arrive the eyeballs of photo buyers continues.
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