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Is This True About Search Results ?

Posted by: The Vault on 02/08/2013 - 11:11 AM

Someone mentioned that the more your work gets commented on and the more pieces that get favorited then it will improve your ranking in search results. Any truth to that?


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 02/08/2013 - 11:18 AM

Votes (and sales) count in search hierarchy, comments do not. I'm not sure about favorites.


Posted by: Michael And Heather Allen on 02/08/2013 - 11:25 AM

I think it's PART of the algorythm. But it's not the only thing that matters.

Do a search for a keyword you're interested in and check out the top 5 or 10 results. Some will have no votes, no comments, etc.


Posted by: Jeff Kolker on 02/08/2013 - 11:28 AM

Sales is the key factor. One sale will boost that item considerably in the rankings, especially if it was way in the back before. Other things help too...but making sales is the best way to improve search rankings.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/08/2013 - 11:31 AM

it will help you a little bit. however joining a club to comment on each others stuff will be counterproductive. i'm willing to bet that the views - probably weigh more if they come from the outside in. but selling things keeps you high up. but it has to be consistent, not a sale here and there.

i decided a while ago that the votes and such only count for a total of what you have. so if you have 1000 pix, but only 20 of those have votes for a total of 20 votes, you won't rank as high as someone with 3 images with a 100 votes each.

now why certain ones are higher than others i don't know. i have stuff up there that i never sold at all, and yet it ranks higher than things that have.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 02/08/2013 - 12:44 PM

Search takes into consideration many different factors when determining the sort order of the images.

It takes into consideration:

1. the relevance of your image keywords
2. the number of times an image has been sold
3. the number of times an image has been favourited
4. the number of times an image has been commented on (by others. Your own comments on your work do NOT count)
5. how long an image has been on the site
6. the number of times an image has been featured in a group

There are more than 25 different criteria that the search engine evaluates.

Hope this helps


Posted by: Michael And Heather Allen on 02/08/2013 - 12:51 PM

Wow Beth, thank you for the answer. I've never seen a site (POD or otherwise) actually tell people what ANY of the componants of the search algorythm are! Usually the answers are vague at best.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/08/2013 - 1:14 PM

even knowing the answer, it's still pretty vague. it's still a guessing game in the threads.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Christine Till on 02/08/2013 - 1:31 PM

I doubt it that Search takes the relevance of image keywords into consideration for its ranking.

If Search can take the relevance of image keywords into consideration, how come it still shows images with not related keywords on page 1 in Search results (example: a bowl with cherries in search result for apple)?


Posted by: Jeff Kolker on 02/08/2013 - 1:39 PM

Obviously "apple" is not an appropriate tag for that one. It is, however, being used as a keyword for that image. So, when one say "relevance"... relevant in what way? relevant to whom? The system cannot look at the picture and say which keywords are not appropriate. By saying "the relevance of your image keywords" it sounds good..but when you think about it...doesn't really tell you much.


Posted by: Christine Till on 02/08/2013 - 1:52 PM

Thanks, Jeff, that's exactly what I meant. You said it so much better than I ever could :-)


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 02/08/2013 - 2:11 PM

So in essence everything is worth the effort to move up in the rankings. Sales can only begin by working the other stuff.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/08/2013 - 2:24 PM

the essence is - promote outside the site to get sales, don't rely on the search if you can help it. sales begin when people can find you, and they can only find you if your on the first 10 pages or so. and you won't be there unless you sell.

so.... it means you have to get people to get interested in your stuff from the outside. and anything else may help you get higher than other people who just upload their stuff and leave. like 20% i would say would be the stuff we said above - comments and such. 10-20% are your keywords. the rest is getting them in here. and getting them to your store in particular.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Rosanne Jordan on 02/08/2013 - 2:40 PM

Thanks Beth for given an excellent clarification on how the search feature works!!! I am going to pay attention to what you have stated. It brings a ray of hope to those new artists who do not have the means to have multiple blogs or websites that promote their work to others like the established successful artists know about, spend time developing and adding to and can afford. I would imagine they don't even need to participate in groups or contests as they don't need any votes or believe comments help much.

So come on you undiscovered artists,now is the time to get going on FAA and look at and promote each others work!! Best of luck to everyone!!!


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/08/2013 - 3:03 PM

i don't use blogs, i right now, only use twitter. i push it on other sites, but mostly there. mostly you want as many eyes to see it as you can. because you don't know who is lurking. they might be reading this right now... yeah i see you, don't look away... anyway, they will look at your stuff from the forum, they might see it in a contest or the group, or where ever. every bit helps.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Rosanne Jordan on 02/08/2013 - 3:48 PM

Mike, if you push your work on other sites do you direct them all to go to FAA to make a purchase? do you ever order your artwork for use in selling to galleries or people that you know? Just wondering how it works......


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 02/08/2013 - 4:34 PM

@Mike, I am on Twitter but I don't quite know how to use it. Do I follow people around, I feel like a stalker! "Hey you, pssst I got a painting you might like!"
Seriously I do not know how it works really.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 02/08/2013 - 4:44 PM

@Sydne - I put a link to a new image, or a link to my artistwebsite. I tweet to all my followers and to certain big names that I follow. I get an almost 15 to 20 immediate hits - lead to sales - I'm waiting. A couple of years ago I was doing well - then it dropped off. Mostly my fault as I devoted time to another site and WORK. Now I don't work - except my art.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/08/2013 - 4:45 PM

i never order my own stuff, i just don't need more stuff around. i'll try to send them to my artist site, but i'm not fussy. i have a website, i have stuff on redbubble with my links to here.

for twitter you find people that may fit your pictures and follow them. they might follow you back. then you add tags that fit your stuff. after a while they build up. if your better with facebook then work on that. make a webpage or a blog. it all depends on what you have time for.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 02/08/2013 - 8:45 PM

VERY interesting.

I had always thought the number of votes was relevant, too.

But it's not on the list.

So I guess votes don't count.


Posted by: JC Findley on 02/08/2013 - 8:47 PM

They count Dan.

Beth said; " There are more than 25 different criteria that the search engine evaluates. "

She listed six.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/08/2013 - 9:12 PM

votes count, but i don't think they are a strong pull. i have a feeling it's a part of a formula where one thing works with another. like if you have many votes and over all comments your higher than just people with just votes. this would prevent people from cheating the system. so that's one theory. there are a number of things that help, i don't think he would go out of his way making a system with votes, if it didn't do anything.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 02/08/2013 - 9:27 PM

I wrote an email to Sean a couple months back asking how the search engine worked. For some strange reason, he said he could not reveal the algorithm to me.


Posted by: JC Findley on 02/08/2013 - 9:29 PM

Yupp, knowing the system allows you to game the system....

Have no doubt, if I knew, I would.


Posted by: Roger Swezey on 02/08/2013 - 10:07 PM

I'm convinced in the general FAA search, it's SALES!, SALES!,SALES!!

For FAA that makes sense....Works that have a proven record...and works from members that have a proven record.

A Catch22

Now, there are, also, valuable alternate FAA search listings: "Most Comments", "Most Votes" etc....That some members work assiduously to be at the top of.


Posted by: Jeff Kolker on 02/08/2013 - 10:25 PM

I would have been extremely surprised if he had given out the "secret formula". Also, if we don't know, then changes can be made without a zillion people complaining...

But people complain anyway.... oh well....

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Posted by: Vivian ANDERSON on 02/10/2013 - 6:39 PM

I suppose that Search could be made far more intuitive, from what you've said. It would help a lot.


Posted by: Bradford Martin on 02/10/2013 - 8:41 PM

Keyword relevancy can be determined by which photos are viewed after a search on that keyword. After a while this helps sort things out. So something like that is probably in place. I know of one other site that used this approach to weed out "spammed" keywords.


Posted by: Bradford Martin on 02/10/2013 - 8:47 PM

Comments by JC Findley seem to help. I got a sale on a photo shortly after getting a comment from JC.


Posted by: JC Findley on 02/10/2013 - 8:49 PM

Anything I can do to help.


Posted by: Denise Boineau on 05/09/2013 - 6:00 PM

I know this conversation was started awhile ago, but I stumbled upon it and since I am new to this site I thought i'd ask a question pertaining to keywords.

I am wondering the best way to make the tags/key words work best for me. For example - Vivian Anderson noted the following:

"Red paintings, red abstract paintings, red rhapsody paintings"

As some of her tags. I thought that maybe if the words were separated by a comma then instead of an exact phrase needing to be searched for then the search engine could take variations instead.

Is that the way things work here or is it better to list exact phrases?

Thanks in advance!

Denise Boineau


Posted by: Bradford Martin on 05/09/2013 - 6:40 PM

If people search a phrase then I believe that you will be higher in the search if you have the whole phrase as on tag. I think this was mentioned somewhere in a thread. So do both as a phrase and individually.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/09/2013 - 7:14 PM

the search is basic, it doesn't like phrases, however if you give it one it will prefer that over single words.


red car

if someone typed in red car - the bottom one would be first. you don't have to add paintings because the system does that. putting both versions in is a good idea, anything that might get people to see your stuff is a good idea. as long as it's not spam. also add plurals, and leave out spaces because they count.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Dave Dilli on 05/09/2013 - 8:16 PM

QUOTE: "Comments by JC Findley seem to help. I got a sale on a photo shortly after getting a comment from JC.""

Based on the message above it sounds like the only foolproof method is for JC to comment on your image.

JC - Can you go comment on all my photos this evening?

Nice to finally figure out the secret....


Posted by: Denise Boineau on 05/09/2013 - 10:37 PM

Thanks all for your input. It does help to get advice from those with experience and not have to recreate the wheel!! Oh and hopefully it will be my pleasure to be introduced to JC Findley! It's nice to have friends around here!


Posted by: Denise Boineau on 05/09/2013 - 10:42 PM

And I must say I am quite impressed with all of your work - Dave, Mike and Bradford! I feel honored to be in your company here.


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/09/2013 - 10:57 PM

Well yes, that and sales. How do you think work ought to be ranked besides sales, views, favorites, and comments?


Posted by: Denise Boineau on 05/09/2013 - 11:53 PM

It appears to me that when one is engaged in the process - the opportunities allow one to become ranked higher.


Posted by: A Souppes on 05/10/2013 - 6:33 AM

I wish general public could vote on images, just can't imagine someone creating account to vote on image. one vote from the same ip is the best policy tho


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/10/2013 - 7:21 AM

the public buys the images, that should be enough. voting doesn't help that much though. and i think it's lumped together with other factors just to prevent the voting clubs from being effective. like i'm betting you need outside sources of people coming in, and not just the internal stuff.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: A Souppes on 05/10/2013 - 7:30 AM

I still like the idea, maybe there are people like me who just likes to vote on images not necessarily commenting.


Posted by: Renee Barnes on 07/18/2013 - 1:15 PM

I'm just experimenting, but I completely reset my visits the other day on an image that had 260 visits and 30 votes but was still on page 10. I reset the visits to zero and now it is higher up. Maybe there is some math involved in the formula. How many votes to visits? I've only done it to one image, but you could try experimenting with things to move up. Also, I find keywords work better with a , between each word. Search never liked my phrases.


Posted by: Richie Cupertino on 08/10/2013 - 11:16 AM

I sponsored search results to my blog to get one of my pix to show up on the third row. When I am not logged in and I type the keyword, my pic doesn't show up in the search results. Yet, when I am logged in and search, it is right there on the front page. What's up with that? Is it worth it to sponsor search results?


Posted by: Mike Savad on 08/10/2013 - 11:28 AM

when your logged in, it just shows that you sponsored it. however if it's a common word and 900 other people did the same thing, you have to share. if you refresh the page you'll see it rotates.

sponsoring gives you a chance at being on the front page for given words, but they still have to be unique. like new york is probably taken. bronx or some suburb, there will probably be space in there so the rotation is smaller. anything to get you in front of the eyes of a buyer is always a good thing.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Jim Hughes on 08/10/2013 - 12:50 PM

FAA tells us some the factors (just 6 out of 25, apparently) that supposedly affect search rank, but the relative weightings of those factors, that information doesn't have much value.

I suspect that past sales is by far the biggest factor. Whether it's worthwhile to work on any of the others (voting etc.) we have no way of knowing, and the formula could be changed it any time, so we'd be proceeding entirely on faith.

How for example could 'relevance of keywords' possibly be measured, except by tracking actual sales?

If 'votes' actually mean anything, that's unfortunate because hardly anyone ever votes, because they don't notice the button and/or don't understand what they're 'voting' on. If the button said 'Like", then people would know what it means and maybe use it.


Posted by: JC Findley on 08/10/2013 - 1:15 PM

'relevance of keywords'

Actually, it has to do with exactly what is searched for. For instance, a search for green barn an image with ,green barn, would be more relevant than an image with ,green,barn, and conversely, an image with ,green barn, would show in a search for green or barn but not be as relevant as on with ,green,barn,

Edit, this is from JC the artist's research NOT official FAA insider info.


Posted by: Rose Santuci-Sofranko on 08/10/2013 - 3:07 PM

I was curious, so I did an experiment:

I signed out and searched for a word that I have a lot of images under. There were over 1,300 images that came up for that word.

7/36 on the front page were mine (4 'sponsored', and 3 others...2 had a lot of votes/comments/etc... 1 had 0 votes and only 1 comment, but I had sold as a card)

On the next 2 pages were 12 more of mine.

Just thought it was interesting!


Posted by: Jim Hughes on 08/10/2013 - 4:04 PM

JC - myabe I'm not geeing it - but the site code, not being a 22nd century AI, has no idea of what's actually in a photo. So how could we possibly be ranked on keyword relevance, unless someone at FAA actually looked at every photo and scored the keywords? Obviously that is not happening. So if 'keyword relevance' has effect on search placement - which I doubt - it could only be the result of people searching for a given keyword, finding your photo, and BUYING it.


Posted by: JC Findley on 08/10/2013 - 4:13 PM

Jim, your statement may well be true but I cannot test that as an artist.

When I say keyword relevance I am basically talking about search word to key word relevance.

There are many ways to search for a subject but how well your keywording, or more specifically key phrases, match what is searched is a type of keyword relevance.

Again, say someone is looking for a green barn. You have a red barn with green plants. You have both "red barn" and "green plants" in your keywords. That image will come up in a search for green barn because both green and barn are keywords. It will not come up as soon as an image with "green barn" as a single keyword phrase nor will it come up as soon as an image tagged with green and barn as individual tags. (All other things being equal btw)


Posted by: Photographic Arts And Design Studio on 08/10/2013 - 4:21 PM

Jim...I think relevance of keyword refers to what someone searches for relevant to the list of tag words...jc's example of green barn is a good one. Another would be if you and I have a photo of a dog with the exact same sales votes,fave etc but dog was my first tag, and dog was your second, my pict would show up higher in the search because it is a more relevant tag in comparison to the search. This piece has nothing to do with the actual image...just the relevance of hat is searched for vs the list of tags we put in. Hope this makes sense.


Posted by: Phyllis Taylor on 08/10/2013 - 4:29 PM

Are there other ways to get votes besides entering in contests? Something posted in a discussion made me wonder about this.


Posted by: Photographic Arts And Design Studio on 08/10/2013 - 4:31 PM

As to looking at all images...even without looking at an image, over time and many many clicks, the type of relevancy you speak of could be found (or at least guessed at).

Ex. Our dog picture again...mine shows above yours because of words (as per my example above)...but yours gets clicked on 20 out of 100 times it shows on a viewed page...but mine never gets a click because the dog is tiny and in the background and so the searchers don't ever look at it. Over time the algorithms could figure out based on keywords vs. click throughs that your image is relevant to dog and mine really isn't.

This type of intuition was part of googles genius a long time back...wether this is coded here...I don't way we can test it. On the other hand...the word version is pretty easy to test (and I have).



Posted by: Vivian ANDERSON on 08/10/2013 - 4:34 PM

Jim, that is so true about relevance, which is why my first tag chosen is hopefully right,but I find that my first tag does not get me into that tag/search page,and that the fourth,or even 'hidden' tag, is chosen instead by FAA frustrating.Obviously, other criteria are at work,as we know.
I am though so happy that the tags/images are indexed so quickly, nowadays.


This discussion is closed.