Many questions have been asked and heated debates started on this subject in the last few years. It is that thing each and every contributor wonders about at least twice a day when checking account statistics and sales. It is one of Dreamstime's greatest mysteries and best kept secrets: the mighty SEARCH ENGINE, the one we all want to get to know better. Everybody knows a few search criteria to function for sure, has heard of some that might influence placement and guessed that there might be others more to be taken into account. Between fact and fiction, real life and myth, truth and speculation, we are always left baffled, ceaselessly wondering what in earth's name sets the "creature" into motion. What stirs it to place my or your images on the first or alas, last page?
The criteria have been circulated, hinted at or alluded to many times on the message board or in blog articles. If someone spent a quite considerable amount of time to search through posts and blog articles, they would undoubtedly discover how the engine really functions. But, as we all know, this would take a lifetime because we have been quite chatty in the last years and written some thousands threads, haven't we? No worries, we will not subject you to such endless work and efforts.
Due to the increasing curiosity and frustration arousing from the secrecy, it has been decided that some crucial criteria must be publicly known at last.
First and foremost is relevancy. You've heard it before and we recommend, encourage nay, we preach it. Title, description, keywords and categories are decisive criteria in placing your images on the search pages returned. Short title, concise description, average number of keywords and appropriate categories will do miracles.
Second is, as you might have guessed, exclusivity. If you are exclusive contributor, your images will always be better placed in searches. Exclusive images also enjoy the advantage of being better placed but nothing compares to being full exclusive.
Another criteria is referral participation. If you participate in our referral program, you have referred members to our site and moreover, these members have transactions, you will get a plus in the search algorithm. The number of badges/banners on your personal site may be taken into consideration if the case.
You might not have thought of this but yes, messages and posts also count. Blogs matter but only if they receive the free credit - and the credit is rewarded only to useful/interesting articles.Posts on the message board are counted and so are messages sent to support. We hate to say this but if your messages are not nice, you get a minus.
And this takes me to another criteria: warnings received from editors. We are indeed in the habit of monitoring your general conduct, your behavior or misbehavior. If you have received warnings from our admins or your account was at one time suspended, the placement of your images in searches is negatively affected.
Your artistic statement is also taken into account. If it is acceptably lengthy and it shows that you took the time and consideration to add valuable, interesting info about yourselves and your work as photographers/artists, the search engine will be favorably adjusted for your images.
One very important criterion is of course, donating images to the free section. We do appreciate such charitable actions and we assure you that they are not overlooked. Your clicks for the free section are rewarded with points for enhanced search placement.
Last but not least, upload consistency is of high importance. Contributors whose active participation and constant desire to be a part of our community are obviously privileged. Those who contribute all the time and upload images without long periods of inactivity are very likely to be better placed in searches than those who are inconsistent.
All in all, these are the primary criteria on which our search algorithm is based. There are other tiny factors which we cannot reveal due to company confidentiality policies but you can rest assured that the ones mentioned above are top major. Of course, we may not like the color of your eyes and reset the search algorithm for your files in particular one day. The color of one's eyes is quite important and can be a new criteria anytime :). But we'll never know, will we?
The Dreamstime Team
Disclaimer: This article was published on April 1st and we kindly ask you to read it accordingly. While it may convey some true data, it also contains false info that was meant only as a pun, joke, trick. We have decided to write it in a more believable manner but truly hope we have not hurt anyone's feelings. Some of the points above are real facts and others are pure invention.