Max 20 keywords?

posted on 8th of april, 2010

I am getting crazy when it comes to keywording. So I try to KISS (keep it simple stupid :)))

Now I am experimenting with giving not more than 20 keywords to each photos. It helps focusing on the most relevant points.

This image contains lots of keywords, but the search when it was actually sold was really simple (budapest, food, dinner, market, meat, outdoor, hungary). So now it seems, that with 7 keywords I would have achieved the same result, without the fancy others.

(now it has: aroma barbecue barbeque bbq beef budapest celebration christmas cooking december delicious dinner eat eating fat festive food fragrance fried fry frying gourmet holiday hot hungary lunch market meal meat outdoor pan pork roast roasted roasting sausage seasonal smoke smokey tasty unhealthy xmas)

What do you think? You prefer to
* put in as many keywords as possible (so gather all possible hits?)
* or to adopt the idea of focusing only on the most relevant meanings and layers of your pics (and therefore losing some possible hit, but the remaining will be maybe more to the point, and converted into sales?)

Comments (19)

Posted by Bramble100 on May 06, 2010
It may be harmful, if it lessens the relevancy of each keywords.
Posted by Joezachs on April 30, 2010
The point is, is it harmful if we add more keywords?
Posted by Bramble100 on April 10, 2010
So the game is 6:4 to MORE now:)).

But as I see the thoughts behind (which rhyme to my observations when my pics were sold) I tend now to limit myself to 20 keywords too (in some cases 30). Yeah that's pity, that keywords can't be updated later).
Posted by Rosedarc on April 09, 2010
I think it depends on the image itself, some need more keywords than others, but generally speaking it's probably not a good idea to overdo it as it will dilute the search. It's good that we can update our keywords after the images are accepted as it allows us to add forgotten words and take out unnecessary ones.
On my pictures, I find that search words used by buyers are usually simple and descriptive.
Posted by Dehooks on April 09, 2010
I think it would be beneficial if everybody was limited to 20 keywords. Otherwise, I would use as many as needed.
Posted by Bramble100 on April 09, 2010
@Bradcalkins: Thx! (I suspected, but wasn't sure... :-)
Posted by Bradcalkins on April 08, 2010
Oh by the way, who knows what does exactly mean when the keywords are larger than each other, when you are at a pictures' page? They can be ranked by sales, or number of files, or how much searched after, or other ... :))

See this thread: Keyword size

The size refers to the number of images in the database with that keyword...not how often they are searched on.
Posted by Dan1 on April 08, 2010
I have 2 pics. One with 22 (best seller) the other with 14. I like to put as many that i can think of.
Posted by Mani33 on April 08, 2010
I don't count them! I just put what I think is related!
Posted by Bradcalkins on April 08, 2010
I'm a less is more type of guy :) I have few images with more than 20 keywords... I think that being exclusive or not makes a difference in how you should keyword. As a non exclusive it is tough to snag first page of results placement for common search terms. I would think that more keywords help non-exclusives more...
Posted by Bramble100 on April 08, 2010
Oh by the way, who knows what does exactly mean when the keywords are larger than each other, when you are at a pictures' page? They can be ranked by sales, or number of files, or how much searched after, or other ... :))
Posted by Bramble100 on April 08, 2010
@Tan510jomast: Very interesting!

Actually we are on the giving side of the desk and not on the receiving (I mean the pictures, not the money :))).
Most of us can't think like the buyer, we are all photographers.

Only 7: I reckon it a bit restricting, but now I try to keep it under 20 (okay, sometimes 25).

When I search a picture I always use simple words. No fancy, sophisticated expressions. But I am not native English nor a buyer, so I don't know how the rest of the world type the search :)
Posted by Tan510jomast on April 08, 2010
That is exactly what I've been thinking since Easter. Ha!ha!, my brain was dead, and on Easter Day it was resurrected, lol.
Seriously, I know one person who is a top seller with another site who insists on less is more. As a newbie , I tended to put lots of keywords, because once again .. at yet another site(s), they say "use as many keywords , the more , the better your chances of selling".
Now , after two years of dabbling in micro stock, I am beginning to think that was a very bad advice .
You are right, 10-15 most relevant keywords will definitely sell more than 40 keywords that will get you lots of views but little or no downloads.
In fact, I know yet another top seller who insist ONLY 7 KEYWORDS.
Now, that's really someone who knows the right keywords to use.

And no, she won't tell me her secret of how she chooses the 7 keywords, lol. But I am working my a&r$ off on figuring out her secret :)
Posted by Bramble100 on April 08, 2010
Well, the first results for MORE vs FEWER: 5:0 to MORE.

Seems very definite, thx to all! (but keep on "voting" I'm curious!)
Posted by smartview27 on April 08, 2010
More keywords
Posted by Robertosch on April 08, 2010
More... because the search is better like this... no matter what they say. I use to experiment a few times, and it is.
Posted by Trottola on April 08, 2010
I do prefere more keywords too.
Posted by Antoinettew on April 08, 2010
I also prefer more keywords. If a buyer would use the combination of roasted beef your image could turn up and be sold. You never know....!
Posted by Meryll on April 08, 2010
I prefer more keywords - you never know the keyword or combination which is going to be used to find your picture...

Comments (19)

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Photo credits: Bramble100.

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