Stock House Thursday: AP Images
After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back and this week I will check out how AP Images handles keywords.
These aren’t really “reviews,” in that they will have no thumbs up or down at the end. This is not intended to be a recommendation or otherwise about any of the stock houses I will analyze. Most of the elements I’m looking at don’t necessarily have an objective right or wrong answer. The only thing that really matters is that the photographer know the correct way to keyword for the individual stock house.
If you haven’t read my introductory post for this series, on the various ways stock houses differ in their keyword standards, you probably should read 10 Ways that Stock Houses can be different in their Keywording Standards first.
I hope to provide an in depth look at how stock houses deal with keywords, and how their search engine works in order to give their contributors a complete set of requirements so that they can keyword their images get maximum exposure at the site.
For those of you with some gumption, you should read the complete introduction and methods behind these analyses: Image Keywording for Stock Houses: The Methodology.
- Result: AP Images returned the same results for all regular plurals, but were unsuccessful with all irregular plurals.
- Prognosis: You do not need to include the regular plural form of any of your keywords, however, you do need to include any irregular plural forms, such as leaves, knives, men, children, geese, and fungi.
- Result: AP Images returned different results all synonyms we tested, both common and uncommon.
- Prognosis: You do need to include all appropriate synonyms for your keywords.
- Result: AP Images returned different results for each set of keyword searches.
- Prognosis: You do need to include all appropriate variant spellings for your keywords.
- Result: AP Images returned the same results for each set of keyword searches for regular verbs, but missed on all irregular verbs.
- Prognosis: You do not need to include all forms of any verbs, though you need to include any irregular verb forms, such as ran, slept, sat, or fallen.
Other Forms of the Word:
- Result: AP Images returned the same results for every non-verb form of each word. They did an pretty good job of stemming all non-verb forms, though I did get different results for joy, joyful and joyous.
- Prognosis: While they have most forms of words, you should still probably include all non-verb forms of any keyword, though skipping this will not hurt you too much
- Result: Search for the variations of wooden and chair returned the same results.
- Prognosis: It appears that you only need include the keyword phrase, wooden chair, but not the individual keywords, wooden and chair as well.
Words in a Keyword Phrase:
- Result: AP Images clearly treats every word, even in keyword phrases as individual words, so searching for individual words will be found even if they are only contained in keyword phrases.
- Prognosis: You do not need to include the individual words as keywords.
- Result: Mixed results: AP Images has a defined list stop words that the search engine will ignore. These stop words are: a, about, after, all, also, am, an, and, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, but, by, can, could, did, do, dont, each, every, for, from, get, gets, give, go, going, good, got, had, has, have, he, her, here, him, his, how, i, if, in, into, is, isnt, it, its, many, may, me, more, most, my, no, not, now, of, on, only, or, other, our, out, she, so, some, such, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, to, too, up, very, was, we, went, were, what, when, where, which, who, why, will, with, would, yes, you, your.
- Prognosis: You do not need to include the above words as keywords or in keyword phrases.
- Result: AP Images clearly ignore all periods in searches.
- Prognosis: You do not need to include periods in any of your keywords.
- Result: AP Images definitely recognizes hyphens in search.
- Prognosis: You do need to include the hyphenated versions of any of your keywords, so you should keyword closeup, close up and close-up.
- Result: AP Images appears to ignore apostrophes in searches.
- Prognosis: You do not need to include both versions of your keywords.
- Result: AP Images ignores capitalization when searching.
- Prognosis: No need to worry about capitalization.
- Result: AP Images returned different results for apartment & apt and New York & NY, but it did return the same results for Mount Everest & Mt Everest.
- Prognosis: You do need to include all common abbreviations for your keywords.
- Result: AP Images returned the same results for all my individual letter searches, except for “a” and “i” which are on their list of ignored words.
- Prognosis: If appropriate, you do need to include individual letters as keywords.
- Result: AP Images returned the same results for all my numeral searches
- Prognosis: If appropriate, you do need to include numerals as keywords. You also can use, for example, the keyword phrases numeral 9 and number 24
Alphabetization of Keywords:
- Prognosis: AP Images puts all your keywords into alphabetical order.
- Result: There was no indication that images were returned based on the number of keywords. It also appears there is more weighting or particular keywords
- Prognosis: No weighting based on number of keywords, or keyword order.
Number of Keywords Allowed:
- Unclear, but I did see some images with over 50 keywords, and the number of keywords clearly made no difference in the rankings, so I wouldn’t worry about limiting the number of keywords
- AP Images only has one faceted search; Subject.
- Prognosis: Therefore, it is very important that you do need to keyword all words found that are commonly found in faceted searches, such as; format, orientation, genre, style, color/b&w, etc.
Previous Stock House analyses:
- Search and Keywording at BigStockPhoto
- Effective Image Keywording for CanStockPhoto
- How to Keyword Your Images and Video for Pond5
- Masterfile: How They Search for Keywords
- Best Practices for Keywording Your Images at PhotoShelter
- NationalGeographicStock: Keywords and Search for Stock Photographers
- The Search Engine at Fotolia and How to Keyword for It
- Image keywording and Image Search at Dreamstime.com
- How AgeFotoStock Handles Keywords
- Image Keywording for Alamy.com
- Image Keywording for 123rf.com
- How Shutterstock.com Handles Keywords