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Obviously these images weren't approved with keywords that look like this, so is this a bug?


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10 minutes ago, Studio 2 said:

I have just gone into the 1st four images in your port and the keywords are as usual ie correct, not as above ...

As far as I know (just looked at a few) none of mine look like those you have pasted above either ...

 

Thank you for checking, Studio 2, that's really appreciated.

However, I wasn't actually referring to my own images. The above screenshots are examples that I found in the search, and are just two of many images that look similar in terms of keywords, (different contributors). I didn't want to post the links or contributor names, as I didn't want to imply that anyone was doing anything untoward. I don't know if this is blatant spamming or a bug, and was curious to see whether anyone else was seeing anything similar?

 

We did have a case of this suddenly happening a few years back, and that turned out to be deliberate spamming. On that occasion,  Shutterstock took swift and decisive action. Hopefully someone from Shutterstock will look into the matter. 

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11 minutes ago, Clupeidae said:

What was the search?

The first was 'canyon' and the second was 'waterfall'. I was looking to see how some of my own were placed in wide searches and checking which keywords appeared to be working well, (other than the obvious canyon or waterfall). That's when I stumbled across these examples, but some clicking around unearthed many more, and from several different contributors. 

 

I just did a quick search on 'forest', and turned this example up on the first page of the popular search:

EDIT: Unsurprisingly, the same image is on page one of the popular search for 'lake'. 

Screenshot 2021-03-18 at 19.09.47.png

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There are some issues with it translates keywords into excessively long phrases but thats usually FROM English.

This looks like a case of keyword spamming.  Against the terms and conditions, should be detected in the review stage but as we all know, there is no actual useful reviewing going on any more here.

That or someone changed the keywords after upload.

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50 minutes ago, Sari ONeal said:

Jane, I'm sure it's NOT a bug, but intentional. They're hoping it hogs up the top spot for that keyword.

Did you go the the authors' ports and see if they do the same with their other images?

Hi Sari - long time no speak :) I haven't been active here for quite some time, but I thought I'd pop in and ask around when I saw this. 

If this is intentional spamming, then it's working big time. They are relatively small portfolios but all high on the popular searches for each keyword, often with multiple images on page 1. I've come across 5 different contributors, and their whole portfolios are keyworded in the same way.

45 minutes ago, Former_Poster said:

There are some issues with it translates keywords into excessively long phrases but thats usually FROM English.

This looks like a case of keyword spamming.  Against the terms and conditions, should be detected in the review stage but as we all know, there is no actual useful reviewing going on any more here.

That or someone changed the keywords after upload.

Thanks, Former_Poster, yes - I've seen some odd translations going from non-English to English, but never this way around. I'm 99.999% sure that there is no way that this would get past a reviewer, so it looks like the images are being intentionally edited after approval. 

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Jane it seems like I remember some people doing similar keywording many years ago (not just like this, but repeating a lot, too),  and it appeared to give them an advantage. Apparently they know how it manipulates the search results, and they're taking advantage of it. If SS doesn't fix it somehow they continue to be placed in front of all the searches on their specific keywords.

 

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Still in my internship on the forum I commented about this site in late September, I naively put the post in "Show & Tell" other donors comments were what I believed to be happening.

I naively(again) believed SS would have corrected the problem, it appears it is OK.

Given the old post a bump to move it up if it works, still in show and tell, under "Is this allowed" for your perusal.

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7 hours ago, Sari ONeal said:

Jane it seems like I remember some people doing similar keywording many years ago (not just like this, but repeating a lot, too),  and it appeared to give them an advantage. Apparently they know how it manipulates the search results, and they're taking advantage of it. If SS doesn't fix it somehow they continue to be placed in front of all the searches on their specific keywords.

 

Thanks, Sari.

I guess my best plan of acton will be to send over the information to Shutterstock. I don't suppose we have any active forum admins about do we? 

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3 hours ago, anne-tipodees said:

Still in my internship on the forum I commented about this site in late September, I naively put the post in "Show & Tell" other donors comments were what I believed to be happening.

I naively(again) believed SS would have corrected the problem, it appears it is OK.

Given the old post a bump to move it up if it works, still in show and tell, under "Is this allowed" for your perusal.

Thanks, Anne - I'll take a look and link to it when I send an email in, as any additional examples are going to be helpful. 

7 minutes ago, oleschwander said:

Sometimes one wonders how contributors can get away with misleading keywords. This is an image of one bottle of Jameson’s Whiskey and nothing more. The keywords say both Absolute Vodka, gin, Heineken Beer, ruhm and many other interesting things.
 

B5D26A72-BC64-4B4F-9A78-E18600112D05.jpeg

Agreed, and I guess they get away with it by editing afterward, so that a reviewer doesn't see it at the submissions stage. I love that Shutterstock allows us to edit if necessary, but it does leave the door open for all sorts of abuse of the system, as per your example here. 

I guess the difference is that anyone looking for an image of Jameson’s Whiskey, probably isn't interested in a bottle of Absolute Vodka. However, in the last example I gave, 'forest[s]' and 'lake[s]' are repeated over 30 times each. If it isn't a bug then it's a clear intent to game the system and, as I have a lot of travel and wildlife shots, it directly affects my income. 

I'll gather some more information and send portfolio links over to Shutterstock today. If there are any admins about, maybe they could also take a look? 

 

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10 minutes ago, Linda Bestwick said:

It may well be a bug but sadly it's just as likely to be deliberate spamming to get higher placement.

May be @Kate Shutterstock can look into it. 

Contributors can change keywords after they have been approved so it's easy to abuse the system. Anyone that does needs kicking out pronto.

 

Agreed, Linda - I looked at Anne's forum post that she mentioned above, and this has been going on since at least last September when she noticed it. It's long enough to get several payouts, but also enough to stop other images rising up in the search, which is my real concern here. 

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52 minutes ago, Jane Rix said:

Agreed, Linda - I looked at Anne's forum post that she mentioned above, and this has been going on since at least last September when she noticed it. It's long enough to get several payouts, but also enough to stop other images rising up in the search, which is my real concern here. 

This is my main concern with spammers too, how it effects honest contributors. I can't type what I really think of them!

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1 hour ago, Whiteaster said:

It is deliberate spamming. This was discussed and reported many time over the year but nobody (from SS) seemed to be disturbed by it.

As you said, they (those contributors) are doing it after review.

If I remember correctly, the last time there was also a threat by SS to remove the facility for amending keywords after acceptance. AS doesn't allow it (changing keywords post acceptance). Dunno whether other microstocks do? Unsure as to whether it's a useful facility because I have amended keywords later on a few images but there was no effect on sales or popularity.

Found one serial offender and all her landscapes get a 10/10! 

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17 minutes ago, stevemart said:

If I remember correctly, the last time there was also a threat by SS to remove the facility for amending keywords after acceptance. AS doesn't allow it (changing keywords post acceptance). Dunno whether other microstocks do? Unsure as to whether it's a useful facility because I have amended keywords later on a few images but there was no effect on sales or popularity.

Found one serial offender and all her landscapes get a 10/10! 

I also remember that Shutterstock took very swift action last time, so let's hope they do so again. 

As for editing after approval, it's a useful feature if you've missed something important or spot a spelling error, and I wouldn't want to lose it if it can be avoided. That said, given the choice, I would rather see a fair playing field for those who submit within the rules, as it's really difficult to compete in a search that inadvertently promotes spamming. 

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19 minutes ago, Jane Rix said:

I also remember that Shutterstock took very swift action last time, so let's hope they do so again. 

As for editing after approval, it's a useful feature if you've missed something important or spot a spelling error, and I wouldn't want to lose it if it can be avoided. That said, given the choice, I would rather see a fair playing field for those who submit within the rules, as it's really difficult to compete in a search that inadvertently promotes spamming. 

Wholeheartedly agree.

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Editing after approval might not actually work.

SS refuse to communicate their algorithm at all to contributors but the other stock sites that HAVE all say keywords only help an image for a small amount of time, 30 days or so before they live almost entirely on click rankings.

So for that to work they'd need to change them immediately after upload.

It MAYBE worth doing a reverse image search as its not impossible these are bot accounts selling stolen images.

It'd be fairly easy to get these spam past the "reviewers".  Usually its not checked, if its rejected, submit a 2nd time and chances are it wont be.  There's no real screening at all.

Again SS don't seem to have a mechanism for reporting keyword spam.  I suspect they dont care.  If it sells they get the money regardless.

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19 minutes ago, balajisrinivasan said:

AS does allow it, Steve. I do it quite regularly when an image doesn't sell for a few months.

Oh, thanks. I never really looked into it at AS but I'm sure that when AS was FT that it couldn't be done and just assumed that at AS it was the same. I'll take a proper look now.

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1 hour ago, Jane Rix said:

I also remember that Shutterstock took very swift action last time, so let's hope they do so again. 

As for editing after approval, it's a useful feature if you've missed something important or spot a spelling error, and I wouldn't want to lose it if it can be avoided. That said, given the choice, I would rather see a fair playing field for those who submit within the rules, as it's really difficult to compete in a search that inadvertently promotes spamming. 

Yes, last time SS made some threats that they would close accounts and came up with this article about keyword spamming.

I agree that sometimes we need to go back and correct something (grammer), the only agency I know about that doesn't let us change metadata (lately) is 123.

The worst is AS, their system re-writes (changes) our keywords, sometimes with total  garbage. I bet most of you never noticed that the keywords on the site are not the same any more as on your original file. I complained about this until I got tired, in vain.

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