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1 hour ago, Thijs de Graaf said:

I think this is this the same Oleg Petuhov from Latvia:     https://nl.123rf.com/profile_telas1020

Yes the same guy. What beats me is that most of his images are extremely under- or overexposed (more evident at 123) - and his studio images are really top quality with perfect lighting - as if it's two completely different photographers ..!

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I think his greatest success must be in 'man'...8 out of the 10 top images on page one of 22.148 million photos are from him and all are editorial, non-model-released whilst SS is imploring everyone t

I would like to apologize to everyone. I didn't want to offend anyone. And I didn't want to stir up controversy. I just wrote about a certain oddity that even I did not discover. I thought you might f

But it appears he has only been able to game the system on SS. I think it does hurt any stock library if the best images (and most relevant) are not brought to the top of a search. I wonde

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8 hours ago, Mr.Music said:

I would like to apologize to everyone. I didn't want to offend anyone. And I didn't want to stir up controversy. I just wrote about a certain oddity that even I did not discover. I thought you might find this as strange as it does to me. And, perhaps, if this is indeed a system failure, then the Shutterstock administration will pay attention to it. I wish no one bad things. And I respect your point of view.

No apologies necessary. You have brought an important point to forum discussion because most contributors assumed that they were playing on a level playing field + a little luck (which everyone has to have). This contributor appears to be winning the SS search lottery every week and everyone knows that this can't happen without some sort of trickery (which should not be possible on a level playing field)!

I'm just worried about the fact that this may be of no interest to SS because it does not appear to hurt their business in any way. The only way it would be a problem is if this contributor decides to share their secret with others...greed grows exponentially and the system would be brought down as everyone tries to get their images on P1.

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1 hour ago, stevemart said:

 

I'm just worried about the fact that this may be of no interest to SS because it does not appear to hurt their business in any way. The only way it would be a problem is if this contributor decides to share their secret with others...greed grows exponentially and the system would be brought down as everyone tries to get their images on P1.

I know of only two such options. I think it's not difficult to guess them. Most likely nothing will happen or will happen quietly in the first option. In the second option, the account will be closed by the site and we will see it.
I do not believe in such luck of photography for all the main and related keywords in the top.

Of course, there is a third option, someone very rich decided to help the photographer in life (or harm) and buys his photos from different accounts without the knowledge of the photographer. In theory, this can also be.

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Something else I was thinking about when serching these keywords is that Shutterstock for their own sake should pay attention to the overall quality of the images shown at the first pages of ‘relevant’ (!?) compared to the competition. Shutterstock is still the largest microstock agency (I believe) but that can change.

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49 minutes ago, oleschwander said:

Something else I was thinking about when serching these keywords is that Shutterstock for their own sake should pay attention to the overall quality of the images shown at the first pages of ‘relevant’ (!?) compared to the competition. Shutterstock is still the largest microstock agency, but that can change.

That's why Shutterstock is working on those ratings (6/10 - 10/10 ) I think. If that works well in their opinion, there may be functions for the customer such as selecting by rating or they will automatically be higher.

 

By the way he's also on Alamy

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6 hours ago, Thijs de Graaf said:

By the way he's also on Alamy

But it appears he has only been able to game the system on SS.

11 hours ago, stevemart said:

I'm just worried about the fact that this may be of no interest to SS because it does not appear to hurt their business in any way. The only way it would be a problem is if this contributor decides to share their secret with others...greed grows exponentially and the system would be brought down as everyone tries to get their images on P1.

I think it does hurt any stock library if the best images (and most relevant) are not brought to the top of a search.

I wonder if we will get a reaction or comment from SS about this.

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14 minutes ago, Reimar said:

But it appears he has only been able to game the system on SS.

I think it does hurt any stock library if the best images (and most relevant) are not brought to the top of a search.

I wonder if we will get a reaction or comment from SS about this.

There will be no response from Shuttertock. We also never get that when passing on stolen photos.
I think the response will be the same. Either the photos will be removed or if it is their fault they correct their mistake or they do nothing. 🙂

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Out of curiosity, I was searching for one of my images that was downloaded quite well lately, with the keyword "meat".
As expected, I didn't find my image (on first 3 pages) but guess who has the first image in the results?

2 hours ago, Reimar said:

But it appears he has only been able to game the system on SS.

Or SS did it for him.

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It's possible he is earning a sizable sum from his placement within Top Images but I'm inclined to think that his ranking was obtained by some other means than a huge number of sales.  Friends may be "buying" his images right after they're uploaded as stevemart suggested, but I'm of the opinion that there is far more involved in his miraculous ranking than just sales.

I also have a lonely and unsubstantiated optimism in the buyers ability to choose "the best or better image" especially when given the vast number of choices available.  I believe his images are consistently passed over with nothing more than  (????) from the potential  buyer. 

Just one more opinion to consider.

               

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If you have Linkedin, you can ask him.😁
I saw his portrait photo there on the internet. I don't have it and I don't know how Linkedin works. (There are several people named Olegs Petuhovs, but with other portrait photos)

He is not untraceable as you see with people who steal photos. I wouldn't be surprised if the problem is with Shutterstock.
Also because the problem does not occur with the other stock sites.

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11 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

It's possible he is earning a sizable sum from his placement within Top Images but I'm inclined to think that his ranking was obtained by some other means than a huge number of sales.  Friends may be "buying" his images right after they're uploaded as stevemart suggested, but I'm of the opinion that there is far more involved in his miraculous ranking than just sales.

I also have a lonely and unsubstantiated optimism in the buyers ability to choose "the best or better image" especially when given the vast number of choices available.  I believe his images are consistently passed over with nothing more than  (????) from the potential  buyer. 

Just one more opinion to consider.

               

I tend to think now that this contributor is more a computer expert/coder than that he has many 'mates' buying his images. I'm pretty much computer illiterate but if anyone here knows a coding genius maybe you can ask them if the system here could be beaten to your/their own advantage?

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19 hours ago, stevemart said:

I tend to think now that this contributor is more a computer expert/coder than that he has many 'mates' buying his images. I'm pretty much computer illiterate but if anyone here knows a coding genius maybe you can ask them if the system here could be beaten to your/their own advantage?

As I wrote. If you have linkedin you can ask him yourself Steve🙂

I think it's Shutterstock.
We can only do something with the keywords and the text. I don't think even the best computer expert can do much with that. He is first with 'clouds'. The keywords are good. Excellent explanation. But I see no more in it.

Closer look at Clouds:
Gorgeous panorama scenic of the strong sunrise with silver lining and cloud on the orange sky.

cloud, sky, sunrise, sunset, color, light, nature, space, view, abstract, air, backdrop, background, beautiful, beauty, bright, brightly, clam, clear, day, environment, evening, freedom, heaven, high, horizon, landscape, morning, natural, nobody, open, orange, outdoor, panorama, peaceful, purity, quite, scene, scenery, scenic, silver lining, summer, sun, transparent, travel, weather, white, wide, wind, yellow ,

The only other possibility is that he hacked Shutterstock, but then you will not be visible under the same name on other stock sites and Linkedin.

You may also wonder how does Shutterstock choose a photo to be posted first with very general words like flower (Oleg third, first photo), tree (Oleg third and fourth), mountain (Oleg first), grass (Oleg one)

Flower: 342,306 pages. How do you make a fair layout when you have so many photos. That seems almost impossible to me! My flower photos are in any case nowhere to be found. 😁

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Some interesting comments on this MSG thread including by 'Bad Robot'

'Conclusion - I think dear Oleg is a piece of AI masquerading as a person and is probably being used to test search functions and software as there is no way anyone could get the top slot in all of these search terms'.

Food for thought.

https://www.[do_not_advertise_other_microstock_groups]/shutterstock-com/someone-tricked-the-shutterstock-algorithm/msg563411/?topicseen#new

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I'm definitely out of my area of expertise but if the info on MSG  regarding Oleg's job at PNB bank is correct, he likely has the training needed to manipulate SS's image ranking algorithm.  I have a distant relative that works in the internet industry and part of his job is to increase the visibility of his client's web site when people use specific words to find a product or service.  It sounds like a similar skill set is being used in this specific situation. Other than that, I know very little but based upon our experience with SS's computer system, I must assume that it is less than state-of-the-art and could be easily compromised by an expert.   

IMO, this is something that SS needs to address as it could affect it's stock holders confidence even if they have little to no concern for contributors confidence or satisfaction .         

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3 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

 

IMO, this is something that SS needs to address as it could affect it's stock holders confidence even if they have little to no concern for contributors confidence or satisfaction .         

SS shareholders could not care less, because they will never find out about it. I have high doubts that any shareholder reads the Shutterstock forum or browses the database to check top search results for image quality or bugs / possible exploits.

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On 4/24/2021 at 5:49 AM, Steve Bower said:

I also have a lonely and unsubstantiated optimism in the buyers ability to choose "the best or better image" especially when given the vast number of choices available.  I believe his images are consistently passed over with nothing more than  (????) from the potential  buyer. 

Just one more opinion to consider.

            

I'm with you on that one. He might have the top spot for "water", but that stuff doesn't even look like water, and why would a buyer grab it. The annoying part is that it takes the top spot away from an actually good image.

I believe he might be some sort of hacker. But in general, I don't see him getting huge amounts of sales from it, unless his pics are actually really good. Buyers have eyes. And they certainly have the time to scroll though at least the first page or two of images.

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Search term "interior".

You get 13 million results. On the first pages there are really only pictures with interior shots. With one single exception only – right on page 1: the picture of a speedometer from a car. As far as I could see, it does not even contain the keyword interior.

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I think his greatest success must be in 'man'...8 out of the 10 top images on page one of 22.148 million photos are from him and all are editorial, non-model-released whilst SS is imploring everyone to upload model-released photos cos they sell better/make more money. It seems therefore strange that their first page of relevant should be populated by all these non-model-released photos.

If I were a buyer, I'd either add some more specific keywords or go elsewhere when confronted with SS's 'best'.

Maybe when given the opportunity to 'chat' when you search 'man' on SS, you should ask the question why so many of their top 'most relevant' are not model-released and all from Riga, Latvia! 😆

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On 4/27/2021 at 4:50 AM, stevemart said:

I think his greatest success must be in 'man'...8 out of the 10 top images on page one of 22.148 million photos are from him and all are editorial, non-model-released whilst SS is imploring everyone to upload model-released photos cos they sell better/make more money. It seems therefore strange that their first page of relevant should be populated by all these non-model-released photos.

If I were a buyer, I'd either add some more specific keywords or go elsewhere when confronted with SS's 'best'.

Maybe when given the opportunity to 'chat' when you search 'man' on SS, you should ask the question why so many of their top 'most relevant' are not model-released and all from Riga, Latvia! 😆

I have taken one of my images, put identical keywords and title on it and my rank is pages down. There's something else going on with his images data that SS reads. Not keyword or title tricks. I don't think SS would do this as a test, there's something else going on. Hacked or tricked somehow. From experience don't assume that being on page one means sales when better pictures are right there obvious. I think he is adding to his data that SS reads but doesn't display and we can't see. They need to fix this.

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I do remember this selection problem happening at another large agency many years ago. I think it transpired that an employee at the agency was manipulating the search results to favour a particular contributor.

When management found out a full review of the contributor’s collection was carried out and they were downgraded to an appropriate position.

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