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alafarm

Why a rush on one image?

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As a contributor with only 135 images, my downloads are maybe one or two per month. But suddenly, one particular image has sold six times, three in one day, from various places in the world. The image is one of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. There are countless such images on shutterstock, and when I search for it, my image is buried way out of sight. What might account for people suddenly finding this image: are images featured somewhere?

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3 hours ago, alafarm said:

As a contributor with only 135 images, my downloads are maybe one or two per month. But suddenly, one particular image has sold six times, three in one day, from various places in the world. The image is one of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. There are countless such images on shutterstock, and when I search for it, my image is buried way out of sight. What might account for people suddenly finding this image: are images featured somewhere?

The U.S. Capitol is in the news right now.  Your image my have come up first, or near the top, on search for fresh images.  

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6 hours ago, alafarm said:

when I search for it, my image is buried way out of sight

It depends how you search. May for some keywords combination your image ranks very high.

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7 hours ago, alafarm said:

As a contributor with only 135 images, my downloads are maybe one or two per month. But suddenly, one particular image has sold six times, three in one day, from various places in the world. The image is one of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. There are countless such images on shutterstock, and when I search for it, my image is buried way out of sight. What might account for people suddenly finding this image: are images featured somewhere?

From what I recall reading/hearing when I first joined SS, is that they change the algorhythm(s) every so often so that the same images don't keep coming up in searches (give everyone a chance at being found I guess). Whether they still do that, or I'm not remembering correctly is a different story. that could be part of the reason as well. Of course if it's a new(ish) picture, if part of the search algorhythm is to also show new (or "fresh") content as well, that could be a reason as well, as someone else mentioned.

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On 3/27/2020 at 5:09 AM, alafarm said:

suddenly, one particular image has sold six times, three in one day, from various places in the world. The image is one of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. There are countless such images on shutterstock, and when I search for it, my image is buried way out of sight. What might account for people suddenly finding this image: are images featured somewhere?

Just be happy  🙂

I've had an image catch on fire at another agency, nothing special about that one either. Here, it sold just once, before getting buried. So, there's a lot of luck involved in this game sometimes.

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Milo J: We have had the same thing happen with one of our very ordinary photos. It makes one believe something is not working correctly with the site. A couple of people assured us that it happens from time to time. So I've forgotten the experience and moved on. HAPPY DAYS TO YOU AND SELL MANY PHOTOS!

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On 3/27/2020 at 7:09 PM, alafarm said:

As a contributor with only 135 images, my downloads are maybe one or two per month. But suddenly, one particular image has sold six times, three in one day, from various places in the world. The image is one of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. There are countless such images on shutterstock, and when I search for it, my image is buried way out of sight. What might account for people suddenly finding this image: are images featured somewhere?

Ranking.  Although no agency announces how its algorithm works its known they use a mix of things such as popularity (how often its viewed and/or bought when it appears in a search for a term), how long its been online and so on.  This gives it a popularity score.

Lots of agencies give a higher rank to newer images and this degrades slowly over time.

So what you can find is a newish image sells once or twice, gets higher ranked as a result as the algorithm thinks its popular, this in term means it appears higher in searches which means it sells more often and continues in a spiral.

Last time SS released any figures it was over 90% of their images have NEVER sold.  Most of us who have been on SS for a few years find the majority of our income comes from a very small number of images - usually older ones.

Years ago with SS it was vital for a new image to sell within a day or 2 or it'd get buried and never sell because they placed such a high weighting on new.  It isnt exactly the case now but its still present to an extent.

Its quite normal to have a sequence of 10 or more images of one subject, find one of those sells like mad and the rest wont sell at all.

It varies agency to agency as well  My best selling image by a mile on Adobe Stock has failed to sell at all here despite going online at the same time several years ago.

 

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On 3/28/2020 at 9:30 PM, Richard Whitcombe said:

My best selling image by a mile on Adobe Stock has failed to sell at all here despite going online at the same time several years ago.

Yup. Complete luck, sometimes. That one image of mine that caught fire on another site has now been downloaded 72 times in the 2 1/2 weeks it's been up there and made me almost 100 bucks. I uploaded the exact same picture here on the same day, and it has sold only twice so far, as a lowly sub.

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I think I figured it out. The image continues to sell. When I view the image on Shutterstock and click on "More from this artist", it then shows me two of my images with the heading "Senate images". "Senate" is not in the title, but it is a keyword. So I did a search for simply "senate", and sure enough, the image appears on the first page. I guess keyword selection is everything.

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