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As a beginner stock photographer, you may find that your carefully edited photos only appear among the last of the search results. How to get to the top? Is it possible at all or you should wait for your pictures to find their place?

How can your images get to the top of a stock photo agency's search results pages? | WahaviBlog about stock photography

    The easy way: regular upload

    Every stock agency provides the possibility to sort the search results on its website by the date the images were uploaded / taken. Returning buyers often enter the same keywords in the search bar (if they haven’t found the appropriate image the last time) because they’re wondering if there are new photos in the topic.

    Nonetheless, every stock company recommends regular upload as the key to success in the first place.

    The harder way: quality, titles, and keywords

    High-quality photos are zoomed by more people than flat, pale, messy images. It is important that your photos look good in thumbnail size and are attractive enough for the customers to click on.

    If the title and / or keywords include the exact phrase entered by the buyer, the search engine will rank the image higher. An image with separate keywords, e.g. the terms 'red' and 'bicycle' will surely be ranked lower when searching for 'red bicycle' than if you included it as a composite term ('red bicycle') in your keywords.

    At Alamy you have the option to specify supertags (important keywords) that have a higher weight than plain tags (keywords). Adobe Stock allows you to weight your keywords based on the order you specify.

    Weighting order based on Alamy forum user testing:

    1. Title (caption) match (the search term is in the title)
    2. Supertag match (Alamy only)
    3. Exact keyword match (composite search terms)
    4. Simple keyword match (individual keywords)

    Read more about titling your photos here.
    Read more about keywording your photos here.

    When you can definitely get on the first page

    If you’re taking photos on a special subject, the first page is almost guaranteed. You can easily check this with a test search.

    The term "Alamy whack" used in the Alamy forum means that there is only one result or results from only one photographer searching with a two- (or sometimes more) part term. Although not often, I have come across such a term.

    A specialty at Alamy: Live News

    Alamy is famous for its diverse collection of editorial photos. If you already have a reference in newspapers, you can join the Live News feed, where newsworthy photos that are not older than 24 hours are expected. The images spend 48 hours here and are then transferred to the stock section where they are offered as ordinary stock photos.

    So the Live News feed is ideal for helping newspaper, news portal editors support their articles with up-to-date imagery and also putting your photos right in front of your potential customers. If you’re shooting a hot event, you can be sure you’ll have a sale or two.


    How do you get your photos to the top of your stock photo agency's search results page?

    • Shoot regularly! Always have new images!
    • Make your photos to look well in thumbnail size to get more people to click on them.
    • Monitor the stats (Alamy Measures, All of Alamy) and use exact match multi-part terms in your titles and keywords.
    • Find subjects that only you (or just a few) can photograph!
    • Alamy Live News Feed is the perfect place for your fresh, newsworthy photos.
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    Post Author

    Viktor Wallon-Hárs (wahavi)

    Photography has always been part of our family life. I have memories of my father dealing with those old glass slides, preparing them for our projector.

    Later I took photos during summer holidays and school trips.

    Now, in the era of stock photography, I dug myself into it to learn the basics and also the secrets how to earn more and more money doing what I love.