Seven Deadly Sins of Keywording

Judging the standard of keywording is a tricky business.  Here are seven of the worst mistakes that can be made.  How does you keywording measure up?

1.  More is Less - Many people measure keywording by size (number of keywords), not quality.  The result is a lot of misleading keywords which produce cluttered and irrelevant results when clients search your image or video library.  The more relevant the words, the better.  Going crazy on the number of keywords is unlikely to produce that result.

2.  Seen One, Seen em All - If the keywords in image after image have a familiar look, it's probably because they have been keyworded in a very general, nondescript way.  No matter how relevant or accurate the keywords, if there is little to distinguish one image from another, their value is limited.

3.  Hard Errors - If the image is of a banana but the keywords say apple, if the video shows a businessperson but the keyword says sportsman, misleading search results are inevitable.  Hard errors are a cardinal sin.

4. Just Plain Weird - Occasionally, keywording will seem so incongruous that you wonder if it was meant to be done that way.  Check the obvious things.  Was it the right standard? Was the right keywording supplied for the right images or videos?

5. The Phantom of the Keywording -  Including references to people or places not visible in an image or video are tempting, but are ultimately misleading.  Such phantom keywords should not be included except in exceptional circumstances.

6. A Bad Spell - Spelling mistakes are the most elementary of errors.  Be particularly concerned if the same word is misspelled in more than one image or video.  This may indicate a systemic problem such as with the keywording vocabulary being used.

7. Inaccurate Conception -  Conceptual keywords are powerful tools to aid searchability.  However, it's important that the right concepts are used.  By their very nature concepts often involve subtle shades of meaning.  If you find concepts being addded which don't seem to fit, then the keyworders' basic competence or familiarity with the language may be in question.