Getting Short Changed With Your Keywording Standard?

Ask three keywording companies for Getty or Alamy keywording, or keywording appropriate for your own web site, and you're guaranteed to get three very different results.

A client of ours recently shopped around some of the biggest names in keywording to see just how standards differed.  Although asking for exactly the same keywording "standards" from each company, they found remarkable differences in what was offered under the same banner.

The areas they found the most variance in were (in order of importance):

1.  Specificity of keywords - Some companies delivered keywords which were too general, and did not capture the essence of each image.  Getting to grips with what makes an image special is what delivers the strongest search results.

2.  Over-keywording - Call it keywording spam if you want to be more brutal.  Some of the companies just didn't know when to stop, seeing all sorts of possibilities in the images which rendered the keywording less effective, not more.

3. Poor conceptual keywording - The ability to include appropriate concepts such as victory, beauty in nature or romance, is crucial for images or video to be found and sold.  Deep knowledge of English is needed to get the best results, and it showed.

4. Confused presentation - One company in particular provided keywords in such a bewildering array of lists of synonyms, which seemed to overlap, that it was hard to understand what it all meant.

As a general rule, the more money you pay for your keywording the less likely you are to find inadequacies in these areas.  Excellent English language skills of the keyworders are vital.

It is best in every case to shop around and get samples done to your specific requirements.  Take the time to make sure the company knows what those are. It is a good sign if you are able to get into a dialogue with the keywording company and find out what they understand by the particular standard required.