Try The No Keywords Test

If you want to put yourself in the shoes of your customers for a while, and find out the value of keywording, try the "no keywords" test.

Take a selection of images or videos and remove all keywords (if they have any).  Add them to your photo/video library as duplicates.  Then carry out a search to see how easily you can find those images/videos using your quick search window - this is the window used by the vast majority of researchers.


To make it realistic, see if you can find the images/videos using search terms other than the literal name of what you are searching for.  You can try colours, concepts, themes, the type of object (eg if there is a picture of an apple, try searching using "fruit"), and see what results you get.

If the keyworded images/videos are coming up more quickly and more readily, then you'll get a fair idea of how much better your keywording is than no keywords at all, and also whether metadata you use other than the keywords field is of much use.  Record the time taken to complete each task if you want to be scientific about it.

You can use the same method to evaluate different keywording methods and standards.