Captions, keywords and descriptions
You add captions, keywords and descriptions to your images so they can be indexed by our search engine and found by customers. By keywording accurately you can influence your AlamyRank as the accuracy and relevancy of the words you use to describe an image determines which search terms find it and which don’t. Your AlamyRank can suffer if you use irrelevant keywords.Top
Link to “Manage Images” in “My Alamy”Annotating your images
- Go to My Alamy.
- Under “Organise images”, click “Manage Images”.
- Complete the fields next to each image.
- Alternatively, you may wish to use IPTC headers in Photoshop.
|Caption||A short factual description of the image used by customers to summarise its content.||128||Low|
|Essential keywords||The most important words and phrases for the image. Although you have 50 characters, try to limit yourself to just 35 - about 6 to 8 words only.||50||Very high|
|Main keywords||The next most appropriate words and phrases.||300||High|
|Comprehensive keywords||Any other words and phrases. Put all the remaining terms that apply, but which are not as significant as main or essential keywords.||856||Medium|
|Description||Explanatory or background text relevant to the image. More appropriate for historical, reportage and editorial images than for conceptual or commercial material.||2000||Zero|
|Location||Put the location where the image was taken using the convention of street name, town, city, state, province, country. This information can make or lose a sale.||100||Zero|
|Date taken||If you know the date taken please use this field, put the date the image was created not the date it was scanned or submitted. If you feel the date is of particular significance, for example “England winning the Football World Cup in 1966” then also put it in the Caption and Essential keyword fields depending on the date’s relevancy.||–||–|
- Only use spaces to separate keywords. There is no need to use commas as well as you will use up valuable character space.
- Alamy do not employ stemming, for example, we do not automatically add plurals. So if you think both the plural and singular of a term is relevant you must add them both. However think carefully before adding both in all cases. You do not want your images of ‘a dog with two boys’ coming up for a search for ‘two dogs’.
- Add words with the same meaning. If you add “mother”, also add “mum”.
- Consider UK and US variations, so in the example above, add “mom”.
- Check your spelling!
- You can further enhance the accuracy of your keywording by using additional annotation options.
- Describe your images in a methodical way when keywording:
- Literal - e.g. “boy, girl, children, beach, sun, sand, sky, car, shadow”.
- Attributes - e.g. “happy, smiling, walking, blue, young, old”.
- Location - be specific, e.g. “The White House, Washington DC, USA”; or generic, e.g. “office, school, home”.
- Interaction - e.g. “chasing, playing, moving, touching, shouting, flying”.
- Concepts - e.g. “heat, power, happiness, strength, humour, teamwork, tranquility etc”.
- Broad subjects - e.g. “lifestyle, travel, sport and business”.
- Techniques - e.g. “predominant colours or shapes, black and white, grainy, blurred, digital manipulation”.
- To save time, use the batch facility in Manage Images but be careful not to overdo this and add irrelevant words. This can be very damaging to your potential success on Alamy.
- We have provided some guidance on terms to use to describe ages and ethnicity.
- Do not add irrelevant keywords to give your images greater exposure in search results as this will ultimately damage your AlamyRank.
We import the IPTC metadata when we upload your images, but only extract the caption, description, keyword and date fields depending on which version of Photoshop you are using.
IPTC headers in Photoshop 6 & 7
- The caption field corresponds with our caption field which is limited to 128 characters. If you add more than 128 characters in Photoshop we will transfer your data to our description field. You will then need to add a new caption.
- The keyword field corresponds with our comprehensive keyword field. We limit the keyword field to 856 characters and we truncate any words over this amount.
- In the IPTC keyword field add each word individually as there is a cut-off point of 32 characters (including spaces) beyond which Photoshop will truncate a list of keywords. Click Add after you’ve entered each keyword.
IPTC headers in Photoshop CS and above
- The description field corresponds with our caption field. We limit the caption field to 128 characters and any additional IPTC data overflows to our description field.
- The keyword field corresponds with our comprehensive keywords field. We limit the compehensive keywords field to 856 characters and any additional IPTC data is truncated.
- Separate your keywords with semicolons in Photoshop to ensure they transfer correctly.