Adobe Stock keyword order

A couple of days ago, I started re-ordering my Adobe Stock keywords. As I explained here, most of my keywords are alphabetic, because that is how Lightroom sorts them. I did meet with Julieanne Kost of Adobe last weekend at Nature Visions, and she has put in a request to the Lightroom product team to come up with a solution for this as it doesn’t appear that Adobe Stock will change their approach. The first big question – is it worth sorting them? I think the answer so far is “YES”. This image:

had never sold on Fotolia before and I changed its keywords to include toddler, baby, girl, painting, playtime at the beginning of the list.

Today, it sold for $0.99. This one: Caucasian ethnicity hands putting fifty dollar bills in envelope

similarly had no sales and almost no views and I added “bribe, gift, cash, present” to the beginning of the list and it sold today for $2.64. That, combined with the movement up the search pages that I noticed yesterday, has reinforced the need to visit keywords and change them!

But how to do it? I often include the specific place name for a scene and so this image:

Cascade of waterfall into swimming hole with blurred motion on Deckers Creek running by Route 7 near Masontown in Preston County West Virginia

Cascade of waterfall into swimming hole with blurred motion on Deckers Creek running by Route 7 near Masontown in Preston County West Virginia

already had “Deckers Creek, Morgantown, Monongalia County” at the start of the keyword list. Adobe Stock seems to move some keywords itself, perhaps if they match what is in the description. My theory is that if someone was searching for that specific river or waterfall, then wherever the keywords are in the list, they will come up. In fact, my images are the only ones in Adobe with Deckers Creek as a keyword. So putting them at the start is a waste of time. So the better keywords for the head of the list would be “waterfall, autumn, falls, fall, river, swimming hole” – keywords that would match with someone just looking for a generic autumn waterfall scene. That way I would get two chances of a sale – a search for this specific river, and a chance for a generic waterfall image as well. Similarly for some windmills in Spain, I had put the specific town first, but windmill and spain were in alphabetic order, ie – nowhere! I’ve changed those now. By the way, don’t ignore “long tail” keywords up front – by that I mean an unusual word that describes the scene, like “cascade” for the waterfall. There are far fewer uses of that keyword and so there is a chance that if I use it in my first seven, I will show strongly for the occasional use of that search term.

I hope that helps my thinking on how to use the keyword order in Adobe Stock.


(Visited 144 times, 3 visits today)

7 Responses

  1. You could use Adobe Bridge for keywording instead. The keywords stay in the order you entered them, they do NOT get sorted alphabetically.

    That’s one of the main reasons many stock photographers use Bridge.

    • admin says:

      I could, but I use Lightroom for everything – finding images, exporting to the right size with the right color space, and if I used Bridge and then opened them in Lightroom I suspect the keyword order would change again on export? I’ve not tried it though.

  2. MadRolly says:

    I ran a few test with keywording regarding to what you wrote in this article and the easiest way to maintain the order that you want on your shots is to keyword them straight from windows. So in Lightroom you leave the keyword option blank. Save the pic without any keyword. Then from windows hit the right click on the image (after you export it :P) and choose Properties. Then go to ‘Details tab’ and click on the blank space in the right of the ‘Tags’ option. Now start to write the keywords in the order that you want to show on agencies.
    One last thing to mention tho is that on Shutterstock the keywords will be auto-arranged in alphabetical order. It’s how that field works latelty. I don’t know why. But on Fotolia will remain in the exact order that you set from the Details field situated on properties of the image :P. I hope this helps.

    Good Day,

  3. admin says:

    I agree that you can keyword images outside Lightroom, but that destroys the whole benefit of using the program. With 9000 images, I rely totally on keywords to find a specific image if I need it for something else, and so keywording separately doesn’t help me. I’ll investigate using StockUploader (if you are lucky enough to have that program).
    Update: Yes, if you have StockUploader, that seems to solve the issue. I keyword in LR as normal and export my images as JPEGs. Add the images to Stockuploader and in the Batch Keywording tab I can select one of a group of similar images and correct the keywords there, then copy them across to the multi-file edit and save them all to the remaining images, replacing the previous set. I might have to add a few specific words if they files are not exactly identical, but that works smoothly for me.
    If anyone is a capable App developer, you really should see if the developer of Stockuploader would license the program to you and see if you could continue to support (and sell) it. I think it is a great little program for stock photographers.

  4. AlessandraRC says:

    Steve, that has given me something to think about, since I usually start the key wording with the name of the place, for instance Feather Falls, Oroville, California, USA, then I add words that call for waterfalls and then whatever else.

    I use adobe elements and the keywords stay where I put them.

  5. admin says:

    Hi Alessandra
    I used to do the same, but I’m pretty sure your images would come up for Feather Falls regardless of their position and who would search for USA? I have a lot of mine with “america” as the first keyword because it begins with A!

  1. December 11, 2016

    […] do? The answer has also become more complex for me because of the need to identify and prioritize the first seven keywords to fit in with Adobe Stock’s process and while there is a workaround if you have a copy of StockUploader, it isn’t great. […]

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!