At roberharding we are working hard to ensure that top quality, exclusive photography by our own photographers features prominently in our search results, and is not hidden behind those of large third party agencies. We are proud of this unique, handpicked content and are making it our priority to champion our own contributors.
It has been reported to us that many photographers see few returns from their images on the sites of larger agencies. In particular, we have read in the industry press that search algorithms on one company’s site overwhelmingly favour certain large collections and production companies over others, and over individual photographers’ contributions.
When generic keywords are used to search, it was reported that certain brands are found to appear repeatedly at the top of the search return order on the large agency’s site, and it is only when more specific terms are used that individual contributions have more chance of appearing. Since most clients prefer generic search terms over specific ones, this is bad news for the individual contributor and may explain poor returns.
Where an agency’s search results are in part decided in response to the amount of customer interaction with the content, images tend to become part of a cycle in which those appearing at the top of search results are more likely to be chosen by the customer, in turn enhancing their position in further search results and further obscuring the variety of contributions of other providers.
At robertharding we are constantly reviewing our search algorithms and we are favouring the content of our own contributors over third parties, to provide a system that is fairer to our individual photographers as well as giving clients access to the very best images.