This post started as a little experiment in SEO for images, it’s ended up more of a post about illegal image use, but you’ll understand the purpose of it by the end, I think!. Using this image of a robin in my garden, as it’s nearly Christmas), I have optimised the title, filename and content of the post to include the words Robin on Ivy in an attempt to get it ranked high in Google search results for the query “Robin on Ivy”. For the purpose of this exercise you will need to search including the speach marks otherwise you’ll end up with images about batman rather then garden birds!
I started by searching for the search term “Robin on Ivy” and noticed some rather alarming things.
This is an image that I uploaded to istock images some years ago whilst dabbling in stock images. I only sold a few and my credits were not enough to get paid when they switched systems, so I lost all my credit!
Since then Getty bought iStock and has also changed the way they do business with third party suppliers. To my surprise, the second highest position for my image is from a site called photots.com (the first being my image on redbubble where I have sold a few cards) .
So now, simply from uploading to iStock, the image is now being sold by Getty and Photos.com. I’m not sure I’m happy about that, so after this experiment is over I will delete my iStock account and will update you on how long it takes to get my image down form the other sites.
There is no simple way to delete an iStock account so be wary, I’ve just emailed them using their form, agin I’ll probably write about this later. Even deactivating images is a struggle, I cannot find the answers on the web so if anyone knows how to do this please let me know in the comments.