Helping you find the right words
Search relevance is the product of good keywording.
Good keywords are accurate, consistent and relevant. If you had the words and no image would an image form in your mind? Beyond a description of primary objects, context and concepts, a search vocabulary benefits from some levels of control.
A clear methodology (set of rules), guides understanding to the relevance of keywords within the context of wider search. How relevant is the keyword, how rare is it to see (the object), what makes the image distinct, what are it’s strengths? When is a keyword irrelevant and obstructing search? An appreciation of who is trying to find the image and how you can help them, aids in this process.
A controlled hierarchy presents the opportunity to offer more complete or specific results. Levels of detail can be introduced within wider terms. You are able to consider the relation between intended meaning and ambiguity, the preferred term and the possibility of synonym variants. In grouping words together and clarifying ambiguities you offer more comprehensive results.
I began this work at Getty in a small team. Over five years interrogating data and search terms imported from partner collections to ensure accurate results with a single vocabulary. This was complex as words have many meanings and had at times been inconsistently applied. The considerations and conversations which took place during this time became the foundation for my expertise in the practise of assigning effective keywords, in managing thesaurus and contributing to improved performance of search returns.
I have worked over many years with an ongoing curiosity of search expectations informed by creative analysis and have made significant improvement to search for Christies Images, The Science Museum, Medecins sans Frontieres and Heritage Image Partnership among many others. My full client list can be viewed here.