One of the major differences between high-quality stock keywording, and the rest, is the system of quality control.
In many cases the level of QC is no level at all. This can be due to a lack of money, but also because the library/agency does not have the personnel to do the work, nor a proper QC system.
In recent years this problem has become worse due to libraries leaving it to photographers to take a DIY approach. Unfortunately the quality control at the library end is again non-existent or completely overwhelmed.
The sort of bad keywording that gets through as a result can make libraries hard to search, with irrelevant results coming up, while appropriate images go missing – all leading to poor customer retention and flagging sales.
The best quality control involves an active system of feedback to keyworders so that there is a success loop whereby they improve their performance, which in turns reduces the time needing to be spent on QC. This needs to be systemised and constantly monitored to make sure standards don’t revert.
In terms of keeping costs down, you can avoid QC’ing every image by strategic sampling and mapping against staff performance.
To find out more about Picsell Media’s quality-controlled keywording, click here.