Flickr search results

Since a few months ago I (and other flickr users) have noticed strange flickr search results.

For example try searching for “keukenhof”. This is the name of a beautiful park in the Netherlands famous for its fantastic flowers.
(In any case what I am about to describe happens with many different search terms.)

Now, at the time of writing these notes, flickr tells me that there are 131.173 photos related to this search term.
Well, despite this, basically all pictures in the first and second page of the search results are from the same one or two users.
I have nothing against the pictures of these flickr members, I am using them just as an example.

Flickr seems to randomly select some “lucky” members whose pictures have a title containing the term that I am looking for and… that’s all; even if the pictures have a very limited amount of views, tags, preferences, comments, etc., they are listed first.
These results are nearly “static”, i.e. if I repeat the search, the results are the same, this means that the searching algorithm has definitively assigned a high weight to these photos from the same users.
This does not seem to be a very intelligent search function in my opinion. A few months ago, search results quality and variety were much higher.

There is a thread in the flickr help forum on this topic, but nothing has changed since then.
See here: http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157625475791769/

Try searching for something else; the pattern in the search results is always the same: many consecutive pictures from the same users are displayed. The pattern is not always clearly visible… but it’s there…
I even noticed pictures with zero views in the first page of the results (when I clicked on the image, its view counter was updated to 1!); this happened when I looked for pictures of Barcelona.

I know that there is the other “interesting” section in the search results, but I can’t really figure out how flickr decides that dozens (among thousands if not millions) of photos from the same users are the most “relevant”, even if they have zero views…

Did anybody notice this strange behavior about the search results and wants to share his ideas? Are you happy with this search algorithm?
Feel free to comment and give feedback.

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~ by angelobosco on April 29, 2011.

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