Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) has launched a search engine that allows image buyers to find images across the collections of the PACA member agencies. Paca calls it: “a huge impact on the way image buyers utilize the Internet to purchase licensed images.
PACA’s pacaSearch™ is a free, Web-based stock image mega meta-search engine. It is set to launch today. The solution has been developed in-house its goal is to help image buyers find licensable images only. This makes it different from Google where any image will show up in a search. As such it is exclusively targeted at professional image buyers.
Once a buyer submits a keywork into the searchbox, the search then returns a screen that shows the amount of images each member-library has in their files with that keyword. It also shows the relative percentage of images in each each collection with that keyword, potentially pointing to more specialist libraries. When a user clicks on the library link they are taken directly to the search results on the libraries’ pages.
PACA members have access to traffic reports that include statistics detailing the number of searches, most frequent terms, and terms with no search results.
PACA’s pacasearch enters a space where a number of other companies are operating like Stockphotofinder, Stockindexonline and Picturemaxx. Each of these operate in a slightly different fashion. Industry commentator Paul Melcher wrote a post about pacasearch when it was first announced. In the post he points to several competing solutions that are already available. He also points to shortcomings he feels are built into the software like the fact that it’s based on the quantity of images, not quality. Read his full post here. He concludes by saying:
“For picture professionals to regroup and to come out with a product like this is shameful. It clearly shows what is terribly wrong with commercial stock distributors who seem to have no clue on how to properly service their clients. It’s a monument to PACA’s archaism and its members complete ignorance of their market”.
PACA quotes a number of other in its press release that do feel this new tool will be useful for their daily business:
“pacaSearch is a powerful new tool for highly focused research across a wide range of excellent stock photo agencies,” stated Judy and Roger Feldman of Feldman & Associates.
“Learning about the functionality and usefulness of the PACA enhanced directory put a big smile on my face,” Lee Horton, Multimedia Editor, K12 Inc. said. “As a photo editor and art buyer I search multiple sites daily. This tool puts more control in my hands.
Best thing to do then is to try out the new service and see if it serves the need of your business. Feel free to share any feedback here and we’ll pass it on.