keyword_expert's profile

1.3K Messages


21.8K Points

Mon, Oct 18, 2021 8:15 AM


What's up with all the highly specific keywords?

There are a lot of very specific keywords on IMDb that don't really fit in. These keywords are highly specific in describing the person who takes an action or is the recipient of an action (or both), and/or where the action occurs. Also, many of them have typos. 

Here are some of my philosophies about adding keywords:

1. Since keywords are supposed to be primarily plot keywords, I typically try to limit keywords to important plot points. Yes, I know there are exceptions. But in terms of things that happen in the title, keywords should (usually) be important to the plot. Otherwise, it can be keyword spamming to add keywords for every single thing the characters do, say, and even wear.

2. I always do my best to try to use a preexisting keyword. Often that means broadening the plot point described. For example, it is better to describe the action taken as a simple action, rather than also adding who is taking the action or where it takes place (e.g., I would use "burying-a-dead-body" instead of "burying-a-dead-body-in-a-pigsty" or "teenage-girl-buries-a-dead-body").

3. If a keyword is vital to the plot and I can't match it with a preexisting keyword, then I will reluctantly add a new keyword to the database. But even then, I will search my memory bank (or the Internet) for another title that might have that same plot point and will add it to that title as well, so that my newly created keyword will not be all alone, with only one title.  (I refer to these as "orphaned" keywords.)

4. My general rule of thumb is that no more than 2 keywords per each set of 50 keywords should be orphaned keywords. Any more than 2 per 50 and I feel like I am probably doing things wrong (adding too many new keywords or just being lazy or overly hasty with adding keywords). This rule of thumb also helps me catch typos, since I know I won't be creating very many new keywords. Overall, creating orphaned keywords should be avoided as much as possible.

All this might take a lot more time, but it is worth it. It also greatly facilitates keyword searches using IMDb's search functions.

It would seem that some contributors have very different philosophies about keywords than me.

Here are some examples of some highly specific, orphaned keywords:

mother-teaches-her-daughter-how-to-roll-dough (1 title)

mother-teaches-her-daughter-how-to-crack-an-egg (1 title)

Why not just go with teaching-someone-how-to-cook (5 titles) ?

teenage-boy-sings-in-the-bathtub (1 title)

Why not go with singing-in-the-bathtub (3 titles)?

A bunch more:

teenage-boy-covers-his-genitakls-with-a-hubcap (1 title)

teenage-boy-covers-up-his-erection-with-a-comc-book (1 title)

man-undoes0back-of-a-woman's-dress (1 title)

putting-one's-toes-in-a-bathtub-water-faucet (1 title)

putting-one's-head-inside-one's-purse (1 title)

teenage-girl-dresses-behind-a-folding-screen (1 title)

sucking-poison-from-a-teenage-girl's-arm (1 title)

threatening-to-burn-a-woman's-face (1 title)

woman-beats-a-man-with-a-horse-whip (1 title)

burying-a-dead-body-in-a-pigsty (1 title)

wife-puts-her-husband-in-a-playful-headlock (1 title)

husband-playfully-slaps-his-wife-on-her-butt (1 title)

daughter-playfully-hits-her-father (1 title)

playing-a-game-at-a-crooked-table (1 title)

man-and-woman-have-sex-in-a-bed-with-another-woman-sharing-the-bed (1 title)

stunt-man-dresses-as-a-woman-in-a-stunt (1 title)

surrogate-mother-licks-surrogate-son's-face (1 title)

surrogate-mother-gives-her-surrogate-son-a-bath (1 title)

surrogate-mother-kisses-her-surrogate-son-on-the-forehead (1 title)

surrogate-mother-carries-her-surrrogate-son-in-her-arms (1 title)

surrogate-father-threatens-to-kill-his-surrogate-son (1 title)

son-gives-his-father-a-back-and-shoulder-rub (1 title)

man-throws-a-man-into-an-aboveground-swimming-pool (1 title)

step-daughter-blaming-step-father-for-mother's-death (1 title)

teenage-girl-walks-on-dead-mother's-grave (1 title)

teenage-girl-walks-a-stuffed-dead-dog (1 title)

father-and-daughter-share-an-ice-cream-sundae (1 title)

girl-applies-fingertail-polish-to-her-father's-fingernails (1 title)

father-teaches-his-daughter-how-to-whistle (1 title)

wife-throws-a-remote-control-at-her-husband (1 title)

wife-eats-an-hors-d'oeuvres-off-her-husband's-boot (1 title)

wife-throws-her-husband's-clothes-out-a-hotel-room-door (1 title)

walking-around-with-a-toothbrush-in-ones-mouth (1 title)

holding-hands-in-the-air-to-evision-a-camera-shot (1 title)

man-holds-his-hand-over-anothe-man's-mouth (1 title)

woman-disbelives-that-her-uaband-is-dead (1 title)

I could give hundreds of more examples, but I will stop there.

Also, note all the typos in these keywords. There really shouldn't be typos in keywords, unless the contributor is rushing through and blindly checking the box when asked to confirm that they really want to create a new keyword. 

Accepted Solution



14.1K Messages


277.8K Points

5 m ago

Hi keyword_expert​ -

Concerning the initial plot keywords you reported, I can see that they were added by another top contributor, likely trying to capture a specific action, which is technically acceptable as per our guidelines.  Unfortunately, phrasing of an action can vary from person to person, this is likely why they are not tidy keywords.


130 Messages


1.6K Points

9 m ago

There's no real barrier to entry on this stuff, so I don't know how you can stop this.

1.3K Messages


21.8K Points

@Skavau There are two known ways to stop these types of bad keywords:

(1) Delete, correct, and/or downvote these bad keywords. I do that all the time. 

(2) Post about these bad keywords on this forum, and hope that the contributor(s) responsible for the bad keywords rethink their approach.



130 Messages


1.6K Points

From a new users perspective though it looks like whack-a-mole without IMDB brainstorming some protective measures.

1.3K Messages


21.8K Points

6 m ago



14.1K Messages


277.8K Points

Hi @keyword_expert​ -

I investigated these keywords and for many of them was able to identify that they came from a single contributor.  I have taken the appropriate actions to help prevent any further badly formatted keywords from this source.