|Mon Oct 13 2014 09:54:34|
Etsy Search Results: Uber Domination or Not?
By: Ina Steiner
Just as merchants study their standings in Google and Bing search, sellers attempt to measure their standings in marketplace search results, especially if they feel their items aren't getting the traffic they deserve.
On Sunday, Etsy sellers discussed whether the marketplace was doing a good job of showing items from many sellers, or whether it allowed the same 3 or 4 shops to dominate search results - "uber domination," one seller called it.
On this discussion board thread, a poster wrote, "I just searched 10 pages using "father of the bride cufflinks" and the top of every single search page (after the top row of ads) is dominated by the same 3-4 shops. At least 3-4 rows deep on the page. I think this is extremely odd! Anyone else seeing this?"
Another responded, "There has to be a test because people are getting different results when we compare notes on the forums." That wouldn't be completely surprising since online marketplaces seem to be in constant test mode.
We tried the search last night and found page one offered a mix of sellers with no one seller dominating results.
Some sellers said page 1 of search results tended to contain diverse results, but after that, they saw the pattern of a few shops dominating results.
Marketplaces are just as mum about search algorithms as Google, much to the chagrin of sellers trying to optimize their listings so they'll be exposed to the right shoppers at the right time.
And it's not just search relevancy - some wonder if the site redesign is impacting sales. This letter from an Etsy seller came in last night with a link to another discussion thread:
"Etsy sellers continue to struggle with diminished sales and missing google links since the site wide redesign at the beginning of September. Sellers asking for answers while Etsy admin remain mum."
If you sell on Etsy, let us know what you think of search relevancy and other factors impacting traffic to your listings. And be sure to tell us what's working right for you.
Update 10/13/14: An Etsy moderator went into the above-referenced thread about search relevancy and wrote the following this afternoon:
"At this time we aren't seeing widespread issues with search relevancy, but we definitely want to check this out. Could you please contact us via email with examples? Include links to your search results and the exact steps you followed when searching. Please also note any search filters you have enabled. Here's a link to our contact form: www.etsy.com/help/contact Thanks so much!"
Update 10/22/14: Etsy moderators have acknowledged the bug, see this Newsflash story.