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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2460 - January 19, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 4

Etsy Removes Ability to Search Product Descriptions

By Ina Steiner
January 19, 2011

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Some Etsy users are concerned about unannounced changes Etsy made to search functionality and the effect those changes may have on the visibility of their items in search results. Etsy's search engine searches titles and tags only, but its Advanced Search feature had allowed shoppers to search the item description as well. Apparently Etsy removed the ability to search the item description at some point late last year.

When a shopper is searching for a pair of size 7 shoes in the vintage category, a seller's listings will display in search results only if they've included size 7 in either the title or the tags.

One seller explained in a discussion board thread about the issue that most vintage clothing and shoe listings have the size in the description, not the title. "You really should have TOLD sellers about this change so they could change their titles and tags to stuff them with all the words that should be searchable in the description."

In 2009, Etsy launched description-search across all categories, and wrote, "We believe that including the option to search item descriptions will improve buyers' chances of finding unique items that delight them."

Etsy did not respond to AuctionBytes' questions by press time, so it's unclear if the marketplace is planning on bringing back the description-search functionality.

It's also unclear what happened to the Advanced Search links on search pages.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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