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See Etsy’s Latest Attempt to Improve Search

Etsy Product Manager for buyer experience Bowen Slate-Greene posted the following announcement on the Etsy Announcement board on November 22, 2016 about improvements to the search experience:

Today, we’re beginning to roll out an update that provides buyers with corrected results for some commonly misspelled search terms, and makes the “Did you mean?” link at the top of search pages more prominent.

One of the previous search experiments we let you know about demonstrated that it was possible to both increase the rate of buyer purchases and decrease the rate of buyers leaving the site after missing the items they were looking for because of a simple typo or misspelling. Based on the results of that test and with the increase in buyer traffic to the site we typically see during the holiday season, we’ve decided to start gradually rolling out an extension of that work.

What you’ll see 
For searches including select words we are confident are misspelled, we will begin providing results for the correctly spelled term. Buyers will have the option to return to results for their original uncorrected search term at the top of the page. For example, if a buyer searches for “Christams” we may display items matching “Christmas” but will provide an option to return to results for “Christams”.

In addition, we’ve made the “Did you mean?” link at the top of the search results page more prominent. This messaging appears when buyers misspell a search, or have been directed to a correctly spelled search. We think making the link more visible will better guide buyers to the results they are looking for.

At this time, corrected results are only available for a small selection of misspelled English language terms. Any resulting item views will appear in your shop stats under the correctly spelled keyword.

What this means for your shop 
This update should help connect buyers with the things they’re looking for more quickly and make them more likely to purchase on Etsy. This doesn’t affect our core search algorithm and will not affect your search placement.

We don’t recommend intentionally misspelling tags and title keywords. If you’re concerned about misspelled terms, search within your listings manager to quickly locate listings with misspelled keywords and make corrections.

If you’d like to read more about search best practices, here’s a great place to start.

We understand that your search placement is important for your business. We’re confident this will positively impact purchasing trends when it matters most without interfering with your regular workflow. We’ll be closely monitoring results.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on our work on search in the New Year.

SourceEtsy Announcement Board

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.