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Mon Aug 8 2022 22:13:56

Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy has boasted in the past about the amount of testing it conducts, and a new blog post on Monday confirmed the company is still running frequent tests live on the Etsy site, with visitors acting as live guinea pigs, so to speak.

The thought of all that experimentation may leave sellers cringing. Not only can tests run awry and result in glitches, marketplace sellers in general are averse to change.

Four engineers published the post on Etsy's Code as Craft blog for developers, writing they are "constantly working to make improvements to the experience of our buyers and sellers" - in order to "assess whether it produces an improvement over the current user experience, as measured by key indicators."

The techies used an example of how they measure the impact of new algorithms to build search results - the order in which listings appear - to explain a new way of running its tests.

Sellers vie for placement in search results so they invest time in optimizing their listings. They may be surprised to hear about the pace of change and wonder how frequent tweaks impact the placement of their listings.

Until 2019, Etsy communicated with sellers about some of its "experiments," but no more. It would be extremely helpful to sellers to know what factors have become most important in getting higher placement in search.

When you see unannounced changes on Etsy and elsewhere, let us know - it may be a sign of changes to come.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm   Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Aug 9 09:01:21 2022

It's working fine, whatever they're using   :o)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 9 10:35:10 2022

My sales have been quite good but what I know is that we are all just an algorithm tweak away from being put out of business.   One tweak can ruin you.  

And this is the case with any site that you sell on except perhaps your own, but then Google can control your destiny.

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by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 9 11:37:17 2022

I don't understand why venues like Etsy avoid using ''best match'' algorithms, while catalog sites always use them?  There's a difference, it seems, between businesses that want to sell ANYTHING THAT'S LISTED, and sites that want shoppers to find only certain items.

Perminate Link for Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm   Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Aug 9 13:03:39 2022

To Etsy Tech:
In reference to the search algorithm :
DON'T TOUCH IT.

Perminate Link for Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm   Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 10 03:40:03 2022

“… in order to "assess whether it produces an improvement over the current user experience, as measured by key indicators."”

That would be the flashing yellow light then. Sounds good, but gotcha.  

Not testing for technical competence, which explains a great deal.  Testing rather for psychological adherence measured by unrevealed ‘indicators’.  Ratchet points on a scale of supply and demand manipulation.  

It’s the difference between trying to machine a marketplace, and actually adapting to it, as those who would machine it would instead hypocritically spew adaptation as ‘advice’ for any who questioned their deliberate interference in the name of “continual improvement”.

They seek the line of your tolerance to their take.  It will never be finished.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Aug 10 20:30:20 2022

It takes $4,000 a month to live.
I am NOT achieving that on Etsy.
Celebration cannot begin until I hit that.
Only Etsy can make it happen if it wants to.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 11 00:27:27 2022

I hear that some Etsy sellers DO sell $4,000 per month. Based on some screenshots I've seen over the years, there seem to be more than a few Etsy sellers who sell $4,000 per WEEK. But it is what it is.

If you need $4,000 per month, then get out there and hustle! Etsy should be one part of your business, not your entire livelihood (unless you get to the point of selling $4,000 per week on Etsy!). Sell on other marketplaces. Sell at craft fairs, vintage markets, antique shows, or whatever is relevant to what you sell. Have as many yard sales as your city allows (to get rid of older stock if not the current stuff).  

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by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 11 03:13:39 2022

...But it’s not just about “Search”....

Etsy has been doing a much better job at populating my homepage with items they believe I want. I am now purchasing more products from my homepage, than I do when searching for them.

Also, for every time I list new pieces, my activity gets better and better as Etsy sends my new pieces out to more buyers.

Some artisan jewelers I follow are making $6k-9k monthly with prices around $300. The key is to constantly add new listings so that Etsy can match your products with prospective buyers.  

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by: Vintagecat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 11 04:53:23 2022

Whatever they are doing I hate it. I vastly prefer the ''best match'' model. I don't want algorithms thinking for me when I conduct a site search. Often enough I give up on Etsy's BS filters in the interest of time and go to Google, Amazon or eBay to search for items which of course takes me away from Etsy sellers and their goods. There is probably an exact match for my search on Etsy but it's likely buried on page 15 or 23. Meanwhile I've waded through page after page of what I didn't ask for even when I'm extremely specific with my search terms.

It's no wonder to me that the sellers forums are filled with folks talking about poor sales. Etsy in this regard values their cursed live tinkering and algorithm woo over the welfare of its many sellers. When Esty stops working for me and it's getting close, I'm pulling the plug as both a seller and buyer. They've already discouraged my Etsy buying with their terrible search platform. If I can't find it, I won't be buying it.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: epuise

Thu Aug 11 09:34:08 2022

Until first week of July, I was outselling eBay, and, larger Orders, on Etsy.
Now, Etsy sales have disappeared are those that happen below the low dollar threshold I have on eBay.
Etsy did "something".
I suspect it's to force me into "paid" playing, which I have resisted.
Thankfully, my sales are so low, I'm not "Automatically" forced in.

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This user has validated their user name. by: epuise

Thu Aug 11 09:38:52 2022

@Sierra
What do you suggest us 'old people' who can't afford to retire, have suffered loss due to Covid Shutdown, who are making LESS than 2, 3, 5, 10 years ago...
but are to old, broken down, w/ conditions...
that keeps us from loading a car, getting up at 3am, standing in heat at a Flea Mkt, load at 5:30pm, come home, unload, and net $5-$10 an hour... DO...
when we can't do above w/o getting ill mid-day...
Or, are so sick after that, we can't WORK for 2 days after, which negates WORKING the full 7 days we MUST work ?
Easier done when I was 20, 30, 40, 50 years old.
I'm over 60, a widow... selling online USED to be a Godsend.
Don't get old.
--------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
Quote:
If you need $4,000 per month, then get out there and hustle! Etsy should be one part of your business, not your entire livelihood (unless you get to the point of selling $4,000 per week on Etsy!). Sell on other marketplaces. Sell at craft fairs, vintage markets, antique shows, or whatever is relevant to what you sell. Have as many yard sales as your city allows (to get rid of older stock if not the current stuff).  

Perminate Link for Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm   Etsy Is Still Running Tests of Its Search Algorithm

by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 11 09:45:18 2022

If you can't find items that match your search terms on Etsy, then maybe try a different time of day.  There are different algorithms in effect at lunchtime (early afternoon), in the evening/night, on weekends, and for holidays.  

When I am searching for counterfeit bags and accessories on weekday mornings, the search results are crowded with craft supplies and cheapie Chinese import reseller jewelry -- and there is nothing like that in my search terms.  It gets a little better at lunchtime, and is most accurate after 7PM ET.

This is NOT a test.  It's an ongoing effort to attract the $$$ of young women ages 14 to 29, Etsy's target shopper demographic.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 11 20:46:53 2022

as a buyer - I hate it - can't find anything I search for and google keeps pointing me to sold items - it's ridiculous

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Aug 12 09:21:25 2022

@Sierra
I'm sure your heart is in the right place....
In my younger years I did commercial autobody work, built stone walls and was caretaker to a HUGE estate. Did a LOT of HEAVY dead lifting.
I began my foray into making my own unique invention for everyone to enjoy, right about the time I was freezing up. Well, I can barely move now.
I get the Must Do stuff done, then I'm tuckered.
I won't stop making my product, and I need $4,000 a month.
PAY ATTENTION HERE :
I'm warning Everyone in here that Exercise WILL KILL YOU.
Take a good look at Billy Jean King, Arnold Schwarzenegger, most of the retired wrestlers, if they're still alive, and everyone else over 50 who Used to Exercise.
I just want to relax and sell my stuff with very little energy.
Until corporate put its stank all over the Etsy / Ebay venues, life was good.
I need $4,000 a month to feed the Greedy Bastards in my state / town.





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