Etsy sellers identified a dramatic change in search; the company thanked sellers and agreed to look into the matter, in a rather unusual statement.
As is often the case, the issue came to light when a seller started a post on the company's discussion board on August 19th. A seller said a broad search term that he has checked nearly every day for the past 3-plus years suddenly went from its current 1.6 million results found to about 950,000, and hours later down to about 250,000 listings.
He said the change occurred after Etsy's scheduled maintenance on August 19th.
Later, the seller began a thread recapping the discussion he had generated earlier in the day in the "Bugs" section of Etsy to ensure it got attention as a possible glitch that he referred to as a massive change in search results, with a cached Google search that provided evidence of the change.
"Search "Art Paper"... Only that. It said yesterday 1.6 million. This morning 950k until late this afternoon and now 250k. I checked my location and filters and don't see anything changed..."
"This is one of those issues shrouded in mystery and replete with variations and is technologically subjective, so it's quite hard to get a firm grasp. However we do recognize the gravity of the situation and have been looking into it. We are escalating to some teams with the sum of yours and our findings and we'll see where it goes. Thanks for the reports. We honestly do appreciate it."
We sent an inquiry to Etsy on Friday morning to see if they had anything else to add to the statement.
A reader also sent us a link to a discussion thread
where sellers were trying to figure out why items they put on sale in order to be eligible for the Labor Day sale going on this weekend weren't appearing in the sales section.
A seller pointed out that the listings showing up on the sale pages had crucial keywords included in the title, such as Supply, Jewelry, Gift, and surmised that listings missing those keywords in the listing title were omitted.
"My search is no means exhaustive. But it does appear that that the word supply, gift, home, etc. that is part of the search string and appears in the titles seems to be the key to displaying or not in some of the areas. Not all groupings so it is possible your beads appear elsewhere in the sale."
Another seller replied, "this is probably part of the bug (or whatever it is) going on where category headings & attributes are not searchable."
"It's really too bad Etsy didn't get on this earlier when we first reported it, because now tons of sellers are invisible in this sale, which only runs for a few days."