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Mon Sept 3 2018 21:29:29

Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

By: Ina Steiner

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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..."

Eleven days later (August 30), an Etsy moderator responded to the thread:

"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."



Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 23:46:12 2018

"Somebody" did it but "Nobody" knows "Who". Maybe it was "Not Me" or the "Ghost".

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

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

Tue Sep 4 01:43:57 2018

Along with this same update, my convo email notifications were no longer being forwarded to my handler's in box.
So, I went to my other email handler looked at the email's source code only to find weird things in it that didn't belong. So, it spammed everything.
Who ever was allowed in to Etsy to do this under the guise of "update" was actually sabotaging a TON of functions.
I'd say Etsy was seriously disabled by this event.
A lawsuit by Etsy is in order. Sue the daylights out of the entity that did this.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 4 06:36:50 2018

Searching a data base of it's full contents is a basic command, nothing ever goes wrong, and the results are real

When you are constantly manipulating the data base with complex algorithm filters to alter the results this is what happens

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: 1st Armored Div. 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 4 08:38:48 2018

Basically what they are saying is one of the two is accurate, before or after update, we just don't know which.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Tue Sep 4 09:42:49 2018

My sales were OK for the sales event (still packing orders). I feel bad for sellers who removed keywords from their listings based on Etsy’s suggested “best practices” and lost business because it.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: Jerad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 4 13:14:50 2018

I used to code as a hobby. If you right click on an empty spot on any web page their is a drop menu. Select view source. A page will open for the code used on the page. Do this for Etsy. Then do it for Amazon. Amazon is short and sweet. They are using advanced coding for a monster database. Etsy looks more like what I would do. And Im no expert at coding.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: NDrosos This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 4 13:16:28 2018

At least they have openly stated they are looking in to the search issues. That's a step up from some of the other marketplaces these days.

I hope they follow through and resolve this, rather than this becoming the new norm!

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: extremetm This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 4 17:52:29 2018

Sounds like Etsy is using ebay's playbook. Won't be long before they too try to monetize everything leaving daily glitches and fails in their wake.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Sep 4 19:57:16 2018

""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."

Is Etsy using eBay executives to issue press releases? Why can't they just use regular English instead of these word salads? Why can't they just say something like: "We've made it a priority to identify and remedy this issue."  

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Sep 5 02:33:40 2018

Word salads are normal for businesses to use as they want to spin it the best they can when a problem arises to cause the least about of concern or upset.  It isn't specific to any given company.  Most do it.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Sep 5 09:34:08 2018

I think Etsy is playing with business killing algorithms.  They seem to be on the same path of destruction that eBay is.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

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

Wed Sep 5 15:24:30 2018

Ya, Despite my positive outlook, ZERO SALES in 7 days. Never happened before, after the summer season. Hope this isn't a harbinger of the "busy" season.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: traciking This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 6 01:35:37 2018

Never and I mean never allow Etsy to do maintenance on the site.  It never fails that whenever they try to fix something the whole site gets messed up and Etsy never seems to recognize they have a problem until they see how upset seller are and how valid their reasons are being upset.  Surely there is someone responsible for keeping the site running correctly.  Maybe it is time for Etsy to hire grownups who know what they are doing.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 6 02:00:44 2018

"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"

Translation: We don't know what is wrong, so we're offering this tragically hip bodge as a distraction.  

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 6 03:33:34 2018

What can you expect about a company which admits that anyone can deploy code on the live site? Presumably this includes the post room boys and the tea lady!

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Sep 6 08:54:59 2018

The problem isn't that anybody can deploy code.  Plenty of places I've worked have been super strict about that and still deployed untested garbage.  It's all about competence.  If you have lousy developers and moronic management , no amount of process is going to save you from yourself.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 6 09:36:45 2018

Besides the fact that the Etsy search function has been broken for YEARS, what comes through loud and clear is the utter contempt that the Etsy admins have for the sellers who are the real "customers" who are paying their obscene salaries and benefits.

Also, what kind of imbeciles schedule a MAJOR sales event anywhere near the time when they're going to do a MAJOR site maintenance??

As I read the innumerable comments about Etsy and Ebay's never ending screw-ups, I often wonder how anyone sells anything on these sites, they are that f*** up.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: xcelr This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 6 13:46:47 2018

Etsy is just following in ebay's footsteps, they can't see that ebay is sinking like a rock. They will all end up the same way. The best auction site I ever used and was the first for me, was "The Great Oklahoma Fleamarket" back in 90's, before ebay, It went the same way. Now most peeps have never even heard of it , let alone remember it.

Perminate Link for Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue   Etsy to Look into Grave and Mysterious Search Issue

by: Noneya This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 6 16:41:54 2018

typical Etsy, no response to sellers pointing out a problem, and when they do get around to acknowledging it, they have no idea what happened. Back in the early days, they constantly pointed out that Etsy's coding was a jenga tower of a hot mess and that updates would almost always result in 3 armed sweaters and site outages. I guess on CEO number 5 ? 6? they still haven't figured out that the entire site needs to be rebuilt from scratch and current sellers imported onto a new more stable platform, but since they can't seem to do anything in a back end (not live) manner, it's just forever eff ups. It's why most of us original sellers moved our shops to Shopify and Squarespace years ago.  



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