Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Nov 4 2015 12:39:40

Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy is changing its search algorithm by adding new factors that will affect the ranking of listings that come back in search results. It's always touchy when a marketplace like Etsy or eBay or a search engine like Google make changes, and such changes can have an enormous impact on a merchant's visibility and sales.

Etsy Senior Product Manager for Search Jaime DeLanghe announced the changes on the Etsy announcement board on Wednesday. Here's an excerpt:

"We're making some adjustments to search that better reflect our goals by taking into account customer and marketplace experience. Buying products online can feel anonymous and impersonal. By telling the story behind your shop and being clear about your processes and Policies, you help build a genuine human connection - and trust - with your buyers. That, in turn, helps create rewarding buyer experiences. 

"With that in mind, we will now include customer experience as a factor in search placement, in addition to whether a shop is in good standing based on Etsy's policies. Now, positive reviews, completed About pages and completed shop Policies can help your placement in search. On the other hand, recent cases and intellectual property-infringement issues can result in lower placement. New shops without reviews can improve their ranking by filling out their About page and Policies."

We had an opportunity to ask Jaime about the changes - we were particularly interested in the fact Etsy would be adding recency and reviews.

Clarification: Recency has always been a factor in Etsy's search algorithm (it's now being more open about what all those factors are); the new factors now being considered are the customer experience ones, which includes positive reviews. 

Shops with few or no positive reviews could be worried about being pushed down in search results - therefore making it more difficult to get sales, a chicken and egg dilemma.

Jaime said, "if you don't have any reviews, it's not going to do anything to affect your score."

"You can do a lot of other things as a new shop to help improve your score in search," including adding an About page, have policies, and optimize titles and tags. And, she said, "then once you do start getting reviews, then we'll start to count the reviews as one of the many factors in the search ranking algorithm."

Etsy's search algorithm will also review how recently an item was listed or relisted. (Please note: As we clarified above, this is not a new factor in the search algorithm.)

So might some sellers think Etsy is encouraging sellers to spend more money to relist their items in order to rank higher in search?

"That's not the behavior that we would like to encourage," Jaime said. "We use recency to make sure that the results stay fresh. People don't want to see the same thing all the time. We have people listing new things all the time, and we want to make sure that we're continuing to show how the marketplace is changing over time."

She also said the recency factor is just one of many factors, and recommended new shops fill out their About page and policies. And, she said, "the relevance of your titles and tags is still an important factor in search, as it's always been."

Jaime said Etsy is trying to design a system that rewards great behavior, and welcomes the opportunity to be more open about the changes Etsy makes to improve search.

Look for more details in Etsy's announcement and new guide to search, as well as in Thursday's Newsflash (available now); in the meantime, let us know what you think.




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This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Wed Nov 4 13:31:49 2015

Just rename Etsy, Etsbay. Why can't these places leave stuff alone. Rediculous!

Perminate Link for Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm   Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Nov 4 14:52:27 2015

Search manipulation, pure and simple.

To Beanie's point, yes, it's eBay's mini me.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 16:15:28 2015

It's Quite sad, that these venues take this approach.

''survival of the fittest''

Promote a few sellers, and drive all the rest out of business, until you have a site with less and less diversity, and eventually less and less sales for etsy,

As mentioned just look at what manipulating has done for ebay 5 years later.

etsy will need to now start major manipulating to stay in business, just like ebay,

Too bad we were really enjoying selling on etsy, but as with ebay, we will not deal with an evil bastard company, we learned not to put all the eggs in one basket, so etsy can go to hell just like ebay, it really won't affect our bottom line one bit

 

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by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 18:54:01 2015

I was working on setting up shop on Etsy but I am going to bypass all of them and do my own site. I am tired of the manipulation by these sites.  

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 19:33:26 2015

From what Ina has written, Etsy has really opened up and begged to have search manipulated especially in the ''reviews'' area.

Today, none of these damn sites will just present you with just what they have in their database solely based on the keywords you inputted looking for the item you want.

They all skew the search results. I wish all to fail, and perhaps some actual ethical people and companies might hopefully replace them.

Just ranting!!!!
 

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by: Writings on the Wall This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 00:11:59 2015

Too many of Etsy's ill-conceived ideas end up with negative unforseen consequences. Then they scramble to try to put a "fix" on it. Coders run amok ....and the stock price tanks....(sigh).

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ihatethebay

Thu Nov 5 00:31:13 2015

Ahhh, the good old days, before Etsy tried to emulate Evilbay.....

The first poster had it right when they dubbed Etsy as "Etsbay".

Shame. Damned shame.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm   Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 00:36:42 2015

Just when things start working again with a 100 % + FB and better sales, and about page, etc, etc now they mess with things AGAIN! That would explain the reduced sales again. I comply and have with everything they are mentioning and my sales are affected. I don't believe this as mine should not be affected at all and yet it is now again. I think it's just another experiment; and right before the holidays on top of it all. Why can't they just leave things alone! I don't believe them...

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by: marcello This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 00:38:13 2015

You failed to mention how Etsy completely screwed up the whole review system with their last idiotic revamp.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:03:53 2015

How completely stupid can these places get just copying each others bad ideas lol

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by: flybuy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:12:48 2015

I wonder how the algorithm will affect the Chinese sellers of "hand made" and "vintage" items.  

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by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:23:17 2015

Yes, the list is so long and growing. It really does remind me of eBay as I have been there for years and years. I wonder who the top ten were; I'm pretty sure I already know.

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by: madgeshatbox This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Nov 5 01:33:25 2015

Why do they always implement changes at the holiday shopping season.

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by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:38:49 2015

They are making changes all the time constantly so I don't believe this time period is any different or has any significance. They just seem to like to keep people upset because it affects sellers sales/visibility regularly... I can't figure out any other reason for it, and I don't waste to much time trying to figure it out anymore. The way I see it is; if something works why change it...apparently that doesn't apply at etsy.

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

Thu Nov 5 01:43:38 2015

Sales are dismal.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:54:11 2015

Nothing new here - vintage is STILL the redheaded stepchild on Etsy. :-(

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by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 02:29:03 2015

Well, with their stock closing at under $10.00, and me personally hoping that it tanks even more, ...

... because the board MIGHT LISTEN THEN.

Since MY views and sales have been in the crapper all year, I can only hope that their latest, "I'm your wicked Uncle Ernie. I'm glad you can't see or hear me, as I fiddle about, fiddle about, fiddle about", BS maneuver, works in favor for my listings.

I don't know about everybody else, but I'm sick of these incompetent dweebs getting free food, bring their dogs to work, being told that it's OK to fail, as they attempt to sing their kumbayah, BS to Wall Street, now.

:) AND, Thanksgiving is approaching, which seems to be my let's whip out a letter to the board.

This years theme is going to be categories, the site's kangaroo search BS, and the 'beyond abysmal' drop down choices for trying to put together a coherent listing.

Call me silly, but when I was originally in school, when America still valued "OLD SCHOOL VALUES", of actually producing quality PRIOR to being paid, and when I first went to work, ...

I resent the %$(*&^ out of knowing that the dweebs get perks for producing SLOP.

Perminate Link for Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm   Etsy Adds Seller Performance Factors to Search Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 5 02:37:18 2015

When we all pay the same fees, we should be receiving the same service.  It really is simple.  I pay for a service that they are not manipulating in a way that "they" think is more beneficial.  So if you are going to show someone's listing less, shouldn't their fees be less since they are NOT receiving the same service from the VENUE!

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by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 04:28:52 2015

I agree broadly with the poster above. Members who pay the same fees should get the same service. But when did Etsy ever do that? For the most pathetic reasons members can be ''muted''. This means not only that they cannot post in community forums but are also banned from posting on the Etsy blog or even reporting ''bugs'' in the public thread. If Etsy was a European company they would have broken a dozen laws under which they could be sued by any individual. But in the USA you need BIG BUCKS and political clout to bring these corrupt organizations to heel.

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by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 06:29:33 2015

''Buying products online can feel anonymous and impersonal. By telling the story behind your shop and being clear about your processes and Policies, you help build a genuine human connection - and trust - with your buyers. That, in turn, helps create rewarding buyer experiences.''

So Etsy is now getting into the feelings business? This is a typical gobbledygook nonsense from the bureaucrats to justify their existence at Etsy. Etsy gave a negative outlook for this Christmas season while most of the other players gave an upbeat outlook. As somebody mentioned, the stock dropped 10% yesterday and is ca 60% below their IPO price. That says it all. With this social engineering approach they will be out of business. Perhaps some company will save them and buy them out.

And this statement says it all:
And, she said, ''the relevance of your titles and tags is still an important factor in search, as it's always been.''
AN ....an? important factor
STILL.. still? a factor

When I am looking for something to buy I am not interested in feelings but the keywords so I can find what I need. This is pathetic

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