* Search sorted by relevancy is now the default search experience on Etsy. In addition, we have updated our policy on labeling and tagging. This article is still valid, but we recommend reading about the changes here.
Hi there, I’m Natalie. I recently joined Etsy’s product team. In addition to being a baker, crafter and marathoner, I’m working on product marketing and communications, which means I’ll be talking to you about the changes and improvements we’re making to the site, and how you can use them. Today’s topic: ”sort by relevancy” and Etsy’s search.
Some Etsy buyers love the thrill of the hunt — scrolling through dozens of pages, collections, treasuries, and activity feeds, exploring a wide range of items to find just what they were looking for. Others come to Etsy with a very specific item in mind: a yellow sweater, an antique teapot, or a 15-inch laptop sleeve. For those with a specific item in mind, the search box is the first stop.
As a result, improving the quality of our search — and figuring out how to connect buyers with sellers faster — has been one of the most important challenges we’ve faced at Etsy. However, it’s important to mention that since we’ve added “sort by relevancy” as a search option, we’ve seen an overall increase in listing views from search. As such, we have focused our efforts on search sorted by relevancy in particular. In the past several days we have rolled out some changes to search. We realize that it’s been a while since we talked about optimizing your listings for search sorted by relevancy, so we hope that by letting you in on how things work under the hood you’ll understand some of the mystery of why and how items show up in search results. We’ll also share some tips on item listing so your items don’t end up at the bottom of the barrel.
Titles: As titles are the most direct way for sellers to explain what they have to offer, we have given them more weight in our search results. This means that, as a first order of business when listing an item, you should make sure you have accurate and descriptive titles for all of the items you list. Additionally, we look at words at the beginning of your title first (just like your buyers do!) and pay less attention to words toward the end of the title. In practice, you should make sure the first words of your title explain what your item is. For example, your item will be displayed higher in the search results when someone searches for “dress” if you list your item as “Silk Children’s Dress” rather than “Homemade Handpainted Children’s Silk Pink Yellow Dress.” That doesn’t mean it won’t show up at all, but you will see better results if you put the important characteristics of your item at the beginning of your title.
Recency: Even when viewing search results sorted by relevancy, recency of the item matters, especially when searches are broad and return a lot of results. When a broad search (like “dress”) returns over 100,000 results, we give some priority to the most recently posted items.
Tags: Tags (or “keywords”) have always been an important factor in having your items found in search results, as they are your way of providing a short and explicit description of your item. We have also added an additional search feature that gives exact word pairs more weight. When your search includes two or more words, we prioritize results that have those exact words next to each other. For example, if I search for “pink unicorn,” results that contain “pink unicorn” in the title or tags will appear higher than those who title an item “Pink Flowers and Unicorn.”
Want further insights into how to describe your items and which keywords to use in your titles and tags? Keep an eye on your Shop Stats to see how your shop and Etsy items are being found. You’ve been asking for the better search on Etsy, and we’re right there with you! As we work hard to improve search, you can help by following the steps above to list your items so they can be found. We plan to move search by relevancy to the default search setting once we feel this is the strongest site experience. Since search by relevancy is an evolving feature, we want to keep you informed about our changes, and we appreciate your patience and help in making Etsy search the very best it can be.
To learn more about search at Etsy, tune in for our webcast in the Online Labs on Monday, August 1 at 12:30 p.m. EST.