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Etsy Relevancy SEO and Stats Invisible in a major category

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Original Post

I'm new to this team so have been reading and learning a lot! Thank you CindyLou for your incredible knowledge and ongoing research and for sharing so much.

I started showing and selling some jewelry with crochet and mixed materials over 3 and a half years ago, and it became almost half of my pieces (it varies) about 2 and a half years ago. I've currently got about 75 pieces that use crochet in my shop and I do tag them in the broadest variety of ways I can think of, but almost always use "crochet or crocheted" in title, tags, etc. And I'm grateful that I've sold quite a lot of these pieces (over 100)....but I started poking around in search today and I'm just not finding my pieces under different variants of "crochet jewelry, crocheted, crochet beaded, etc etc" -- it seems like my work has vanished-poof-and I cannot figure out what has changed? I used to turn up within the first 3 or 4 pages of many (not all) of the subcategories under crochet jewelry but now I'm just not anymore. So I was wondering why I haven't had any of these ordered in awhile--surely search--and then browsing--is part of my problem.

I would sure love some advice and ideas. I'm very concerned. Thanks in advance--I haven't asked for help like this before because I try to figure things out myself, but this problems feels like it's beyond my skills....

Karen

Posted at 12:29 am Sep 17, 2012 EDT

Responses

Hi Karen - you are welcome!

Right now there are at least 3 different versions of the relevancy search going on; you probably have the really screwy one that doesn't care about tags much. We have been discussing it here:
www.etsy.com/teams/10713/cindylouwho-team/discuss/10892675/

Also, the search does change periodically, & you will sometimes find yourself not relevant in searches you used to rank for. There are multiple reasons for that, & you can't control almost all of them.

If you want to be relevant for "crochet jewelry", make sure you have that phrase in the title, or at least have both words in the title & the phrase in your tags. Sometimes you can get on the first page of a search by having the phrase in your tags only, but you usually need to have a really niche search for that to work.

Posted at 2:23 am Sep 17, 2012 EDT

Thanks so much for that info, Cindy. A few days ago, I had noticed that I'd lost lots of relevance for my line of pearl necklaces, too, but since that category is so huge, I had thought I'd just try some tweeks when I had a minute. So now I see this could also be part of a larger problem like my crochet jewelry. Can you sort of summarize these 3 different "approaches" to search (for example, have you identified what seems "most" important in each?)

This whole random experimental thing just as we're all ramping up for the holiday season has me so darn nervous. I'm preparing to start listing holiday inventory and who's to say things will not be this scrambled right when the shopper influx hits?? So for a week or so now, my stats showed lower search views and higher views from categories and other things--why? because I freaked out and spent a couple of days just renewing things to try to shake it up somehow. I stopped that yesterday, and sure enough, my views are back in the tank again.

I even took the bait and finally signed up for that DC....which is, of course, worthless if one isn't being found or isn't selling. Thanks again for your input, Cindy--I see I need to do more work on the "word" angle of my shop.

Posted at 11:56 am Sep 17, 2012 EDT

on of the 3 versions of the search I saw the other day puts far less emphasis on tags. The other two were fairly normal looking to me, so I didn't put any effort into figuring out the difference between them. In general, it seems that recency is playing a bigger role in relevancy than it used to, but it isn't a huge swing.

Etsy always runs search tests. This set is getting a bit more attention than usual because it is so anomalous, but it not an unusual occurrence. Most of the time when we see major changes to the search like this, they do not adopt the test.

Posted at 1:01 pm Sep 17, 2012 EDT

So to give the feedback that sort of stops or kills a bad test, including a search test like this, does it help to put my observations about my drops in relevancy or showing up in search (where I had been since the "big changes" back whenever) into the "bugs" forum? I don't know if they test huge numbers of shoppers, etc. but I'm taking such a hit right now that it sure feels like a bug to me :-/

Posted at 5:12 pm Sep 17, 2012 EDT

Etsy is going to evaluate the test on how it performs across the site. It is guaranteed that when they change something here, some people will win & some will lose, & if there is a bigger gain overall they are generally going to keep it, even if some lose. Relevancy as the default is the classic example of that - it hurt many shops, for various reasons, but it also helped a ton, & overall the sales were up. So feedback from sellers is not as important as the actual test results - are there more sales, more hearts?

There is already a Bugs thread here:
www.etsy.com/teams/7720/bugs/discuss/10918460

Posted at 5:23 pm Sep 17, 2012 EDT

Yes, I see where you make a lot of sense analyzing what's up and sort of where the tests are coming from, so I seem to have "lost" over a week here--at what point do I start to change from "complex" tags to single words? From descriptive titles to 2 or 3 words primarily? At what point do we see that there are not great prospects to be found here anymore? I sort of feel like I dropped out of sight after things were going OK--not great, but OK....and now I'm not sure what to do next to keep this shop going....I've adapted to their major changes for years now....but being invisible after a stint of being visible is hard to swallow, and such a total loss of any control of my stuff here....it's really just very hard and I totally understand all the other posts I've seen all over the forums like this....sorry to freak out here--I'll get myself together again a different way I hope! Thanks for helping me get some insight into what's going on, Cindy----

Posted at 12:32 am Sep 18, 2012 EDT

I would not change more than a few listings (actually, I personally would not change anything other than to test things) until we know that most people have this test. I am not even sure that it is single words tags that work, rather than they just don't give tags of any size any weight in that test. If it is just that tags don't help for ranking, we should probably be changing them to capture rare searches, not changing them to single words.

Posted at 12:50 am Sep 18, 2012 EDT

OK, thank you Cindy. I'll settle down and go find something else to do for a few days (like photograph some new work, etc.) and hope that maybe next weekend, I'll see something different here. I appreciate your notes and observations (and steady hand!) Thanks!!

Posted at 1:42 am Sep 18, 2012 EDT

if you get fidgety, you could try the single word thing on one listing. Just if you have time on your hands :)

(I do sympathize, so I am sorry if I am seeming cold about this. Right now some people are reporting the searches changing more than once a day, so trying to figure out anything seems like a tall task. I am just not up for it myself)

Posted at 2:23 am Sep 18, 2012 EDT

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