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Shop not being correctly indexed by Etsy search

I'm trying to keep a calm approach to this, but it is hard, considering how much thought and labor go into maintaining an Etsy shop.

I sell books and papers. My sales on Etsy have dropped off so dramatically as to be alarming - it was dry as the Sahara sales-wise .. I've had a few sales just lately in the past few days, but it is a wonder that these customers found me ... . for the following reason : my shop is not being properly indexed by Etsy search.

I just did a search on Etsy under VINTAGE > BOOKS for the following term 'BOOK'. I thought, okay if there is the one word that connects most of my listings, and the one word that shows up most frequently, it is BOOK.

The search returned 250 pages, and, believe it or not, I scrolled through all 250 pages. Result: I found that only two of my listings were returned - one (a pamphlet oddly enough) on page 41 and a book on page 90. That's it. So now I know why my shop is having so little traffic and such low sales.

I now have 180 items in the shop, the great majority of which are books (I also have prints, magazines, and old paper) Statistically - and realistically considering the number of items listed - my items should have been scattered throughout that search return. I repeat: only two items were returned in 250 pages of a search using a common key and tag word used in my shop : BOOK (used in titles and tags)

Etsy staff? Please, what is going on? What can we do to correct this?

86 Responses

I haven't looked at your shop, but if you aren't using two to three word phrases in your title, description and tags that match and that accurately describe each item, you won't be seen. Just tagging with "book" won't do it; type of book, title of book, style or covering of book, (cloth, leather, paper, etc.) will help to specify and narrow down searches. Think like a buyer....whatever a buyer would type to find a particular item is how it should be tagged and titled. I'd never search for just "book."
If you had looked at my shop you couldn't have posted as you did. My titles and write-ups and tags are extremely key word and key phrase rich.
Josiah...think like a customer. Just like Denise said you would not just put in "book". I looked at your shop and then searched this:

www.etsy.com/listing/81454816/uncle-toms-cabin-harriet-beecher-stowes

by searching...book uncle toms cabin....you came right up on the first page.

so moral of the story....think like one of your customers...what are they looking for that you have:)
Have you tried adding the phrase "vintage book" to both your titles and tags (not including the subcategories you've selected for those items in the tags)

Try doing it for a couple, and check back in an hour or two, you might find they become more relevant under the search "vintage book"

it's worth a try!
I am talking about the search program - which is not thinking like a customer, but merely fetching "key words" from a search. I entered book, and the system should have returned it for each item using that word. To the search program 'book' is no different from "Hemingway", It is a merely term to be returned..The word book is used a lot in my shop and the search should return it, for as many items that use it. I am not questioning that a search for a specific title will come up. Which in fact is not always the case, as i did a search under vintage > Book for "Wilfred Owen", since I saw another seller with that title, and the book was not returned. Searched under all items and the author was returned.
you will not come up in general book searches unless you use the word book and you won't come up in general vintage book searches without using vintage book in your titles and tags...i sell vintage books in my other shop and although some people do not search by title of the book--they are much more general than that....to start off with--your titles are spot on for specific searches. you might add vintage book to your titles and tags at least on some listings--i know, the general category is that but adding it to titles and tags works for me...

if someone is searching for a specific book yours should come right up....but don't expect your very specific listings to come up well in a vague general search....and actually, which would you prefer?
Can I mention ..most of your titles for books, don't even have book in the title. That is a very big problem. Your tags and titles need to be matchy/matchy. It is not that the Etsy search is not indexing you right, it is that the Etsy search is indexing you based on the information you gave it ..which is incomplete. Titles need to include the most broad 2 word phrase that explains what it is "vintage book" ..together and probably at the beginning, which is what works best for me.
Great looking shop
yes, just a generic term like 'book'...is so broad...broad enough to bring up 250 pages of books. Man , that's a lot of books.
And, some people might just browse that way. But I doubt it.

Probably most would narrow it down to the type of book
Some people would type in the genre....drama, fiction, non fiction
Some might type in Books with Pictures.
and, others may even search books by colors.

That is a killer of a category you're in there OP....lots of competition.
And note..., I DO get what you are saying in your post.
Since that is ALL you sell, one certainly would think you would show up way more than 2 times in 250 pages. I mean, even by accident.

like to hear some replies on this.

very strange.
.ρεLican `(¯
Yes yes I use vintage book, I even use the much despised phrase 'antique book', even though it is considered a faux pas in the book world (Because I realize people use it for a search) .

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