With over 10 Million unique items listed on Etsy, searching is the fastest way to find what you are looking for. Right now, we recognize that search can be frustrating, and that sometimes your first search doesn’t always lead you to what you want, or expect. That’s why improving search quality, and evolving the ways you can search, is a huge priority for Etsy. We are specifically focused on search sorted by relevancy, which we feel will be the strongest site experience and will help buyers and sellers alike.
Some of you may have noticed that there have been some improvements on search sorted by relevancy in the past couple months, and we want to share them with you. Additionally, we hope that letting you know how things work under the hood will help you list your items so they can be found and purchased!
Here are some of the recent changes that we’ve made to search sorted by relevancy:
• Item titles are given more weight. Tags are important but your item title is even more critical. As titles are the most direct way for sellers to explain what they have, we have given them more weight in our search results. This means as a first order of business, you should make sure you have complete and descriptive titles for all the items you list.
• Words that appear at the beginning of your title are given more weight. Translation: make sure to list the most important things about your item at the beginning of the title. 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 hand painted children’s silk pink, blue and yellow dress.” That doesn’t mean it won’t show up at all, but you will see better results if you put the most important characteristics of your item at the beginning of your title.
• Exact word pairs are given more weight. When your search includes 2 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 tag will appear higher than “pink ponies playing with a unicorn.”
• Recency factors into search sorted by relevancy. When a broad search (like “dress”) returns a huge number of results, we give some priority to most recently listed items.
• Diversity is important! Our marketplace is made vibrant by the wide range of products, sellers and styles. In a search sorted by relevancy, we divide up multiple items from the same shop, and prevent your search results from being dominated by one shop.
We are excited about these changes, and believe that they will improve search sorted by relevancy, and make the results of your searches more, well...relevant!! For sellers, we hope improvements listed above will help you understand how to list your items for placement in relevancy searches.
As we’ve mentioned before, search is not a solved problem for Etsy or anyone else. We will continue experimenting with other improvements and will keep you updated as they roll out. As we continue to develop search sorted by relevancy, our goal is to make this the default site experience. We believe search sorted by relevancy will connect buyers to sellers faster than any other experience on the site. But keep in mind, great search depends on you too! As we continue to improve the search experience, we need sellers to do their part by being as accurate and descriptive in titling and tagging their items, so buyers can find your goods.
We are also planning a web-cast on Monday at 12:30pm in the Etsy online labs (www.etsy.com/community/online-labs). So tune in and meet some of the Etsy Admins working on search!
Comments or questions? Please post them in this thread.
Frank & The Search Team