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Search Ads on Etsy

This post is also posted in the Etsy News blog here: The text is below.

We invite you to read and add your comments and questions below!

Several weeks back we launched, and we let you know that we were working on a new way for sellers to promote their listings. This caused a lot of excitement and speculation from shop owners, and after many weeks of hard work and testing, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Search Ads on Etsy!

As our marketplace now has over 10 million items, promoting items is getting harder and harder. With the launch of search relevancy, we have seen a wider variety of shops and items getting shoppers’ attention. But we have also heard from many shop owners asking for new ways to promote themselves. Now with Search Ads, sellers will be able to pay to appear in a highlighted section of search results pages when shoppers preform relevant searches.

Search Ads on Etsy appear based on the search terms (or keywords) that a member types in the search box. When a seller signs up to promote their items with Search Ads, our algorithm suggests keywords based on their tags and titles. Sellers then have the chance to decide on a weekly budget for their ads. It’s that simple, and you can get started for as little as five dollars a week. And best of all, once your Ads start running you can check out up to the hour stats on how they are doing in a new Search Ads module of the Shop Stats page.

Starting today, any seller can sign up to be among the first Search Ads displayed. Search Ads will appear in a highlighted section of search results pages starting next Tuesday September 27th. There is no preferential treatment for people who sign up faster: everyone who signs up before next Wednesday’s launch will have ads displayed on that date. And unlike Showcase, keywords do not sell out.

To help you understand Search Ads, we’ve created a nifty little tutorial including some videos that show you just how to get set up. So without further ado we invite you to check it out.

16 Highlighted Responses

collageOrama says

Okay, here are my issues. Say I only want to promote three different items in my shop... One is a cat, one is a dog, and one is a fox. It appears right now I can't do all three at the same time and still specify keywords like 'Cat.' Or am I wrong in that? Is it smart enough to know that when I'm promoting a whole gaggle of things that it will only use keywords from that particular item, because the way it's laid out it appears now a fox will be shown in rotation with a 'cat' search.


Our system is smart enough to understand which keywords go with which items, so that you don't have to organize similar items together when promoting them with Search Ads.
Hi friends, I'm working through this thread as quickly as possible to cover as many of your questions as I can. A couple of quick points as I keep reading:

1) We only charge for impressions served. If you set up an ad campaign for a week for $5 and we serve out $4.50 of impressions, we will charge you $4.50.

2) We have an algorithm in place to allow all of the ads purchased for a given keyword to be displayed. You can read a little more about how you can tell if your Search Ads are working here:
You can see what the row of Search Ads will look like in our blog post about the release, here:

This will replace the Recently Listed row you see now when you search. Categories showcases will remain atop individual Categories when you browse those.
rainbeauxart says

I have a question for Admin:

If I decide to advertise a whole shop or a category, and I place an ad, but then later add items to that category...can I then change the ad to advertise those new items in with the category?

Also, if I have new keywords I would like to use, can I change those after placing the ad? So long as they appear in my tags, I mean...

And when exactly can those changes be made? How soon after placing an order for an ad?

Thank you!


This FAQ should cover most of your questions:

You can make the changes at any time; items you add will be automatically included in your search ad campaign if they're in the section you chose, or if you're promoting your whole shop. Keywords may be added based on those items, if appropriate, but you'll be able to see those in your campaign's list of keywords along with all the rest.

Any changes you make by 10 a.m. GMT will take effect at the beginning of the next "day" of the campaign, which will begin at 12 p.m. GMT.
AgelessThings sagt

How do we know where, on search, our ads are appearing and when? Will my ad show up on page 79 at 3:00 AM? Yes, I know people are searching at that time, but it is when my shop has some of the least views.


Once your ads start running, you will be able to track exactly how many impressions you had (how many times your ads were displayed), how many times visitors clicked on these ads, and how many of these clicks turned into sales. Stats will also be broken down by keyword and by item. So you will have very thorough information about how well your ads are doing!

You can find more information about the stats tool here:
gingerakesler2 says

"KEYWORDS MAY BE ADDED"....I'm not seeing this option anywhere...if this is so, please show me how and where??


When you disable keywords in your Search Ads campaign, you will be able to add them back. When/if you add additional items to your section or shop, keywords will be added to your campaign as they were when you added items to it initially.
OhFaro says

I have not read all posts on this thread, so please excuse if this has been asked.

Some of my top keyword *phrases ARE on the etsy keyword list, but some phrases are not, however, those words are listed separately, just not as phrases.

If someone searches with three words not listed as a phrase on etsy's list, how will that be used?

Will those three separate words (used as a search) still bring up my items if those three words are separately listed on my ad campaign?

And if so, will I be charged for all three words per/1K impressions - separately?

I hope that makes sense.


Let me offer up this hypothetical example as a way to answer your question.

You have purchased search ads for keywords "bright," "green" and "avocado." Someone searches for "bright green avocado." You may have an ad that turns up for any of the three keywords, but it will be just one ad, and as a result it will count as just one impression for whichever keyword the algorithm used to bring up your ad.

Several of you have asked about why there are spending suggestions and limits on how much you can spend on Search Ads.

In order to make it easier for you, Etsy automatically suggests weekly budgets based on your history on Etsy. If you want to spend more or less, we welcome you to enter the price you would like to invest for the week in the box.

We currently have a limit on the amount of money you can spend per week based on your past credit and bill paying on Etsy. If you have questions about this please contact Support so that someone can assist you on an individual basis.

Thank you,

4lilcupcakes says

can you stop running your adds at any time? lets say you are not making any sales, and you want to stop the add after one week, can you do that?


Certainly; you'll have the option to set your ads and budget to auto-renew or not after a week's time. Should you decide midweek that you no longer want to promote one specific item or all of your items, if you make those changes by 10 a.m. GMT and they'll take effect at 12 p.m. GMT, the beginning of the next day's cycle.

To answer your questions about keywords; we determine keywords automatically through several techniques. First, we look at the tags, titles, and descriptions you have entered in your item listings. Then we match those with the most popular searches on Etsy.

At this time, you can only buy keywords that are suggested to you in the keyword tool. We want to make sure that the keywords our sellers use both follow our policies and will be popular enough to get you a lot of impressions.

Please know that we want these ads to bring you views, hearts and sales just like you do! We do well when you do well! I understand that some of you have concerns about how the keyword suggestion algorithm is reading your items and suggesting key words and phrases. I'm going to make sure that our Search Ads Team sees these concerns and takes them into consideration as we move forward. We absolutely want to see these ads work for you.

OhFaro says

Thank you Rob-

So, if I have "vintage earrings" and also "aurora borealis" as my ad tags (which are both phrases on the list) and someone searches "vintage aurora borealis earrings" my ad should be pulled and, I will be charged for one or the other of those phrases, right?


Your ad -may- appear in that particular search at that particular moment, depending on how many other people have purchased those phrases, etc.

Assuming it does, then yes you will be charged the per-impression rate for one impression of whichever keyword phrase was pulled. Does that clear things up?
KnellyBean says

this has probably been asked, but if a ton of people pay to advertise the same items as me, how do i know that my item will show up in the top of the search? im a bit confused about this whole thing......


We have an algorithm at work which will allow everyone who purchased ads for the same keywords to be displayed, so whenever those keywords and phrases are searched for we'll present ads for them and sometimes one of those ads will be for your item. The budget you set is the -maximum- you will be charged for that week. You are only actually charged for the impressions that appear during searches for those keywords.
scarfguy says

SO... just for fun, I set my budget to $200. It said my limit was $40 BUT it kept the $200 in the input field. I CAN"T CHANGE IT. I can't select another radio button. If I try to start a promotion, it says there is a problem with my budget.
If I type $25 into the input field and press enter, it changes it back to $200 and
says its invalid.


This is a bug that we're aware of and are working on. We're sorry for the issue!
OhFaro says

another question to put out there -

How are vintage and supply sellers getting even exposure here in this campaign, if the default search is still set at handmade, and vintage and supplies have to be targeted from the drop-down menu by the user searching?


I'm working on getting the answer to this one, as I know a lot of vintage and supply sellers want to know. I'll share that info as soon as I have it.

*Edited to add, the Search Ads -only- take keywords into account, so vintage and supply items may turn up in ads appearing in handmade search results as long as the keywords fit the search query.
LynnesThisandThat says


Video does not work for me....a couple of questions:

Where will these ads appear? Or do they just pop up when someone searches key words.

If relevant-search is working properly, why would anyone need or want an ad?

When someone is searching via relevancy wouldn't a searcher just as easily end up in a shop without an ad if they have the proper tags, titles, etc.?

It appears that those that take out ads will have priority over those that don't, and if that is so, won't that mean that re-newing will be much less effective?

I have always used relevant terms, and have been doing quite well...does this mean I'll end up in the toilet if I choose not to participate?

I am not Etsy-bashing...I just want to know what I'm in for, seeing that I can not watch the video along with many others. Thanks in advance.


We're sorry the video isn't working for you. That's a known bug and we're working on it.

These ads will replace the row of Recently Listed Items that you currently see across the top of search results now. You'll see the ads whenever you search for keywords purchased by members.

Search ads are generally for broad terms that are likely to bring you a lot of impressions, terms which you may not necessarily be able to optimize for in Etsy's relevancy search. If you feel happy with how things are going for your shop, awesome! That's a great place to be. We offer Search Ads as a way to put your items in front of shoppers who might not otherwise see it and might not search for the terms that are your biggest draws.

Recency of items will still be a factor in relevancy, but in the case that you were using renewals previously as a means of advertisement we'd point out that you can use Search Ads to make a much more targeted approach, and then make use of the Search Ads portion of Shop Stats to see how much your ads are helping.

You will not suffer some penalty in relevancy search if you choose not to try buying search ads. If you want to dip your toes in the watter, we recommend going with the minimum recommended amount for your shop and promoting your entire shop. The budget you set will be the maximum amount that you'll be charged, and we will only charge you for the impressions that occur. Hope this helps!

You can find more information here:
sakurabathandbody says

I have a question about how keywords are used.

Let's say I add all of my soaps to an ad campaign and one of the keywords is 'vegan', yet only some of my soaps are vegan. If someone searches for 'vegan soap' can a 'non-vegan' soap show up in the ad even though 'vegan' is not used as a tag or in the title of that particular soap? Would I need to make two different ads, one for vegan soaps and one for non-vegan?


The algorithm selecting ads to show for searches should be able to catch this and avoid posting listings that aren't vegan when your ad comes up in a search involving the word vegan. If it didn't, that would be the kind of thing I'd want to notify our Tech Team about.

1598 Responses

Thanks Natalie!

Will there also be an Announcement thread? You may want to include the word Surprise in the title. :-)
Looks interesting - I'm sure lots of people will be trying this out over the next few weeks...
interesting... will have to go look.
Looking forward to checking it out. Thanks!
I had a feeling that this was what was coming.
Watching the videos now
I like how you can remove tags you don't think are relevant - but what about adding tags that aren't on the list?

*acts surprized*
I can't hear anything from the videos or the sound is coming in and out, anyone else having that problem?

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