Friday, January 22, 2010


I'd be banging my head against the wall.  Rather than everyone waiting patiently to see if what is currently being done (tags, titles, descriptions) can be worked into a useful relevant search, sellers are desperately trying anything they can to be 'on top'.  How any reliable data can be parsed from this is beyond me.  I sure hope it's possible.

If your whole business and/or livelihood is dependent on one day's views and sales, then I would say you don't have much of a business.

The ignorance of how even a basic search works is just astounding.  The utter lack of patience and the demands for Etsy to tell them the recipe for relevance is unbelievable.  I'll give you a clue here, because I am the generous type.  If everyone titled, tagged and described their items accurately and somewhat uniformly, it would go a long, long way to understanding relevancy.  But, rather than do that, people spend their precious time trying to game the system, stuffing titles, adding to titles, subtracting from titles, stuffing tags, changing the order of tags, stuffing the materials section with non applicable text.  And then, come screaming into the forums wondering why their item isn't on page one of a general search, or they can't find what they're looking for, or the search is a mess.  Of course it's a mess, you people are making it that way, worse than it was before.  I certainly hope the engineers were supplied with a pillow for their desk yesterday, they are going to need it.

I don't know yet if a relevancy search will work on Etsy.  There are too many variables that affect the outcome of any search that need to be fixed first, such as tag and category abuse.  But I am willing to at least give them a shot at trying to make it a useful and beneficial to both sellers and buyers.  And that's a lot more than I'm seeing currently in the forums.

Nearly every single thread I have read in all my 3 1/2 years on Etsy about complaints, or suggestions for Etsy has included 'fixing' the search.  'Search is a mess', 'I can't find what I'm looking for', 'buyers are turned off because Etsy's search is worthless' and on and on.  Now that Etsy is trying to 'fix' the search people are screaming for them to put it back the way it was.  Suddenly now, the current search isn't 'broken'.  What?  Since when?  I'd laugh if I wasn't crying.

Suddenly renewing for visibility isn't such a bad idea.  Never mind that it should have never been a tool for visibility in the first place.  I'll be honest, I wish they'd disallow renewing until an item has expired.  I'm sure that opinion won't win me any friends, but there it is anyway.  But don't worry folks, I don't see Etsy changing that to suit me because even if they went to a completely relevant search, people are so conditioned to renew to be seen, they'd continue to do it anyway.

I've seen a few people mention that relevancy search will hurt sellers who put out new and innovative designs because buyers won't know to look for them.  They are conveniently forgetting that Etsy has tools to see what is newly listed, not only in the category pages, but in the Time Machine 2.  It would be nice if search wasn't just a duplication of those, but another way to explore and discover and find what one might be looking for.  Why even bother having a feature to show the most recently listed items if the search is just going to be the same results?

Yes, for certain, if I were anyone at Etsy right now I'd be one frustrated individual.  Probably more so than I am right now.  Heh.


PussDaddy said...

That's what they always do. Bitch everyday for change and then when they change stuff they bitch because they changed it. I'm so sick of this "clawing" to be on top crap it ain't even funny. There is no way every single person and item can be on the front page of search. Get over it.


WindysDesigns said...

I guess if I'm tired of reading the threats, demands, derision and whining and crying about needing to make a living I can imagine Etsy has by now turned a deaf ear. Can't blame em'.

Change the search, don't change the search,
Change the checkout but be sure and do it our way and not your way because your way sucks and I'll leave.
We don't like these new features, why didn't y ou give us a chance to give you input on them instead of just rolling it out. Why didn't you test this first before bringing it to us, it needs too much work!

Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

I hope a small solar flare knocks out the area of NYC that Etsy is located in so that it just vanishes with no notice, just for a few days, no real damage, business picks up as usual, just to see the freak out.

I'm fairly certain that there will be those complaining that Etsy didn't do enough to prevent this from happening in the first place and how their business has been impacted and the lack of their daily sales has now forced them to stand on the streetcorner and beg for money just to feed their 12 children.

Gah. they all suck.

Tim Pursell said...

I read most of the posts about the search test and one thing I noticed was 99% of those complaining about loss in the search placement and low views on Thursday were sellers with 100' or 1000's of sales. Well of course they would be the most affected, those sellers have dominated the search results for years.
IF, and that's a big if. Etsy can craft a working relevancy search the customers will be better served and sellers percentage of sales to views should increase because those viewers are actually looking for the item you have rather than stumble across it because you renewed/re-listed it.
It was also stated that the relevant search formula will also use recency as one factor in where your item will place. Depending on how much weight it is given, those that renew/re-list can still place high up in the search.
Too many sellers have NO clue how a search engine works or why there is no way any search engine is going to reveal the formula of how it works. The algorithm that Google uses is the corner stone of their business. I have read that Google changed their Algorithm over 700 times last year,largely because a few figured out how to skew the results in their favor.
One more thought.
I've heard comments on how this is a step towards becoming like Ebay.
Please. Nothing could be further from the truth. When Ebay changed their search it favored the largest sellers. This change that Etsy is working on can only help the smaller sellers, as the first part of this post points out.

PussDaddy said...

I like the idea of helping the little guy be seen for a change.


WindysDesigns said...

Amen Tim! One of the things that has me wanting to just shake people is when they give an example of their search by typing one or two keywords into the general handmade search and they expect to see JUST THAT ITEM. {I put in green necklace into the handmade search and the whole first page was totally unrelated stuff with only 1 pair of earrings and they were yellow and green, and my green earrings didn't show up in the first 96 pages!!!!)

And constant complaints that title stuffing is ruining everything and skewing the results. Does anyone really think that if this is true Etsy won't do something to fix it? I'm pretty sure they don't want an obvious tactic like that available for abuse. Can anyone say 'renewing'?

Sure, they've got a lot of work to do to clean things up if they want to make this a workable solution, but jeezum crow, they need time to work on it!