As I expected, not much information was forthcoming, as I expect Etsy had to use that first test as groundwork to figure out what exactly they were going to do. I found a few threads that had this quote in it by one of the engineers (?), though I can't seem to find which thread it originated in.
It's good to see that they noted the excessive titles and are attempting to address them. People are still claiming to see them in the first pages of their search so I'm not sure how this works. I suspect that similar to google, while you may have excessively long titles, the search only actually picks up on the first 70 or so characters, so regardless of the title length if the first 70 contain keywords associated with that search they will still show up. This is just a guess on my part. I don't think that Etsy search would just automatically kick out excessive titles, but only use a portion of them, which would explain why they still show up.
As for weighting recency more in the search algorithm, I am totally against this. My personal feeling is that when something is listed has no bearing on what I am looking for, it should not even be a factor used in that search. A search based on listing dates already exists, if you weigh listing dates in a relevancy search, how are the searches going to differ from each other? One's a little more recent, ones a little more targeted? That makes no sense whatsoever.
I really resent the move to cave on this, I really do. I was really hoping that Etsy was looking to actually improve the search capability of the site, not cater to the ones who are used to renewing and are now crying because relevance eliminates that tactic.
If all you were really going to do was make the current search a little more targeted to what a buyer is searching for then you should have said so in the first place. Some of us actually thought you cared about what buyers want.
I will say again, recency has no place in a search based on relevancy. At. All. The date something was listed on has no bearing on anything I am looking for. If it was listed 2 minutes ago, a week ago or 3 months ago, if it fits the search criteria, it should show up.
Perhaps if Etsy did take recency completely out of the relevancy search algorithm they could focus on making more folks relevant to the search queries.