Friday, September 2, 2011

Etsy Search Relevancy

If you're on Etsy, you've probably heard they changed the search sorting to relevancy rather than listing time. This might seem good and resonable at first sight, and I think it might actually be good and resonable for shoppers, and that's what counts. For shop owners, there are some huge changes to be kept in mind, though.

Titles are more important than they used to be, and I get the feeling that tags are not that important anymore. I've read that you should focus on the first 2-3 words of your title and kind of optimize it for the search. In our case, this means we shouldn't use our title format any longer, since it consisted of  
[Name of the yarn] - Handspun Art yarn [with whatever it contains]. The name is irrelevant for the search in many cases, so there should be a description instead.

I am currently trying to play around with the titles, and I've also peeked into the Etsy forums a little, to see what titles are supposed to work best. To be honest, I think they are now absolutely appaling. I like clear format and words, I hate to put the tags in the title, and that's exactly what it seems like. Now, a yarn that I'd usually have listed under "Polyjuice Potion - Handspun Harry Potter Art yarn" looks like this: "Harry Potter Art Yarn POLYJUICE POTION. Handspun, Halloween, Blue, Turquoise, Purple, Dusky Pink, Merino, Hand Dyed Silk, Upcycled Sari Silk". Sorry, but I think that's really very close to disgusting.
Maybe I didn't get it right, I will definitively have to find out more and play around a little more. I will try this because I need to sell my creations, but I will keep an eye on how good this works. If I don't think it makes much difference, I will go back to clear titles without a string of rather incoherent words.

What do you think about the changes? Good or bad? Any strategies? Have I even got it right? Still adjusting, here...  Thanks for your input :-)


  1. So glad I saw your post retweeted on Twitter. The new sort has thrown me for a loop. Whereas before I knew that spending an extra $.20 of my marketing budget would put my listing at the top (at least for a minute ;-), now I am flummoxed. I feel like those long, tag-laden titles make us look like Ebay. I don't have anything against Ebay, but Etsy should feel more artsy-craftsy. Thanks for your insights, though. At least I have an inkling of how to work in the new system.

  2. Any writer howls in pain at the titles we have to use now! However, if it helps shoppers find what they are looking for, well... *loud sigh*

    Not too happy, but might be convinced if it works. So far I am experimenting, and actually found my pieces closer to the top than before. So I might eat my...erm...titles...

  3. Tess, I think you're right about Etsy being supposed to feel more artsy/craftsy! These titles kind of do disturb the picture... But Purls, I suppose you're also right - if it helps shoppers, then it's good. Still, it looks really cluttered.
    I've been playing around a little and it might be too early to say, but I do get the impression that this actually helps pushing our yarns to(wards) the top. I will edit our listings over the next few weeks and keep an eye on the changes.

    So.. yay for crappy titles? ;-)

    Thank you for your thoughts, you two! :-)



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