Saturday, January 10, 2009

Etsy Web Analytics err Google Analytics

We've gotten some notes about why we haven't addressed the fact that Etsy has rolled out stats - finally. Well, we tossed around the idea of giving them kudos, after all, we've been waiting for this. But we're also not delusional enough to think that it'd go off without a hitch. We were waiting for the shoe to drop.


And now we have it - our private musings were correct. The best example is this thread about the duplicate code Etsy has inserted that Google publicly stated is not compatible with their Analytics. Other venues have already addressed this issue and though they may also be seeing some issues, it's clear Etsy did something wrong and is likely causing the ones seen from their site.


And it was brought up in beta...why wasn't it fixed then? Why wasn't there a warning about potential issues? And for crissakes...why is it called ETSY web analytics?? It's fucking Google. They're letting us have our code added to our shops...like every other fucking venue!

Etsy, you don't deserve a pat on the back for this!! Stop sniffing each other's crotch in gratitude and actually do something worthwhile! Become familiar with what issues are important to your customers and stop brushing them aside because they don't mean anything to you.


For all the icing-coma victims thanking Etsy for giving them stats, we have to agree with creativeneurosis who so cleverly supplied this analogy:

it's like thanking your abusive spouse for not kicking the shit out of you any more. oh honey, I know i've begged you for years to stop beating me, and you've ignored me, ridiculed me, done "social experiments" on me while never even making an attempt to stop... but now that there's a new guy in town who doesn't abuse me, you've decided to stop. thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou....

57 Comments:

spinninghead said...

So, I guess all my attempts to understand this techie stuff is a waste of time & energy anyhow, if it isn't going to work.
Good news, or bad news? I cannot decide.

Baffled said...

I'm quite curious...is there anything that Etsy *could* do that you wouldn't find something to bitch about?

The Funny One said...

This half-baked "new feature" is not only not new to almost every other retail site, it was rolled out in a typical half-assed Etsy way. Etsy turned the machine ON, but sellers have to do 99% of the work (including bug reports which Etsy promptly ignores).

Just like sellers do all the work for a lousy parking spot on Etsy with no support services whatsoever. Same concept.

Google Analytics were added on Etsy's schedule and at Etsy's convenience. Then they all went home for the weekend.

Seller support ain't on Etsy's agenda. All the other handmade sites rolled out big, new V-Day promotions on Friday, Etsy added one (Ety-picked favorites again) Gift Guide for Funny Valentines, probably because all their friends make t-shirts with silly, trendy, Etsy-ish sayings on them. (Which Etsy can then turn around and sell for a profit in their Etsy-Sponsored-Store!)

Etsy is stuck in a time warp of their own universe twittering away on their own clock. Upside down.

forum rubbernecker said...

Etsy turned the machine ON, but sellers have to do 99% of the work
______________
Call me stupid, but when they said stats were coming I took that to mean that it would be a feature of Etsy that was provided to us in conjunction with our shops (which we pay to list in!). Sigh. Will try to do it when I have time.

The Righteous One said...

Baffled, yes, we've given them cookies when they've deserved them.

Unfortunately, they rarely ever deserve them.

http://etsybitch.blogspot.com/search/label/kudos

dana said...

To me, its just a very involved hit counter, when I think stats I think of in depth item by item results, views, hearts how many times I sold it, if its in a treasury, gift guide front page ect. ON ONE PAGE accessible THROUGH ETSY. I think site wide results so I can see how my items compete with other items. But then I also want a pony. A pink one. With yellow hair.

Megan said...

I like Google Analytics (it's easy to read) but...I can't get it to work with my shops. On one of my shops, Google says the code isn't installed correctly. On the other one, it said I had one visit for...zero seconds and zero minutes. Meaning the person visited my shop but didn't even stay for one second.

I was SO excited when they rolled this out because I thought maybe I'd stick around but no. It only took me 10 minutes to find the right tracking code. :P

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I'm just waiting to see if my suspicions are confirmed...am I sending them business or are they sending me business. So far, I'm sure you can guess which direction it looks like things are going in...

Rana said...

Typically, the thread has been closed - because one clueless idiot tried the patience of everyone else and provoked a personal attack.

I really wish that the Admin, in their "management" of the fora, would call out individuals who exert trollish behavior (though I'm not convinced they'd recognize it as such, since, also as usual, the Admin slap was directed at those who had been having a productive conversation until unduly provoked, with nothing at all to say to the provoker).

eclipse said...

Apparently they set it up so it cannot track internal Etsy navigation paths and referers from inside etsy- so you'll never know how utterly useless it is to buy a showcase or to post in the promos forum. And you'll never know what tags someone searched for on Etsy search to find your item.
Instead you get stats of what words people googled to find someone else's Etsy shop.

yay?

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Well, I'm having the same bizarre search keywords results as many others.

Stella's response that GA on etsy is more complex than on a stand-alone site is just lame. I've had GA on several eCrater shops for over a year, and the reports have always been relevant to my shop, never eCrater as a whole.

Had to post here rather than in the etsy forum because it's troll-laden.

And calling it "Etsy Web Analytics" is such bullshit.

Are you serious? said...

Baffled said...

I'm quite curious...is there anything that Etsy *could* do that you wouldn't find something to bitch about?

___________________________

But etsy didn't "do" anything. They offered use the ability to get our stats from another provider and even that is fucked up and no one can properly use them! If anything, etsy has found a way to frustrate sellers even more because now, finally! stats are here, the thing we have all been asking for and They Don't Work.

If you were unable to get cable at your house for years and you kept asking your cable company to please provide cable and you finally got it you would be excited right? Now imagine you turned on your t.v. afucking television shows that have nothing to do with your tastes and you can't change the channel or turn it off and you then find out that they knew about this problem all along....you would be pissed and you would call your cable provider and tear them a new asshole.

I admit, it's not the best comparison but I feel that it's sort of the same.

Etsy knew about it and didn't fix it. Shame on them.

Combustion Glassworks said...

You know how douchebags would have headboards with notches in them signifying all of their conquests?

I wonder if this applies to people who triumphantly lock threads for no reason.

I can picture it for some reason..

blah said...

eclipse said...
Apparently they set it up so it cannot track internal Etsy navigation paths and referers from inside etsy- so you'll never know how utterly useless it is to buy a showcase or to post in the promos forum. And you'll never know what tags someone searched for on Etsy search to find your item.
Instead you get stats of what words people googled to find someone else's Etsy shop.

***************
AHA!!! This is exactly what I expected, and I wasn't disappointed. Fuckers.

kibbles said...

I don't get it. GA works beautifully on ArtFire for me, so I thought I'd have the same thing on Etsy. Well, think again.

bleargh said...

What the fuck did they beta-test it for if they didn't fix the bugs before rollout? I thanked them on the forums, but that was before I knew that the thing doesn't work.

I bet the problems are caused by Etsy munging things up so that, like eclipse said, sellers will keep wasting loads of money on the Showcases. Hey Etsy, that's pretty freaking unethical, eh?

forum rubbernecker said...

You know how douchebags would have headboards with notches in them signifying all of their conquests?

I wonder if this applies to people who triumphantly lock threads for no reason.

I can picture it for some reason..
_____________
That's one scratched up headboard, methinks.

And neener neener, she can't respond here.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

All I know is that my ARTFIRE GA works just fine.

Megan McGory said...

Like paying for valet parking and then you get to go park your own damn car.

I'm so underwhelmed that we finally have stats. Apparently I'm the only person visiting my own Etsy shop.

LOL

Eveline said...

I didn't understand what the beta-testing was done for in the first place. It's not as if they created this, it's been used by many many others! No need to 'test'.

I know Admin said that this was not the final answer to the stats-question, but my guess is we'll have to wait even longer to get proper stats that would show you in depth statistics of our Etsy shop....

Slap on another plaster and hope we won't complain anymore...

Tim Easterday said...

It's nice that they added stats but they really sucked at communicating it. No email at all.

disappointed said...

I so wish the bugs and idea forums were for sellers only.

And the information in the GA is useless right now. Utterly useless.

Heather said...

When I had my ebay store, they had GREAT stats. Why can't etsy do that? Oh yeah, they're "little" and "just a start up" and we have to "be patient" *headdesk

Although, eclipse, what do you mean by "Instead you get stats of what words people googled to find someone else's Etsy shop."? How do you know those are words to someone else's shop and not your own? When I looked at my google today, a few searches had "sleeping cat" in them, so I would assume they searched for that and came to me, kwim?

I admit - I don't like GA, at least not as much as ebay's stats.

Top Shelf Totes said...

I've brought my shop out of vacation mode just to see how their implementation works. From what I can tell, I get pretty much no useful information. Think they purposely don't track internal links because all of the Etsy ad spaces don't work??

I was out of town for my day job, got back and saw Etsy stats, did actually get interested in them, and now, I see it is just the same old thing. Half-assed attempts to launch something that others have fully implemented.

ovoler said...

the GA is working for me somewhat. right now i have no web ads and dont post much in the forums so it shows shop owners and buyers visiting my pages and what they are looking at. am i reading it wrong?

it also shows me how many times i look at my own shop- egads. must.get.life.

The Funny One said...

Right on, dana!

The big bad secrets that Etsy holds close to its Etsy-moss-embellished-and-springlike-fingerless-gloved-t-shirted-cold-hearts will never be revealed to sellers. They like to airbrush that info for their glossy press releases which sound like their talking about another site!!!

Comparables? So sellers who are purposely shut out of all Etsy-picked promos can see how Etsy drives constant traffic to its tiny list of fave sellers? Nope.

Because more sellers might be heating up the already hot negative buzz on the airways about a site that offers 99.999% of its sellers nada, zip, nothing at all.

Etsy Analytics? It was fun for 10 minutes and then I realized how useless they were.

Rana said...


Although, eclipse, what do you mean by "Instead you get stats of what words people googled to find someone else's Etsy shop."? How do you know those are words to someone else's shop and not your own? When I looked at my google today, a few searches had "sleeping cat" in them, so I would assume they searched for that and came to me, kwim?


Well, here's an example from my stats - one of the keywords that GA listed for visitors to my shop was "caramel jubilee" via a Google search. What I sell is photographs and cards, so this is an odd result to be sure.

Now, sometimes odd keywords do in fact point to your site, if they bring up your site in the results (for example, if someone searched on "December" or "Vivera" I might forget that that was part of the description of an item and not think it made sense at first), so I entered them back into Google and scanned the first five results pages that came up. No sign of my shop anywhere - as I'd suspected.

So basically, I'm getting referral information about another shop (the aforementioned Caramel Jubilee) or about Etsy more generally.

This does not help me.

And this is an Etsy-specific problem. I have two other sites under GA - both on Typepad, and one a subdomain of the other. Both of them get results that align perfectly with the results I get using Sitemeter and Typepad's own in-house stats tracker.

GA does help me see which items people visit in my Etsy shop, and how often - but I already knew that, with the views and hearts. Being able to see it in a graph is nice, but that's only marginally better than what I was already doing.

Without accurate referral information, Etsy stats are pretty much useless.

Rana said...

ovoler - you can set up a filter to exclude your own visits. Google "what's my IP" to find a site that'll tell you your own IP address, then set your filter in GA to exclude that IP. It's easy to do, if a bit complicated in the instructions.

buddy said...

WTF is up with Puss? That was an important thread for sellers that she intentionally fucked up.

What possible benefit does she get from bashing sellers who are trying to solve an important problem, and destroying a necessary channel for seller support communications?

As my Mom used to say: "Some people are just fucker-uppers is all. There's no reason for them."

eclipse said...

"Although, eclipse, what do you mean by "Instead you get stats of what words people googled to find someone else's Etsy shop."? How do you know those are words to someone else's shop and not your own?"

Because they are keywords which don't appear anywhere in my store or my listings, and in some cases they are the name of another shop. It's showing what keywords people googled to enter the whole etsy domain, even if their first landing spot in ETsy was someone else's shop. They could have made 10 or 20 hops to get from there to my shop, and I have no information about what page they were on immediately before hitting my shop. That's the info I need.

As for the hijacking cat, we all need to use our mental "ignore" buttons! She cannot hijack if no one takes the bait. These bug threads are too important to let her use it as a playground. Her motivation? God knows. I think because there's a lot of talk and attention on the GA issue, she just wants to be part of that, by whatever means. Wants to be where the action is, can't stand to see a party that she's not the center of attention.

Now she's installed GA on her blog, so after having it on there for 5 minutes she will be a self-declared expert and start answering all the GA questions on the forums. *headdesk*

foxaz said...

There were a few people in that thread feeding the cat.
Don't feed the cat!
Once you start feeding them, cats stick around, and bring their friends, too.

lessa said...

My cynical side would expect that this problem will not be solved. If it is, it will make it that much harder for them to be able to charge us for the 'advanced' stats package.

For me, I only set up stats in one shop for now, and its working ok. I am finding that 1/3 to 1/2 of all my traffic is direct traffic.

A bit is better then nothing at this point, but Etsy is not off the hook. GA has been around too long for wishy washy excuses. Either they don't want to find a fix or they can't due to how Etsy is set up and that is just a whole other set of issues.

Traveling Painter said...

it would have been nice if they fully integrated the GA stats into etsy. i was very excited at first when i saw "etsy stats" (i mean they are obviously powered by google..but id let that slide). I was imagining going into "Your Etsy" and having the stats be there visible within etsy...not like...having to go set up another google account.. LOL.

essentially they allowed us to insert some html in the shop and its about 1 step away from being manual. nevertheless...i am glad they allowed it. I am pretty familiar with GA from my "real job" and it's a great tool. while it's not etsy's brainchild, it is a great thing for sellers to have under their belts. hopefully they can get it more integrated so you dont have to leave etsy to see your stats.

just my 2 cents...first time here- oh i love snarky blogs im off to read every post heehee.

~Molly
http://travelingpainter.blogspot.com/

BigTex said...

The cat in question has moved on and is now in the CPSIA threads stirring it up, stating how the act is a good thing, etc.

So the stat threads may actually get a reprieve and the dialouge can continue.

this is giving me a headache said...

I think I know why we see odd stats. Because Etsy doesn't let us see the internal stuff - how people are navigating through the site as a whole, what they are clicking on, if it is showcases (ha!) or whatever once they get there, GA is giving us that first information, the first way that the person comes to the site.

So, for example, if someone googles "pink panther" and gets to etsy, then checks out that specific pink panther listing, then goes to the home page and uses some key words to find my shop, we're not getting the key words used, we're getting that they googled "pink panther" and then ended up in our shop. Does that make any sense?

Or if someone sees another shop owner featured in a blog, and goes to their shop from the link, then to the etsy homepage, and maybe clicks on a featured item on the front page, what shows up in our analytics is that original blog post as the referring link, because etsy won't let us know the rest.

In any case, what that tells me is that if other people are bringing business to the site, and losing it (potentially) to someone else on the site, then the same thing is probably happening to me. But I already knew that.

forum rubbernecker said...

Everyone, tape a sign to the top of your monitor:

"Please do not feed the cat"

fuck etsy said...

The more I look at this the more obvious it is that they just don't want us to see that the paid spots bring no traffic. Unfuckingbelievable.

eclipse said...

What would happen if someone took the GA code number from your shop and pasted it into their shop? Does Etsy have a filter to stop that? Would it say anything like "that number is already in use"?
But if someone did that would it mix up their shop stats with yours? They wouldn't have any access to view the stats because it's under your GA account and password, but would hits to their shop start showing up in your tracker?

Heather said...

Ah, okay, I get those "weird" keywords. The "biggest" hit in my shop was for "etsy packaging". Hmm. I don't think I have anything about packaging in my store. Or maybe I do, in my profile I talk about whether or not I recycle. Kind of an odd way to get to a jewelry shop though.

And I can't get to my individual items! where it says "listing id='number'" I click and it keeps bringing me back to my home page. I assume this is another etsy fuckup, because it doesn't do it with my artfire acc't.

Although - those with artfire acc'ts, can we see once someone is in artfire what they search for? Or is that just not possible with GA?

And I have to find out how to get MY IP addy out of there! I was thrilled to find someone in my town who was as crazy as my shop as me, lol!

Jenifer said...

YEAH! I found this blog today from using my google stat thing. I am so glad I found you! Thank you for blogging about everything I am thinking. You are awesome.

Rana said...

And I can't get to my individual items! where it says "listing id='number'" I click and it keeps bringing me back to my home page. I assume this is another etsy fuckup, because it doesn't do it with my artfire acc't.

Heather, there are two ways to work around the problem you describe. One is to open up one of your items in another window or tab, and replace the listing ID in the URL with the one that shows up in GA.

The other is to view "Content by Title" (under the Content report menu).

Bookman said...

Despite your bitchy insistence to the contrary, Etsy gives you very precise information about the internal entry page to your links - not only whether it was an Etsy search, category, gift guide, showcase, etc, but even the position on the page where your item appeared. (only the 100% flash features like the treasury don't currently show up as referrers.)

If you'd like a list of the referral codes that tell you where your inside-Etsy traffic comes from, click here.

Heather said...

wow Rana, thank you! :) Now I can see what people are looking at, and for how long!

eclipse said...

Dingo said:
Despite your bitchy insistence to the contrary, Etsy gives you very precise information about the internal entry page to your links - not only whether it was an Etsy search, category, gift guide, showcase, etc, but even the position on the page where your item appeared.

...
It does not tell you the search terms the person was searching for, only that they entered from search. Useless.

eclipse said...

"em"="Related items" in Storque articles
but does not tell you which Storque article

sr_list_1= search, but does not tell you what they searched for

gg= gift guide, but does not tell you which one

These are not the referring urls, these are referal codes inserted into your item url. Entry page is NOT the referer.

Bookman said...

Analytics is a firehose of information, it's true. Seems to me most of the complaining is that google is giving too much information. Information is only useless if you don't know how to use it.

Odd keywords pop up all the time in analytics reports. They're easy to spot and ignore and since they are usually one-offs they sink to the bottom of the report (just like a google search - the most important results are at the top of the list, the less relevant at the bottom.) Besides, people who are serious about keyword marketing don't use that report as a passive "gee whiz" list of what terms are being entered, they decide first what keywords they want to show up under and go after them by optimizing their content. Then they use that report to see how well they are doing.
Don't blame etsy or google if you don't know what to do with the information you're given.

eclipse said...

"Seems to me most of the complaining is that google is giving too much information."

Yes, the google searches on how people found someone else's shop is too much information and it's of no use to me. I don't sell pacifier clips but that's showing in my keywords. I'm not featured on Luckymag (another Etsy shop is) and that's in my referers.
Too much useless info and it's missing the actual true referer, the exact PAGE they were on before entering MY shop.

I'd gladly trade 10 pairs of ugly shoes that don't fit for one kickass pair that fits me.

Rana said...

Bookman, just as people shouldn't necessarily just assume that GA or Etsy screwed up (though in this case the evidence for the latter is pretty strong) you shouldn't assume that we're complaining only because GA is too complicated for our wee little heads.

I have GA enabled for my other two sites and I don't get this kind of junk. Seemingly anomalous keywords are easily identified as being references to things on my site, once I take the time to track down the original referring site. If I go to Google and enter an odd-seeming keyword, I discover that, yes, it does point to my site in some fashion. So I'm used to the concept that some keywords are not obvious matches to one's site - but, on closer inspection, they DO prove to have at least SOME connection.

That is NOT the case here. In no way shape or form does "caramel jubilee" EVER bring up my Etsy shop in Google. It brings up pages and pages of OTHER Etsy results (most from the shop of that name).

So data like that is useless. So is data that looks useful like "4x6 photos" - because I cannot distinguish between a searcher who found their way to ETSY or ANOTHER shop using that phrase from a searcher who used it to come directly to my shop.

The MOST I can tell is that a given page on my shop was visited X numbers of times. Gee... that sounds like... I dunno... VIEWS! Which we already had!

Yes, we can piece together little snippets of information from the weird little crumbs that we get from this GA-Etsy mashup.

But that is NOT the same thing as having working stats, and the lack of working stats is NOT because we are idiots who are all confuzzled by teh internets oh noes!

We don't have working stats because the "stats" are broken. Being able to figure out work-arounds doesn't negate that FACT.

rubygirl said...

The problem is not that we don't know what to do with the information, it's that the information is WRONG.

From the referenced closed thread on Etsy:

organikx says:
I had some really strange ones too. LOL, one was "quilt size front load washer"!!
_________________________

Funny, "quilt size front load washer" shows up in my keyword results, too.
_________________________

eclipse says:
now this is odd. One of the google keywords showing in my stats is
"site: etsy glittercritter sold on faceted silvery pearls"
__________________________

Interestingly enough, that phrase is also showing up in my keyword list. If there are 2 (of 48), you can bet there are others.

I also have "etsybitch" and "closed threads" listed as referrers. And while I read both blogs regularly, I have not to my knowledge ever been featured, nor have I posted before tonight.

Useless.

The Pissed Off One said...

Oh, Dingo. (bloghandmade is Dingo's work). Can't let your obsession go, huh?

The fact remains that Etsy has rolled out a feature that is mostly useless for the majority of sellers, and also has the gall to call it Etsy Web Analytics, as if they actually did anything creative.

Oh, wait. They did. They gelded it and fucked it up. That qualifies it for the Etsy brand.

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Bookman says:

Odd keywords pop up all the time in analytics reports.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm barely computer-literate, but my etsy shop is the 14th GA profile in my Google account.

NONE of the other 13 site profiles ever gave me odd keywords. Am I special or are you making a hasty generalization?

Of the 20 keywords reported, only 2 have any relevance whatsoever to my etsy shop. So you say smart people focus on those keywords to improve their marketing? Impossible with etsy's fuck-up of a great tool.

Bookman said...

I wonder if it is even possible to both block out the odd keywords and referrers while also providing full referral links from within Etsy. Seems like doing the one would prevent you from doing the other.

KPP said...

Okay, this is both cruel and hilarious. The way GA is working is causing people to get the results of people googling callouts and making other sellers paranoid and confused.

Here's the callout: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5989157

Here's one of many thread fallouts: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5996659

eclipse said...

This bug will probably start to be exploited now, people will google gross and weird phrases and then get to etsy and navigate to a shop they don't like. All to make the gross phrase show up in that other sellers GA keywords.

KPP said...

Hm, maybe I shouldn't have pointed it out. Well, other people will figure it out anyway. Its not like I'm that clever.

Julie said...

I love you guys. That is all. :)

Bookman said...

Even if Etsy fixes the extra keyword referral problem, it is still possible to insert any keywords you want directly into anyone's GA keyword referral report (on Etsy or any other site being tracked with GA or any other stats program that reports keyword referrals.) This loophole is well known to most people who have any experience with GA, is something that anyone can do without any advanced knowledge, and is why those who are serious about keyword marketing learn how to recognize the bad results, ignore them, and focus on the keywords they want to appear under.

Once again, the bitch seems to be that Etsy won't do for you what you should do for yourselves.