Friday, May 22, 2009

Search by relevance

Or not.

Etsy finally unveiled their "most relevant" option on search. And it's not quite relevant.

This thread has a few "alright" "awesome Etsy!" and "oh yeah!"s but the 80 plus pages was quickly dominated by queries and confusion over how the search works. HeyMichelle chimed in with the usual "we'll look at that" "thanks for all your work" responses, indicating that this was one more 'improvement' Etsy didn't want to test but threw out there for sellers to test for free.

Now admin have left everyone high and dry for the long U.S. weekend with nothing on the issue since Thursday afternoon.

Some highlights:

  • the most relevant search still includes most recent listings as a criteria for early page relevance
  • less is more - leave your buyers in the dark just to be found! (though Michelle claims this isn't true on p 55)
  • the changes that let an item be found on Etsy makes it less likely to be found by off-Etsy search engines
  • use your materials space

And PurplePeony sums it all up

It should NOT be this hard to list and sell and item on a website...a person should NOT have to know how the site programs work, have to jump through hoops or try to out-think buyers...


If 'relevance' isn't relevant, why even have the feature? If it's going to take time for the algorithm to be adjusted with use, then at least give an indication of what sellers need to do for it to work efficiently. There's a Dorque article, but's written in Etsyese, i.e. is vague and completely opposite of member experiences documented in the forum thread.

Selling on Etsy should be an official theme park ride. It costs a lot for a short-lived experience that leaves you queasy.

20 Comments:

justbitchy said...

At least eBay launches beta versions that you can opt in or opt out of for a period of time.

At least eBay searches have categories that make sense and you can drill down to narrow your searches.

Etsy really does = Massive, annoying fail...EVERY SINGLE TIME.

EVERYTHING they have EVER launched has been a disaster.

Why would anyone pay to list there when you have to do EVERYTHING yourself, including be guinea pigs for their clearly inept programming department?

If you have to do all the work anyway, get your own websites. Seriously, it's not expensive if you find a good host and a good host will give you tons more than etsy gives you for less. And it will work! Go figure!

The responses from HeyMichelle are just ridiculously happy and chipper. Hey! Clueless!

PEOPLE ARE FREAKING OUT!!!

Don't smile and say thanks and virtually laugh at them with that ridiculous salute avatar! It's fucking disrespectful.

If you launch a piece of shit "enhancement" that is supposed to return results based on "relevancy" and people are reporting that the LEAST RELEVANT ITEMS ARE BEING DISPLAYED FIRST, then well, YOU FUCKED UP AGAIN!

They are all a bunch of twits who have no idea what they are doing.

Anyone who is impacted by this needs to email Matt and Maria directly.

Doing their work for them is just bullshit...absolute bullshit.

Dennis and Brandy said...

They should not do relevance at all, they should do random, because I told them in the virtual labs that they way it was setup is all wrong. I have also noticed that if a user has the search word as part of the user name, more than likely they show as more relevant. Its not relevant for the most part, its how many of the same words can I fit in my title, description, tags and materials. I do like the improvements etsy is trying to make, but for the love of God, if you release it, make sure it works and you actually know how it works, because first you tell me to use my title, tags materials and description to compliment me in search, then you say less tags are better or more relevant.... Do I have to change all 199 listings to show up within the first 50 pages? This crap just struck a nerve with me.

Irritated said...

Absolute morons. All of them. I have never seen a more poorly run e-commerce site in my life. I even hesitate to call it that anymore.

The Funny One said...

Not surprising based on the last dozen Etsy rollouts-without-testing. It's another cosmetic bandaid on a site that can't make relevant improvements for either its sellers or buyers.

Etsy's just too disconnected from its audience on both sides of the retail check-out stand. Relevant search, even if it worked, doesn't change the site's focus: to promote an open door policy while using a finite set of targeted tools controlled by the site to promote a tiny fraction of handpicked products.

Etsy is a site that's just too confusing and exhausting to use as a seller and a buyer.

ignoringthenewsearch said...

I hope all those sellers who were bitching for a "more relevant search" are happy with this crap garbage...

LavaGurl said...

I'm so tired of being presented with hundreds of pages of results when I'm trying to search for something simple. Why are there not more subcategories like over on ebay? I can't stand it. I want to support Etsy sellers but half the time I give up and just go to eBay.

Eveline said...

Aside from the cock up from Etsy ONCE again, why the hell is there nobody in the office during this long weekend? My boyfriend works at a distribution center for a supermarket here in the UK. Guess where he will be tonight and tomorrow night? Right: in the office!

I thought New York was the city that never sleeps. Etsy can't wait to get her beauty sleep from Friday to now Tuesday morning...

People work nightshifts and weekends all over the world. Why can't they at Etsy??

Eveline said...

Comments like this are enough tomake you vomit blood;

"Hi PoPkO- very clever, you! That is something that we will be changing, fyi... "

Condescending much?? And 'fyi', if this ws something 'you will be changing', shouldn't you have done this in the first place, before 'a very clever user' would ask you about it?

*sigh*

forum rubbernecker said...

This is really messed up. If you do your titles, tags, and searches to be found in Google (which I would hope most people do), then they will be way different from what you have to do for Etsy's "most relevant" search. To come up high in relevant, you have to repeat the same term over and over again.

Sorry, but you look like a moron with no business sense if your listing looks like this:

Title: Tshirt
Description: Tshirt
Tags:
Tshirt tshirt tshirt tshirt tshirt tshirt tshirt tshirt tshirt.......

But hey, you'll be number one in "relevant"!

headdesk

life-during-wartime said...

Part of the problem with search is Etsy and the rest of the roadblock is now the Etsy community culture.

If sellers took the same item over to Ebay, but titled it in the Etsy Style (like Chirp Chirp so cute is that a branch up your patoot) whatever the item actually was, how would buyers on Ebay find it? Especially if the category chosen had little to no connection with the actual item?

Some Etsy admins have been working this weekend, although I wouldn't vouch for their sobriety. Saturday nite one of them made a front page collection 'inspired by French Blue' featuring items that were either retro turquoise (a la late 1950s) or 1960s aqua. At first I thought my screen adjustment was way off, but the vintage piece -- which I know well -- showed correctly. Shop by color on Etsy? And find exactly what you're NOT looking for.

RRobin said...

I, in general and increasingly by principle, avoid "by relevance" searches like the proverbial plague. They are NEVER relevant to my needs, no matter who administers them, so I opt out of them continually and to my eternal annoyance on eBay, Amazon, etc., where they are the default search mechanism. To Etsy's credit, it did not implement its "search by relevance" option as the default; the default is still "by most recently listed." That is to say, "search by relevance" was not shoved down our collective throats as it was recently on eBay. So however dreadful Etsy's "by relevance" search engine may be intrinsically, the way it is offered seems to have been non-intrusive. For once.

I didn't even know it existed until I read of it here. Then I checked Etsy and so that it is not the default and decided that I for once had nothing to fault Etsy on.

And THAT feels weird.

RRobin said...

CORRECTING TYPO IN SCOND PARAGRAPH

I, in general and increasingly by principle, avoid "by relevance" searches like the proverbial plague. I hate them. They are NEVER relevant to my needs, no matter who administers them, so I opt out of them continually and to my eternal annoyance on eBay, Amazon, etc., where they are the default search mechanism. To Etsy's credit, it did not implement its "search by relevance" option as the default; the default is still "by most recently listed." That is to say, "search by relevance" was not shoved down our collective throats as it was recently on eBay. So however dreadful Etsy's "by relevance" search engine may be intrinsically, the way it is offered seems to have been non-intrusive. For once.

I didn't even know it existed until I read of it here. Then I checked Etsy and saw that it is not the default and decided that I for once had nothing to fault Etsy on.

And THAT feels weird.

RRobin said...

Here's something a little OT for here but I am not sure where else to post it.

It's about a change in Etsy page-naming.

Sometimes I bookmark items rather than or in addition to favoriting them.

Say the item is a pair of spiffy silver earrings, and that's their name. Used to be, the listing would appear in my bookmarks as something like

"Etsy :: nameofshop :: Spiffy Silver Earrings"

Now the item in my bookmarks says

"Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Spiffy Silver Earrings by nameofshop"

This is also how the headers read now.

I liked the old way better. It gave more credit to the seller/artist, and made the bookkmark easier to find.

PATIENCE? said...

This relevant search rollout is the worst clusterfuck ever.
People are BEGGING for help, trying everything, and getting either platitudes or useless conflicting info.
It's just more and more obvious that Etsy is not about helping people sell their work and all about gaining more sellers-- or they would take more care with basic site features.
This relevant search is driving people to do crazy things with their tags, while Etsy sits back and lets them do all the crazy dirty work.
But it works for their bottom line.

Please, please let the other handmade sites rip Etsy in google SOON.

notacupcake said...

What annoys me on the threads where we are trying to get etsy to address and fix the problem (oops. Forgot to capitalize. Oh, well. :P) and the Cupcakes come parachuting in to say (un)helpful things like "Well, my views/sales are UP. Maybe you're not promoting enought/maybe you should look at what your selling and try making something else" (blahblahblah.)

I'm not bitter--I believe in what I make and do,and I get lots of positive feedback. I just am not an etsy favorite, so I don't get the traffic. This IRrelevant search does, in fact, hurt the smaller sellers.

*irritating*

crankypants said...

I have been out of the loop with the whole relevance search debarcle and had just been sitting in front of my computer wondering where all my sales and views had gone like the dumbarse that I seem to be.
I read up on it just now and am about to go slam my head in the freezer door a few times.

What.The. Fuck. were they thinking??

I have never been physically uptight about anything Etsy have done before but I was so pissed off I just had to bust out the cigs to calm down.

This is total bullshit and such a slap in the face to sellers that take time to make their titles and descriptions interesting.

From now on Im going to list as follows.

Title:Necklace bird
Desc: necklace bird

apologies for lack of imagination but Etsy has drained my life blood and I can barely sit in my chair..


%^&*#@!!

cynicallyopenminded said...

The latest search by relevance is such a disaster, that I am in the process of transferring even *more* of my stock to other online venues. (I've stated in previous posts to this site that I am decreasing my stock, and I have). I will be maintaining my Etsy shop with probably less than 15 items. The rest of it will just drop off into oblivion.

Over the past month I have seen my views plummet according to GA. Is it their "search" (laughable term), the retail season slowing down due to the summer months, another reason all together, a combination? At this point, I just don't care. I'm fed up and I'm O.U.T.

The money I am saving from NOT renewing, listing, etc...will be going to Project Wonderful to advertise my other sites.

::flipping the bird at Etsy::

EtsyTwat said...

WEll, now we know how to get to the top of the heal in relevancy:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6175102

repeat the same identical tag 14 times! PANDORA'S BOX = ETSY'S TWAT!

frustrated said...

I hate to hijack this thread but all hell has broken loose at etsy. We are being screwed big time AGAIN!
Here's the info:

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6120182&page=1

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6180740

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6181465


HELP! This needs attention Bitches.

addictivecreative said...

The typical buyer is only going to want to look at about the first 10 items they see...After those 10 items, they might still look, but the energy to keep searching will fade.

They're going to expect the Etsy search engine to operate the same way as Google, Yahoo, Ebay, etc.

Though this option is great for the experience buyer, any newbie will be immediately turned off because it's just too confusing.