As of 6/18/09, saralouhicks has finally posted a lengthy response to the SEO debacle in this forum post
EB certainly applauds the corrections to SEO search titles that Etsy promises to put in place (though it is copying Artfire yet again), but we’ve been around the block a few too many times with Etsy. Promises that arrive many days after the issue became the hot seller topic in cyberspace just don’t come across as all that sincere. We’ll believe it when we see it. (And wait with bated breath for the next nutty idea.)
Meanwhile, the damage already done will live on, and the negative publicity surrounding Etsy’s latest faux pas will add to the pile of mistrust constructed by Etsy’s inability and stubborn unwillingness to communicate with their sellers BEFORE they implement dramatic branding and marketing changes that affect every single seller on the site. This time they went too far.
We’d like to point out that Sara’s conclusion is a little off the mark:
We read that some of you believe our initial SEO approach was deceitful or mal-intentioned. This is not true.
While Etsy’s "initial SEO approach" may not have been mal-intentioned or even malicious, it WAS DONE WITHOUT seller input and without beta-testing. Disrespectful and deceitful, yes.
It was also done with COMPLETE DISINTEREST in how it might affect the sellers on Etsy.
It was done with the explicit intention of benefitting Etsy’s merchandising and branding plan and boosting Etsy’s numbers in search and search results. It was NOT done to provide a better search tool to send buyers to individual sellers (since the seller names fell off the Search grid). The proof is in the fewer views and fewer sales pudding.
The complete disconnect between Etsy and its sellers couldn’t be more evident.