Friday, September 25, 2009

The Latest on SEO

Etsy's answer to your SEO problems....a 25 page pdf document put together by the SEO experts they hired.

THIS is what they've been promising the past few weeks? Have there been any other "improvements" they can point to on this front? Oh wait, now we can preview the way our shops show on Google search, but it doesn't mean it helps it get found!!! Ah, Etsy priorities, as long as it looks nice it doesn't have to work.

They say they've made some tag changes within the pages on the site, but time will only tell if they're useful. And there are some good suggestions spattered throughout the document, like how to maximize your titles and descriptions, including keyword usage, but 25 fucking pages?! This is the shit Etsy screwed up in the first place!

People pay Etsy for shop space so they don't have to worry about the details of setting up a page! But when you have an Etsy shop, you're stuck taking care of ALL the details. It's absolutely ridiculous. What are we fucking paying for?! Server space? And adding "on Etsy" to every listing on Google because people prefer brands? Since when is what we make Etsy's? The Etsy brand is smothering to its sellers. But, like I said, Etsy priorities.


just bitchy said...

It amazes me that people are willing to learn all this stuff and do all this work AND pay listing fees and commissions to Etsy who screwed this up in the first place.

If you have to do all this work and learn all this stuff, dear gods, do this work and learn this stuff for you own website.

You are paying Etsy to fuck with you at this point.

25 pages...holy crap...25 pages.

And you really can't control very much anyway because you have no access to the code or the templates.

Honestly I have no idea why anyone would invest themselves in Etsy. There are so many other better and less expensive options.

25 pages. Way to go really suck for fucking this up in the first place and then pretending your sellers have anything but meager control anyway.

Anonymous said...

I was really excited by the fact that Etsy was FINALLY addressing SEO, finally being a little transparent.... I WAS excited, until I saw I had to download a freakin' book. Gee thanks, I'm sure this will really take care of things, really simplify a convoluted topic for the Etsy sellers. (I'm being sarcastic, can you tell?)

WindysDesigns said...

Has it escaped anyone's notice that a year or more ago we had no issues with SEO? that whatever they were doing was working just fine? I know I got regular google alerts on my listings, I could find my items in google search and everythibg seemed fine.

But all that has changed and now we have a friggin' war and peace to read and try to absorb and this is supposed to help us,

I haven't read it yet, but how much you wanna bet 3/4 of it is just fluff and it could have been condensed down into a 1 page bulleted step by step. Because really? if it's 25 pages full of stuff that needs to be done to each shop in order to make it google compliant, then we're fucked.

People come to the forums every single day not knowing how to put a link in their promo post, or clear a cache and temp files, only thought of cookies as something you eat dunked in milk. They barely have a handle on the basics and they're expected to absorb and understand and be able to implement a lengthy, wordy instructional manual?

And spend all this time when, at their day jobs while no one is looking? While they're giving the kids a bath? or during those fleeting moments when they could actually be crafting, you know, that thing they came to Etsy for in the first place.

I didn't come to Etsy to be a web developer, I have a website, it was too much work, so I let it fall by the wayside in favor of Etsy. If Etsy is going to require me to become my own SEO advocate, then I'm just going to use that energy on my own website.

Why would I work so hard on my shop perfecting it when in a click the person who came into my shop could leave my shop behind.

I get so frustrated because Etsy is more work than your own website. I wish I would have known that before I set up my Etsy shop. All I know is my resolve is stronger than before to get back to working o my website again so I can leave a little token shop there while directing customers to my personal website. I'll just make sure the same unique items are in both and I'm golden.

Magnolia said...

According to Google Analytics, I got 5 views on Etsy yesterday. I'm lost in the crowd on Etsy, that's why I'm concentrating on my ArtFire studio and it's starting to pay off. I'm tired of Etsy's techspeak that says nothing.

Anonymous said...

No fucking kidding. I use Etsy because I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO LEARN ALL THIS BACK END CRAP. I mean, when I started reading that 25 page novel my eyes glazed over and I swear all I could hear was Charlie Brown's teacher. Wah wah wah waaaaaaah, wah wah wah wah. I don't want to learn this stuff. My brain doesn't want to know this stuff. I have better things to do with my time.

Damn it.

SK said...

25 pages?

Boy, I wonder if this is as easy to FIND and then use like their "voter" feature.

why do I need a 25 page instruction manual?
*throws up hands*

I don't peruse much of the forums anymore. I think my head almost exploded when etsy FUCKED UP seo, and then some dipshit posted a thread on the forums about how we should thank the admins and kiss their asses for fucking us over... oh, and that anyone who obviously noticed that something was wrong was just so negative...

Yeah, of course, these are the same dipshits (fellow etsians) who can't clear their f'ing caches or figure out how to enlarge or reduce the size of the text on their computers... yeah, we're all assholes, remember how after we noticed SEO was fucked up that these dipshits were insisting on thanking etsy for doing absolutely nothing 4 days later.

What the fuck does it matter... if only I sold cloth shoes or a $90 cat perch, I could just have it made...

I'm not reading 25 pages of etsy speak. This was a waste of time and resources.


I couldn't even get thru SEO for Dummies, and I am going to read this yawner? No way. I learned enough to find out where to get real help for my OWN website and AF suits me just fine. A lot of my AF views come from my website now; I assume views go to Etsy from there too, because everything is linked-- but how the fuck do I know and why the hell would I want to invest more time dealing with Etsy's helplessnenss whenn I could be doing what I do best?

Shit, live is short. I would dump Etsy but have return customers there and need to be visible.
Etsy has so much trash associated with it. Let them suck in the poor fools; I used to try to help but they can figure it out for themselves now. It's just too much work and I am tired of being punished for trying to do the right thing when Etsy staff ignore their own TOUs.

Eveline said...

The holidays are coming up! Perfect timing for another Etsy fuckup!

what the hell said...

I give up. I followed goto's explanation on how to upload my listings into google base. It failed, numerous times. I am not a web designer. I do not understand html code. I don't want to understand how to do this. There is no fucking way I am wasting my printer ink on 25 pages of charlie brown's teachers.

So, does this mean that my listings are now automatically uploaded? If not, I give up.

vjhreeves said...

Yep...this is exactly the kind of thing that caused me to allow all my Etsy listings to expire, and not renew a single one. I am officially closed. I gave Etsy a year, and they never proved they were worth sticking with.

The Funny One said...

Kudos to all the comments to far, but it boils down the to venue that loads to GB, not each seller. As an Etsy seller, you can work your ass off (& pay for it) and Etsy may decide (which I am sure is already happening) NOT TO LOAD select items or batches of items to GB. You can "preview" your listing, but ONLY ETSY CAN LOAD IT.
And if your store has gone poof, then Etsy is SELECTIVELY LISTING ITEMS while keeping the real secret ----------- Etsy works for about 200 sellers on the site and doesn't do jack shit for anyone else.

Please remember the sentence in this 25 page monstrosity about BRANDING. Every listing of YOUR PRODUCT on Etsy is labelled ETSY because, as Etsy puts it "everyone trusts the brand."

Sorry to clue you in Etsy, but there is a handmade world out there that doesn't think much good thoughts about Etsy's branding and big box approach to handmade which has turned handmade into what's cheapest, and what Etsy staffers like enough to promote ad nauseum.

All sellers are paying fees, but only about 200 stores are benefitting from a very expensive overhead that does a lot of manual labor selecting faves 24/7. (Or writing 25 pages of gobbledegook.)

Etsy is not universally thought of as a positive in the world of handmade. Just the opposite. Go to a craft show and listen to those comments "Oh, I can find that SO MUCH CHEAPER ON ETSY!"

Branding Etsy works for the Etsy cash register, AND it only works for the stores that Etsy likes and promotes. The rest of us could go poof and Etsy won't give a shit until the listing fees do DOWN instead of UP.

Keep listing! The more you list the more you, your shop, and your products are replaced with the brand and no longer have anything to do with you or handmade!

No homework for me said...

I can't believe people are happy that Etsy has given them 25 pages of homework to do. That's THEIR job. Not ours.

FedUpW/Etsy said...

Any of these naive youngsters who blindly follow the "etsy parade", no matter who is leading it, are in for a very rude awakening, me thinks.

This waste of money to hire a company to sort out their (the juvenile admins) screw-ups only cements my opinion that the so-called administrators are a bunch of pie-in-the-sky morons who love the power that the title brings, and couldn't give a rat's ass about the fallout.

I've totally stopped listing new items in my shops, and allowing almost everything to expire. The headaches and angst associated with Etsy are no longer going to be first and foremost in my business life.

Artfire may not have the traffic as yet, but they are growing by leaps and bounds, whereas Etsy seems to be rolling backward down hill.

Really hope they come to an abrupt and painful stop against an old stone wall or a very large tree trunk in their descent, so that their pain will at least approximate what we have all been experiencing the past year or so.

And there is no way in hell I am even going to try to read the damn 25 page fiasco!

grumpy said...

Pretty much the whole reason I joined Etsy in the first place was so I WOULDN'T have to learn all the back end crap.

Are they kidding with this 25 page novel?

anominous said...

they can't do our SEO for us. they're busy writing storque articles about pee and poo. it helps their reputation in the handmade artisan world to write about pee and poo.... helping their sellers maintain an image as artisans and all that. who needs SEO when we have storque articles about bodily functions. more power to those folks but etsy is already walking the slippery slope without peeing all over it.

Allegorious said...

I'm glad that they made it so you can't post comments on the SEO book article. That way I don't have to see 1000 people saying "fuck you, ass wankers!"

Just kidding, I'd love to see that.

But it wouldn't happen as the majority of people blindy praise new things that Etsy does whether it blows or totally blows, so I'm sure it would be a lot of not just kissing ass, but grabbing it with both hands and sucking like their life depends on it.

Carol B said...

I'm glad you posted the link to that PDF. I've heard rumors of it but it seemed to be hidden up in a tree cavity with an immunity idol.

Carol B said...

It's 25 pages because of the "thud factor*." If you pay a consultant a lot of money, the report better thud when you toss it on a desk, not blow in the wind.

* Obviously this term originated when we only had mere typewriters and the only computers were the ones on Star Trek and Lost in Space.

Karen said...

This is why I'm so in love with 1000markets. They actively listen to us, they do WORK to promote the site and it's FREE to list. I was only holding on to my etsy store because I was making a few sales, but now the tide has turned and my 1km store is picking up (on behalf of the individual market efforts and the amazing staff over there.)

If it weren't for 1000markets, I would have left online selling altogether.

just bitchy said...

1000markets admin is just as bad as etsy admin. You just haven't found that out yet. Believe me, it will happen in time.

marcelly said...

The entire thing is bullcrap.

I too have no idea why people invest themselves in Etsy. It seems you literally pay them to make life difficult, whilst swimming around under the illusion that you cannot make it alone.

The ability to use the feedback in an abusive manner, the fees, the constant copyright and idea theft, the encouragement to underprice work, the favoritism, the complexity of the whole stats and SEO crap.....

And the biggest fallacy of all - that people actually believe that if they leave etsy, they will no longer receive as much traffic, views, exposure, etc.

So, so so fucking wrong.

grumpy said...

honestly, the thread on this on hte forums is making me nauseated, all these people *thanking* Etsy for making them do a ton of work to fix something ETSY screwed up in the first place.

When that 25 page document landed, what the Etsy people should have done was say, great, now condense it and give us a cliff's notes version no more than 2 pages. We'll make both available to our users - simple one and the in depth one for those who want to wade through it.

Well, what they should have done is NOT SCREW IT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. But given how that ship has sailed, dumping a 25 page book on sellers should not have happened.

So Over it said...

Totally off topic, but I had to scream..


they have made that shop sooooooooooooooooo much money featuring them sometimes 3 times a day that just i have seen. The sold section is astronomical.

forum rubbernecker said...

Hell no, I'm not reading all that. I agree with Windys, why can't they just go back to how it was before? If I wasn't doing well on Etsy, I would leave. I have so far managed to scrape by without knowing all the SEO crap. I am an artist, not a web developer--believe me, I can see the difference in the amount I make!
I also agree with Windys about the poor newbies who can barely master the basics, no way will they be able to read that encyclopedia and put it to use. I'm smart and I don't think I can do it.

Malacologist said...

"as long as it looks nice it doesn't have to work."

foxaz said...

I'm not going to read that book. It needs to be condensed to 1-2 pages, with bullet points like others have said.

I've listed a few things on Zibbet, but it's starting to look just like Etsy. Granted, the listing is easy, but the amount of Michael Jackson, Doors, Spiderman etc stuff just makes me sad.
Just saw a short blurb on tv about "post-mortem rights to publication" and just about every dead celeb image should be off limits to copiers.
Sad, just sad.

The Funny One said...

The SEO confusion continues, since there are 3 or more threads a day asking questions about who's loading what. Etsy likes the confusion since it hides what they're doing or not doing. I'm glad to see that more sellers are asking questions - but the chances of getting a staight answer from Etsy has gone the way of of the Bugs Forum.

No one at Etsy is paying attention. They're too busy manually picking their faves for the dozens of Etsy-picked promos all over the sight.

cynicallyopenminded said...

Yet another reason why I'm glad I left Etsy. My views sank after the last SEO debacle, and now they want the sellers to fix it? No way. Screw you and the horse you came in on Etsy! Sellers bend over and get screwed yet again.

I like 1000Markets. They are continually tweaking the site, with very minor glitches, and offering new tools to their customers. A main drawback is that they are not international, but personally I rarely sold to international customers on Etsy, so to me it wasn't a loss of customers. Of course, this site does exclude international sellers. I read that they are working on it, but I think that will take awhile.

As for their admin, I haven't seen much snarkiness that people have commented on and I've been there almost a year. I've seen some comments, but the way I see it, they are there to set the record straight, not be fluffy friendly bunnies who want to be our BFFs.

I am all for supporting artisans leaving Etsy...go elsewhere...Artfire, Zibbet, WinkElf, 1000Markets. Abandon ship all! Etsy sucks. And seriously, if people are wandering around craft shows saying, "I can get this cheaper on Etsy", then Etsy has done the crafting world no favors at all.

I can haz SEO? said...

Anonymous So Over it said...

Totally off topic, but I had to scream..


they have made that shop sooooooooooooooooo much money featuring them sometimes 3 times a day that just i have seen. The sold section is astronomical.


Actually, according to the Flickr Front Pagers, those hand soaps and items by foliage have been on the front page 28 times.

And they are in the gift guides.

So, if you're shopname is foliage, you don't need SEO. Nor do many others who are constantly on the FP and Gift Guides. Like the oft featured ones who jump into the forum threads and "say SEO is fine, just take better pics!"


According to Alexa, the average daily page view per seller is 16. I do better than that on my own website, and my own site is ahead of my Etsy site on Google searches. And I'm no SEO expert, I just followed a few pieces of advice from my hosting service.

I Can Haz SEO? said...

Judging by Etsy Admin's failure to post this information in any one of the multiple forum threads on the SEO subject, they are probably unaware...

Announced 9/28:

Switch by Google to new Google Merchant Center uploads, phasing out Google Base

New Blog from google:

So, don't count on Etsy if they don't even know enough to tell their sellers about this.

I can haz SEO? said...

LOL, at 6:12 pm Sean put an item in the announcement forum repeating what sellers have been sharing with each other in the forum threads all day about the new Google Merchant set up.

They're improving! Only several hours behind, rather than several weeks.

The Funny One said...

Aha! Etsy admits Google Base "won't be functional" until sometime in November!

Another missed major holiday retail period, another missed the boat completely Etsy! 5 years in a row with major technical issues that directly affect tens of thousands of sellers who pay to list on your site! What a record! Way to go, Etsy! Screw the sellers!

Confused... said...

I just don't get the outrage about this. It's nearly all pictures. It took about ten minutes, maybe, to skim through it and get the main points, which lead to some minimal changes I'm making to how I list and describe things.

What's the big fricking deal? I'm usually with you folks on things but I just don't get the pissiness about the document being long. As a technical communicator myself, I think it's a really well written and easy to understand document.

The Righteous One said...


As a technical communicator the document is in your style...for many of the people on Etsy who don't even know what to do after an item sells, or even for those who are on top of their own business but aren't computer savvy, this is not going to be readable. They bogged it down with definitions of H1 headings and technical descriptions of things sellers can't even control.

grumpy said...


I know, in theory, Etsy should want lots of sales so they can collect their % of the selling price. But given how many sellers talk about renewing like monkeys on speed ("I renew my whole shop every day, three times a day! I know it costs money, but I get SO many views and hearts, and I totally had an actual sale just last week! Sure, it was to my mom, but I bet I'll be getting lots of sales REALLY soon!") and appear to have not the foggiest idea what a profit margin even is, much less what they are actually making on their items, one starts to suspect that those .20 renewel fees are making Etsy a heck of a lot more money than the actual % of sales. And now with views down all over the site, even more people are adopting the crack-monkey renewal approach.

Is that kind of info available anywhere? I have this morbid fascination with looking up people who talk about how great renewing is and looking at their prices and their sold items and seeing if they are actually screwing themselves with all the renewing (all signs point to yes with many of them!)

just bitchy said...

cynicallyopenminded said...

I like 1000Markets. They are continually tweaking the site, with very minor glitches, and offering new tools to their customers. A main drawback is that they are not international, but personally I rarely sold to international customers on Etsy, so to me it wasn't a loss of customers. Of course, this site does exclude international sellers. I read that they are working on it, but I think that will take awhile.

As for their admin, I haven't seen much snarkiness that people have commented on and I've been there almost a year. I've seen some comments, but the way I see it, they are there to set the record straight, not be fluffy friendly bunnies who want to be our BFFs.


Oh, what you have seen in the forums at 1000Kmarkets is nothing. The emails I got and the other ones I've read rival DXO at her "I'm in charge" best.

If you don't rock the boat you will be fine. If you step out of line the least bit you will see exactly what I'm talking about. And it will not be public and your store will be closed. Please do avoid contacting them privately. At that point you will be completely screwed.

It's no different anywhere. That's why you all really need to get your own websites. If you have to learn all of this it might as well be to your own benefit.

sarah s said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
It's True said...

just bitchy is right.

Don't ask questions. Don't rock the boat.