Tuesday, April 6, 2010

From the Auxiliary Guild: Google and Etsy - Truth Stinks

We got this today in the digital mailbag and decided we had to share it.

For weeks now, Etsians have been begging for answers as to why their sales, views and Google Analytics have shown a sharp drop, as if they suddenly hit a brick wall. For weeks we've been given no answers, references to old Storque articles and a post or two from Forum Moderators that they will 'pass the info on' to the tech guys.

Today, Rokali announces that and I'll quote his words:

Rokali says:
(This is posted in another thread elsewhere in these forums. I'm reposting it here because it's work reading. We still need to do some more research, but it's a solid hypothesis.)

Statement of Facts
  1. We didn't change anything on our end mid-March that would affect SEO.
  2. Google made a massive infrastructure change, codenamed Caffeine.

He then goes on to say:

"As it turns out, we began this work about three months ago, as part of a more general refactoring of our own listings infrastructure."
Announcement here

So I did a little research into 'Google Caffeine'. It seems as far back as August 09' there was information regarding this change to Google. And in January, a beta test was released and quite a few people involved in SEO work got a chance to try it out. I"m certain that those who are well versed in SEO and those whose job it is to keep websites Google compliant have been following these changes closely. I am linking one resource where there is a chronological listing of topics related to this, but just Google 'google caffeine' and you can find much more about this here.

Sellers are falling all over themselves to thank Etsy for this update. Finally, they have spoken.

But take a moment and ponder. Etsy has known about this since last year. The Google Caffeine Beta was released in January 2010. Coincidentally, Etsy started 'generally refactoring' their own listing infrastructure that same month. Really? Just on their own with no regard to any upcoming Google changes? How stupid do you think we are? I get this from the fact that they are already 3 months into this estimated 4 month change.

Count back 3 months.......hmmmmm......

Rokali said they didn't make any SEO changes "mid-March", ok, what about since January? I'm imagining that it might take a little time for those changes to filter down and for some sellers to start noticing something is different.

Everyone at Etsy acts like this is a surprise and 'gosh, it must be that newfangled Google Caffeine that's doing it!' Like they didn't know all along. They strung sellers along for 3 months all the while knowing exactly what was going on and failed to tell the sellers.

What a bunch of horseshit. And people are gobbling it up by the shovelful. Etsy sellers better wake up to the fact that Etsy cannot be trusted, they will lie, skirt the truth and leave you hanging in the wind. What's not to love?

We can't say it better than that! What Etsy says can usually be easily found to be full of shit without much work, or even much reasoning. They think we're all stupid.


J. Cord said...

Google hasn't released Caffeine yet according to them. They tested it on one data center so far and that's it. They aren't sure when they will release it.

So, how can it be the cause of any problems on Etsy. Etsy is just laying blame off and not taking responsibility.

When Rokali made these statements I started researching "caffeine" looking for help with this situation and that's how I found out it's not in use yet.

sark said...

I have been busy with life, but in the mean time I literally just stopped visiting the etsy forums.

Or maybe I stopped visiting them because every god damned thread that popped up in site help was about SEO...

SEO is something etsy ought to be taking care of correctly for it's users, you know like a responsible site.

I make shit, I'm not a god damned tech person. I should be able to title my listings coherently, tag them coherently, categorize them on the site correctly, describe them correctly, and somewhere in there — my host site should be able to get my listings into google. Seriously.

The funny thing is that I was actually thinking last night about why I even bother with etsy at all. It's completely pointless.

I literally made about 1 sale a week until last week. Which means I sold nothing.

No one finds my listings, ever.

I have a blog & a college degree & the knowledge that people actually like & buy the things I make. I just can't sell them on etsy because 1 person out of a small group of 5 people doesn't spend their entire day putting my shit on the front page or in the storque or tweeting my crap on twitter.

only 60% of my listings show up when I search my shop name on google. That's ridiculous. But etsy controls the syndication and there's nothing I can do about it.

I think it's time to move on.

People falling all over themselves to thank etsy for doing absolutely nothing is absolutely ridiculous, and completely shameful.

Lost said...

My shop = dead. For going on 3 weeks now. Do I have time to pimp myself in the forums? Oh no, I do not.

swampgirl said...

Same here. My sales and views have stopped completely over the last few weeks. And I had just gotten into a good sales groove after finally recovering from the last snafu.

We know that Etsy has the traffic. It's the only reason I haven't abandoned ship yet. But once again we're back to the issue of all that traffic going to a handful of shops they choose to promote.

When exactly are they eliminating FP's chosen by admin again?

donttrustthem said...

All the new sheeple on Etsy will figure it out in a year or so and only then will they realize all the issues with Etsy.....from reselling to tag abuse, all the technical problems they continue to have and everything in between. Etsy is only in it for the money now and it's so obvious.

WindysDesigns said...

I think the whole point of this post is the issue that for the last 3 months Etsy has actually been making changes, and rather than update us that we might see some temporary setbacks during this time, but in the long run they are necessary to be more Google compliant since Google itself is making changes. They wait until they are not only questioned about it, but they don't say anything until the forums are so stirred up it becomes mass confusion.

We;ve all be sold a dream that will never be reality. Every day that thought becomes more crystal clear.

The Funny One said...

This latest Rokali confusi-thon is just another load of horseshit from the guy who hired all those pissy personalities in the first place.

For all the work sellers do just to figure out the latest site tweak (99.9% of which do not include any seller tools at all)can do 20% of that work on several other sites that are opening their arms to Etsy sellers with special deals, and reduced monthly fees.

The truth is that Etsy is a boutique site the promotes their handpicked sellers, and cheats everyone else out of millions in listing fees.

"Traffic" isn't sales, and "traffic" isn't traffic when Etsy is actively PREVENTING traffic to your store by knocking you off Google Search, so why pay them one more dime?

Gracie said...

The more things say they change on Etsy the more they stay the same. Which is exactly why I am feverisly working on my OWN website and looking forward to the day when I can tell them to go fuck themselves. (and then just troll the forums for the sheer entertainment value LOL)

Gracie said...

donttrustthem said...
All the new sheeple on Etsy will figure it out in a year or so and only then will they realize all the issues with Etsy.....from reselling to tag abuse, all the technical problems they continue to have and everything in between. Etsy is only in it for the money now and it's so obvious.


MakinTheBestOfIt said...

I was a seller for quite a while and left due to the lack of professionalism and such and started my own forum and site. I really don't understand why people are so ready to jump on any piece of worthless info like it is gospel just because it comes from Rokali. Come on people, take what is said and do some research for yourself and get the truth. If you are not happy with what you find...say so! The high and mighty will not ever be knocked back down to earth with us mortals until people stop taking their word for everything.

Lost said...

As soon as I'm into my new studio, I'll be working hard at my own online shop. I'm working harder at ArtFire right now, buying promo spots and listing lots of stuff there but ArtFire is . . . . messy.

I don't know if it is the layout or what but it just looks cluttered and, in spite of promos and having basically the same inventory over there (at slightly better prices) I'm not experiencing anything like my sales used to be at Etsy. :(

Reavel said...

Why you people don't just leave etsy. I think it will be MORE effective if you all left them and went with other services. Now days they are plenty around the net. They learned from etsy in many ways but still it is more about your stuff than a popularity contest.

I "closed" mine a time ago. Left it on vacation mode and it sends people to my other pages. I think once they see people are moving on things will change or whatever.

Anonymous said...

@Reavel I've been saying that for years. I closed my shop there too. If people voted with their feet Etsy might listen.
Too many people stay with etsy becasue etsy has "traffic".
Wake up.the majority of non crafters haven't heard of Etsy,or Artfire or 1000markets so google is the way many find things.

goldphoenix said...

As I read all these comments I'm struck with the overwhelming urge to just pay for my own site. I just saw that Etsy has over 4 1/2 million listings in handmade. I think that means there's a bit of a glut at etsy, and it's one more filter in between me and google. With fees and advertising I could probably afford my own site easily and make more profit.

teach me oh wise one said...

Reavel said...
I "closed" mine a time ago. Left it on vacation mode and it sends people to my other pages.

WTF? You can do this? Send people to your other shops, but how? I thought you weren't allowed to post any other shops in your Etsy shop.

WindysDesigns said...

Hehe, the rules say you can't link to any other shops where you sell the same things. So, if your shop isn't selling anything, then, technically, you should be able to link to any other place you sell.

Of course, the rules do say also that you can't use an Etsy shop as a place to direct traffic to another website....

I guess the bottom line is, if they don't know, they can't stop it.

Oh dear... said...

My Artfire views are also way down. Anybody's else?

Shinola said...

Rokali doesn't know shit from shinola, and if he did he wouldn't tell anyone.
ADHD on nail polish fumes.

Anonymous said...

@Windy they closed my shop there because my vacation message said I was selling on Artfire. I removed the link in the store put one in there.
They then proceeded to close every account after until I opened 1 and asked for the reason. That's when I found out about the vacation note- I forgot about it. Looks like they can take find ip address and move quickly when they want to.

Matilda said...

What can I say about Etsy, it sucks big time , sellers re going crazy relisting items thinking that they will get more views that way but not true , Etsy don’t give 2 shits about any sellers as at the end of the day they still make their money , HOW ? Fees fees and more fees they like to cheat their sellers , bunch of ignorant yuppies sitting in one stupid building looking for ways to collect more money , Etsy will not get better , trust me , and how do I know , I was on etsy for 2 years had over 2800 sales and they shut me dwen as I confronted them so many time about their own policies and how they where not following them . Rokali has no idea to what his staff is capable of doing , they treat you like shit they answer to you and if they do , in a very ignorant way threaten you about certain things , they get they nose involved between sellers and buyers , which to my opinion is very unprofessional , they tell you what the hell to do and how to run your shop , Etsy will not get better the art of the hand made has completely disappear from the site and etsy is covered with commercial materials , like patters , fabric supplier and jewelry supplier when it comes to hand made art the sellers are totally giving up they are marking their prices down so they could make a sale , the buyers are getting used to paying $10.00 for dresses especially in the kids section and all the other shops that still have high prices are sitting still and lost in the bunch , it is ridiculous and unfair I am glad they closed my shop as I have my own site and doing very well , I will never and I do repeat never go back on Etsy
Rokali should fire all his support staff and start rebuilding from the beginning , one thing that is not clear in their small minded head is that , The SELLERS is what made ETSY , and they should show love and respect , without the sellers and their talent ETSY would not exist

The Funny One said...

When I read the comments here as well as the 50-60 threads swarming on Etsy (until locked) it's evident that rules are (still) applied in the same way Admins treat sellers - haphazard and based on if they "like" you or not. A cult of personalities.

It's no wonder that Etsy is both lying and using bs crap every time they post an announcement+thread on SEO that stinks to high heaven.

They aren't going to tell the truth as long as sellers stick to their "I have faith" mantra, which is why Etsy continues to get away with this shit.

If we all googled the top Etsy fave 10 sellers, I wonder what we would find? Complete listings!

Yep, that's what happens when you get featured on the front page several times a week, ranked listings!

Reavel said...

@teach me oh wise one said... just like @FantasyClay said

I just set it up on vacation and left the info that i moved also a link since there is so many people believe me they wont even notice that I have that link there.

I jumped from the sinking ship before I get drowned.

Again people just leave Etsy it is the only way they will see or get the message that people are not happy with their services and all those that "left their real jobs" thanks to etsy will be a happy community.