Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Etsy Search Optimization

Over the weekend I answered someone's question on one of the forums at Etsy. They wanted to know how Etsy's search algorithm worked. So I wrote this up for them. I thought it would be good to share it here with all of you.

Etsy Search algorithm (the formula used to determine relevancy) is said to function like this:
First Etsy looks at the title for EXACT word phrase matches and lists those items as most relevant.
Second it looks for EXACT word phrases in the tags section and lists those matches.
Now, you have probably noticed that most of the listings in a relevant search DO NOT have EXACT keyword phrase matches in their title and maybe not even their tags and here is why:

Etsy also uses USER INPUT to determine relevancy. So, if someone searches for "crochet baby bib" and looks at 3 pages and clicks on a listing from page 3, that listing just got a huge bump in relevancy because someone found it relevant. Though the other listings previous to it were also relevant the one that got clicked became more relevant and jumped up to maybe page 2. It might have been what the user was looking for.

Now, the relevancy of being clicked does not just get a bump in a relevancy search. It gains relevancy if it is clicked on from any spot. If it is clicked on for a treasury or in the Newly listed section of the front page or clicked on from anywhere inside Etsy it gains relevancy based on its title and tags.

Renewing gives your item a small chance of being clicked on from different areas on Etsy. Renewing does not guarantee you a bump in relevancy just by renewing.

There are other aspects of the Etsy Search algorithm that they have not released and probably never will. The best thing to do is to make sure you have a very relevant title (mainly the first 3 words) and relevant tags. The better you are at describing the item in the title and guessing how a customer will search for your item the better chance you have of being found, clicked on and sold.

Lastly, it is far better to work within a niche rather than in the general category. Example:
It is better to optimize for Crochet Baby Bib than Baby Bib. You'll find far less competition the more specific you get with your title and tags.

You may experience a DROP in views but also a DROP in bounce rate. Being more relevant actually keeps those who are not interested in your items off your page and gains the ones that are looking for your items.

I hope you all had a great long weekend. Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment or sending me an email to MarketMyShop@gmail.com


  1. Wow! That was VERY helpful. I didn't know that just a click will bring you higher in Relevancy.

    Do you think the number of Favorites an item gets adds to Relevancy, too?

    1. Deb,

      It is quite possible that Favorites plays a part in the algorithm. If not directly then at least from the added possible views it gets when it is published in the feed of someone who favorites it.

    2. :-) I'll take even indirect help. No, make that: I'd be thrilled with a bit of indirect help!

  2. This is a great post! Thank you! I'm sharing this with PromoPro's Team on Etsy.

  3. Thanks for sharing this site, it is very informative for the business personals.
    Keep on continuing with this.
    Local search optimization