Thursday, October 13, 2011

And I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For!

Don't you just love U2? They have got to be one of the best bands to have weathered all of the shifts and changes over the decades in the music industry, and they remain true to who they are. They have come out with some kickin' music over the years, and I for one really appreciate the universality of their sound. I can actually put them on in the car without groans and eye rolling from my teens. As a matter of fact, they have U2 on their iPods and sing right along with Bono and me.

But this post isn't really about music. That famous line from the old U2 song just popped into my head while I was thinking about this post. What I really want to sound off about today is Etsy and some of the changes that have occurred there.

For the record, I don't generally like to read posts with complaints and consequently you will rarely see me write one, but today I am willing to make an exception. I promise, no swearing though.

As those of you who are Etsy sellers know, a few months ago the site changed the way search results are returned and went from recency being the top search factor, to relevancy taking it's place as the number one criteria. When this change occurred there was A LOT of complaining on the discussion threads and a lot people were pretty ticked off. I, for one, hadn't had my shop open for long, and it didn't bother me all that much as it was easy to make the paradigm shift. I figured it would actually benefit me as a new seller with finely honed descriptions and tags. Part of the reason I assumed that is that's what I was told by the powers that be at Etsy (well, not me personally, but all of us Etsians).

Then one day I performed a search on the term gift bags and also one on the term fabric gift bags. It took me over 10 pages of results to find just one of my items. Hmmmmmmmmmm...

Fast forward a few weeks and in my inbox appears an email entitled Etsy Surprise. Of course I had to check it out! I LOVE surprises! I clicked on the link and was asked to put my name on a list of people who wanted to be notified when Etsy made their big announcement about a fantastic new program they were launching soon that would be sure to have my products flying off the shelves. Of course, I signed up!

When the time came for the announcement we sellers learned that we could now buy a new type of advertising called Etsy Search Ads. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is similar to Google's Adwords--you pay to have your item or store show up at or near the top of a search list. Are you following me here? Etsy now wants sellers to pay for exposure in their new relevancy search. And again I say, hmmmm....

So this week I'm trying an experiment. I have set a budget of $5 for the week and am tracking my stats (they separate out hits from searches from other searches--like bns, etc.). I have specified the following search words: gift bag, gift wrap, Christmas gift, Christmas, Christmas fabric, Christmas tree, poinsettia, pine cone, cosmetic bag, hostess gift, toile, gift card. Here's a link to my GiftAgainGiftBags shop so you can judge for yourself how well my search words fit. Each day for the week I'm participating in the Search Ads campaign I will check in and report how things are going with real numbers: how much I've spent, how many impressions (how many people saw me in a search), how many views were generated, how many favorites were generated, how many orders were placed, and how much revenue I've earned.

So stay tuned Etsians! And if you've tried Search Ads or have an opinion on the concept please leave a comment below!


  1. I show up #1 on my searches... whats odd, is that it is just one item. go to page 2 I am #1 again. across the first (insert # of items I have) pages

    odd, although I like it. I signed up for etsy surprise and chose not to participate. The hardcore sellers that bitched and moaned about relavancy when it first came out, can now spend all the money that they used to spend on renewing, on ads, honestly, I will choose to make a superior product, and keep my day job.

    I am excited to hear how you make out, as you are a fellow team member and a blog I enjoy reading.

    By the way, Calvin and Hobbs, ruled!!

  2. What's a day job? ;)
    I'm overeducated and unemployed, so this is it! (other than substitute teaching--what a joy!)

  3. Can't wait to hear about how it worked out for you.