Thursday, November 17, 2011

Search Engine Mystery Train

O.K. I admit I had some SEO issues that needed altering in my Etsy listings. I have 72 items up right now so tweaking is time consuming. I am currently working my way through all 72, with about 20 or so tweaked out the ying-yang. In doing so, I have been checking search results on Etsy with some basic keywords to see what pops up first, then analyzing what that first item may have had in SEO ( title + keyword) to boost it to the top. After about a week of this checking I have some very strange results that vary daily.
I have 3 vintage plaid skirts for sale. I tweaked and tweaked all 3 listings. I waited a few days to see if they made it into the first few pages of search results and yay! they did. Today, about a week after tweaking these same 3 listing titles I checked again. To start with I checked in the 'vintage' category using the phrase 'plaid skirt', 7 days ago. At least 2 of my plaid skirt listings showed up in the first 2 pages. Today I did the same search. Now my listings are nowhere near the top.
These are the search results;
1)The weirdest thing is the number 1 search listing title; "60's Disneyland Pendleton Tartan Plaid Skirt". The word "skirt is last"! Big faux pas according to Etsy!
2) The second skirt here was first a few days ago, so that makes sense.
3) 4th listing title is also whack!; "NOs Vintage Pleated green gray plaid Skirt size M"

I checked on the keywords to  these top 4 listings thinking there may be some treasury contest /team challenge something, but nothing I can tell.
One other tidbit to mention on the Etsy search engine mystery train; last week I 'favorited' a couple of #1 search results in order to learn from what they did. Then a few hours later I did the same searches and those # 1 listings had completely disappeared! Like poof!
I am just trying to learn what to do to improve my absolute lack of sales. I am trying to learn from what I see out there on Etsy and also learn from Etsy's tutorials, forums, team discussions.
I am having a very hard time making sense out of any of this, except to say that something is definitely very wrong. I have read a bunch of theories, none of which I know enough about to repeat. Except to say that the folks that seem to understand what Etsy is up to have compared the search engine issues to that of ebay and a 'carousel effect'. In my simple honest, uneducated attempt to improve my SEO results, it seems a 'carousel' or 'merry-go-round' effect fits the situation.
I am hoping this post might shed some light on the subject for me.

For comparison, my 3 vintage plaid skirts;

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