Saturday, June 6, 2009

Virtual Lab Notes - Relevant Search

This article is copy-paste from The Seed Box blog - very useful information for etsy sellers!

The virtual lab was held today. It was only about an hour long and so many people were asking different questions. It was a whirlwind of questions and answers. The Admin did a good job of trying to keep up as best they could with all the questions flying around.

The focus was mainly on attracting buyers to your shop with descriptions etc... There was some discussion on tags and the relevant search, but I was actually disappointed that not much of the information given was new or terribly helpful. I feel no more informed as I was before the virtual lab. But some points were raised that may be helpful to some of you reading this. So I will outline the information that was given by admin in respect to the relevant search.


  • There are 4 categories in your listing that the relevant search will look for in regards to key words. The first category that the "search" will look at is; the item tags, then title, description, and the materials last.
  • The default search (not the relevant search) only looks at tags then titles.
  • The Admin specified that right now tag order does not really matter, but it will soon. So to re-order the tags in order of relevance is important.
  • Use all 14 of your tags with appropriate key words that are specific to the item
  • Adding tags such as color and your shop name are important
  • Choosing the main sub category tag is important so your item goes into the appropriate category on Etsy.
  • Adding team tags do not lower your search rank.
  • Plurals of words (flower - flowers) are seen as the same thing by the search. You do not need to add both. One will be enough.
  • Google will search for most relevant key words within the first 50-60 characters. Make sure the beginning of your title has the most descriptive aspects of the item in order to be picked up by Google.

  • Be specific when creating the title for your shop. They said not to make your titles too long or short. That up to about 8 words in the title was pretty good. Make it attractive yet informative for the buyer.
  • The title will be the second area that the relevant search and the main search will look at for key words, so make sure the most specific ones are there. Example: Handmade Peppermint Glycerin Soap
  • Dont just put tags in the description. You still need to make the title informative and attractive.
  • Don't add things like "free shipping" or "sale" in the title. Add those to your tags and description instead.

  • Google will look at the first 160 characters in your description for relevancy and search ranking. Keep this in mind when making your description. Being found on both Etsy and Google searches is important. So try and add the most important and accurate info in the first paragraph of your description.
  • Breaking your description up into easy to read paragraphs or bullets is recommended. Try to weave your relevant key words into the description, but do it in a coherant and attractive way so it does not turn off your customers.
  • Add dimensions, sizes, ingredients etc... to your descriptions.
  • You can add a hyperlink to your description that leads the customer to your policies page instead of repeating policies in the item descriptions.

  • Right now materials are the last thing that the relevant search will look at. But the Admin mentioned something about having a materials search in the future.
  • Add the materials used for the item only. Add them like you would tags, with the most important first and so on.
So that was basically what was discussed at the virtual lab today in regards to searches. I had written a previous article that will clarify these points in more detail here.

I know this is probably very confusing and overwhelming. I had a headache after the virtual lab ;) Hopefully this helps you better understand the tagging and searching process on Etsy. And feel free to write any concerns or questions in the comments. I will be reading them and trying to clarify anything I can.


  1. Wow, this is really handy stuff for Etsy sellers!
    ~Emily xx

  2. Thanks for writing this down for us,
    for me it was helpfull!

  3. That is such a very useful post, thank you very much!

    I need to add free shipping to all my listings....oh the work!

  4. Thanks for sharing this info! Do you know why "Free Shipping" and "Sale" are not to be included in the title? Good to know though!


  5. Great to read this, very helpful! Thanks for sharing!