The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on

Monday, September 24, 2018

Search Updates

Etsy just released a new search guide. We need to pay attention.

When Etsy updates their search guide, that means that they've adjusted the algorithm their search uses in evaluating listings. So, we need to look at our listings to make sure that we've optimized them so that they can take advantage of these updates.

Marmalead's blog noted three big takeaways from the new guide: title length, renewing listings, and long tail keywords.

The new guide says that of the 140 characters available for titles, it's fine not to use all of them. Your title should be readable by a human. Much of what I wrote three weeks ago still holds. Combine tags into a naturally sounding specific description of your item. Only now there's no need to "tag stuff" your title. Two or three phrases that describe your listing will suffice.

As for renewing listings, it's no longer going to give your listings the bump it once did. The goal is to make your listings more searchable in the long term. This is good news as we no longer need to worry about the cost of frequent renewing. (Although, that might not be entirely accurate.)

Long tail keywords we'll talk about in a later post.

There were a few other takeaways I noticed in the new guide (that hopefully aren't surprising to you):

  1. Categories and attributes are important. They act like tags in search and will help direct buyers to your items if that's what they are searching for.
  2. Have you ever considered using a tag with a misspelled word in case buyers are misspelling in the search bar? Don't. Etsy corrects misspellings from searchers and directs them to the correctly spelled tags.
  3. Make sure your About section is filled out as well as your shop policies. When determining ranking (how high your item shows in a relevant search), a shop with an About section and shop policies will rank higher than one that doesn't. 
  4. Consider free shipping. This is going to be more relevant going forward. (Hint: raise the price of your item by the amount it's going to cost to ship, and then call the shipping "free".)
  5. Only choose occasion for things specifically for that occasion (such as Christmas stockings for Christmas). But, feel free to use a tag if your item can be used for that occasion ("Christmas gift" tag).
The good news is, not much has really changed. If you've been keeping to good SEO practices up until now, you probably don't need to make any drastic changes. And this is a good opportunity to refresh your listings (which you should be doing seasonally, anyway). 

What changes have you noticed in the new search guide?


  1. Thank you for updating this, and for the link for more info about whether to renew or not! Very helpful. One note about misspelling and plurals, Etsy's search doesn't always correct. I used to have an issue with scarf and scarves returning different results. Now I have to use hand painted and handpainted, handmade and hand made. Also, Fuschia(plant) and Fuchsia(color) produce different results. If you have a word that could go either way, it is easy to search the terms and see if the number of results are the same.


Thank you for stopping by. We love to hear from you.