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Shop Advice from a SASsy Seller: Tags & Titles & Relevancy, Oh My!

Shop Advice from a SASsy Seller Tags Titles Relevancy Oh MyIn my last article, I wrote about Etsy’s new default relevancy search and discussed how it affects your shop, and specifically your titles. This follow-up post should clarify a few things and help you better understand Etsy’s policy change on tagging (since there still seems to be a lot of confusion on the subject).

To recap: Etsy changed its default search to “relevancy.” Essentially, titles carry more weight in searches than tags, with the beginning of the titles carrying the most weight. This means that your titles need to contain accurate descriptive words, with the most important words—which tell us what your item is—at the beginning of the title (using the first two to three words).

Etsy also now gives more weight in searches for exact two- and three-word combos. In order to stand out in relevancy searches, it is critical to use these two- and three-word combos in your titles describe your items. Equally important to relevancy, however, is to also use those same keyword combos in tags.

Unfortunately, this presents a problem, commonly known as Etsy’s tag “stuffing” rule. If you’ve been around Etsy for any length of time, you know it’s not OK to tag “stuff.” What is tag stuffing? It is using multiple unrelated words like “beach ocean turquoise” in a single tag. Tags were originally intended to be a single word, except for specific two-word phrases like “sterling silver.”

After some thought, however, Etsy decided to alter its tagging policies to now allow for “relevant 2 or 3 word phrases” in tags, which is necessary for better relevancy. This new policy allows you to use the same two- or three-word keyword combos that you’ve used in your titles, in your tags. You can read more about Etsy’s policy change here.

Be warned: Etsy is still against tag “stuffing.” While it is still not OK to use “beach ocean turquoise” or “red blue green” as a tag, you can use some two- and three-word phrases that would have previously not been acceptable under the old rules. Just be sure that your word combos makes sense in relation to the item you are tagging, and that the keywords comprise a phrase (not unrelated words).

As an example, if you are selling a painting of a sunset on the ocean, and you have the words “Ocean Sunset” in the title, you can also have the words “Ocean Sunset” as a single tag in your tags. Previously, “Ocean Sunset” would have not been allowed in a single tag.

Hopefully this helps to clarify some of the new changes, and you’ll all be titling and tagging your way to the top of the relevancy searches.

PHOTO CREDITS: Image {Tags} courtesy of Creative Commons License via MrWoodnz photostream – flickr.com.


Shop Advice From a SASsy Seller: Exchanges and Refunds - Headshot of Sandie Russo

About the author: Sandie Russo is a 3+ year Etsy veteran with 2 shops, KnitzyBlonde.etsy.com and ZaftigDelights.etsy.com, and is the Captain of the Sellers Assisting Sellers Etsy Team and the SASsy Critique Forum.

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  • Aneta Hayne

    Thanks for clarifying tagging ! I just got enlightened :)

  • Anonymous

    My concern with all this is more with *title* stuffing than tag stuffing. What we’re going to end up with is ebay looking titles with ridiculously long 45 word titles as people try to cram every possible word into the title.

    For example: “Purple Locket. Filigree Necklace. Cream Lavender Pendant. Love Romantic Gift. Wedding.” or “Bird ring. Old English farthing coin with a little wren on a silverplated adjustable ring. Several dates are available”

    (i’m not picking on these people/shops – i don’t know ‘em – they were just the first long titles I found)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marys-Graphics/100002478761106 Mary’s Graphics

    Very nice article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1501745058 Sandie Russo

    I realize that you may not like those titles, but they are legitimate titles.  Buyers need to use their titles to get found now that titles carry more weight in Etsy searches.  It’s just the nature of the beast.  


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1501745058 Sandie Russo

    Thanks, Mary!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1501745058 Sandie Russo

    So glad it helped you Aneta!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/veryprettything Tracy Matthews

    Yes, thanks that helps a lot actually…

  • http://gilstrapdesigns.etsy.com Debra

    Thanks every little bit of info. that we can get about Relevancy helps.  I’m saving this article to refer back to later.

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