Thursday, June 18, 2009

Updates and More


I'm really not doing a good job keeping this blog up-to-date. To be honest, I'm a bit of a slacker here lately, and then I had a migraine for five straight days, so I was barely able to get through a day. And taking care of Anna always comes first and foremost. And now that I'm back in the saddle, so to speak, I've been playing catch up myself.

I have listed many new items on Artfire and Etsy. I will continue to list items on Artfire, but Etsy may once again become deactivated. There has been a lot of bad things happening over there since April, and a lot of it came to a head over the weekend. I'll explain shortly. I have a new necklace, three new bracelets, and many new earrings to list. I will also have a few pendants coming soon (will be working on them today once Anna goes down for her nap), and I will be releasing a new line of copper chainmaille soon. Bare copper, oh the beauty! I have been cutting copper rings off and on for several weeks, and I still have several strips of wire to coil. I may hit those tonight after Munchkin crashes for the night. (I so love that she sleeps from like 9 to 4 EVERY night).

Okay, to explain what has been going on with Etsy. This is based off what I have been reading over the weekend from several different threads that were getting closed out left and right, so it may sound a bit jumbled, but I'll do my best here. Back in April (right after Anna was born, so I really wasn't paying much attention), Etsy changed how it handled its' SEO optimization (IE, how they submitted their information to Google and other search engines). It was supposed to be changed to bring more buyers into our shops and get the sellers' names out there more. SUPPOSED TO. Everyone's views plummeted, and when everyone started to complain, Etsy just told us to list more often, renew more often, and relist, relist, relist. At 20 cents a listing, that added up, FAST. So as the sellers shoved more money into Etsy's pockets, they found that they were receiving even less incoming traffic. One of the top sellers on Etsy finally decided that she had had enough. (I'm assuming "She". Paperstreet, if you are a guy, I'm sorry, but I really don't know you that well.) She went digging to find out why she wasn't getting views. If it was something she was doing, then she could change tactics, but if it was out of her control, she knew she'd have to make some decisions. What she found out was appalling.

Before April, all of our items, when submitted to Google, appeared in your results as this: "Black and Red Anodized Aluminum Bracelet by Jessica C Jewelry on Etsy." This brought the item up by keyword and descriptions immediately, and even made it easy to find a particular seller. But in April, Etsy changed it so that all the results read as: "Handmade __________ (category) on Etsy - Black and Red Anodized Aluminum Bracelet by Jessica C Jewelry." Now, since Google only checks the first 60 characters of a title to match keywords that you are searching for, almost everyone had become lost. If you searched by "Jessica C Jewelry," you would never find an Etsy listing for me because my name was chopped off because it would be past the 60 character limit. You would find my Etsy shop because I had submitted to Google on my own accord, but if you wanted a specific item, you would have a hard time ever finding it. Most Etsy shops weren't even appearing in the Google searches until the fourth or fifth page. Sometimes, they were buried even further back. What this also means is that Etsy is shoving certain keywords down Google's throat when it comes to meta tags, which is a big "NO NO." We aren't sure yet, but it's possible that Google has begun to block Etsy submissions because certain keywords appear too many times. (This was NOT said by Paperstreet. This is my own assumption because I have made many websites and I know how easy it is to be blocked by search engines.)

What does this mean for sellers on Etsy? Well, one, you aren't going to get any views or shop traffic unless you bring them in yourself or someone who already knows about Etsy is looking for a specific item on Etsy and you just happen to be on the first page or two of results on Google. Two, if Google has blocked Etsy from anymore search engine submissions, then well, every seller on Etsy is screwed. Now, we can still get our items in a Google search but it will require more work on our part by creating an XML or TXT document and submitting it to Google via Google Base, which would completely negate the need of Etsy as a storefront because part of the deal with them is that they would submit us to Google for us to be seen.

So, for the time being, my Etsy shop is going to sit. If they get the problem fixed--and their one to two week time window is outrageously ridiculous. It's a two hour fix or a rollback. Not a two week escapade, but I digress. If they get the problem fixed, I may return and continue listing items in their shop, but I pretty much have decided that I will be on Artfire permanently. I've already been treated better on Artfire than I have ever been treated on Etsy, so it's just a matter of principle.

But on to brighter things. I'm thinking about setting up an actual webpage just for me. Something where I can post specific links to this blog, put up a calender of events, show you my workroom and current projects without restriction on how it can be laid out. It's just an idea I am tossing around right now. I can also link it to my Artfire shop and any other places my work may be appearing, and even if I change up venues again, that web address will never change.


Geekbride said...

That is messed up! Etsy has really screwed the pooch here as well as screwing their paying customers. I hope it works out, but I wouldn't blame you for sticking to Artfire after this debacle.

Tammy's Treasure Chest said...

Bless your heart! How did you manage with a baby and a migraine?!
I feel you on the Etsy mess, I used to get at least one sale a day, and now I'm lucky to get one a week! I hope they fix this mess. I'm sticking it out to see what happens.

Jennifer said...

Glad to see you join us at ArtFire! When I decided to sell online, I chose to start with ArtFire and I am so glad I did!! I have had a great experience from day one.