ZoyaMakarova
Community Member

Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

It looks like "Subject Attributes" (in Art & Collectables->Prints) aren't being scanned as keywords by Etsy search (similar to this previous bug https://community.etsy.com/t5/Bugs-and-Technical-Issues/Issue-affecting-attributes/m-p/19783715)

Search "bottlebrush tree print"

Only 6 results are returned

This listing https://www.etsy.com/listing/637435907/ isn't one of them;  despite having "bottlebrush" & "print" in both title and tags and Subject Attribute being set to "Plants & trees"

I haven't tested if any other attributes are being treated as keywords.

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BlingAndBijou
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I think that search results are controlled by the first word in the search phrase. I get 4 items when searching using Opera. The first three start with the word bottlebrush and the 4th has the term bottlebrush in the tags. I am not sure about this - so rumormill: please don't spread this. It just seems that way when I play around with search to try to figure out how to create my titles.

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ZoyaMakarova
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

Hi @BlingAndBijou ,

I probably should've mentioned that I'm in Australia, so my results will only include items that are shipped to Australia (which includes the one above as it is my own item).  You may see different results since you are in USA and some of the Australian shops may not ship there.

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CindyLouDoesStats
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I can confirm that I do not see your listing for that search. However, I do see it when the search includes "trees" instead of "tree":

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=bottlebrush%20trees%20print

 

so it appears that it is an issue with plurals, which definitely should not be occurring. I tested some other attributes & did not find any specific issues with most. But if I search my jewellery shop for "plant" I get no results, yet I get 10 listings if I search the plural. All of those items used the "plants & trees" attribute.

It is the same with "stars & celestial" - I get 11 results for "star" in my jewellery shop, but 28 for "stars".

If anyone else uses a plural attribute & doesn't tag or title the singular form, could you please check if this is happening to all of the attributes with plurals? Thanks in advance.

(also, please convo/email/tweet me when you see these types of bugs, so I can get the word out about any search anomalies. Thank you!)

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ZoyaMakarova
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

Thank you, Cindy, for further investigations.

May I ask where you are posting info about any search anomalies? (since I don't have access to your group anymore after the forum/team change)

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CindyLouDoesStats
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@ZoyaMakarova  if you are on the team you should still have access. For those not on the team, I have been posting some updates on Google+, but since that is closing in a few weeks, I am currently testing new options & will announce the new location on my team page, in this shop, on Twitter etc. once I have it going. I am working on the search ebook updates this weekend & will post a new "how search works" piece somewhere public soon, once revisions are complete. (I may even do that here in the forum, I suppose)

Anything really big I would post on my blog, of course! And my previous customers get an email any time there is a significant search change.

So, that was a long way of saying, I post different things lots of places & plan on continuing 😉

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ZoyaMakarova
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@CindyLouDoesStats, unfortunately I’m not on your team and don’t have a twitter account, but I’ll keep an eye on your posts in other places.

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LandandSeaGems
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

"Bottle brush" returns 22 results where "bottlebrush" only returns 4 results for me.

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custompetandtack
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@CindyLouDoesStats 
This isn't an attribute but a search term that gives totally different results using the singular and plural of loom/looms and one I complained about last summer and posted about in BUGS, only to have admin not reply and move my thread to discussions.
I get the same exact results using Chrome or Edge (both W10)

Search for this:
Craft loom, it's not misspelled but yet Etsy changes it to craft room.

Showing results for craft room. Search instead for craft loom
(145,315 Results fror craft room)


Add a S and search for craft looms and it is NOT changed to craft rooms.
(19,642 Results for craft looms)

So it's not like there's NO craft loom/looms listed, they're 19,000+

I should get that 19,000+ results no matter if I typed in search craft loom or craft looms.

So if plurals should not matter according to this Etsy email about search questions answered why does it matter on this term?

According to this info below I should get the same results but I do not, no matter if I searched for craft loom or craft looms.

ETA: Here's another one that singular/plurals give different results:
I was looking for a gasket for a pressure cooker a few weeks ago and searched for mirro gasket, Etsy changed it to mirror basket with a search instead for mirro gasket and there's 2 mirro gaskets listed.
So I searched for mirro gaskets (plural) and those 2 listings came up. Mirro gaskets was not changed to mirror baskets.

https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/your-search-questions-answered/489224366642

From above:
Let's focus on plurals first. When we think about plurals or other variations of words, Etsy search, and also many other search algorithms, use a process called stemming. Stemming basically converts a word into its root word. At Etsy, we use stemming on both a shopper's search query and the keywords in your listing. For example, a search for "diaries," which is plural, would still be matched with searches that use the keyword "diary," which is singular, because they have the same root word.

This is true for less complex plurals as well. For example, a search for "hat" would still be matched with listings tagged for "hats." You don't need to add plurals as separate tags because Etsy search is looking at the root words that appear in the shopper's query and your listing’s keywords.

Now let's get into misspellings. If a shopper is searching for something and they misspell a word or make a typo, Etsy search makes an educated guess and corrects the search to the correct spelling. For example, if someone accidentally searched for "party flavors," we still show the results that match the query "party favors," with the option to look at results for their original query, which was "party flavors." Because Etsy search corrects spelling for shoppers in the moment, you should do your best to spell things correctly in your titles and tags. There’s really no advantage to purposely spelling things incorrectly.

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LandandSeaGems
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

Their “stemming” is broken and has been for a long time. I read the email.....rolls eyes.

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custompetandtack
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@LandandSeaGems 
When I was reading that article, I couldn't believe it either and all this info in that article that is NOT true. Not only rolling my eyes, shaking my head but saying things I can't repeat here.....

Does Etsy really think search works like it should?
If they do, they need to think again because search is sooooooo messed up.

Search changes words that are NOT misspelled, there's differences if you use singular or plural words so I wonder how Etsy would explain what happened on these 2 searches I did that proves their info on that article is incorrect some of the time.

 

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LandandSeaGems
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@custompetandtack  I remember threads/issues with plurals being reported in 2016. Why does “dress pattern” return 223,642 results and “dress patterns” returns 223,605 results? Where did those other 37 listings go? Try this with several plural searches and I challenge anyone to find results that match. No explanation has ever been given and the same issue exists years later.

I truly appreciate Etsy’s effort to give us search updates, genuinely I do. And I really want to believe what they tell me.

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custompetandtack
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I've noticed this happening for years and have always added the singular and plural of a word because of getting different results in search regardless of what Etsy says and will continue to do so in both of my shops.

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CuriosAnCollectibles
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I don't believe anything Etsy tell me. My T&Cs tell me they'll charge me 5% but they charge more. 

One department doesn't seem to know how the other works. 

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BlackSheepDyeworks
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I agree with @LandandSeaGems about their 'stemming' being broken - or at least the current reality of how Etsy is using stemming in search is probably quite far from optimal.  An example: I see 'yarn dye' in my search terms, which is quite different from 'yarn dyer' (the actual term in my title and/or tags; I've never used 'yarn dye' in title or tags).  Other variations on dye/dyer/dyed all mean very different things, so they need to use context in addition to simple stemming.  Another thing that I've considered is that perhaps the search term was really 'yarn dyer' (not 'yarn dye'), but Etsy is showing the 'stemmed' term in my search stats.  Not very accurate, as far as useful stats go, but more likely what's happening.

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BlackSheepDyeworks
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I just did a quick test - searching for 'yarn dye' and 'yarn dyer' return essentially the same results, although in slightly different order.  I rank well for 'yarn dye', even though that's not my intention (people really do search for 'indie yarn dyer' or 'yarns dyers', which is my target).  So it is indeed an example of bad stemming.

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BlingAndBijou
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

If anyone listened to the latest Podcast Etsy announced today, one of the voices read the exact same information @custompetandtack  posted. I had hoped I would learn something new. I am not sure that the Etsy people actually use the same version of Etsy that we use. They seem to just believe in what is written, and read what is written to us in the podcasts.

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TheEclecticBohemian
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

Indeed. The word clueless comes to mind.

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CindyLouDoesStats
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search queries

@custompetandtack  I am aware of the stemming & AI issue, but this does appear to be an attribute issue as well, since many other plurals work just fine in singular searches, but I have yet to find any style/subject/recipient attribute plurals that work both ways. 

Even before the AI, Etsy stemming was a bit arbitrary, but the need to let machine learning take place without any pre-decided stems has definitely made things worse. 

One of the important things I have noticed about examples like "dress patterns" is that the ranking differences do not usually give preference to the stem searched. That is, it's not that the listings with plurals in the title are outranking the singular forms in the plural search. Instead, the "dress patterns" ranking is different from "dress pattern" mostly because the people who search those 2 different ways clicked on & bought different items, that is, the quality scores for those 2 different searches will vary for each item. In these cases, using both forms in your listing is usually a waste of space. There are exceptions, though: "photograph" & "photography" have been treated differently by Etsy as long as I can remember, and you usually need the correct one in the title to rank. 

The small differences in singular & plural searches is often just the AI adding some items in (often very irrelevant ones), rather than excluding really relevant ones from the smaller search. 

All of these things are very different than the attribute situation described by the OP. 

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CindyLouDoesStats
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I am wondering if Etsy wants us to report these bugs any more, or if they wish we'd all just go away? The lack of response to many of these threads recently is really disturbing.

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CuriosAnCollectibles
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

I suspect as they outsource the forum they don't monitor it so closely. 

On saying that they're very choosy on what they reply to when I contact them. 

Maybe they do see their customers as an inconvenience! 

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ZoyaMakarova
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@CindyLouDoesStats,  @ampersay replied this https://community.etsy.com/t5/Bugs-and-Technical-Issues/Do-Etsy-Admin-still-participate-in-the-bugs-... to the "Do Etsy Admin still participate in the bugs forums".  Hopefully their definition of "early April" is closer to the mainstream than their definition of "early 2019":

While the team (the same Admin from the old Forums) isn’t able to post as frequently, we are still here, we are reading your reports, and we are making sure that your issues are getting flagged to the proper teams inside of Etsy to get corrected.

In early April we’ll be sharing some more information about how we handle issues on our end and best practices for Bugs. In the meantime, please know we haven’t forgotten Bugs and your reports are being acted upon.

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CindyLouDoesStats
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

Hopefully their definition of "early April" is closer to the mainstream than their definition of "early 2019"

==========

LOL!

That worries me, though - what is happening in April that will change the current situation?

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TheEclecticBohemian
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

It seems that as the site gets worse, i.e. search is working as badly as I have ever seen it, there seem to be constant bugs now, etc, the customer service gets exponentially worse.

Which makes sense, in a way. If they are screwing up, as it rather looks they are, then they sure don't want to have to cop to it.

 

 

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BlingAndBijou
Community Member

Re: Search - Subject Attributes are not used to match search querries

@CindyLouDoesStats Search/listing question: I am flumoxed as to how to list something Etsy is unable to translate the listing into its AI algorithm so it brings up thousands of listings. It happens often with unusual vintage items that don't neatly fit into pre-defined categories. It also happens with jewelry that has certain maker marks Examples: 1928, Roman, Roma, and Regency.  With the jewelry, if the item is fairly common in style, and the maker will help refine the search and add value, what does one do - as a seller to create a listing and as a shopper to find an item? I sent a query to Etsy, but am expecting a clueless response that just lists links to search articles. I would love to be totally wrong and get a thoughtful response, though.

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