Etsy Search: How Does It Work?

Etsy search matches online buyers with listings they are searching for and makes it easier for them to purchase.

Etsy search has two phases

  1. Query Matching
  2. Ranking

Listings are also ranked using Etsy’s Context Specific Ranking (CSR) technology. This technology helps Etsy show customers the listings relevant to what they are looking for. It also shows listings they are more likely to buy based on their habits across the platform.

Query Matching

When a customer types certain keywords into Etsy search, Etsy looks at the listing titles, listing descriptions, tags, attributes, and categories.

The best thing to do is to put as many keywords as possible in your listing titles, use all 13 tags, categorize your products, and add relevant attributes. Be specific with these as they will help get your listings to match with customer queries.

Tip: Try a variety of tags and diversify your inventory.


Once Etsy gathers listings that match a customer’s query, it uses all information that each listing has to rank them so customers can see the listings they are most likely to buy. 

Factors That Affect Etsy Search Ranking

  • Relevancy – Your listings may show in search results if your tags, titles, listing descriptions, categories, and attributes match a shopper’s query. If certain keywords are an exact match for the query, your item may appear higher in search results since it is considered more relevant to the search.
  • Listing Quality Score – When a buyer searches for an item, Etsy assists them to locate the things they want to buy. Etsy search uses cues from buyers to judge whether a listing is interesting and fits their expectations when they click. Etsy looks at how well a listing converts—how many people view it and then buy it—to see if buyers are interested in it, which increases the listing’s quality score and placement in search results.
  • Recency – When a new listing is generated, it receives a modest, temporary boost in search results so that Etsy search may learn more about how consumers engage with it in order to establish the quality score of the listing. Renewed listings receive a similar, albeit lesser, bump. Depending on how frequently people search for a certain item, this transient increase might last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. 
  • Shipping Price – According to the majority of purchasers, one of the most essential aspects people consider when making a purchase is the shipping price.

Listings that ship free to the United States and shops that provide a free shipping assurance to the United States receive preferential placement in the Etsy app, where millions of Etsy’s most active consumers search. Furthermore, Etsy highlights these goods in all Etsy advertising in the United States, including email marketing, social media, and television commercials.

Because digital download products do not incur shipping charges, they are also eligible for priority search placement in the Etsy app. Furthermore, shipping cost is a component of search ranking on Etsy. If you don’t provide a free delivery assurance or free shipping to US customers, giving free shipping or cutting your shipping prices for customers in your nation will help your search ranking.

  • Customer and Market Experience Score – Etsy wants shoppers to have a positive shopping experience in addition to finding products they want to buy. To do this, Etsy assigns each business a customer and market experience score which determines search placement. Receiving favorable feedback, having detailed shop rules, and including an About section all help your search rating, however, recent intellectual property infringement concerns might affect your search ranking.
  • Translations and Language – When you create an Etsy shop, you select a shop language. The title, tags, and listing description that you enter into your listings should be in the language that you select during setup. Etsy will translate your keywords and display results that correspond to their query and language preferences. You may add your own translations to your listings if you speak various languages. Translations added by hand are of greater quality and sound more genuine, therefore they frequently surpass machine translations.
  • Shopper’s Habits – Etsy tailors search results to shoppers in addition to the factors mentioned above, such as relevance, listing quality, and customer experience. Etsy’s Context Specific Ranking system learns what interests shoppers and displays the products they are most likely to buy.

When you search on Etsy, what you see isn’t always what another customer sees. Searching for your own listings and comparing the results over time or across devices is ineffective for determining where your listings appear in search because the results you see are only a tiny slice of a much larger picture.

Instead, examine your Stats to see which listings are generating the most traffic from Etsy searches. You can check your most-visited listings as well as the search phrases that are bringing shoppers to your business on the traffic details page. Examine the tags on the listings that are receiving the fewest views and compare them to the tags on your top-performing listings. Could you update your tags or include additional keywords from your most popular listings? Consider how you might improve the conversion rate of your underperforming listings.

About Charles Curry

Charles founded his Etsy shop Wall Decal Source in 2012. He opened his decal shop and decided to create a nursery decal for his sisters new baby. Funnily enough he published the decal as an item for sale on his Etsy shop and people really liked it. Well a few years later and his shop has been almost completely taken over by nursery wall decals. He must still be a kid at heart. As Charles tested and tried all sorts of methods to expand his shop he stumbled upon a few simple formulas for consistently growing Etsy sales and views.
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