Search not working as expected... 3 pages: 1 2 [3]
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 10:49:40 AM
I thought search was supposed to be able to see the individual keywords enclosed in quotation marks by the designer.

I would expect narrow results for a customer enclosing their search terms in quotation marks. If a customer searches without using quotation marks, will they also see items whose tags include those same keywords inside quotation marks? For example, abstract digital art as the search terms, vs. "abstract digital art" in a product's tags?

Should we go back to using single keywords and skip enclosing multi-keyword phrases within quotation marks (or linking them with the '+' sign)? It's all the more tempting to do so, since Zazzle doesn't have a means for customers to specify exact matches only, apart from expecting customers to know that they should enclose things in quotation marks.

More confused than ever.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:31:44 AM
Search: Abstract digital art (175,604 results)

1st item under POPULAR
tag: digital
Title: Abstract Digital Art
Description: digital

4th item
tag: "cool pretty digital art style" as well as "... artwork" and "artistic"
Title: Abstract
Description: Abstract

Middle of 5th page of 17
tag: digital, art
Title: --
Description: Abstract Artwork


Middle of 17th page
tag: digital, art
Title: --
Description: Abstract

Search "Abstract digital Art" (11,000)

item in 1st row of Poplular
tag: abstract, digital art,
title:--
description: --

item on 5th PAGE of 17 pages
tag: 3 tags including art, abstract
title: Digital art
description: Abstract Digital art


item on 17th page
tag: abstract, digital, art
title: abstract
description: abstract digital art

My conclusions:

single words: If product has all individual words in the search, it is higher on the page views.

phrase in quotes: If search uses quotes, the number of results will be smaller (items only having one or two search words will not be found, only those with exact words in exact order are in list)
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:39:13 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
I wonder why your posts are duplicating? that is weird...


Wow, that is weird. I didn't do it.Shocked
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:42:39 AM
MelroseOriginals wrote:
SK DesignWorks wrote:


I'm of the opinion that a customer won't know to type shabbychic, since it is actually 2 words. If I was searching for shabby chic products, I would type shabby chic.


Is there a reason you have the 2 words together at all? If not, I always just separate my multi word phrases with a comma. If there is a reason, then ignore me!Grin


Hi Melrose Originals, Well when I search for shabbychic, all kinds of items come up. I want to be sure I'm included, just in case an actual customer types that in. No point in letting someone else get seen, and not me.

But, I know that is not the right way. So, I want to know how to get shabby chic seen as well. For now, I am covering all bases, with both tags.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:44:57 AM
Thanks, BKMuir! Roses

I think one mistake I'm making is putting things in quotation marks in my tags that are sensible in relation to my artwork, but may be less likely to be searched as an exact search vs. the individual keywords.

My other takeaway is that keywords in titles seem to have greater importance than those in tags.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:45:10 AM
BKMuir wrote:
Search: Abstract digital art (175,604 results)

1st item under POPULAR
tag: digital
Title: Abstract Digital Art
Description: digital

4th item
tag: "cool pretty digital art style" as well as "... artwork" and "artistic"
Title: Abstract
Description: Abstract

Middle of 5th page of 17
tag: digital, art
Title: --
Description: Abstract Artwork


Middle of 17th page
tag: digital, art
Title: --
Description: Abstract

Search "Abstract digital Art" (11,000)

item in 1st row of Poplular
tag: abstract, digital art,
title:--
description: --

item on 5th PAGE of 17 pages
tag: 3 tags including art, abstract
title: Digital art
description: Abstract Digital art


item on 17th page
tag: abstract, digital, art
title: abstract
description: abstract digital art

My conclusions:

single words: If product has all individual words in the search, it is higher on the page views.

phrase in quotes: If search uses quotes, the number of results will be smaller (items only having one or two search words will not be found, only those with exact words in exact order are in list)


Interesting...
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 12:14:37 PM
SK DesignWorks wrote:
MelroseOriginals wrote:
SK DesignWorks wrote:


I'm of the opinion that a customer won't know to type shabbychic, since it is actually 2 words. If I was searching for shabby chic products, I would type shabby chic.


Is there a reason you have the 2 words together at all? If not, I always just separate my multi word phrases with a comma. If there is a reason, then ignore me!Grin


Hi Melrose Originals, Well when I search for shabbychic, all kinds of items come up. I want to be sure I'm included, just in case an actual customer types that in. No point in letting someone else get seen, and not me.

But, I know that is not the right way. So, I want to know how to get shabby chic seen as well. For now, I am covering all bases, with both tags.


Ahh,yes. Kind of like including common misspellings.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 1:30:41 PM
BKMuir wrote:
Search: Abstract digital art (175,604 results)

1st item under POPULAR
tag: digital
Title: Abstract Digital Art
Description: digital

4th item
tag: "cool pretty digital art style" as well as "... artwork" and "artistic"
Title: Abstract
Description: Abstract

Middle of 5th page of 17
tag: digital, art
Title: --
Description: Abstract Artwork


Middle of 17th page
tag: digital, art
Title: --
Description: Abstract

Search "Abstract digital Art" (11,000)

item in 1st row of Poplular
tag: abstract, digital art,
title:--
description: --

item on 5th PAGE of 17 pages
tag: 3 tags including art, abstract
title: Digital art
description: Abstract Digital art


item on 17th page
tag: abstract, digital, art
title: abstract
description: abstract digital art

My conclusions:

single words: If product has all individual words in the search, it is higher on the page views.

phrase in quotes: If search uses quotes, the number of results will be smaller (items only having one or two search words will not be found, only those with exact words in exact order are in list)


That is interesting but I am suspect of using the Popular sort to try to gauge which keywords are weightier. Doesn't the popular sort also take into account the number of views and/or sales as to which place on which page a product will be shown? Or am I off base here?

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 2:06:29 PM
BKMuir wrote:
Search: Abstract digital art (175,604 results)

My conclusions:

single words: If product has all individual words in the search, it is higher on the page views.

phrase in quotes: If search uses quotes, the number of results will be smaller (items only having one or two search words will not be found, only those with exact words in exact order are in list)


Thank you to everyone who is putting time and energy into trying to make sense of this. It's very interesting, overwhelming and honestly, confusing.

When I use phrases as keywords I use the + to link them. Based on BK's research, keyword phrases linked by a + will not display a product if only one or two of the search words are included in the keyword phrase. Am I understanding this correctly?

If that's the case, I don't see the point of using phrases. The odds don't seem very good that a customer is going to type in my exact phrase in the exact order. It seems we're shooting ourselves in the foot by using phrases, single keywords seem to give us better odds of being found.

Sales from all of my stores have dropped dramatically (about 50%) over the last 15 months. I'm not sure when I started using phrases, but that could be about the same time my sales started dropping.

So, thanks again for any help in understanding this.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 2:25:29 PM
PawsitiveDesigns wrote:
BKMuir wrote:
Search: Abstract digital art (175,604 results)

My conclusions:

single words: If product has all individual words in the search, it is higher on the page views.

phrase in quotes: If search uses quotes, the number of results will be smaller (items only having one or two search words will not be found, only those with exact words in exact order are in list)


Thank you to everyone who is putting time and energy into trying to make sense of this. It's very interesting, overwhelming and honestly, confusing.

When I use phrases as keywords I use the + to link them. Based on BK's research, keyword phrases linked by a + will not display a product if only one or two of the search words are included in the keyword phrase. Am I understanding this correctly?

If that's the case, I don't see the point of using phrases. The odds don't seem very good that a customer is going to type in my exact phrase in the exact order. It seems we're shooting ourselves in the foot by using phrases, single keywords seem to give us better odds of being found.

Sales from all of my stores have dropped dramatically (about 50%) over the last 15 months. I'm not sure when I started using phrases, but that could be about the same time my sales started dropping.

So, thanks again for any help in understanding this.


Yes, I would like to say thank you as well. It has been very enlightening. I've learned a lot and in spite of how it may be projected by some it is not that simplistic.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 2:39:51 PM
PawsitiveDesigns wrote:
BKMuir wrote:
Search: Abstract digital art (175,604 results)

My conclusions:

single words: If product has all individual words in the search, it is higher on the page views.

phrase in quotes: If search uses quotes, the number of results will be smaller (items only having one or two search words will not be found, only those with exact words in exact order are in list)


Thank you to everyone who is putting time and energy into trying to make sense of this. It's very interesting, overwhelming and honestly, confusing.

When I use phrases as keywords I use the + to link them. Based on BK's research, keyword phrases linked by a + will not display a product if only one or two of the search words are included in the keyword phrase. Am I understanding this correctly?

If that's the case, I don't see the point of using phrases. The odds don't seem very good that a customer is going to type in my exact phrase in the exact order. It seems we're shooting ourselves in the foot by using phrases, single keywords seem to give us better odds of being found.

Sales from all of my stores have dropped dramatically (about 50%) over the last 15 months. I'm not sure when I started using phrases, but that could be about the same time my sales started dropping.

So, thanks again for any help in understanding this.


If I am understanding correctly I think that the only time your exact phrase matters is if the shopper entered the phrase enclosed in quotation marks into the search bar. like this "cute red dog" then only results with that exact phrase are supposed to be called up.

however if they enter cute blue dog without quotation marks then results with those words somewhere on the page should be called up.

where I am not clear in my understanding is whether you have to all three words or not in order to surface in the search result of the second example.

hope that makes sense...

I have seen lots of examples of search results that have nothing but long tail phrases as tags and they are still being called up to the top of the first pages but again this is a search sorted by popular and I think views and sales also weigh in on page position in that kind of search.

Adding: lol, I just noticed my dog changed colors in the middle of my examples...
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 2:53:49 PM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
I think one mistake I'm making is putting things in quotation marks in my tags that are sensible in relation to my artwork, but may be less likely to be searched as an exact search vs. the individual keywords.


Not a mistake. There is no negative consequence to putting terms together as an exact phrase as they can still be searched as individual words. It actually gives you a slight edge to do so. Here's an example (because examples & pics always seem easier then just words):

Here's a tag set for one of my items:



And this is what they end up as:



There are only two ways I know of to get multiple words in the same tag. Type quotations marks around the set, or enter the + sign between the words. Either way, you end up with the same thing: a tag that is an exact phrase but the individual words still count separately.

Now, if someone happened to be searching for party supplies for their aging hippie friends get-together and entered "hippie themed party supplies" with the quotes to make it an exact phrase, they would get 5 results, all of which are mine. If, as most people probably do, they just entered hippie themed party supplies without any quotes, my 5 items still come up, along with 21 others. So now there is "competition" when the words are treated individually by the searcher. So grouping words together as an exact phrase is beneficial if you can come up with a phrase that is common or possibly likely to be used for your niche product. You'll still be found if people aren't entering for that exact phrase, but if they are, yours might be the only things they find.

(My phrase here isn't exactly common or all that good, but I think it illustrates the principal.)




Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 3:01:57 PM
you can also make phrase tags by separating the phrases with a comma

like this

cute red dog,pet lovers,canine humor,

this is how I do it.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 3:14:17 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
you can also make phrase tags by separating the phrases with a comma

like this

cute red dog,pet lovers,canine humor,

this is how I do it.

Thanks, that's a good tip for entering multiple, multiple-word tags at once. I'd never tried that before as I'm a one at a time sort, like to see what I've already entered before trying to think of the next one, LOL
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 4:03:12 PM
ColeenZ wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
you can also make phrase tags by separating the phrases with a comma

like this

cute red dog,pet lovers,canine humor,

this is how I do it.

Thanks, that's a good tip for entering multiple, multiple-word tags at once. I'd never tried that before as I'm a one at a time sort, like to see what I've already entered before trying to think of the next one, LOL


Sure thing, I learned to do it that way because I am usually on limited time and trying to get as much crammed in as possible. LOL
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2019 8:16:52 PM
Shelli and Colleen, thanks very much for the clarification. I see what you're saying, it's only when a customer uses quotation marks around their search words, that we have to be concerned if they match exactly or not. My guess is that most customers probably don't use quotation marks when searching, so it's probably not much of an issue. I really appreciate both of you taking time to explain in detail, I now see why phrases are a benefit and even an advantage. Thanks again!
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 7:10:43 AM
PawsitiveDesigns wrote:
Shelli and Colleen, thanks very much for the clarification. I see what you're saying, it's only when a customer uses quotation marks around their search words, that we have to be concerned if they match exactly or not. My guess is that most customers probably don't use quotation marks when searching, so it's probably not much of an issue. I really appreciate both of you taking time to explain in detail, I now see why phrases are a benefit and even an advantage. Thanks again!


Glad to help!

We are all trying to make some sense out of how the searches work. Smile
Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 2:40:32 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
Susannah Keegan wrote:
I went back to the Help section (something I haven't looked at since I joined and read it). Sure enough, under tagging it says

"Don’t: Include words related to the product title- 'T-shirt,' 'Invitations,' 'Cards,' etc."


So now we are left wondering if this did in fact change. I sorted my products by least views and gave the ones that only had 1 or 2 views a product tag. Nothing to lose. They were apparently invisible anyway.


But I wish it was clearer.


It makes you wonder if you can follow any advice given...

the triptychs that I put the tag "acrylic triptych wall art" on last night started showing up in searches just a few minutes later.


Well, the top of my head has now officially blown off. I'm new to this thread (thanks for pointing the way, Shelli) and relatively new to Zazzle. I've been operating under the assumption, no, instruction that product types don't go in tags. This is incredibly frustrating for a newbie who has gotten so little exposure in the MP and has been following the help menu advice very carefully. Sad Somehow I even got the idea that we'd get penalized for including them, but that probably came from a bad dream I had...

So... The thing I get from this thread is that I should be adding product types to my tags. Would you say that was right, or am I missing some other important thing? AND ANOTHER THING: Do we or don't we add anything about customization or personalization in the tags? That's something else I've been advised not to do, but what I HAVE seen in some people's tags, even Pro Platinum and Diamond people.

Crying
Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 3:05:59 PM
I think it is still unnecessary to add the product type to the tags or title. If you want to include it in the description it couldn't hurt and may help you get picked up in outside searches. The issue here is mostly specific to the triptychs and maybe a few items in the new paper breakout as far as I have read and understand due to some words being product formats vs product types. Page 2 of this thread about halfway down starts some good reasoning of this line of thinking. It has been brought up again here and there in a couple of other threads, and I believe that this is the general consensus now.

In the newest Zazzle chat, they reiterated it again that Zazzle does automatically add product type as well as words like customized so it is unnecessary to add those either. I believe it was also mentioned in the chat that product types as well as customize/personalize are picked up by external search engines. It is worth a watch if you have not yet.Smile

(edited to try and explain a little better...)
Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 3:48:08 PM
What we found out about "Triptych" is that it is not a product type but a format so adding it did help.

But the chat confirms that we shouldn't add them (product types) to tags and titles so that is best practice and that is what I will follow.

In the description I don't think it hurts though to mention them or the words personalize/customize since the description is mainly for the shopper and the outside search engines.





Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 4:20:24 PM
Thanks so much, Melrose and Shelli! Smile
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 8:04:41 AM
Quote:
In the newest Zazzle chat, they reiterated it again that Zazzle does automatically add product type as well as words like customized so it is unnecessary to add those either. I believe it was also mentioned in the chat that product types as well as customize/personalize are picked up by external search engines.

Quote:
But the chat confirms that we shouldn't add them (product types) to tags and titles so that is best practice and that is what I will follow.

I usually avoid video lectures as I hate being forced to sit through a whole production waiting for whenever the part that may interest me will come up. I prefer text I can easily scroll around and "preview". Anyhows, I watched the mentioned video chat this morning and this is what I took away from it.

At around 8:20 in the video they start discussing meta data. He says to repeat important keywords in both Title and Tags and especially the Description to give it extra weight. He says that Descriptions carry more weight outside of Zazzle (because as we all knew, Zazzle's algorithm is different than Google's) and that analysis shows that longer ones, say at least three sentences, see better sales.

Then around 16:05 they start talking specifically about product types and meta data. He says:
Quote:
"Please don't use product keywords in your meta data"
and
Quote:
"Zazzle has lots of technology for us to put those product descriptions in the actual title".

Then about 18:10 they come to Tags specifically and say we don't need to include the product type because it's a waste of the limited number of tags we have and Zazzle already includes the product type as sort of free, extra tags.

After this discussion & research started last week, I went through my entire store (I have less than 200 items so it was monotonous but not overwhelming) and made sure to work in whatever product type Zazzle automatically appended to the Title (such as "throw pillow") to my tags and description as well. (With phone cases I didn't add a model, just "phone case".) In my mind, the type of thing it is is the most important descriptive factor and thus bears repeating in all three places for extra weight, as mentioned above at 8:20.

Now, here is an example of why, regardless of Zazzle saying we don't need to, I will continue to make sure I include the product type in my tags (and title & description) until they tell me I CAN'T.:

I have a bath towel set where one tag is "tie dye towels".
If I search for "tie dye towels" (in quotes as exact phrase) I get 6 results, one of which is mine. All six results have "towel" in the Tags (obviously), Title and Description.
If I search for tie dye towels (no quotes) I get 249 results. Many of the results only have "towel" in the title (as added by Zazzle) but mine still comes up on the first page. Since it's not a product that has ever sold I can only assume the reason I am on the first page and not the last is because I weighted "towel" by including it in all three places.

Now, if we eliminate "towel" as a search word and just use "tie dye" (38K+ results) and then rely on drilling down thru the "refine by category" drop-down to narrow things down to just towels, it's a lot of work. You have to click thru
Home Furnishing & Pet Supplies
Bath & Beauty
Bathroom Accessories
Bath Towels
and now it's been narrowed down to 71 results. And again, even though it has never sold, mine comes up in the top ten.

Searching by category is a rough way to go. The way the drop-downs work, you don't know there are more subcategories after you've picked the first one unless you happen to click open the drop-down again and see "oh, I can narrow it down further". There's no way to go directly to Bath Towels. A shopper looking for tie-dyed towels who doesn't realize they can click the category drop-down again to narrow down further (and why would they, it's not self-evident) might stop at the top-level category, where your product is lost in a much greater number of products, many of which are not even towels.

As a shopper, I always search stores by keywords because Zazzle is not alone in making category structure & navigation complicated to follow. I would think for most people, if they are looking for something specific, say a tie-dye towel, they are going to go straight to a search box and enter tie dye towels rather than jump thru the hoops of a store's internal navigation system.
I know this got much longer than I intended, but overall, what I am saying is that including the product type in Tags and Description does indeed appear (from my modest experiments anyway) to be beneficial even though they say we don't need to do it. So I am going to keep doing it until they explicitly say we can't, or explicitly say it hurts us somehow. Because saying we don't need to is quite a bit different then saying it has negative consequences.
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 10:47:37 AM
ColeenZ wrote:
Quote:
In the newest Zazzle chat, they reiterated it again that Zazzle does automatically add product type as well as words like customized so it is unnecessary to add those either. I believe it was also mentioned in the chat that product types as well as customize/personalize are picked up by external search engines.

Quote:
But the chat confirms that we shouldn't add them (product types) to tags and titles so that is best practice and that is what I will follow.

I usually avoid video lectures as I hate being forced to sit through a whole production waiting for whenever the part that may interest me will come up. I prefer text I can easily scroll around and "preview". Anyhows, I watched the mentioned video chat this morning and this is what I took away from it.

At around 8:20 in the video they start discussing meta data. He says to repeat important keywords in both Title and Tags and especially the Description to give it extra weight. He says that Descriptions carry more weight outside of Zazzle (because as we all knew, Zazzle's algorithm is different than Google's) and that analysis shows that longer ones, say at least three sentences, see better sales.

Then around 16:05 they start talking specifically about product types and meta data. He says:
Quote:
"Please don't use product keywords in your meta data"
and
Quote:
"Zazzle has lots of technology for us to put those product descriptions in the actual title".

Then about 18:10 they come to Tags specifically and say we don't need to include the product type because it's a waste of the limited number of tags we have and Zazzle already includes the product type as sort of free, extra tags.

After this discussion & research started last week, I went through my entire store (I have less than 200 items so it was monotonous but not overwhelming) and made sure to work in whatever product type Zazzle automatically appended to the Title (such as "throw pillow") to my tags and description as well. (With phone cases I didn't add a model, just "phone case".) In my mind, the type of thing it is is the most important descriptive factor and thus bears repeating in all three places for extra weight, as mentioned above at 8:20.

Now, here is an example of why, regardless of Zazzle saying we don't need to, I will continue to make sure I include the product type in my tags (and title & description) until they tell me I CAN'T.:

I have a bath towel set where one tag is "tie dye towels".
If I search for "tie dye towels" (in quotes as exact phrase) I get 6 results, one of which is mine. All six results obviously have "towel" in the Tags, Title and Description.
If I search for tie dye towels (no quotes) I get 249 results. Many of the results only have "towel" in the title (as added by Zazzle) but mine still comes up on the first page. Since it's not a product that has ever sold I can only assume the reason I am on the first page and not the last is because I weighted "towel" by including it in all three places.

Now, if we eliminate "towel" as a search word and just use "tie dye" (38K+ results) and then rely on drilling down thru the "refine by category" drop-down to narrow things down to just towels, it's a lot of work. You have to click thru
Home Furnishing & Pet Supplies
Bath & Beauty
Bathroom Accessories
Bath Towels
and now it's been narrowed down to 71 results. And again, even though it has never sold, mine comes up in the top ten.

Searching by category is a rough way to go. The way the drop-downs work, you don't know there are more subcategories after you've picked the first one unless you happen to click open the drop-down again and see "oh, I can narrow it down further". There's no way to go directly to Bath Towels. A shopper looking for tie-dyed towels who doesn't realize they can click the category drop-down again to narrow down further (and why would they, it's not self-evident) might stop at the top-level category, where your product is lost in a much greater number of products, many of which are not even towels.

As a shopper, I always search stores by keywords because Zazzle is not alone in making category structure & navigation complicated to follow. I would think for most people, if they are looking for something specific, say a tie-dye towel, they are going to go straight to a search box and enter tie dye towels rather than jump thru the hoops of a store's internal navigation system.
I know this got much longer than I intended, but overall, what I am saying is that including the product type in Tags and Description does indeed appear (from my modest experiments anyway) to be beneficial even though they say we don't need to do it. So I am going to keep doing it until they explicitly say we can't, or explicitly say it hurts us somehow. Because saying we don't need to is quite a bit different then saying it has negative consequences.


Thanks for posting this and for all the time you have poured into trying to help figure this out! I appreciate it and have some thinking to do.Smile
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 12:11:11 PM
ColeenZ, that makes total sense and really makes me rethink this whole thing...again after I thought I had made up my mind.
As a shopper I usually go straight to the search at any site I am on and put in exactly what I am looking for and then maybe drill down after that. Usually it starts as broad as "pink floral iphone 7 plus case", but always with the product I am looking for because I don't care what the design is if it's not on what I need.

I started adding product types to a few things after this thread first started and then quickly got tired and overwhelmed but I was adding the product type in with another descriptive word/s so not wasting a tag.

Then I got the impression from this thread and a couple of others that maybe it didn't actually help except for the cases like the triptych and then the new chat came out at the same time and seemed to confirm that.

Between this and my phone case frustrations I am really getting overwhelmed with edits.
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