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Sarah Waggoner

Understanding the Etsy Algorithm: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you’re an Etsy seller, you may have heard about the algorithm that determines how your shop appears in search results. Understanding how this algorithm works can help you increase your traffic and sales. In this guide, we’ll break down the basics of the Etsy algorithm and provide tips for optimizing your shop to get found by more Etsy buyers.

What is the Etsy algorithm?

The Etsy algorithm is a complex system that determines how items are ranked in search results. There are dozens of factors included in this system. But it’s important to learn how to take advantage of the search algorithm to get in front of the millions of buyers coming to Etsy every year to shop.

How does the Etsy algorithm work?

The Etsy algorithm uses a variety of factors to determine how items are ranked in search results. It’s important to note that Etsy search results are personalized for each buyer. Here’s what that means. Buyer’s who have logged into Etsy and interacted in some way will have their search results affected by those interactions. So if a buyer has previously visited listings in your shop, they may be more likely to see your listings or similar listings in their search results again. If you want to get into a lot more details about how this works, check out Etsy’s detailed explanation here.

Factors that affect your Etsy ranking.

There are several factors that can affect your ranking on Etsy. Some of these factors you can control and some you can’t. Below I’ve listed the biggest factors in the Etsy algorithm.

Tags and Titles

This is one of the biggest factors in the Etsy SEO algorithm that you have direct control over. You want to pick long-tail keyword phrases that Etsy buyers are actually using in the Etsy search bar. Then you want to use them in both your tags and your titles in your listings. Make sure the phrases are relevant to your listings and don’t have so much competition that ranking for them will be impossible.


Attributes are available in the back end of each listing and can be different depending on your product category. Make sure to use these when relevant, but don’t add attributes that don’t directly apply to your product listings.

Listing Quality Score

Your listing quality score includes a variety of factors including your conversion rate, previous purchases, favorites, and reviews. Think of it this way…Etsy wants to show buyers listings they are more likely to purchase and listings with a lot of good reviews, a good conversion rate, or a ton of favorites are more likely to be purchased and loved by buyers.

If your shop doesn’t have a lot of sales, there’s no reason to worry though. Remember this is just one part of the algorithm and doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot of sales on listings without a history.


Recency, or how new a listing is, used to be a much larger portion of the algorithm on Etsy. While it’s still a factor, it’s a small one. So there’s no need to renew listings to give them a boost as even Etsy says that’s not a long-term, viable strategy to show up in search results.

Tips for optimizing your Etsy shop for the algorithm.

Keyword research is the first step in ranking well in the Etsy algorithm. Your keyword research process should include finding data on Etsy as well as in third party keyword research tools. You need to make sure buyers are using the phrases you’re trying to rank for. You also want to make sure that they aren’t too competitive. The next step is to make sure these phrases are optimized in a format that shows Etsy you’re important for them which includes matching keyword phrases to your tags and titles. To learn more about that, make sure to listen to this podcast episode.

How to track and analyze your shop’s performance.

Once you have a strategy for your search engine optimization, you’ll want to monitor how effective it is for you by checking your Etsy stats regularly. You can do this by watching your “Etsy Search” category on the stats page and by monitoring what search terms you’re being found for.

Need more help? Figuring out the Etsy search algorithm is absolutely one of the easiest ways to get more sales consistently. Join me in The Seller Collective, my Etsy membership that teaches you how to get more sales by using the Etsy algorithm to your advantage.


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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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