Shop Etsy

How People Find Your Shop and Listing Views Update

Jul 21, 2011

by ericds

Hi shop owners,

We started to release three new Shop Stats reports related to how people find your shop:

* Top Traffic Sources: sites that sent people to your shop* Top Traffic Sources on Etsy: Etsy features and pages that sent people to your shop* Top Keywords: Keywords people used to find your shop in search engines, including Etsy Search

Each report lists traffic sources and the number of views attributed to each traffic source. In these reports, the number of views includes shop pages and listing pages. You can use these reports to dig into where your traffic is coming from, track marketing efforts, and look for opportunities to increase traffic. The Top Keywords report provides a window into how people search for your items on Etsy, Google, and other search engines. You can use the report to get ideas for how to tag your items and where to focus efforts to increase search engine traffic.

We'd love to hear how you use these reports and what you learn.

These new reports build on recent improvements to how we store and count views announced here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7716/announcements/discuss/8663467/

There's been some confusion about these changes I hope to clarify.

All search engines, and many other services like facebook and twitter, have bots that track new web pages and updates to pages. Bots are essentially computer programs that automatically access web pages. We have always tried to provide accurate view counts that reflect views by real people. We recently updated how we count listing views to more effectively filter out views from bots, which do not represent a person looking at your listing. You may have noticed your view counts increasing at a slower rate recently. It's important to remember that view counts are now a more accurate reflection of the number of shoppers viewing your listings. As some people have noted, bots don't generally buy items on Etsy.

I also want to clarify that we are not blocking bots. We work very hard on site performance (see this blog post for details: http://blog.etsy.com/en/2011/tech-update-faster-and-faster/), and one of many positive effects of improving performance is it enables search engine bots to access Etsy faster, which helps search engine optimization.

We also appreciate people raising concerns about the accuracy of view counts. We are committed to providing accurate data, and we manually reviewed the logs for dozens of accounts and compared them to our view counts. We are confident our view counts are accurate. Some people have also wondered why our view counts don't match Google Analytics data exactly. We use a different technique to collect the data and we do not sample data. Google Analytics samples data, (details here: code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/concepts/gaConceptsSampling.html), which means they record a subset of the data and use statistical analysis to estimate the actual numbers. We also track views when javascript is disabled and Google Analytics does not. However, Google Analytics also ignores traffic from bots.

There is a small delay, usually between two and five minutes, between when a listing is viewed and when the count updates. This is because we buffer updating the counts. The other option would be to sample, similar to Google Analytics, and we chose to buffer instead to improve accuracy.

There are a few cases when views are not counted. For example, when you view your own listing or if someone rapidly refreshes a page.

We plan to release the three new reports to everyone by the end of today, and we're excited to hear what you learn from Shop Stats.

Please post any questions in this thread:http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/8727044/

Thanks!Eric and the Shop Stats Team: Chris Fairbanks, Keyur Govande, Jung Park, and Adam Saponara