Anyone who spends any time in the Etsy forums lately knows that there is an uproar in progress concerning the nosedive in views and sales experienced there since sometime around mid-March. Nobody really knows what happened. There is a lot of finger pointing, mostly at Etsy, but a growing number point at Google for their SEO project code named "Caffeine", designed to compete with Microsoft's Bing.
Apparently the search world has been rocked by changes Google has been making to their search algorithm (or by the resulting incompatibility between Etsy and Google), and anyone who relies on virtual customers finding their virtual wares using an internet search is completely vulnerable to the fate of these tweaks. Nobody even knows if the caffeine search infrastructure is even live yet, and Google is staying mum about it, but it's becoming increasingly clear that something did indeed happen to shake things up around mid-March.
I use Google Analytics to see where my Etsy shop traffic comes from, and the keywords that they use to end up in my shop. It's always been somewhat broken, in my opinion, but recently, it's gotten even curiouser. Here are my top 10 favorite keywords that visitors to my shop used in the last month:
10. "Peace car decals". Hmmm, how did Google know I had these? I guess their satellites are more powerful than I thought.
9. "Littlefee shoes".
8. "Hippie wedding dresses".
7. "Leather robot".
6. "Solid perfume in a wood container".
5. "Rhinestone white flip flops".
4. "Tummy mountain".
3. "Cowgirl crosses".
2. "Fabric with pigs on it".
I think I need some caffeine. The good kind.