“Thaaaaats Etsywang!” – the hidden danger in arbitrary grades

First a backpedal. I like Etsyrank, and after a brief period during which We Weren’t Talking (TM), I’m starting to warm to Marmalead too. Their tools add value and help streamline the tedious and frustrating process of optimising your listings.

If you follow their advice and do your research, they should help.

But now, if you’re not familiar with That Mitchell and Webb Look, check out Numberwang – the gameshow with POINTLESS, ARBITRARY NUMBERS…


There’s a recurring theme on Etsy forums and networking groups. People have been signing up to these services and optimising their listings to meet A or A+ grades on the respective platforms as a kind of magic bullet. On investigating some of those listings, the owners have indeed optimised their listings for A grades, but in doing so have destroyed any searchability from them by implementing keywords that are either too wide and return several hundred thousand results, or too narrow and return about three.

The thing to remember is that you need to be ranking reasonably well for moderate competition keywords (in my opinion), or if you follow Marmalead or Nonna’s Kitchen then low competition keywords or custom searchable phrases respectively.

Just aiming for an A grade at the cost of rankable or readable listings won’t help you in the long run, you need to combine it with good keyword selection – check out Jen’s Fairy Fountain Gift Blog for some great suggestions.

And Marmalead – if you’re reading – a listing renewal shouldn’t change me from a D to an A+. Recency isn’t that powerful, I think you need to rebalance your ratings.


    1. Yeah spot on – it’s easy to do. To steal a quote, when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I still like the tools, and use them fairly regularly, but simplistic answers are rarely helpful.


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