How Etsy Search Works

When a member searches for an item on Etsy, Etsy’s search algorithm works to return the most relevant matches. Details of this algorithm change regularly so we can help buyers find what they're looking for.

Sellers control the most important factors in Etsy Search placement. 

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Factors in Etsy's search placement

The following factors combine to determine which items appear and the order (or placement) in which those items are displayed. Keep in mind that these factors are not equally weighted to determine the order of the results.

Tag and title relevancy

Items in Etsy's search results must match the buyer’s search word or phrase. Items that do not match a buyer’s search won’t be included in results.

For example, the search “banana backpack” will only return items that match both “banana” and “backpack” in either the listing tags or titles.

Once the search algorithm finds all of the items that match the search, we also use keywords to determine the order of those results.

  • Exact phrase matches are stronger than matches on individual words. For example, a search for “banana backpack” would return all items with the words “banana” and “backpack” in the tags or title, but items with “banana backpack” in the title would be considered a closer match.

  • If a word or phrase in a buyer’s search appears in both the title and tags of a listing, the search algorithm considers that listing more relevant than a listing with that word or phrase in the tags or title alone.

  • Words at the beginning of titles are considered more important than words at the end.

Item attribute relevancy

The key information provided in item attributes is considered in Etsy search, similar to keywords in item tags and titles.

When using attributes, select as many accurate attributes as each item has available. This will maximize your item’s exposure in search results.

Check out this Help article for more details on using attributes with your items.

Listing quality

To show items that buyers are likely to purchase, Etsy’s search algorithm also considers how well individual items tend to do in search. We call this “listing quality.”

If a buyer clicks, favorites, or purchases an item after they’ve seen it in search results, that action contributes to the listing’s quality score.

Note: New shops and listings have a neutral quality score, which has no impact on placement.

Customer & market experience

We want buyers to have a great experience when they purchase from a seller on Etsy. Because of this, we consider a shop’s record of customer service and whether it’s in good standing according to Etsy’s policies.

Great reviews, completed About section, and completed shop policies can all help your placement in search. Using the shop policies template will also slightly improve your placement (FAQs and seller details are not factored). However, recent cases and past intellectual property infringement issues can have a negative effect. New shops have a neutral score, which has no impact on placement.


To keep search results fresh for frequent shoppers, Etsy’s search algorithm reviews how recently an item was listed or relisted.

Shop and buyer location

Many buyers from the EU, Australia, and Canada have told us that they like purchasing from sellers based in their own countries or neighboring countries.

To make local items slightly more prominent in search results in these specific countries, we take the location of the shop and the shopper into account. Searches made within other countries do not take shop location into account for search results.

Also, Etsy may suppress listings from search in some locations due to regional laws or restrictions. For example, if an item is illegal in one country but permitted to be sold in the rest of the world, we may not show listings for that item to shoppers in that country. The listing would still be visible to buyers in other countries.

Translation of listings in search

All your listing information, including titles and tags, needs to be in the shop language you chose when you signed up for selling on Etsy. For example, if your shop language is French, but you've written your tags in English, the tags will not help to bring up your items.

Etsy will automatically translate listings for you, or you can choose to translate yourself. Read more about translating into other languages.

To check your shop's default listing language, click Manage languages on this page: Shop Manager > Settings > Languages and translations.

Improving the search factors in your shop

The steps you take in listing your items and maintaining your shop are the most important factors in getting your items found through search on Etsy.

Add more specific categories to your listings

Relevant categories display your items to the right buyers, so we encourage you to add more specific information to your listings.This will make it easier for buyers to find you.

Review your tags and titles

  • This article explains how to best utilize your tags.

  • Learn how to choose the best titles for your items here.

Make sure your attributes are accurate

  • Read over this Help article on attributes.

  • Be sure you’re selecting the best available and relevant attributes if your options don’t exactly match.

  • Use a combination of item tags and attributes to help show your items in a variety of searches.

Encourage shopper interaction

  • List your items with clear item photographs that invite a closer look.

  • Use the cropping tool, so your item thumbnail is correctly formatted.

  • Price can be a factor in whether a shopper clicks on your item. Avoid pricing items too low or too high for your target shopper. If you'd like to get more advice on how to price your items, see the article How to Price Like a Pro.

Provide a positive customer experience

Taking these steps will help ensure that your customers have a positive experience and are encouraged to leave a great review.

  • Complete your shipping profiles to represent processing times to your buyers accurately. Be sure to complete orders to help buyers know when to expect their items.

  • Make sure your About section is complete. Read more about telling your story.

  • Fill out your shop policies and use the template to give buyers helpful information about your shop.

  • Take steps to communicate with past buyers and swiftly resolve open cases.

The Seller Handbook provides a number of customer service resources to get you started.

Questions about optimizing your listings for Etsy search?

Request a shop critique from other sellers in the Community Forums. 

Enroll in an Etsy U class to learn more about search from experienced sellers.

Enroll in Etsy U

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