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Medhue Simoni

Inworld Traffic count problems

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Josh Susanto wrote:

>
Medhue, LL is not going to do without tier for a month. They would not even consider such a thing, not for a second. 

If everyone just agreed not to pay it, LL wouldn't have to consider anything.

And, as they say where I come from, "if my aunt had a rather different anatomy, she'd be my uncle" (they don't actually say that, but the version they do say might upset the content filter).   It's not going to happen.   I know it's supposed to be "your world, your imagination" but that's not quite what's meant.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yes, I got sales, and I'm sure most people got some sales, but what if LL's profits were cut by 30% all of a sudden? Them giving free tier for 1 month, and every employee taking that same hit, would give them all just a little clue of what we face on a regular basis.

 Who are "we" in this context?  I think the number of people, be they merchants or land barons, for whom SL represents ~30% or more of their RL income must be a rather small minority.   

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Josh Susanto wrote:

>
Medhue, LL is not going to do without tier for a month. They would not even consider such a thing, not for a second. 

If everyone just agreed not to pay it, LL wouldn't have to consider anything.

File this one too under the "if my aunt had a XXXX she'd be my uncle" (thank you Innula, I will be making frequent use of that term).  

Why don't you do a count of everyone in just this thread alone who will volunteer to not pay their tier.

Cause talk is cheap.

 

 

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I'm going to be the dumb one here but I have to ask because I don't seem to see any sales effects of this issue....


What exactly is the traffic count used for and why exactly is it pinching some of you in the butt the way it is? I know search used to work off traffic numbers, but doesn't appear to anymore since I can see in the current search they are not ordered by traffic count. I also haven't seen any sales impacts since this started. So what exactly is the issue with traffic numbers that I don't know about...and probably should. LOL

 

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"I'm going to be the dumb one here but I have to ask because I don't seem to see any sales effects of this issue".. Higher in world traffic on a keyword search will sell your products just like bringing up the first few pages does on a The Marketplace relevance keyword search. Why is this? Because the vast majority of peeps don't typically want to flip through dozens of pages of search results to find things to buy and so of course they will default to 'most popular'. (Some of the posts are suggesting that not everyone is being effected the same in this matter). ;-)

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Spica Inventor wrote:

Because the vast majority of peeps don't typically want to flip through dozens of pages of search results to find things to buy and so of course they will default to 'most popular'. (Some of the posts are suggesting that not everyone is being effected the same in this matter). ;-)

I dunno, and I suspect it depends on your product line and marketting strategy.   Certainly my business partner and I (she's the animator, I'm the scripter, and we sell all our builds under her name) have never paid attention to search ratings, since they've always been flawed.  We rely primarily on other marketting techniques.   And I get all my freelance scripting work, and always have done, from referrals and repeat business.   But we sell high-ticket items to a particular client base, and don't really depend on "passing trade".    So it's not really affected us much.

The people I know it has hit, though, are commercial landlords and venues generally, since people looking to rent store space are worried about traffic (I am, in this context, since I regard a lot of our stores more as advertising than as retail outlets), and people who run venues, since visitor counts are important when you're looking for a place to go to hang out, or so I find.

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Well, first let me address the "Traffic doesn't affect Search" issue. Yes, it does. When LL pushed the Pathfinding updates grid-wide (which also apparently caused the Traffic counts to go haywire due to some as-yet unexplained issue with a back-end server) the Search Dev Team pushed out an update that downplayed the effect of Traffic on Search .. but not by that much. Prior to that, Parcel Traffic had a much stronger effect on Search Rank.

Let's take two consecutive days and see how the rank changed based solely on changes in Traffic. Note that these are from after the Search Update, so they reflect the current influence of Parcel Traffic in establishing Search Rank:

teleporter 2012-08-13.png

In this first image you can see that Spiritgate Metaverse outranks my Teleporter store because their traffic is counted as 109 while mine is only 23. The very next day when the traffic numbers were updated, the positions switched:

teleporter 2012-08-14.png

Their calculated Parcel Traffic had dropped to 46 while mine climbed to 236, thus I moved above them.

It's also important to notice the three stores owned by @YourHOME that come immediately after Spiritgate Metaverse. Notice that all three have very low traffic numbers; all zero the first day, only one had Traffic of 1 the next. I promise you their stores are WAY more relevant to the Search Term 'Teleporter' than is Spiritgate Metaverse with their "Teleporter Hub" for visitors. Yet they are outranked by Spiritgate, again solely on the weight of Parcel Traffic.

Now, that's just how Parcel Traffic effects Search. But Search (believe it or not) is still very important to a lot of Venues and Sims. Also there or a lot of people that depend on the Parcel Traffic stat to determine where to rent space for a store of kiosk. When the Parcel Traffic bug surfaced, one of the really weird things was that places that still use Bots (parked way up high so as to escape casual detection) were still making big numbers in Traffic. But those places that had eliminated (or never used) Bots were the ones with numbers roughly 20% of before.

Quite a few on the JIRA mention how they had lost renters and potential renters solely based on the dreadfully low numbers being posted. As I proved above, they also lost visibility in Search because unrelated parcels and parcels with Cheater Bots vaulted to the top. (And if you're not in the top 5-10 for most search terms, you might as well not even BE in Search.)

There is a very large segment of the SL Economy that depends on daily foot traffic and daily traffic counts in the mid 5-digits. When those venues suddenly vanish from Search, when their ability to secure sub-renters vanishes, their ability to pay for Tier also vanishes. They are in a very "bleeding edge" money game .. and they know it. Thus they hawk their Search Rank and their Traffic Numbers almost minute by minute. Most of them also have sophisticated visitor counters that serve to back up the numbers calculated and posted by LL. That is why they noticed right away that the calculations were way off. It's NOT a business model for the faint-of-heart .. but for those with the stomach and nerve it can turn some really nice profits too. (Ye olde Risk vs. Reward equation)

It's one thing to lose out because you made a wrong move or because your competitors bested you in some respect, but to lose out .. and lose big in some cases .. because of a "bug" that gets no attention, no resolution and has no workaround .. for a MONTH!? That's a situation guaranteed to enflame tempers and collapse wallets. It's also going to ensure that people walk away, abandon their Sims and never return. If you have a fair shake in the battle, it's easy to deal with the punches that hurt. But punches below the belt that you can't defend against? Well, it's just too much to handle for some.

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Spica Inventor wrote:

"I'm going to be the dumb one here but I have to ask because I don't seem to see any sales effects of this issue".. Higher in world traffic on a keyword search will sell your products just like bringing up the first few pages does on a The Marketplace relevance keyword search. Why is this? Because the vast majority of peeps don't typically want to flip through dozens of pages of search results to find things to buy and so of course they will default to 'most popular'. (Some of the posts are suggesting that not everyone is being effected the same in this matter). ;-)

But how does it do that? Are people only clicking on the ones with a higher number? because it's not listed in order of traffic count. I see someone with 0 traffic that are above ones with a few hundred for certain search terms. I'm using the default search in the firestorm viewer, i don't know if that makes a difference.

 

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Spica Inventor wrote:

Because the vast majority of peeps don't typically want to flip through dozens of pages of search results to find things to buy and so of course they will default to 'most popular'. (Some of the posts are suggesting that not everyone is being effected the same in this matter). ;-)

I dunno, and I suspect it depends on your product line and marketting strategy.   Certainly my business partner and I (she's the animator, I'm the scripter, and we sell all our builds under her name) have never paid attention to search ratings, since they've always been flawed.  We rely primarily on other marketting techniques.   And I get all my freelance scripting work, and always have done, from referrals and repeat business.   But we sell high-ticket items to a particular client base, and don't really depend on "passing trade".    So it's not really affected us much.

The people I know it has hit, though, are commercial landlords and venues generally, since people looking to rent store space are worried about traffic (I am, in this context, since I regard a lot of our stores more as advertising than as retail outlets), and people who run venues, since visitor counts are important when you're looking for a place to go to hang out, or so I find.

I guess maybe that's why i haven't seen a difference either. I don't think hardly anyone finds me via the search. i rely more on marketing and find the search to be pretty useless. But ya I can see how a loss in ranking would effect event type venues.

 

 

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Darrius...see this is where I am not seeing it. i see your image you posted of your search rankings but mine doesn't look like this. It does not go in order of traffic like yours does. This is why I never really played much into traffic numbers, because to me, they've never affected which order results show up in. I don't know if this is a particular setting or what the deal is but this how mine appear.

Also...if everyone now has these lower numbers, does it really affect the order if in fact your results are based on order. I mean if you had 10,000 one day and your competitor have 8,0000 and the next day youhad 100 and they had 80, would the order not be the same if it was sorted in the same fashion.

here are my results for gothic furniture search. I do find it odd that the first result has a higher traffic ranking, in fact, it is very close to what it normally is before all this mess for that listing but everyone else is down into triple digits. I have the second highest traffic number in the list shown yet I'm at the bottom. I can't say with certainty that traffic doesn't have any effect, maybe it does and maybe it doesn't, but it doesn't appear to have much of one if it does. not enough that I would drop my sim over it.

searchresults.jpg

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It can't just be traffic that does it, though.  Now Spiritgate's traffic figures have recovered somewhat and, though they are stil considerably lower than yours, it's been sufficient to put them back in first place.   So there must be something that can override traffic:

Capture.JPG

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Medhue, LL is not going to do without tier for a month. They would not even consider such a thing, not for a second. 

 

 

Oh, of course, I know that. It is nice to speculate about a perfectly fair world tho.

 

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yes, I got sales, and I'm sure most people got some sales, but what if LL's profits were cut by 30% all of a sudden? Them giving free tier for 1 month, and every employee taking that same hit, would give them all just a little clue of what we face on a regular basis.

 Who are "we" in this context?  I think the number of people, be they merchants or land barons, for whom SL represents ~30% or more of their RL income must be a rather small minority.   

I would beg to differ. I, myself, know at least a dozen. Plus, small is a relative term. Owning a sim represents a substantial amount of money. No person in the right mind would call that insignificant. We can basically assume that 1 half to 1 quarter of those people make some kind of money. Owning more than 1 would almost definitely signify that they make a considerable amount. So, just by the amount of sim owners, 1 can deduce that there are, at the very least, a good amount of people who make enough to qualify for my "We".

 

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Deja and Innula: In-World Search is a "complicated beast" .. to say the least. Traffic isn't the whole story. It is however a large factor in the calculation. In this last (silent) update, they turned down its influence, but kept it as a primary factor. However there are a lot of other things that go into calculating Rank.

One of the things that has rendered Search basically useless (for a lot of product-focused locations such as stores) is that the formula used "rewards" parcels with nothing on them; only a Land Name and Description. Those places with a lot of products listed in Search are penalized. This results in listings like Metaverse's (which has virtually nothing listed in search) ranking higher than stores that are specific to a product and the product's keywords.

But rather than turn this into a "Why Search Doesn't Work" diatribe, suffice to say that Parcel Traffic does play a part in the daily gyrations of Search Rank. And when it was being calculated very low for some parcels, but calcuated very high for those parcels using Bots ... it got a lot of people VERY wrankled.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yes, I got sales, and I'm sure most people got some sales, but what if LL's profits were cut by 30% all of a sudden? Them giving free tier for 1 month, and every employee taking that same hit, would give them all just a little clue of what we face on a regular basis.

 Who are "we" in this context?  I think the number of people, be they merchants or land barons, for whom SL represents ~30% or more of their RL income must be a rather small minority.   

I would beg to differ. I, myself, know at least a dozen. Plus, small is a relative term. Owning a sim represents a substantial amount of money. No person in the right mind would call that insignificant. We can basically assume that 1 half to 1 quarter of those people make some kind of money. Owning more than 1 would almost definitely signify that they make a considerable amount. So, just by the amount of sim owners, 1 can deduce that there are, at the very least, a good amount of people who make enough to qualify for my "We".

 

Yeah, I own sims, so i know what they cost.   But I can't remember the last time I had to buy L$ to subsidise them and, even when I did, I'd never have committed anything like 30% of my RL income towards them.      And neither have I ever been in a postion to cash out a sum approaching 30% of my RL income.   So I'm afraid there's at least one sim owner who doesn't qualify as part of your "We".

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Deja and Innula: In-World Search is a "complicated beast" .. to say the least. Traffic isn't the whole story. It is however a large factor in the calculation. In this last (silent) update, they turned down its influence, but kept it as a primary factor. However there are a lot of other things that go into calculating Rank.

One of the things that has rendered Search basically useless (for a lot of product-focused locations such as stores) is that the formula used "rewards" parcels with nothing on them; only a Land Name and Description. Those places with a lot of products listed in Search are penalized. This results in listings like Metaverse's (which has virtually nothing listed in search) ranking higher than stores that are specific to a product and the product's keywords.

But rather than turn this into a "Why Search Doesn't Work" diatribe, suffice to say that Parcel Traffic does play a part in the daily gyrations of Search Rank. And when it was being calculated very low for some parcels, but calcuated very high for those parcels using Bots ... it got a lot of people VERY wrankled.

Yup I remember when traffic was basically "it" for search results. I would go into the top sims and it was just full of "dead" avatars that don't respond. You knew they were just there to collect camping money or were the owner's bots.

I can see what you mean about rewarding parcels with nothing on them. In fact if you think in terms of search engines, they use a formula with a percentage factor built in. So if a region had one item named "red chair" that would give them a 100% relevancy on that term. Where another region could have a red chair, a blue chair, a green chair, , etc. Up to 10 chairs. Well, then red chair would only mean they would have a 10% relevancy...assuming that was the only factor but you know what I mean.

I can buy into traffic having a role in search, but i guess I'm just not convinced that it is enough to absolutely kill a business. And if it is...well shame on the sim owner for not doing any real marketing besides relying on search. :)

 

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yes, I got sales, and I'm sure most people got some sales, but what if LL's profits were cut by 30% all of a sudden? Them giving free tier for 1 month, and every employee taking that same hit, would give them all just a little clue of what we face on a regular basis.

 Who are "we" in this context?  I think the number of people, be they merchants or land barons, for whom SL represents ~30% or more of their RL income must be a rather small minority.   

I would beg to differ. I, myself, know at least a dozen. Plus, small is a relative term. Owning a sim represents a substantial amount of money. No person in the right mind would call that insignificant. We can basically assume that 1 half to 1 quarter of those people make some kind of money. Owning more than 1 would almost definitely signify that they make a considerable amount. So, just by the amount of sim owners, 1 can deduce that there are, at the very least, a good amount of people who make enough to qualify for my "We".

 

Yeah, I own sims, so i know what they cost.   But I can't remember the last time I had to buy L$ to subsidise them and, even when I did, I'd never have committed anything like 30% of my RL income towards them.      And neither have I ever been in a postion to cash out a sum approaching 30% of my RL income.   So I'm afraid there's at least one sim owner who doesn't qualify as part of your "We".

I WISH I was making 30% of my real life income in SL. Hell I wish I was making 10% of my income in SL. I would buy lots and lots and lots of...shoes.

 Then again...that might mean I would need to spend 30% of my life in SL...not gonna happen.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

I object to a company that continues to treat its source of income as an "inconvenient nuisance".

And I keep stirring up a dust storm because I love what SL was, can be and should be .. if only the people that run it treated it like the marvel of community, creativity and dreams that it is.

I realize this analogy isn't exactly the same but years ago an MMORPG that I used to play that charged $15.00/mo to do so had an issue that took the game offline for about a month.  When the game was back online, everyone was given an equal number of days of game time at no charge.  Additionally, people who signed up to play that game after it came back online were *also* given the same amount of free play days.

That is what I call good customer service.

 

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Deja Letov wrote:

I'm going to be the dumb one here but I have to ask because I don't seem to see any sales effects of this issue....

 

What exactly is the traffic count used for and why exactly is it pinching some of you in the butt the way it is? I know search used to work off traffic numbers, but doesn't appear to anymore since I can see in the current search they are not ordered by traffic count. I also haven't seen any sales impacts since this started. So what exactly is the issue with traffic numbers that I don't know about...and probably should. LOL

 

Any disruption in the system causes loss of sales in a number of areas. Of course, the land owner, in this case, would get hit first. Like a wave in a pond, the affects gradually hit every1 in some way or another. If you think you were not affected, I would say that you either were not big enough to see the affect, or there were other factors in your own case that shielded you.

In the case of this particular bug, somehow the bug did not show itself until your sim got the server update. This ment that the ealier RC channels were affected for a month, and my sim, which is the last of the RC channel sim groups, was only affected for a few days. So, 1 might argue that I should not complain as I was only affected for a few days. This would be wrong, as only my sim was affected for a few days. My business would have been affected for the full month, as I would have lost sales because those early RC channel sim owners would have been less relucant to buy things. I think that people tend to forget that it is we that make the economy go round. If my sales, or yours are down, then I buy less and you buy less from others, and so on.

Now, the search results are probably a bad way to illustrate how this bug was so bad. This is because, as I said before, not all sims were affected at the same time. So, if your main store was on an earlier adoptor RC channel, then your store would have changed in search ranking, while your competitor's that was on a different RC channel was not affected at all. Imagine this for people that sell land or rentals, when their competitors are showing 10 times the traffic.

This current search engine is probably the worst search engine we have ever seen in SL. Yeah, I've said this before and by some miracle, LL seems to be able to produce worse and worse search engines on a regular basis. It would actually be better to just rank places by their traffic alone, than what LL is currently doing. I have contended for years now that it is the change in search engines that started SL's decline. Here is an analogy, from this current jira, that I wrote and think sum's up why the search engine is so important to SL - "The search engine is like the heart that pumps the blood(residents/customers) to all the important areas that keep the SL body healthy. Now with this recent bug(or whatever this is), it hurts that heart(search engine) even more." Our current heart could be akin to a very old man, or a very heavy set, unhealthy man, who is moments away from a massive heart attack, or doesn't have good blood flow to his limbs.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

I realize this analogy isn't exactly the same but years ago an MMORPG that I used to play that charged $15.00/mo to do so had an issue that took the game offline for about a month.  When the game was back online, everyone was given an equal number of days of game time at no charge.  Additionally, people who signed up to play that game after it came back online were *also* given the same amount of free play days.

That is what I call good customer service. 

The Merchants that top our "Faves" lists are ones that will take a loss like that for the sake of protecting and providing for their customers. The belief that a business stands alone based solely on its product and personal prowess is only functional in "must have" industries and monopolies. LL used to have a monopoly, they don't any more. But they still operate as if they did .. AND as if they provided a "must have" product too.

We keep trying to open theiir eyes, and they keep acting like we're whiny busy-bodies with a vendetta or something. No, we're not. But we are doing everything we can to protect our customers AND our source of enjoyment/entertainment. I just wish they'd realize they're no longer king of the hill .. and even megaliths in an industry can fall. (Just ask IBM.)

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I would consider myself large enough to feel the effect based on what I know of some of the people who are posting here. But I do agree, that maybe the reason I didn't feel it was because of other factors that shielded me. Probably the biggest is the fact that I never have relied on search for sales or gaining new customers. The bulk of my customers find me through other means, I would probably put search last. But...being the number crunching wench that I am, it almost prompts me to put one of those "how did you hear about us" poll takers at my entrance and see who I can get to answer it. LOL

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Well, techinically now, I don't get hardly any customers from search, as I don't show up in it at all anymore. Before LL made it's first major change of search, many years ago now, I was ranked in the top 10 for the word animation. Back then, 75% of all my profits came from inworld. I did an extensive survey at that time, and found that 70% of people found me thru the search engine, and more than 50% specifically for the word animation. This was a survey of about 2000 people, if I remember correctly. This is why I say LL killed SL when they changed search and why it will never be the same until they produce a valid working search engine. Plus, when you look at the concurrency and economic charts, they both start their decline exactly on the day search was changed.

When I say large enough to feel the effect, I would only consider some1 that makes at least a decent portion of their RL income in SL, to be in that category. If some1 is not making at least $50 a day in SL, I don't see how they can have enough statistical data to really see anything. Of course, this is just my opinion. The more some1 makes, they more relevant their data is going to be. I won't say exactly what I was making before the change in search, but I will say that it was more than enough to live on, and day to day sales only varied about 5%. That's remarkably stable for any sales based business and it was all because of a decent search engine. If my sales ever dipped at all, it was directly related to some change LL made. The data made this plainly obvious.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:


Czari Zenovka wrote:

I realize this analogy isn't exactly the same but years ago an MMORPG that I used to play that charged $15.00/mo to do so had an issue that took the game offline for about a month.  When the game was back online, everyone was given an equal number of days of game time at no charge.  Additionally, people who signed up to play that game after it came back online were *also* given the same amount of free play days.

That is what I call good customer service. 

We keep trying to open theiir eyes, and they keep acting like we're whiny busy-bodies with a vendetta or something. No, we're not. But we are doing everything we can to protect our customers AND our source of enjoyment/entertainment. I just wish they'd realize they're no longer king of the hill .. and
even megaliths in an industry can fall. (Just ask IBM.)

Or Kodak. :(  Still trying to understand how the company that basically invented the camera went under.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

Well, techinically now, I don't get hardly any customers from search, as I don't show up in it at all anymore.

Are we talking about the search we pay 30L/week for?  If search is this weird is it really worth paying for that?  Not that it's much money by any means, but if it's not working...just thinking out loud here.

 

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