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Belldandy Schmajuk

Ongoing issue: flood of freebies on all marketplace search results

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Hello, I would like to make aware to anyone, specifically the "commerce team" and other merchants interested in the topic of an ongoing issue with marketplace search results (15/NOV/2012) since 1 day ago, it looks like "relevance" and "best selling" (at least, I have not checked others) are being "flooded" partially with freebie results (items between 1L$-5L$) up to the top positions.

Freebie Items and even some non-related with the keyword term are getting an unfair promotion up to the top positions on all relevant searches due to this problem. In my business niche specifically, I even spotted a well know freebie creator who raised his product price up to 500L$ on his freebie product just to take advantage of this glitch apparently, please investigate this issue thank you.

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Freebies are not something LL is going to stop. Good luck getting a Linden to see and do anything from the forums. While keyword spam is an issue, you can change how the items show up to your search. Perhaps the free items are selling like wildfire and therefore are shown first. I personally think the search results are random, seeing as my wife and i get different results on our PCs from the same search words.

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I don't think this is a glitch.  Has been my experience these years that the best selling items are going to be the freebies.  I sell more freebies than any other products per day.  When you look at the population of sl & the fact that many residents don't invest much money, this is going to be the norm.

When I searched 'best selling' I also got a few breedables, etc. items so I think it's working the way it always has.

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Smiles, I understand your point, its normal for some people to misunderstand my message as a complaint agaist the "evil freebies" on marketplace.. I have read similar posts before, sadly, that is not the problem I´m pointing out here, not even close.

I usually monitor marketplace terms, such as "youtube", "ring", "hair", etc. and similar common terms to assess and monitor sales, and other issues.... daily,  and  since yesterday, there has been a flood of freebies (not only one but a LOT) climbing up to the top positions in no time, this is obviously a change in a variable, a glitch in the system, I really dont know, but definitly something who has happened, has been fixed in the past, and I´m pretty sure it will happen in the future. Take note, even well stablished competitors were snuffed out from the search results due to this problem... Thank you for your concern but its not due to the causes you mentioned at all,

For further reference, I´m talking on behalf of two big stores, and definitly not complaining about freebies, or their nature per se, also I have submitted a ticket on this topic, I advise other merchants to do so. Have a nice day, any reply is welcomed.

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We have a different experience then.  Has been a long standing complaint about freebies being up top simply for the fact that they sell more of these and the dollarbies, than priced items. 

This has always been the case & I don't see it changing unless LL removes the freebies & the dollarbies from those search categories.  Was the same on XStreet and the 'other' marketplaces.

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Smiles, Thank you for your answer, but I must point out to other merchants and future replyers: I´m not complaining against the "evil freebies".

I should have pointed out, the store I´m concerned about is "big" enought and has enought steady sales to be on top position on his category (1-3 due to competitors) from the past two years, both in relevance and best selling categories. Sales are high, and the problem is important for us, just to be clear: the items our main accounts are selling, provide an income around 70,000 L$ per day approximately, to give a number (it varies), clearly I do even like freebies, they are cute gifts, interesting somewhat cheap products, but certainly not a threat to us, or to our business... until something like this happens. and freebies "clog" the whole results from night to day, and no one seems to be aware, in my personal case, our product fall from top position to 4th position, other competitors were snuffed away completely from the lists.

Let me give you a couple of examples you can test on your own:

1) If you have searched for the "ring" term in the past, you must know "JCNY" is a big brand who has a lot of products on top positions... today, he only has a freebie in the first page, it doesn´t appear in the following pages at all (relevance, best selling), and lots of freebies around... (this is not my business niche).

2) If you search for "youtube", AXL comes to first place (followed by two freebies, two respectable brands more who survived the problem, and 7 more freebies follow)... if you have searched this term for the past months until yesterday, you would have noticed: freebies have a hard time getting up to the first page, taking one or two places at the bottom in the best scenario, AXL product was a freebie and in the past was not present in the following 6 pages (relevance, best selling)... but AXL rised his price today from 0L$ up to 499L$ to take advantage of this glitch... (this is not my business niche).

Test yourself, and you will notice the problem I´m pointing out. : )

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Well, I'm not getting the results you mention.  When I search 'ring' using 'best selling'  I get mostly freebies and dollarbies, but again as I said earlier, there are some other pieces that are priced.  Just on the first page I get 2 items priced at $97 & another @ $98.  Next page same result, mostly freebies but some that I know are best sellers because I am a shopaholic. :P

Anyway, I don't see the flooding of freebies but just the same old same old.  Freebies have always been 'best selling'.


I am curious how you worded your ticket to LL.  I don't see any glitches or anomolies.

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Smiles, you got the right results :) freebies and more freebies... and not the relevant/best selling items who should be appearing.

Its just that.. you are not accustomed to how the results look normally with those terms, thats why my original post is called "...flood of freebies on all marketplace search results" because I searched a few more terms with similar results.

"freebies" aren´t always best selling items. If you have an item of low-medium quality, (and definitly not a high quality or best selling item), you will be overrun by freebies yes, they are 0L$, expect them to be sold faster, but when your items grow in importance and ranking, your sales are higher than them, way more important sales provides you with enought "relevance" for your item to stay atop no matter if your sales volume decreases.

When you search for "ring" there are so many freebies atop who shouldn´t be there by far, they were NOT atop yesterday, they have never been in the top pages (1-6 page) for as long as I can remember, the pricey items you see around are some items who have survived the glitch somewhat (my product(s) also have survived if you read my previous post) notice some freebie sellers have increased the price already to take advantange of this problem (read what I wrote about AXL in my previous post), some merchants (as AXL) are reacting fast to this, definitly.

Its not also the flood of "freebies" who is affecting, but also the systematic snuffing of well stablished brands/products. For example, if you search for "ring", JCNY, MANDALA, EARTHSTONES (and other brands) must be top results... (because of their quality, because they have been atop for the past 5 years.. lol, you name the excuse) and NONE of them have items in the first 3-6 pages today... : ).

the ticket has no answer yet, but I assume the problem will solve itself.. like in the past. have a nice day.

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Well this is where we disagree.  I am saying that since the beginning of XStreet and thru to now, whenever you bring up most categories ie 'ring', 'necklace; etc., using 'best selling' to sort,  you are going to have freebies & dollarbies at the top because they ARE the 'best selling' and always have been.


And IIRC, this has been a hot topic of discussion on the old forums.  That freebies and dollarbies get such rankings.

 

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smiles, that is not true.

At the beginning of Xstreet, you were able to buy your way up to the top just by purchasing a premium spot, if you had a low quality item with poor sales, without money to purchase blue spots the freebies should have surpassed your items easily, thats no mistery.

The system now is somewhat different, you can still buy your way up to the top... *cough* fake sales *cough*, but only as long as your money flows into the strategy. The real sales must start pumping money or your business venture will crash (and the zombie freebies will eat your items alive) and your relevance will never build up.

Again, I´m not talking about the evil freebies old discussion you try to bring to this thread :), please read my previous posts, I have written very clearly, freebies are not my concern... until they wash the shoreline like a tsunami looking for nothing else than to clog the system and other symptoms who may clear out the problem as an independent issue such as:

1) well stablished brands who are being snuffed out from the search terms (relevance/best selling) such as JCNY, Mandala, Earthstones, Icarus, Deimos... etc etc. not even mentioning my own brand at all lol, case apart.

2) flood of a ton of freebie (some are even unrelated freebies) items up to the top lists who were not there yesterday or in the past months, in just a second. <--- this is the single most important piece of proof I can bring to the table, and is irrefutable for as long as the problem persist.

Would like to talk with you after the problem solves :) you seems very active on these forums and it will be very helpful for others to learn from this experience.

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On Xstreet, the top sellers were premium quality things, usually but the best creators -- but that was when the price cutting had just started.  Now, low price stuff is going to dominate.

 

However, the Xstreet Popular Items I believe had a price floor. Under a certain price, something was not eligible.

 

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i think your problem is sorting by best selling. I personally don't give a rats a$$ what is selling the best. i sort by relevance then set the price filter to my price range. the bigger problem is Demos and keyword spammers. Demos should have their own tab that does not show up in a general search, like store and merchant names shouldn't.

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Honestly as stand any item sold under 10L should not be best selling due to the loss of views other merchants have on the MP, A lot of people base their RL income off the sells they make on MP along with in world,  You hit best selling now and get a whole bunch of crappy freebie things and some sold out statue for 1million lindens... That is a big dent in the economy of SL...   But in the end LL still makes their money so why would they care about the merchants (who by the way are the reason this game expands to new crowds the way it does)

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I have been in SL just over 6 years (09/26/2006), and selling things for most of that time.

For all of that time I have been hearing that freebies are ruining the SL economy, that freebies are hogging the choice spots in search, and that freebies should be banned and their creators run out of town.

They whined about it on SLExchange's forums

They are still whining about it on the Linden Marketplace forums.

=====================

I just looked at the "rings" category, sorted by relevance, with search term "wedding rings", and within the first 20 results, the price of the rings was from $1 to $1599.  Maybe to you that is "partially flooded with freebie results", but to me it looks like the usual mix or results.

 

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Belldandy Schmajuk wrote:

For example, if you search for "
ring
",

Your problem is that you are searching for a generic item ... try searching for "wedding ring", "cocktail ring", or "turquoise ring".

Very few users will search for "ring" - they have a certain ring in mind and will search for it by style, stone type or something.

 

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I have to agree with you Belldandy. I realize too that freebies or dollarbies are going to sell and therefor be popular, but I guess what upsets me is that creators such as you and such as myself...can work so hard to build quality items that take a great deal of time...then (in my particular line of product) someone can slap a freebie noob menu on a primative looking peice of furniture and post it for 1L and it hits the top of the charts, clouding the consumer from seeing the lovely, well made, hard worked on items.

This is also very sudden, so what has changed? I don't think I will ever understand search results. It is my understanding that they change quite frequently.

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Belldandy Schmajuk wrote:

Hello, I would like to make aware to anyone, specifically the "commerce team" and other merchants interested in the topic of an ongoing issue with marketplace search results (15/NOV/2012) since 1 day ago, it looks like "relevance" and "best selling" (at least, I have not checked others) are being "
flooded
" partially with freebie results (items between 1L$-5L$) up to the top positions.

Freebie Items and even some non-related with the keyword term are getting an unfair promotion up to the top positions on all relevant searches due to this problem. In my business niche specifically, I even spotted a well know freebie creator who raised his product price up to 500L$ on his freebie product just to take advantage of this glitch apparently, please investigate this issue thank you.

This happens about every 2 months and goes away when too many people complain. It appears that this relevancy system is their "default" so whenever they make a change to something else they never keep their custom relevancy formula.

 

I believe that ALL items below their commission treshold (9L and less) should be in a master category called Bargain basement and have no sub categories. Of course this Bargain basement would be a sub site that lets people search within those items only.

 

Perhaps LL made it so because they do not want merchants to own successful inworld businesses but would rather devaluate all user created content and make it easily available on the marketplace for next to free in order to provide a "bonus" or incentive for players to stick around and rent land and play with all those wonderful free gifts...

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

...the bigger problem is Demos and keyword spammers. Demos should have their own tab that does not show up in a general search, like store and merchant names shouldn't.

Agreed.  I just tested the MP using "ring" as the search term as suggested by the OP.  One JCNY ring did show up along with other things that could "loosely" be called rings but the one that stumped me was a posing stand with "ring" in the keyword list.  Ok, one can use a pose stand to adjust a ring on an avatar but that, imo, was a glaring misuse of keywords.  I'm sure there were others but I just boggled as I saw a pose stand show up in a search on "ring."

ETA: spelling & clarification

 

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VonGklugelstein wrote:

"I believe that ALL items below their commission treshold (9L and less) should be in a master category called Bargain basement and have no sub categories"

 

Totally agree with the above statement. And I hope they adjust this situation sooner than later because the sales drop is so exactly timed to this new influx of 10L or below items

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I like the idea of a bargain as well as a DEMO category, not all lumped together, but as subcategories under each major one. We now have a chance to request it with the feedback LL requested.  Be sure to fill that out if you haven't yet,

About freebies in general, if I am searching MP for a specific thing than I'm looking for quality.  So I  ignore the freebie stuff even if it does show up first.   I suspect most people wanting quality and willing to actually spend money do the same thing. 

If the freebies were in a different place in order, even say last,  those that are not willing to spend money, or much of it, are going to ignore the higher price items anyway.  Just like RL if you are looking for a cheap car for your kid, you aren't going to the Mercedes dealers and if you are in the market for a Mercedes you don't go to Dynamite Dave's  Used Cars where everyone is 'approved'.

As far as 'big' vs.. 'little' the size of a store should have no bearing on the results for a specific product IMHO.  Some of my most favorite things are high quality items I have bought from small 'unknown' shops. 

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Nefertiti Nefarious wrote:

For all of that time I have been hearing that freebies are ruining the SL economy, that freebies are hogging the choice spots in search, and that freebies should be banned and their creators run out of town.

They whined about it on SLExchange's forums

They are still whining about it on the Linden Marketplace forums.

=====================

I just looked at the "rings" category, sorted by relevance, with search term "wedding rings", and within the first 20 results, the price of the rings was from $1 to $1599.  Maybe to you that is "partially flooded with freebie results", but to me it looks like the usual mix or results.

 

smiles.

What you have written could be relevant in another post, sadly.. I´m not complaining about freebies runining the SL economy, as you say. I really dont care about freebies & dollarbies unless they are unfairly and massively promoted up to the top of the ladder based on nothing else than poorly implemented unsupervised LL algorithms updates.

If you are unaware to this point, let me tell you, LL implemented two days ago a change in the search results engine for MP, affecting the results, all sortings were affected, mostly "best selling", relevance as well, several dozens (maybe much more) freebies and non-related (keyword spamming) items are clogging the results, getting an unfair promotion up to the first positions (pages) "with no effort or merit at all", a sudden promotion from "non existencial" status to "top" status in less than a day as opposed to laddering based on results over a long period of time (steady sales etc.), is this fair for you?, if this is fair for you, LL has a job waiting for you.

I also must point, some items have survived this problem, why? I don´t know, is the result mix of freebies & dollarbies with reputable items a proof to say nothing has changed from yesterday? pffff of course not, you simply do not know how the MP looked a week ago to do a fair comparison, and the differences are BIG. And its not the freebie flood issue alone, but also a secondary problem when reputable stores have lost ground from top positions to "non existential" status due to this problem, this is a more serious issue and this alone will fix the problem itself hopefully due to merchant pressure.

I would also say, this mix you see right now is somewhat close to having put everything from MP into a blender machine, and some stores are behaving like bubbles trying to stay afloat amid the viscous paste.

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hehe. It looks like L.L. finally decided to stop pumping the expensive stuff to the top of the list and have the search listings by relevance based solely by sales volume. Seems things around a 1000L$ where being pumped to the top for a while. I don't know how they are weighting things now, but it seems much less biased toward expensive stuff last I tried my typical search phrase. Hopefully prices will come down more now so that alot more peeps will come in and play the game as a result. ;-)

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