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Marketplace Search Beta Now Available

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I searched kitchen, since I sell a lot of those (and have been first place in kitchens for Rezzie awards the last three years). The beta was full of not only a lot of crappy stuff but non-kitchen stuff: https://betasearch-marketplace.secondlife.com/products/search?utf8=✓&search%5Bcategory_id%5D=&search%5Bmaturity_level%5D=GMA&search%5Bkeywords%5D=kitchen

 Regular search turned up my kitchens starting on p.2 -- along with non-kitchen stuff.

A search of house on beta MP turns up three houses on p.1, one of them free:  https://betasearch-marketplace.secondlife.com/products/search?utf8=✓&search%5Bcategory_id%5D=&search%5Bmaturity_level%5D=G&search%5Bkeywords%5D=house   The first item, some gadget called Lucky Name, has these keywords: 

lucky, prize, panel, board, HM, product, House, Magnifico, multilingual, win, visitor, letter, name, traffic, game, property, HQ

NINE OF TWELVE LISTINGS returned in a search for house ARE BY THIS SAME SELLER, WHOSE FIRST NAME IS HOUSE.  The other three listings are by one store, not selling houses (one is an apple).

Do you see a problem here, LL? There is already a search function for avatar and store name! Why do you insist on including those in the ITEM search as well? 

 

A search of house on regular MP has, as usual, listings by a shoe store called Paula's House, or something like that -- along with mostly non-house stuff:  https://marketplace.secondlife.com/products/search?utf8=✓&search%5Bcategory_id%5D=&search%5Bmaturity_level%5D=G&search%5Bkeywords%5D=house

FIX THE KEYWORD SPAM! And if the search word is IN THE LISTING NAME, give that maximum weight, for crying out loud. And when searching for an item DON'T INCLUDE STORE OR SELLER NAMES! How hard are these things that we have been begging for, for years? 

And stop $#@%ing with my business, LL. This is how I support my family, this is my livlihood, give me a break, please? 

 

ETA  I can't believe this -- I just looked at my store and the first page has a bunch of stuff I rarely sell. Not a single top seller is on p 1.  I tried to sort by Best Selling and it would not allow that. I can choose it but the drop down is stuck on the very irrelevant "Relvance".

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polysail wrote:

Is Relevance functioning correctly or even at all??   The current MP search ~ when I look for an item catagory, MP pulls up what I know are best selling items in that catagory.  I see popular merchants known for unique work that I happen to know sell incredibly well.  ( They're my compeitition and rightfully so! )

Good point but they have to do something. One of the three major flaws with the current relevancy ranking is that sales figures are the main criterium. That doesn't mean they should be left out completely though, just toned down quite a bit.

 

It may be interesting for comparasion to look at how the current search ranking works. Here's a post I wrote in another discussion at this forum last month:


ChinRey wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

I do not know anything for sure, all is shrouded in mystery, but I suspect reviews impact rank. 

That is correct. Search listing ranking on MP is based on two factors and - as far as I can see - only two factors: sales figures and review ratings.

Sales figures are weighed against time and price - recent sales count for a little bit more than older ones and the higher the price, the more ranking boost each sale gives.

There doesn't seem to be any weighing or such when it comes to reviews. The more stars your listing has, the higher it ranks, pure and simple.

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, if two listing have exactly the same amount of "rakning points", the oldest of them is ranked the highest.

 Should be easy to see why some changes are needed. ;)

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Wendi Nitely wrote:

For me, using the same search, today... I got 822 on the beta with or without quotes around "medieval stable".

On the old searc I got 46 using quotes and 793 without quotes.

That is interesting. Seems they've forgotten about multiple word strings for the new search engine. I really hope they catch that before he new search becomes official. A fundamental blunder like that would be seriously embarrasing for LL and the Commerce Team.

I suppose you searched the entire MP, those figures look rather similar to mine for that and it's interestign to see that the new search gave more, not fewer results, for that. Not sure what means though.

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ChinRey wrote:


Wendi Nitely wrote:

For me, using the same search, today... I got 822 on the beta with or without quotes around "medieval stable".

On the old searc I got 46 using quotes and 793 without quotes.

That is interesting. Seems they've forgotten about multiple word strings for the new search engine. I really hope they catch that before he new search becomes official. A fundamental blunder like that would be seriously embarrasing for LL and the Commerce Team.

I suppose you searched the entire MP, those figures look rather similar to mine for that and it's interestign to see that the new search gave more, not fewer results, for that. Not sure what means though.

That's Correct

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This new "relevance" default is anything but. Instead of showing the most popular items it randomly lists stuff that probably hasnt sold in years ... often for good reason. You have to go into "sort by" and choose "best selling" for proper results after every single search.

My store is sorted with the poorest selling items on the first page and my best sellers on the last. How exactly is that "relevant"

It's terrible

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The "Beta" search gives too much old low-quality items in the results when you search several words at once. When you search for a single word, it mostly gives items by one to two creators, sorted by Name. Search for anything skin related and see for yourself, cannot find a single thing that's of a decent quality.

This 'Beta' is pure garbage.

For a moment you actually gave me hope that we would be able to filter items by sculpt/mesh/semi-mesh, limit search into a time period, or search within CATEGORIES. XstreetSL had that, you don't, how many years has it been? Heck, we could use something better than 'Custom Avatar Brand'. Whose idea was that? I could come up with better ****** in a day. How do you even exclude something from the search? Do you think a new player will start using " + - / in search right off the bat? 

Whoever comes up with these revolutionary marketplace 'ideas' is a moron, you're better off hiring me or any of us merchants to do your job because obviously you can't.

PS: Oh I almost forgot, how about you check which year is it and rename your Q&A Show into AMA, you might actually bring some people into Second Life.

 

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DaSein Noyes wrote:

This new "relevance" default is anything but. Instead of showing the most popular items it randomly lists stuff that probably hasnt sold in years ... often for good reason. You have to go into "sort by" and choose "best selling" for proper results after every single search.

My store is sorted with the poorest selling items on the first page and my best sellers on the last. How exactly is that "relevant"

It's terrible

I can't believe this -- I just looked at my store and the first page has a lot of stuff I rarely sell. I tried to sort by Best Selling and it would not allow that. I can choose it but the drop down is stuck on the very irrelevant "Relevance".

On beta, looking at my MP store is an embarrassment. 

What are they thinking???

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It's like they're trying to sabotage everything that's awesome on the Marketplace and pushing 5 year old crappy noob stuff. It's not good advertisement for SL. All one has to do is choose a category atr random leaving the search field blank to see how badly  "Relevance" is organized .. and that's the default. It's embarrassing really

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After reviewing this new relevance search i too found that its not working as intended, my store items are no longer sorted by best selling, items that are the most popular are located on the last pages, also when i sreached marketplace i noted now you have to search by Key word and also click on best selling as the most relevant items as now hidden otherwise

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Mindy Astermann wrote:

After reviewing this new relevance search i too found that its not working as intended, my store items are no longer sorted by best selling, items that are the most popular are located on the last pages, also when i sreached marketplace i noted now you have to search by Key word and also click on best selling as the most relevant items as now hidden otherwise

Yes I just looked and all my new and best selling stuff is on the last pages of my store. 

 

I did get Best Selling to work. Why would a merchant NOT want either their best selling or newest stuff to show on p 1?  If there is no search word, then what is "Relevance" relevant to anyway???  It makes no sense and never has, but at least with current store pages Relevant is the same as Best Selling.

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The default search "relevance" does NOT seem to be taking into account user ratings, reviews etc, previously this was a factor in the relevance. right now searches are just showing random listings / unreviewed / unrated / newer listings which is a huge overhead for someone who searches and scans for ratings and reviews and best sellers. From a  searcher perspective this is an annoyance and not to mention creators who have older products but update the same listing. If newer listings will have priorities over most reviewed older listings this will create lack of clarity in the marketplace. 

Either the default search should be a relevance and ratings. Keyword optimization is fine but default searches should take into account user ratings, reviews and number of purchases of the product normalized to average or median price of the item. 

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Pamela Galli wrote:

I did get Best Selling to work. Why would a merchant NOT want either their best selling or newest stuff to show on p 1?


Well, one of the problems with the old search is that the newest stuff does not show up on page 1 in a store listing, it ends up at the very bottom of the list.

As for best selling, maybe because they have some specific product(s) they want to promote instead?

New products, seasonal products, special offers, products targetting specific market segments, products that don't seem to reach their potential... There are so many possible reasons. I've yet to see a inworld store that slavishly display their best sellers at the most prominent places. Not a real world store either for that matter, and for good reasons.

Last month I would definitely have preferred to have my medieval cottages on the first page to make the msot of the Medieval Fantasy Hunt. Others might have liked their halloween themed items profiled that month. And of course right now maybe it would be a good idea to put any christmas related products you may have center stage.

I don't think listings in a store with no search words should be locked to the search engine at all to be honest. Each merchant should be able to organize the listigns in their own store the way they thought best.

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and precisely what is it that we're supposed to be experiencing or testing here that would make any test or response actually have any value?

What has changed, what does this beta offer?  I see NO visual difference with regard to input filters, no expressions, certainly no ability to filter on any of the most obvious such as the MESH flag that we fill in in product listings, no filtering on "works with " avatar types or brands etc.

I'm confused, this is a meaningless offer of something that is undocumented and undescribed.

The JIRA has no value here because I cannot know what a bug is because I don't know what is supposed to work, don't know the functional specification... cannot flag exceptions to this specification!

What are the test cases that you would expect us to be using here exactly?

Let me ask it another way just in case my post isn't clear:-

What business problem are you trying to solve here?

Ok, i'll try to sound positive...

"I entered a couple of keywords and got results back".  Test passed - success!  Another complete project. Yay.

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Cytherion Revnik wrote:

The default search "relevance" does NOT seem to be taking into account user ratings, reviews etc,

Yes, and that is a huge improvement!

The rating/review system is so messed up by now it should not be trusted at all. Good riddance!

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Yes but the best way to solve that problem is to avoid keyword spam and fake reviews, not take it down all together. That is how most e commerce sites work. Its proven and tested. Even Amazon and Yelp get non trust worthy reviews but the solution is not to take it ALL down but fix the root of the problem. There are tools that can detect fake reviews, click farms and proxies. 

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Cytherion Revnik wrote:

Yes but the best way to solve that problem is to avoid keyword spam and fake reviews, not take it down all together. That is how most e commerce sites work. its proven and tested. Even amazon and yelp get non trust worthy reviews but the solution is not to take it ALL down but fix the root of the problem. there are tools that can detect fake reviews

Got a bit messy here, I edited my post jsut as you were responding to it. I tried to revert it to the original and post the edit as a new post instead:

 


Cytherion Revnik wrote:

...but default searches should ALWAYS take into account user ratings and reviews. 


Reliable user ratings and reviews, yes, but we haven't got that on MP.

There are two crucial changes that needs to be made to the review system before it can be trusted as part of a ranking algorithm:

  • We need far more volume. A single customer rating has little or no real value. There are so many reasons why somebody might give a misleading rating, either on purpose or because of some misunderstanding. If you get a two-digit number of ratings and remove the lowest and highest one from the calculation, then it may make sense to include them in the ranking.
  • Older ratings have to be excluded. How much does a five star rating given two, three, even five years ago really say about how well the products holds up today?

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Linden Lab wrote:

For general feedback about the new
 available at
, add your comments to this forum thread. For technical feedback - please file a BUG JIRA with the
Website -> Marketplace
 component.

One question about the basic criteria for this discussion: what exactly counts as "techincal" feedback and what doesn't?

Or to put it another way: will suggestions, ideas and other feedback posted in this thread be considered at all or are we just wasting our time arguing here?

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These problems arent new for any ecommerce site. The volume transactions and sales on SL marketplace is more than enough and even rivals some top traffic commerce sites. Its no amazon but it is fairly huge to consider the data usable.

Normal  search ranking algorithms are used and tested.

This is how most go off of:

First off - fake review detection, proxy farms, ip masks, subnets, click farms, exaggerated reviews etc

Review and Volume of sale cut off normalized to median of sales. Minimum transactions need to take place before it affects the ranking. Consistency in reviews, there are statistics for normal ecommerce cycles.

e.g A listing with 3 reviews, 2 good 1 bad isnt enough to warrant a ranking change. etc.

Updated / maintained listings. Just because an item is an older listing or an older review does not make it irrelevant. 

 

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ChinRey wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

I did get Best Selling to work. Why would a merchant NOT want either their best selling or newest stuff to show on p 1?


Well, one of the problems with the old search is that the newest stuff does not show up on page 1 in a store listing, it ends up at the very bottom of the list.

As for best selling, maybe because they have some specific product(s) they want to promote instead?

New products, seasonal products, special offers, products targetting specific market segments, products that don't seem to reach their potential... There are so many possible reasons. I've yet to see a inworld store that slavishly display their best sellers at the most prominent places. Not a real world store either for that matter, and for good reasons.

Last month I would definitely have preferred to have my medieval cottages on the first page to make the msot of the Medieval Fantasy Hunt. Others might have liked their halloween themed items profiled that month. And of course right now maybe it would be a good idea to put any christmas related products you may have center stage.

I don't think listings in a store with no search words should be locked to the search engine at all to be honest. Each merchant should be able to organize the listigns in their own store the way they thought best.

I mean why would any merchant not prefer best selling or new as opposed to  "Relevance"?  Relevant to what?  If you go to a store page, you are not doing an item search for the results to be relevant to.

For about 5 minutes a few years ago, they gave us a way to choose what we want to show on our store front. Then they cried Abort! Abort! and took it away.  Why should merchants not be able to show their merchandise as they wish in their own catalogue? Why should LL have any say in that? And since they do, how on earth did they decide to put a bunch of non-seller on p.1 and move my newer best-selling stuff last? 

 

If I go to the Amazon homepage,  they have on their home page the content they want customers to see -- new stuff, promotional items, stuff tailored to my buying history.  If I enter a search term, THEN I see "relevant" content, things relevant to my search.  

LL wants to choose totally random stuff and put it on my store homepage -- stuff not relevant to the buyer's history, not stuff I want to promote, not new stuff, not best selling stuff -- but stuff deemed "relevant", a term that has no meaning if there is nothing to be relevant TO since there is no search term entered.  Once there is, then and only then is there a basis for relevance.

 

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Did some more testing on the default search setting of relevance. A lot of unrelated items still show up, its actually worse than the current marketplace search. Now its not only irrelevant but loaded with unprofessional / amateur quality items that flood the screen. I cant find stuff that is half good and worth the time unless you are on page 17 or something.

Its not just bad for buyers and sellers but bad for overall image in general. 

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Seriously!?!?

 

Is L.L. deliberately trying to further bork the SLM to force peeps to migrate over to Sansar where that marketplace will work much better? Is that the plan? Hmmmmmm!?

:robotfrustrated:

 

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According to Google search, my marketplace store is among the 15 stores most searched/visited right now. In the current search, I have several of my designs ranking nr. 1 in different categories and search requests. As examples: my yoga mat ranks nr 1, my bookcase nr. 2, if you search for femdom you even find 5 of my items on the first page. 

In this beta search, my yogamat is first to be found on page 8, my bookcases or anything of mine under femdom are not even on the first 20 pages. 

I tried looking for my store name, since all the titles of my listings start with that : Dutchie. The first appearance is on page 3, after the products of a merchant named Dutchy Moonshadow. It is not even the same spelling, not in the title, not in the store name. 

Designs appear on the first pages of search because they are popular. Making bestsellers like that disappear from search, is not doing anyone a favor. Not the customers, that get a horrible idea of what is available in sl and have to go trough 20 pages to get to the good stuff, not merchants like me that will surely loose at least half their sales, not Linden Lab, who would have gotten 5% of those sales. 

Please don't implement this mess. 

Regards.

*How I came by the google search results: Google "site:secondlife.com second life marketplace" and read between the category pages. Here is the top 15 of today: 

Damien Fate
*ARGRACE* by rika Oyen
Blueberry by Blueberryxx
GizzA Creations by Giz Seorn
Boudoir by Precious Restless
eXxEsS Hair by Layja Vidor
Exile by Kavar Cleanslate
CATWA by Catwa Clip
Meli Imako
=DeLa*= by Kuranosuke Kamachi
FashionNatic by Ellen Moonites
Dutchie furniture & homes by Froukje Hoorenbeek
*CK* Crazy Kitty by Kaci Kohime
Magika by Sabina Gully
rezology hair by Selc

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Cytherion Revnik wrote:

These problems arent new for any ecommerce site. The volume transactions and sales on SL marketplace is more than enough and even rivals some top traffic commerce sites.

Yes but the volume of customer ratings isn't. Or more precisely, it isn't anymore. The review process is simply way too complex now so only a very small minority of the customers bothers to write any at all.

 


Cytherion Revnik wrote:

First off - fake review detection, proxy farms, ip masks, subnets, click farms, exaggerated reviews etc

I don't think those are too much of a problem on MP. It's more about friends' reviews and bought reviews on the upper end of the scale and revenge reviews and reviews from competitors on the lower end. These are much harder to detect and the only realistic way to deal with them is to make them drown in the masses of genuine customer ratings.

The fact that there are very few mid scale ratings on MP is very symptomatic btw. It's either one or five stars, nothing inbetween,


Cytherion Revnik wrote:

Review and Volume of sale cut off normalized to median of sales. Minimum transactions need to take place before it affects the ranking. Consistency in reviews, there are statistics for normal ecommerce cycles.

Yes.

 


Cytherion Revnik wrote:

e.g A listing with 3 reviews, 2 good 1 bad isnt enough to warrant a ranking change. etc.

And yes.

 


Cytherion Revnik wrote:

Updated / maintained listings. Just because an item is an older listing or an older review does not make it irrelevant. 


Not automatically but a lot has happened in content creating recently. We have more tools and features at hand and content creators have become more skilled. For example, very few mesh items made before 2014-or-so stand up to today's quality level. Builders had to learn how to handle this new material before they could use it efficiently. Yet many of those early meshes got good reviews because they performed well by the lower standards back then.

Of course, there's also the issue with the old listings who managed to get a lot of ratings before the customer review process became so complicated hardly any buyers bother with it.

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This would not just be a tragedy for me as a seller, but as someone who currently use the marketplace for shopping on a daily basis.

I am happy to see that there is interest in improving the current search function, because I agree that is it lacking. But please, take a step back, look at it, listen to your residents, and question if this really is an improvement.

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