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Enhanced Listing Not Showing on Homepage?


Bella Sloane
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My Marketplace shop is relatively new and gets a lot of business for one of my freebies, but I am still not getting many views for the product I am actually charging for, even though it is listed as a similar product at the the bottom of the page of the freebie, so I recently added a Listing Enhancement for it to appear on the Homepage.

Here's the Transaction History information and the Listing Enhancement Performance Report...

 

06/14/201119:51:073df23ac0Destination: Commerce Linden
MKT2 Subscription 
L$1,699



Listing Enhancement Performance

ProductEnhancementImpressions
last day/week/month
Click Throughs
last day/week/month
Status
RUSTICS & RICHES - FIVE BLADED WHIPS - GOREAN KURT SETFeature this item on the home page (L$1,699 every 15 days)77 / 864 / 8640 / 0 / 0active



As you can see above, the Listing Enhancement was paid for on the 14th and today is the 19th. I do not understand what the term "Impressions" means, but my "Top Selling Products Report" also shows that the item has not even been viewed once since before the Enhancement purchase.

I have visited the Marketplace Homepage several times every day and refreshed it several times and toggled all the way through the featured items and I have never once seen my product appear among the rest of the featured items, even though I have repeatedly seen other products repeated, many, many times.

Did I just waste $1699?

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impressions would mean the number of times your item has appeared in whatever listing enhancement you chose in your case the homepage if your not getting any click throughs or views by the time you get close to the 15th day of the listing enhancement i would cancel it and not waste another L$1700

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Hi Bella!

Viewing your own product listing in the Featured Scroller is not easy because each time you reload the page, others are also on the page and seeing items.

If the page could be locked so that only one person could be on the page at a time, then that one person locked to the page would be able to reload and see all of the items that are featured, but since multiple people can be on the page at the same time, the items are being seen across all of the people that are on the page at the same time.

This means that each time you reload the page, you will see a block of listings. But this also means that when others are on the page, they will see a different block of items.

As an example, the Marketplace Homepage receives the highest page views, more people are on that page at the same time than any other page on the Marketplace.

If 2000 people are on the Homepage and there are only 200 Homepage Featured Listings, then those 200 listings are spread out amongst the 2000 page views.

Some people will see the same items multiple times, and others will never see all of the products that are featured because each time the page is reloaded, the web site will feed the products to the first page that is loaded.

When you are trying to view your own items, your listing may been seen 10 times by others, but not by you because your listing is shown to new page views before you are able to scroll through the list and then reload the page to see more listings.


Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

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That's a wonderfully logical and sensical answer Dakota .. but it's also patently false.

There are advertisers with one product listed that shows up every single refresh. Since the Guidelines do not allow listing the same product under multiple listings, and there is no way to add an enhancement multiple times, their product must compete at the same statistical chance as every other product.

Clearly certain ads are being pushed. No problem there, some folks get a chance to get their product viewed every single time .. that's great. But how do WE do that?

This has been a request from the Merchant Community since Marketplace was released. To date, no answer has been provided. In fact, no one from LL has ever touched the subject.

As a parent, when my kids dodged a question, it ALWAYS triggered the "okay .. NOW you have my full attention" reflex. The way LL has dodged this one has more than raised attention, it's at the core of why there is no trust between Merchants and LL .. and by extension .. no trust between Shoppers and LL.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

That's a wonderfully logical and sensical answer Dakota .. but it's also patently false.

There are advertisers with one product listed that shows up every single refresh. Since the Guidelines do not allow listing the same product under multiple listings, and there is no way to add an enhancement multiple times, their product must compete at the same statistical chance as every other product.

Clearly certain ads are being pushed. No problem there, some folks get a chance to get their product viewed every single time .. that's great. But how do WE do that?

This has been a request from the Merchant Community since Marketplace was released. To date, no answer has been provided. In fact, no one from LL has ever touched the subject.

As a parent, when my kids dodged a question, it ALWAYS triggered the "okay .. NOW you have my full attention" reflex. The way LL has dodged this one has more than raised attention, it's at the core of why there is no trust between Merchants and LL .. and by extension .. no trust between Shoppers and LL.

Hello Darrius,

The question wasn't dodged, and it was answered, however, most users neglect to factor in the other issues as well.

General Maturity Rated items will always get more views because those listings are shown to everyone, including guests who are not logged into the web site.

Moderate Maturity Rated Items are not shown to anyone who is under 18 or does not have the viewing of Moderate content enabled.

Adult Rated items will ohly be shown to users who are logged into the web site and have the option to view Adult Content enabled.

Bella's product listing is an Adult Rated product.

No, their listing will not be seen as many times as a General Maturity Rated item, as outlined above.

Their listing will not be seen as many times as a Moderate Maturiry Rated item, as outlined above.

The Grand Linden Conspiracy doesn't exist.

Instead of asking why something is the way it is, those who subscribe to the Grand Linden Conspiracy automatically assume that Linden Lab is trying to undermine them in a detrimental way, or is offering favoratism to unnamed users.

The entire point of the Marketplace is to try to level the playing field for all user who want to make and sell content in Second Life and to make is easier for buyers to locate products that they want to purchase.

Playing favortism serves no one.

Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

 

 

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Grand Linden Conspiracy is not my way of thinking nor my point.

What I'm looking for is a simple description of how the featured items are selected for placement into the Homepage Scroller. Since everyone pays the same amount for a Featured Ad, the algorithm used should ensure absolutely even and random placement.

The algorithm should not be "Top Secret" or even slightly sensitive information ... it should be openly visible and well known so that there is no question and no doubt. However LL has instead seen fit to "protect" that algorithm with utmost secrecy. Why?

I don't want another "well because of this and that and this other thing ..." explanation. I just want Linden Lab and the Commerce Dev Team to write up the algorithm and post it. And if that's not something LL is willing to do then you have no one to blame for the so-called "Grand Linden Conspiracy" than your own management.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Grand Linden Conspiracy is not my way of thinking nor my point.

What I'm looking for is a simple description of how the featured items are selected for placement into the Homepage Scroller. Since everyone pays the same amount for a Featured Ad, the algorithm used should ensure absolutely even and random placement.

The algorithm should not be "Top Secret" or even slightly sensitive information ... it should be openly visible and well known so that there is no question and no doubt. However LL has instead seen fit to "protect" that algorithm with utmost secrecy. Why?

I don't want another "well because of this and that and this other thing ..." explanation. I just want Linden Lab and the Commerce Dev Team to write up the algorithm and post it. And if that's not something LL is willing to do then you have no one to blame for the so-called "Grand Linden Conspiracy" than your own management.

Hello Darrius,

There is a really simple reason why it isn't released, there is no reason to.

When everything is compared openly, as with this thread, regarding items that have a Featured Listing Enhancement on them, there is very little difference in the average number of impressions that a listing gets compared to another similar product with a Featured Listing Enhancement.

Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

 

 

 

 

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Ah .. okay. I get it. The fact that your customers have lost all trust, are continually baffled by how come their products don't show up, and ask in earnest for a simple explanation of how a listing is chosen for display .. those are "no reason"?

This is a perfect example Dakota of the "disconnect" that gives rise to the "Grand Linden Conspiracy".

LL can suffer no harm whatsoever by divulging the algorithm .. if it is truly fair. The reasons for not releasing it are "no reason to".; But you know full well the answer we hear is "because we are gaming it and we don't want anyone to know."

Not saying LL does game it or not, merely pointing out why Trust is something LL will never manage to create. And without trust, money is a rare companion.

Just sayin ....

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Best way to solve the problem is don't buy listing enhancements. Here's another option. Work hard at creating high quality items that stand out or create items that just can't be found in the marketplace, or if they can be found it's low quality rubbish. Now there are many many examples of this. Create these items in high quality and people will find you, and once they do others will follow. Then they will shop and search right there in your store. The mistake so many people make is to create items in oversaturated markets. They see something and think 'I can make that'. If you do this then make sure your item is twice as good.Or make something that isn't out there in abundance already. SL is still very young, and many things are lacking - so fill the void. 

The best enhancement is the quality of your product and the demand for it. No need to buy advertising. SL is still small enough for word of mouth to do a very efffective job.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Ah .. okay. I get it. The fact that your customers have lost all trust, are continually baffled by how come their products don't show up, and ask in earnest for a simple explanation of how a listing is chosen for display .. those are "no reason"?

 

Hello Darrius,

Their products "DO" show up. 

I have also explained why they may not see their listing even though others do.

Place an enhancement in a sub-category and the chances of seeing the item in the Featured Scroller in the sub-category goes up, why?

Fewer products have enhancments in the sub-categories compared to the home page.

If a user with an Adult Rated item adds a Homepage Featured Enhancement to their listing they will have a far greater chance of seeing their listing in the scroller if they select the option only to view Adult Content on the Marketplace because they will not be fed General and Moderate Rated content.

There will be fewer listings competing when the page is reloaded each time so they have a far greater chance of seeing their listing.

Regards,

 

Dakota Linden

--

Linden Lab

SL Marketplace Customer Support

 

 

 

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Okay Dakota, let's do this dance again.

Does every Enhancement Ad placed to show on the home page have exactly the same odds as every other Enhancment Ad?

In as much as any system can be completely random, yes.

I have this habit of using other situations to try to explain things.  It is how it helps me to understand how things work, so bear with me, please :)

Take a small bucket and dump a bunch of dominoes into it, then get 1 person to take out 10 tiles, then the next person take out 10 tiles, etc.

Then each person look at the ones they picked without looking at the ones the 3 others have.

Then put them all back into the bucket, and shake it up and then each take 10 more.

After about the 3rd time, each person will start to see that sometimes they are getting the same tiles.

Some will be more memorable than others, like the doubles.

Some of them may even see that they are getting 2 or 3, or more, of the same tiles consistently, while at the same time not getting other tiles.

That doesn't mean that one of the other friends sitting there aren't getting those tiles, only that they themselves aren't.

Okay.. so the Listing Enhnacements work on the same principle.

Each person who loads the homepage is fed 20 (iirc that is the number) listings in the scroller.

While they are scrolling through to see all of the listings that they have been fed, someone else loads the homepage and gets 20 random listings.

Each time the homepage is loaded 20 random listings are fed to that page.

Just because one person doesn't see a particular listing doesn't mean that it isn't being displayed to someone else who is on the homepage.

Since there is a finite number of products with Homepage Enhancements, it also means that the chances of seeing the same item more than once goes up.

Now limit those.

Take all the dominoes out and remove everything but the doubles and blank ones.

This would be akin to changing your settings to only show Adult Rated Items, since this is the only group we can really limit by a significant amount.

Now put the tiles with the doubles and the blanks back into the bucket and shake it up and take out the tiles again.

What are the chances of seeing the double six? Pretty good, since there are far fewer tiles to chose from now.

 

 

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Excellent description of the algorithm but ... (and this is why I want to see the full algorithm) ...

When are the tiles put back in the bucket and resorted?

What you've described is a flawed system. Unless every tile is removed from the bucket before the first tiles are put back, the system is not random and will "clump" some listings more than others.

Here is an algorithm that does guarantee truly even distribution:

1) Shuffle a deck of cards.

2) For every person that loads the home page, deal 20 cards off the deck and put them into the home page scroller. Then put those 20 cards back on the bottom of the deck in the same order they were dealt.

3) Once every hour/day/15 minutes .. some defined period of time ... or every time the deck has "cycled" X number of times, go back to step #1.

The one flaw this has is the fact that the Scroller shows only 3 of the 20 cards dealt. The solution to this is to shuffle the 20 cards and put them into the Scroller in that shuffled random order. Without this last step, if the number of enhancement ads is an even multiple of the Scroller size then the same 3 ads will have "always visible" favor until the deck is shuffled again.

No offense Dakota .. please understand my point. You're not a Dev on the Marketplace, and you answering or describing the algorithm is just as useful and accurate as me describing labor pains. Been there, seen it done, but no matter how much I want to give a valid response, I just don't have the qualifications to do it proper justice.

I would really appreciate someone in the Dev Team saying "Yup, we are sensitive to this issue and thus we are publishing the algorithm ..." and then doing so. It's a 20-minute task that can (and will) not only save 100's of hours defending it, but will go a LONG long way toward putting a polish on LL's Customer Service reputation.

Quite honestly, if I knew the algorithm right now, I'd more than likely be all over those posts that state "the enhancement ads are borked" ... and I'd have ammo to challenge them with too. But rather than share with us and let us come stand on your (LL's) side of the line .. this refusal to describe what should be common place practice keeps all of us on the other side of the line AND keeps us questioning and doubting what is said.

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I actually took out two enhancements for the same product, one on Home Page and one on its appropriate Category Page. The Category Page enhancement gets more than 3 times the number of views, however it gets almost exactly half as many click-thrus per view (0.11% for Category vs. 0.21% for Home Page).

The following numbers are roughly 21 days into a one-month subscription time:

Home page:
Views: 6094
Views/Day: 290.2
Click-thrus: 13
CT/View:  0.00213
CT/L$: 0.00448

Gadgets Category page:
Views: 19291
Views/Day: 918.6
Click-thrus: 22
CT/View: 0.00114
CT/L$: 0.02202

Clearly the Click-thru per L$ rate for the Category page enhancement is much better than for the Home page enhancement. The only metric I don't have (and cannot calculate at all) is Sales per Click-thru rate.

It would be VERY educational to see other merchants post their Home Page enhancement numbers, specifically the Views per Day rate. Having a large "sample" of various products and enhancements for the Home page specifically would tell us immediately if ads are receiving the same "View Rate" .. the best measurement of the equality of the enhancement display algorithm. Unfortunately this ignores a particular peculiarity of the way Views are tallied ... specifically the fact that a View is counted when an Enhanced Ad is placed in the scroller anywhere and NOT when it is actually displayed.

Furthermore the total number of views can vary wildly when the number of enhanced ads is less than vs greater than the number of slots in the Scroller. If the number of enhanced ads is less than or equal to the size of the Scroller, the number of views will be the same as the number of times the page was displayed. (In the above numbers, the Gadgets Category page is just such an example.) However when there are more enhanced ads than will fit in the Scroller, the number of views is some fraction of the page display count. (The Home page is always this way.)

(Rant Against Obfuscation begins ...)

One of the most annoying habits of the LL Dev Teams is their tendency to provide metrics and numbers that really don't mean a damn thing. In the case of Enhanced Ads, the Scroller mechanism totally screws up the numbers. Since only three ads are actually "viewed" at a time, counting an ad as "viewed" just because it gets loaded into the Scroller renders that number totally irrelevant and useless. This is like trying to measure your speed on the highway by counting the number of discarded empty beer bottles you pass per hour; yeah it's a neat number but the two aren't related to each other in any useful way.

This habit of providing useless data is one of the major contributing factors to reinforcing and validating the "Grand Linden Conspiracy" theories. If we actually had REAL data, numbers that not only mattered to us but accurately related to important factors, it would go a long way toward improving Merchant and Customer Trust. But since the Marketplace Dev Team insists on giving us numbers that are largely irrelevant and useless, we continue to hold tight the suspicion that "they are hiding the TRUTH from us because ... " (fill in your favorite tin foil hat reason).

@Brooke - I frankly don't give a damn how my products are sorted, and I can continue to manually redeliver purchases that failed to deliver from my magic boxes, and I can even cope with having listings that get marked "Adult" because of some mystery word in the listing somewhere. But I absolutely positively CANNOT continue to tolerate being fed stats and metrics that are useless irrelevant dog poop.

If you really TRULY want to improve Marketplace in a significant and meaningful way ..

FIX THE STATS AND REPORTS!

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Holy Cow.  you're telling people not to advertise?  for real?

You can make the most amazing thing in Second Life and unless you know how to market and price and keep a momentum going....you're not going to sell squat. 

And I see that all over the place.  Same thing in real life, though. 

You've got a really nice niche without a ton of competition.  Try playing in that saturated market and see how far no advertising and no marketing will get you.

No offense, but that's not super good advice.

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Your logo is so tiny, and your packaging is so bland - I would never find you, even if I sat here and refreshed the page a hundred times, which I just did.  So until you get some decent packaging going on there - no, enhanced listing probably won't benefit you much.

I just look at sales.  I don't even look at those reports anymore.

Been dealing with this forever.  You can't always measure precisely what is coming from your advertising.  Doesn't matter what form you're using.  Rarely will you get a precise measurement and angle to work from.

Far worse predicament than having "useless data" is sitting at your machine and analyzing "useless data" for hours on end.

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*smiles* Thank you so very much for your insulting and negative commentary Mickey. I'm quite sure that my life is enriched because you took the time to diss my artwork, my packaging and my choice on how to spend my time. You can rest assured I will assign priority and value to your words every bit in keeping with their true worth.

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Holy Cow.  you're telling people not to advertise?  for real?

 

No offense, but that's not super good advice.

No offense taken, Mickey :matte-motes-smile:

I tried advertising and got no joy out of it. My partner loved buying enhancements (while I rolled my eyes back) and now he also says forget that waste of money crap.

I would love it if advertising worked. I wish it did pay off, especially when I finish creating a new item that I think is good, and if only people could see it. But I've been there done that and nothing.

Given time the new item takes off without any help. People find it. So now I rely on this.

Maybe advertising works better for clothes, and not so well for boats and the type of things I sell. People must be in the market for a boat and search for it.

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