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If you thought SL Search wasn´t messed up enough, now Classifieds do not appear in the order of who pay more, meaning the most expensive ad won´t show up at the top page.

So what is the criteria LL uses for Classifieds ranking in SL Search?

 

 

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I noticed that this morning after running two new ads yesterday.  For the same term, a lower priced ad is on page one, when the higher priced ad is not.  Might be a glitch there, or they are rotating or something.

I'm not using the new viewer, though - will have to check it out there.

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Hiya!

There are two areas where Classifieds results are returned in Search - on every result page on the right, under Paid Classifieds,  and on the Classifieds tab.  

Under Paid Classifieds, results are still shown in the order of price paid - this is the order that is shown on every search result page.  However, when searching on the Classifieds tab itself, we are ordering the main results by how relevant they are to the search query, to make it easier for residents to find exactly what they are looking for.  

That said, new Search is in Beta and we are adding features all the time.  We will be adding additional sorting options for the Classifieds tab soon!

Thanks,
- Nya

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Hi Lilly - 

Search uses dozens of rules to determine relevance, and as we are still in beta, these are being updated according to feedback from our Residents.  The most important thing to do is to make sure your Classified is written in human-readable sentences and contains actual descriptions of what you sell.  I recommend reading through this article about how to create listings:  http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Guidelines-for-creating-search-listings/ta-p/803947#Section_.5.6

Thanks!
- Nya

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To be fair to the current LL employees, the Classifieds system that they inherited is a particularly bad one. When Classifieds were introduced, the search system was extremely basic; i.e. if an ad contained the exact searchterm, it got listed, regardless of its relevance to the searchterm. If not, it didn't get listed at all. In that basic system, the All tab listed in alphabetical order (ASCII order to be precise), the Places tab listed in traffic order, and the Classifieds tab listed in the order of the price paid.

With other types of media, such as newspapers and phonebooks, there are no "rankings", and the price paid is for the size of the ads. which are listed in alphabetical order. And sometimes a higher price can be paid for placement.

Imo, Classifieds should not be listed according to price paid, but search results don't lend themselves easily to the emulation of advertising in newspapers or phonebooks. The new idea of ranking in the Classifieds tab according to relevance is a step in the right direction, provided that price paid is a *big* part of it. I don't like the idea of someone paying a lot for a classified and being buried below a load of cheap classifieds, just because those who wrote the cheap ones accidentally or intentionally wrote text that the " dumb" search system finds to be more relevant. That just wouldn't be right.

On the positive side, I'd guess that classifieds do more good for the advertisers when displayed on the normal search results pages than in the Classifieds tab, so any failings in the new Classifieds tab's system may not be too drastic.

Ideally, all classifieds would be displayed according to relevance but with the price paid being a very large ranking factor.

Evem more ideally, LL could start to consider major alternatives. E.g. selling classifieds at fixed prices where the advertiser can pay more for size (amount of text). Or where the advertiser can bid to be listed for specific searchterms; i.e. select one or more searchterms and bid on each one, paying the bid amount each week. The searchterm selection decides whether or not to list an ad for a search, and the bid decides its ranking/position. The second of those isn't uncommon in search engines.

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Nya Linden wrote:

Hi Lilly - 

The most important thing to do is to make sure your Classified is written in human-readable sentences and contains actual descriptions of what you sell.

This may sound good, but in practice, this is pretty impossible for most of us. If you are posting a classified ad for 1 single product, this is feasible. Who does that tho? I think, most of us are going to pay as much as we are willing to, and post a classified ad that covers as many words as possible. For any 1 category of types of products to sell in SL, there are hundreds of words to describe it, not to mention other languages. With descriptions cut to such a tiny set of words, sentences are not even worth thinking about. Before, when we had more characters, and each word had to be an exact match, I had ads for all my big selling products, with formatted descriptions, sentences and instructions. Now, there is no point buying all those 51L ads, when I can cover all of them with 1 expensive ad.

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Nya Linden wrote:

Hi Lilly - 

Search uses dozens of rules to determine relevance, and as we are still in beta, these are being updated according to feedback from our Residents.  The most important thing to do is to make sure your Classified is written in human-readable sentences and contains actual descriptions of what you sell.  I recommend reading through this article about how to create listings:  


Thanks!

- Nya

Hi Nya,

Thank you for your reply to my inquire!

The point with the actual search systems is that it does not return the properly results based on keywords. The search gives priority to results that are not relevant to the what was actually searched.

I deal exclusively with teen [since 2007] goods in my store, however when searching for "teen", many stores that deal with kids and adults goods come first in the search results. Kids and adults are different from teen!

It is simple, just make a search with the word "teen" and see the results. The search shows stores that deal with goods for all ages (kids, adults, etc).

 

 

 

 

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If they are still using Google's GSA system, and I haven't heard that they aren't, then they cannot change the ranking factors or even change their weightings. What they can do is create some pseudo factors outside the GSA, such as traffic, parcel size, and repetition spam, but such pseudo factors are difficult to control, and there aren't dozens of them.

If they are using the GSA for it, Nya wasn't exactly accurate in saying that there are dozens of ranking factors (there are over 100), or in saying that they are changing them according to feedback. As long as they use the GSA to rank classifieds, I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting for your problem to be resolved.

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Hi again! 

The new search system is based around connecting sellers and buyers, and making it easier for people to find exactly what they are looking for.  As I mentioned before, we are improving this all the time throughout the beta period, and in fact, we have made some updates to Classifieds already based on comments in here.  You will see more changes coming out next week as well. 

That said, we've found that when people are confronted with ads that are just a bunch of keywords, they are less likely to click on them.  We really encourage advertisers to use human-friendly language, as it will raise the likelihood that when people see your ad, they will actually teleport there.  Whether you want to use a single ad with a high price or many cheaper ads, keyword stuffing ends up working against you in the long run. 

We're working on making this system better and we have many things in progress that should help.  Please do send feedback using the link at the top of the search beta page if you have specific issues.  We're keeping a close eye on that during this beta process.

Thanks!
- Nya

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

They're moving to a new system based on the SOLR packaging of the Lucene search engine.

Ah. I assume that's one of the open source ones?

Do you know if they are using it for the classifieds tab?

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Nya Linden wrote:

 

That said, we've found that when people are confronted with ads that are just a bunch of keywords, they are less likely to click on them.  We really encourage advertisers to use human-friendly language, as it will raise the likelihood that when people see your ad, they will actually teleport there.  Whether you want to use a single ad with a high price or many cheaper ads, keyword stuffing ends up working against you in the long run.

Have you got any evidence for this? When you cut the amount of characters back to 256, you seriously nerfed the human readable aspect of classifieds, you've made it little better than a tweet. I understood why it was done, but it seriously nerfed human readable adverts.

I much prefer writing human readable adverts, I have always tried to do that, they are more fun for me and the person reading them.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

They're moving to a new system based on the SOLR packaging of the Lucene search engine.

Ah. I assume that's one of the open source ones?

Do you know if they are using it for the classifieds tab?

In the new viewer it all looks like it's using the new system.

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Ciaran Laval wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

They're moving to a new system based on the SOLR packaging of the Lucene search engine.

Ah. I assume that's one of the open source ones?

Do you know if they are using it for the classifieds tab?

In the new viewer it all looks like it's using the new system.

That's my perception too.

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Nya Linden wrote:

Hi again! 

That said, we've found that when people are confronted with ads that are just a bunch of keywords, they are less likely to click on them.  We really encourage advertisers to use human-friendly language, as it will raise the likelihood that when people see your ad, they will actually teleport there.  Whether you want to use a single ad with a high price or many cheaper ads, keyword stuffing ends up working against you in the long run. 

Given that, with only 256 characters to play with, writing a whole store ad in "human-friendly language" is almost always an impossibility if the ad is to rank reasonably well for even the general product areas that the store caters to. The new design must be to force customers into having many ads, each advertising a specific product area, and, thereby, extracting even more money from customers. Yes/no?

It sounds to me that LL is behaving like a web search engine in this respect, when it isn't one. Web engines don't care which webpages rank highly and which rank lower down, because they aren't affiliated in any way with the website owners. But this search system isn't that sort of search engine. It is a "paid advertisement system", and the "owners" of all the ad listings are paying customers - they pay for the ads. As I said earlier, the whole classifieds system is bad and, instead of trying to make a good one, it looks like LL is trying to make a bad system work. It can't work well enough to be what it's supposed to be - paid advertisements - until the whole system is redesigned from scratch. It's a shame that, with the new engine, LL didn't do that. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a relevance-based search engine is definitely not needed for a classified advertisements system, simply because the results are not classified advertisements at all - they are search results, which are quite different.

 


That said, we've found that when people are confronted with ads that are just a bunch of keywords, they are less likely to click on them.

Whether people are more or less likely to click on ads that are merely bunches of keywords, is not the business of LL. It's entirely the business of the advertiser. Any fiddling on LL's part, to try and handle keyword ads, can only be negative for advertisers. Classified advertisements are just that - advertisements. They should never be subjected to rankings in the way that webpages and parcel pages are.

In a nutshell, a good Classified Advertisements system cannot be run with a general search angine. It has to be a dedictated classified advertisements system.

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AmyNevilly wrote:

Classified are useless. period.

I wouldn't say that. My business life in SL started with renting out skyboxes, and the classifieds at that time were the reason it succeeded. It was a Mickey Mouse system but it still produced results for advertisers, and I'm sure it still does.

The problem with the new system is that it isn't isn't a classified ads system at all. It's merely a general search system that's applied only to classified ads. Unfortunately, it can't work even as a decent classified ads system. It really needs to be a dedicated classifieds system. Simply getting results from a different index - the classified ads index instead of the parcels index - doesn't make it a dedictaed classifieds system. I have no doubt that a great deal of development time will be wasted on the current idea, when it could have been used to create an actual classifieds system, and the team will spend a lot of time trying to tweak this and that in attempts to improve things, but in the end, it will never work as a classifieds system should work.

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