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Q for Lindens - Inworld Search Tweaks


Mickey Vandeverre
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Good Morning Lindens :)

May we please have an update on the inworld search tweaks?

It seems as though there have been some daily jostling going on with the inworld search listings, as in a dramatic shuffling of the listing order.

Perhaps some new algorithms or search weighting? 

Realize that you consider the inworld search similar to a google search in which those tweaks are not shared publicly, however many of us consider that inworld search as a yellow pages guide.

Perhaps just a yes or no? or perhaps an idea on the level of tweaking?

As in....yes, we applied an entirely different search approach which will benefit a larger store.

or yes, we applied an entirely different approach which will benefit a store with a broad range of inventory.

or yes, we applied an entirely different approach which will benefit a store that appears in our destination guide

or yes, we applied an entirely different approach which will benefit a store that labels product in a specific way.

or no....we haven't tweaked it at all.

also:

If the answer is yes, we are tweaking....will this be an ongoing thing as it was most of the year last year? 

or is your tweaking all finished, and we may proceed from there to figure it out ourselves?

Thank you.

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ok - I'll take a shot at this while we wait.  Marketplace answers are more important anyway.

But equally concerned about inworld traffic as today's traffic count is the probably the lowest it has been since I opened up shop 3 years ago.  Perhaps a result of marketplace not working, as fair amount of traffic comes from marketplace listings to check out the room settings. 

Just tried out some consistently successful keyword terms, and it appears that not much weight it being given to product labeling.  Some old standby terms that would score a product on it's parcel for first page, simply don't work at all.  Meaning, not only does the product not score the parcel for first page....but can't find the parcel at all. 

This would be product that is packed very heavily into one parcel.

My parcels are small, but with heavy product. 

Perhaps being penalized for too much product, as we experienced a while back.  Perhaps being penalized with too many keywords.  Perhaps being penalized for being on small parcels.

That's all I can see for now.  Not sure if it is worth adjusting or experimenting with...if they are still tweaking.

Perhaps a word on how long the tweaking will go on, so that we might put efforts into other areas to compensate until the major tweaking (meaning the tweaking that flip-flops a parcel score from one end of spectrum to another)...is completed.

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I feel your pain Mickey and I too was very confused.  Then one night someone contacted me in world and gave me a full run down on how I should set up my store.  Oddly, this person would not friend me and sort of just vanished after they gave me a ton of information.

I took what she said and over the next week or two, executed everything she said.  It worked and it was the most fair and sensible thing I had heard.

I later wrote up what I did and posted it here: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Commerce-Forums-General/Thank-You-Search-Gods-for-making-it-work-again/m-p/452021#M46163

I am not saying this will work for everyone and in my case, my keywords as with my product line are very limited which enable me to be the largest Home Lighting store in SL.  That in and of itself is an advantage however, until my fairy god mother showed up on that night, I was ranked at the 4th or 6th pages of search when I searched for Home Lighting.  Today I am the #1 spot and have been for most of the time since last year.

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Thanks Chelsea - appreciate the info.

I had done complete flip-flops last year on labeling and product placement in parcels.  The adjustments took two weeks each to relabel - then they flip-flopped it back to the way I originally had it labeled.

I hope that they will give confirmation on whether or not they are finished before we redo the entire store.

thanks.

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Hi all - 

The Search team is continuing to make changes throughout the beta test period, however you should be seeing things stabilize more as we get closer to completion.  We are still adding features and making some tweaks now, but the major updates are done.  That said, we will continue to fix things after the beta period, including any relevance issues that are found.  That is just part of the normal maintenance process.  

If you have specific issues with relevance that you think are a bug, please do file them in jira under Web with a component of Search.  We're keeping an eye on the beta feedback as well.

Thanks!

- Nya

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Thank you Nya. As the owner of two full prim sims of some of the best prefabs in SL, I have not been able to bring myself to even look at the new inworld search since the first and only time I took a look and discovered that little 2048 stores, and stores with no traffic, were at the top and I was not to be found.

That may or may not have changed, but I just can't play the search game anymore.

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Nya,

The most serious problem with Search now is not "Stuffing" as Mickey states, but "Stripping". There are basically two strata of search terms ... those that are relatively thin as far as sellers and those that are highly competitive and over-crowded. (Sorry Mickey, but Furniture is one of those highly competitive terms.)

With the former, relatively well distributed market niches, sensible product naming, a well written narrative-style Land Description and a Land Name that includes your niche will work.

However with the latter, the market niches that are over-saturated and very highly competitive, only one thing will work. Strip your Parcel down to nothing. Take out all your product marked to Show in Search, strip anything unrelated out of the Land Description, and reduce your Land Name to keywords only.

I work closely with several clients that are in the most competitive and high-dollar market niche and I can flatly state, it's already hit rock bottom. It's time to review the "Relevance Algorithm" Nya and eliminate that bit of the formula that grants highest relevance to parcels that have been stripped bare.

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Thinking ahead a bit more...that's going to infuriate the dedicated inworld shoppers that we still have, once they hit a few stores to shop and find nothing.

Some places do have rather extensive product offerings .. some do not. The problem is that by Stripping their listings (marking nothing to Show In Search) what is available there is a total crap-shoot. Sometimes you get lucky and you find a store that actually has products that you are looking for.

For larger stores, it's even worse. Imagine someone trying to find coffee tables in a sim-sized store ... with no products listed on the Parcel Listing page. GACK!

In all fairness though, trying to identify what is truly "relevant" about parcel listings is a tough job. They are less like web pages and more like a library card file. Applying web-based search machines to the task of In-World Search is using the wrong tool for the job.

Personally, I'd rather they spend the time and money on developing a kick-butt advertising service similar in function and presentation to the Yellow Pages (Business and Commercial Telephone Listings). Let sellers buy ads of varying sizes at reasonable prices, allow them to list in several categories, and give them the ability to put portions of their store listings on detail pages under their listing.

With that sort of mechanism, the black magic dark art Relevance BS vanishes and everyone gets a fair listing. Those that can pay more, buy big ads. Those that can't afford a giant display ad might only purchase a small enhancement. But you won't find red shoes under the furniture category either.

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Why are we getting a new inworld search?

Why would the search favor those who do not have a lot of product?

Why is the search being overhauled from one end of spectrum to another while you're getting ready to bang on the marketplace?

Why would you tweak both of our main tools at the same time?

I'm not asking these questions to be difficult, just asking in order to make plans and adjust.

As I was turning in several lots that I've owned for years, the estate owner has offered to work with me.  This new search idea ain't exactly going to go down well with estate owners either - this stuff all trickles out and meanders out.

I doubt that many of those who survived the last shift for months on end are going to want to ride this out again.

Because we never get time frames on this stuff or never get an indication of which direction to adjust - we just have to wing it blindly, and there is money involved.

I hate to pass up his offer - he's been a trooper and taken very good care of me for just shy of 6 years now.  Doubt that I am only one in situation considering that.  I just had to ask 15 merchants to dismantle their stuff from the free market I had built - and don't like having to do that. 

As Medhue pointed out in another thread...these flip-flop actions effect a broad range of people, and it all meanders out across the board.

I don't like doing business that way, on a drop of a hat decisions...but that's what ya'll leave us to do when you go through these major tweaking phases.

eta:

ok, well I couldn't wait for an answer any longer - another round of tier fees were due today, so I just closed those parcels up.

looks like most are concerned with marketplace.

 

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What is relevant can be identified by types of product on the sim and quantity of product available and diversity of product.

It's real easy.

The product sitting there is what is relevant.

Doesn't really matter size of parcel - what matters is what product is sitting there.

Where are all the other merchants to weigh in on this flip-flop of the search?

Are they just blindly following anything now?  and resigned to the fact?  or did most already leave?   not really sure, rarely see the ones who used to weigh in on these drastic adjustments anymore.

 

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  • 5 years later...

I Found this thread in search - mind you I have been searching and googling high and low for the high end prefabs in SL  - I am here 11 years - I know of Pamela's homes - but since this mesh has come about things have changed and changed they have - trying to locate the well built high end quality homes are difficult - even trying in here is difficult - I purchased one in sl last yr - loved the place - my sim ran fine - up until recently and finally thought oh!! check the collisions - there it was - the stairway in the house - went to the builder - guess who is no longer in SL - yep the builder and the stairs can not be un-linked - so looking for another home.  Will the quality high end 3 bedroom 2 bath builder please stand and take a bow - love to met you- see your products - Pamela makes a heck of a product to beat. Jeri Rahja (PS - SL  resident 11 yrs)

 

Edited by Jeri Rahja
to explain i was really not a newbie
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