Should Location Matter?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Copywriting | 3 comments

Should Location Matter?

Does location matter?

Perhaps the question should be: Should location matter?

Since November 2015, is seems that Etsy has thrown algorithm change after algorithm change at its users, and now the center of the controversy is whether or not geography should play a role in search findings. Many people are clamoring against the new change announced earlier this week, but if you have been paying attention, this isn’t so unexpected.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the use of buyer location as a search engine factor. In October 2015, Etsy launched the use of a location factor in the UK and Australian markets, and they have been testing the results behind the scenes. Simply put: If a seller searches for a bracelet in the UK they will see UK based shops ranked higher than outside vendors. Now they have decided to move forward to expand this factor into other markets including France and Germany. The United States has not yet been included in this change.

Let me repeat that: The United States shoppers and sellers have not been impacted yet.

There are more than a few blogs and articles out there that speculate why Etsy is doing this and how this is going to negatively influence both sellers and shoppers. The main argument is that it limits international exposure. The main proponent is that it helps shoppers identify more convenient purchases and stimulates localized economy.

Megan L., an Etsy administrator, provides some explanation in her post from April 12th, 2016:

“This week, we are adding shop location as a factor in search for buyers in both France and Germany. Additionally, in an effort to improve the search experience for members across the world, we’re introducing a number of tests that community members in countries outside of the United States may begin to notice over the next few months.”

She then goes on to explain why Etsy is moving toward this factor:

“This update to search proved successful within the UK and Australia, so we’ve been testing it for a while in France and Germany. During our testing, both French and German buyers not only purchased more from shops in their own countries, but also purchase more on the site overall.”

If you would like to read Megan’s full post you may do so here:

Etsy SEO Factors: Location Update

There you have it, folks. They found buyers purchased more overall which means including this factor change for their website is a smart business move for them. I want you to use this time to determine if Etsy is a good platform for your site. At the moment, nothing has changed for US sellers unless your main target audiences were located within those four countries.

As always, keep an open mind and realize that if you are dependent on a third-party platform, you are playing by their rules, and consider this a time to reevaluate your own business strategies for growth. If you are within those countries, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how the change is affecting your business in the comments below.


  1. 4-18-2016

    This post is very interesting, it can go viral easily, with
    some initial traffic.

  2. 4-16-2016

    I am from Germany and on etsy because I would love to reach foreign customers, otherwise I would sell on a german platform. I do not like all these changes and will start one day to build my own website. Most of my customers come out of Germany and if etsy is making these changes for more and more countries I would loose these. And me, as a customer, would like to decide by myself

  3. 4-15-2016

    I actually don’t think I will mind this. It will be nice to see local listings vs all mass producers from overseas. Hopefully “ranking higher” does not mean monopolizing and the non-local sellers will still be included. But giving priority to actual handmade artisans is a plus (at least in the US which is a much larger market)

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