The Twist

Update Your Etsy Listings Without Angering the Etsy Algorithm

The Etsy algorithm is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be scary. If it’s time to make some changes to your tags, it can be tempting to change all your listings at once. But won’t the algorithm get mad? Well, on today’s episode of With a Twist, we’re answering your questions about updating your Etsy shop in bulk and showing you how to make changes with confidence.

Lisa & Jade are back!

Welcome to another episode of With a Twist. This is the show where we basically kick back, relax, grab a drink, and answer your questions about eCommerce, Marmalead, Etsy, all that stuff!

Kick back your feet and enjoy this episode with your own glass of kombucha! Watch along in the video above.

Answering your questions about the Etsy algorithm

We’re jumping right in with today’s question and we’re super excited to answer it:

“Does updating your shop in bulk hurt your algorithm? What is the best way to update your shop to appease Etsy’s algorithm?”

Not a black and white answer

etsy algorithm - it's complicated. There's no black and white answer.

Let’s start with, “does updating your shop in bulk hurt your shop?”

It’s tough to give a black and white answer.

But here’s one of the most important things you need to know about updating your Etsy shop in bulk: if you update everything at once, you definitely will have no idea what is working and what’s not.

It makes it a lot harder to see which changes were beneficial for you and which weren’t.

Updating your lowest performers without angering the Etsy algorithm

etsy algorithm - two women look at their etsy listings on their laptop

In any kind of experiment, if you change everything all at once, then you’ll be lost trying to figure out which change was effective, and which change wasn’t. We always recommend that you DO NOT change everything all at once.

Start with a handful of listings.

Better yet, start with your lowest-performing listings.

Why do we recommend this?

Because it’s the best place to start. That’s where you stand to experience the most change.

If your lowest-performing Etsy listings aren’t working for you, that’s where you want to start. Your lowest performers are your biggest opportunity.

Plot Twist: If your highest performing listings have super low grades, say, a C or D grade… leave it alone! Even if these listings have low grades and they’re still selling, DO NOT change your listings just to get an A grade.

Diving in deeper to low grades and your Etsy algorithm

etsy algorithm - person dives deeper into their low performing listings

Let’s dive into that a little bit deeper.

You don’t want to change good-performing listings with low grades because, obviously, something is currently working for it!

Now, could this listing be ticking off more boxes that Etsy says are important for a solid organic Etsy SEO strategy? Yes.

But ultimately, something’s working for it. So, what else could be happening with this listing?

  • You could be pushing traffic to that listing from an outside website.
  • You could be pushing traffic to it from social media (like pictures on your Instagram).
  • Etsy could’ve run some sort of campaign that points towards a product like yours, or maybe even your product specifically.
  • The Etsy algorthim could just like that listing for whatever reason!

Whatever the case may be, something is working for that listing, and so that’s not where you want to go back to the drawing board on. Let that listing keep performing (even if it could be performing better) and then, work on a handful of your lowest-performing listings.

Then, once you hit on a strategy that works, that’s when you can start to move that strategy wider out across your shop. So, again, don’t change what’s already working for you.

We understand this can be hard!

woman looks over her income with a straight face

We totally get that this can be super hard if you’re super grades motivated.  It can be so easy to just want A grades across the board. But you have to change the way you think about your grades, especially if your low grades are bringing you great results! It’s not about just getting an A grade.

Finding your greatest gains from the Etsy algorithm

woman shows excitement that her etsy listings are performing well

We often hear from our awesome Marmalead community members that they end up seeing their greatest gains from their lowest performers. Even our top Marmalead performers have used this strategy to bring more success to their handmade business. We see quite often when Etsy sellers focus on tweaking their lowest-performing listings, those low performers find their groove in the Etsy algorithm and go on to surpass what was once their bestseller. 

And so that’s the strategy that we really push.

Again, you should only start with a handful of your lowest performers and work on those slowly. You don’t want to just change everything all at once. Only a handful.

Really work on those listings first and get comfortable with the process. Then, once you finally are comfortable with the process, that’s when you can start to move that strategy out across your shop wider and wider.

Related: Here’s how to update your Etsy listings using Marmalead’s Storm Tool

How long do you wait for the Etsy algorithm before you make more changes?

woman is disappointed the etsy algorithm isn't doing her any favors

You might be wondering, once you’ve worked on your lowest-performing listings (let’s say you took five) how long do you wait to then go back and work on another five?

So that number is going to look a little bit different for everybody because maybe you have the ability to fly through some listings a little bit quicker.

Really, there’s not a super hard and fast answer here, but what we will say is that, on average, it takes between two to four weeks for the Etsy algorithm to settle back into a regular rhythm again with a particular listing. 

New keywords means the Etsy algorithm will show you to a new audience

woman searching etsy for something to buy

Keep in mind, if you change all keywords on a listing, you’re changing every audience that you are in front of.

You can think of keywords as different audiences or markets that you’re in front of. So, if you pull off 10 keywords and put on 10 new keywords (or whatever the case may be) then, you’ve changed 10 audiences that you’re in front of, and it’s going to take a minute for these listings.

Disclaimer: Now, the Etsy algorithm is automatically going to be able to see the changes that you’ve made, and you’ll automatically start showing up in those searches. But it can take some time for you to fall into a regular rhythm in those searches again. Again, on average, I would say it would be anywhere between two to four weeks to really see where you’re going to shake out in a regular rhythm. 

Nothing. Is. Happening.

Now, if you’ve seen nothing, and I mean nothing in two weeks, I would say that it would be fine for you to go back to the drawing board and choose some different keywords to focus on.

But if you’ve seen some positive movement in two weeks that’s great! It could also take (like we said) between two and four weeks.

We would love to be able to sit here and tell you that the sweet success of Etsy SEO victory is an overnight sensation. As if you signed up with Marmalead last night, and then this morning…Bam! Amazing! Magic!

The 1%

1% of etsy shops find overnight success

For very few shops, it works that way! Success can just sort of happen overnight (although VERY unlikely)! And we’re so happy for you if you were one of those people!

But for most Etsy shops, it takes some time. It takes some trial, error and testing out those rhythms, and just figuring out, “Okay, this is going to work for me and this isn’t.”

Stick to the tried and true Etsy SEO principles that you’ll find on this blog, and the Etsy algorithm will be singing your praises in no time at all.

Final thoughts

So, remember, give it two to four weeks once you’ve made changes to your Etsy listings.

Never change something that’s already working for you. That’s not where you want to start.

And don’t change everything all at once.

That’s coming full circle on that question. We just recommend that you move slowly when it comes to making changes to your Etsy listings. Patience is a virtue in this instance for sure.

If you enjoyed this post and want to see your very own question featured, post any Etsy-related question down in the comments below! We’d love to answer your question on the next episode of With A Twist!

Happy selling, everyone!

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One reply on “Update Your Etsy Listings Without Angering the Etsy Algorithm”


I want to add some images and files (in digital products items). I would not be changing any keywords or title. But afraid it will mess up my listings that are doing good. It’s something that I need to add to all of my listing so I don’t have a choice. Will images and new files mess up my SEO or it is just for keywords and title? Than you very much!

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