Shop Talk

Artist update: Search improvements and experiments

We’re entering the second half of the year when holidays and gifting occasions increase and the majority of sales are made. Our Search team is hard at work on a range of improvements so artists get the most out of holidays.

We are continuously running experiments and tests to improve search. Experiments run about 2-3 times per month on average. These typically run for a short amount of time, and are exposed to a small segment of customers. You may find your works aren’t always visible to you if you are enrolled in an experiment, but they will still be visible to the vast majority of Redbubble customers.

We also have measures in place to ensure we don’t see a drop in conversion or do any harm to core metrics while we’re testing and learning, so you can be confident that search experiments won’t negatively impact your artist earnings.

Here are some things we’re working on to improve search in the lead up to holidays.

Experience improvements to help customers navigate and explore the depth and breadth of content when searching for broad terms like “cats”

We’ve made improvements to the related topics you find at the top of search results pages for our top searches to improve relevance. Recent updates have led to an increase in engagement and an uplift in conversion and we’ll continue to explore further improvements over the coming months.

Exploration with image vectors to help customers find relevant content through signals other than tags

For a while now, it’s been possible to use machine learning to detect the content of an image and to identify similar content. Developments in AI mean that this technology is getting increasingly more advanced and there are some exciting applications for search. We’re experimenting with some of these to learn how we can use them to improve accuracy and surface relevant content that customers would not otherwise discover through tags alone.

Prioritizing the content that Google crawls to improve ranking position

Our library has grown enormously in the past few years which means we now need to prioritize the content we surface for Google to crawl, and place some limits on what is surfaced via on-site search and off-site marketing. This has a positive impact on SEO, helping us to draw more customers to Redbubble and give more artists the chance to have their work discovered.

Taking a more active approach to removing irrelevant tags and penalizing tag spam

You’ve been asking us to do more on this and we’ve heard you loud and clear. There are multiple initiatives underway to help increase the relevance of search results and reward artists who demonstrate good tagging behavior.

These updates and experiments mean Redbubble stays up to date with how the rest of the internet is moving when it comes to search experiences. Our team of data scientists and engineers will continue to experiment with optimizations to ensure search results stay relevant for customers and they continue to discover unique, quality products they love.

We’ll keep you in the loop with future updates or changes!


Featured header image: Heartstopper designed and sold by calicoture



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