As promised I will try to create a post, in an effort to shed some light over the issues that most of us seem to be facing ever since we got hit with the wonderful twofer of Covid-19 AND the analytics system breaking down.
I will share what little insights I have over how SERP may or may not work, but I will avoid diving into too much detail as I have in no way figured things out. (Nor is that my intent)
OK so to kick things off, let me just state the obvious:
Everything I share here is based on my personal observation, and I am not making any claims that I have a hack or I am certified to tell people what to do.
Same, same…but different
I have been on the forum since 2013 and please do keep in mind that seller’s number 1 gripe is their ranking and how unfair the system is.
At first everyone wanted to be on the front page, as that meant you got dozens of deliveries per day, until you passed out trying to facilitate all orders.
Then as the marketplace evolved, everyone started complaining about their gig’s rank in search results.
So while this issue is constantly coming up as it is our nature to complain and looking for something to blame when sales are low, I noticed that every time the marketplace shifts the number of people complaining surges.
I think that every time Fiverr makes a change in how the algorithm processes things, a lot of sellers -even senior ones with a proven track record- start getting these weird blackouts, as I call them.
It’s when you get a feeling that someone turned off the faucet that was getting you leads/sales. Small periods in time when it feels like it’s the end of your career on Fiverr, as no one is making a peep. And to make things worse, you see other sellers in your category that have orders in queue.
Contrary to public belief (a lot of people think that since I am a PRO and TRS level seller, everything is coming up roses) I too am hit every time something changes.
Here’s my sales analytics for the past 30 days, let me know if you can spot the blackouts:
Keep things in perspective
If our gig is on the top of search results, we feel like it’s only fair, as we view our selves as the best seller that ever was, and our gig will always be superior to those of our competitors.
When our gigs rank lower on search results, especially when newer gigs or gigs with poor reviews rank on top of ours, then surely:
-things must be broken
-Fiverr is out to get us
-the system is rigged
-someone is hacking their way to success
You know… All that good stuff…
So what is up?
Ok so this is what I keep saying, and people refuse to listen to:
Fiverr’s algorithm isn’t broken. It’s a really complex combo of software and machine learning, designed to do one thing, and one thing only: make Fiverr money, quickly, and with as little risk possible.
A lot of sellers take things personally. Fiverr is unfair, CS agents are refusing to help, the system doesn’t care about us.
“If my gig doesn’t make money, how will Fiverr profit?”
I see a lot of sellers who used to be on a hot streak present that argument.
Well, there are thousands of sellers like you, and millions of gigs just like yours, so if you don’t make them money, someone else will.
Things may seem irrational, because they are. This is essentially a robot programmed to do that one thing. If it seems illogical to you that you used to be at the top of the search results and now you are not, I assure you there is definitely some logic behind it, it’s just not one that we can comprehend with what we know.
OK now it’s time for the good stuff!
That being said, I do feel as there’s an issue here. In fact there is a symphony of a lot of tiny issues that have cooked up quite a storm:
•We are living in abnormal times, where a pandemic is shocking our financial systems with new threats each week
•There has been a surge in new sellers, dropping in on an already saturated marketplace
•Fiverr definitely messed something up when they started implementing their promoted gigs feature (which seems to have cause all gig analytics to just stop working altogether)
All of the above, are acting as an accelerator that makes the algorithm move quicker.
Time to put your tinfoil caps on!
As I keep saying there are several metrics that the algorithm uses in order to come up with the optimal SERP to streamline Fiverr’s profit.
I can start naming them, but to be honest it’s mostly guesswork, but we all know there are several factors in play here. Here are the ones I think Fiverr’s search engine is mostly looking at:
-your gig’s SEO (it’s used to define your relevance)
-your gig’s potential value (it’s used to better match your offering with buyer’s behavior)
-your gig’s performance (this is on two levels: turnaround efficiency and secret reviews
-your profile’s “status” (your ability to close, meaning convert leads into sales)
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there are a bunch of variables we don’t know, and will never be able to find out.
I think the best way to explain each point is by discussion/answering questions, so I will be active on this thread to talk with any sellers that want to exchange experiences and shed some light into this.
(I also have a theory that Fiverr no longer pushes for big-ticket items, as they pose a greater risk, with a longer turnaround time. So in my case that was truly worrisome, as I shifted my core business to cater bigger projects/clients back in 2017.)
It’s all about relevance
As I have mentioned before on several occasions, Fiverr search results are more dynamic than we think. Good gigs don’t go to the top and stay there. Getting to the top of the search results is not a reward. It’s not something that happens exclusively to good sellers with great gigs.
Fiverr serves -what it thinks- are the most relevant results to buyers’ queries. That’s it.
That being said, based on my personal experience, after the initial shock of Covid-19 plus Fiverr’s screw up, I have come to one conclusion that has been useful to me.
We are now in a phase where Fiverr sellers are going to have a hard time staying relevant.
The marketplace is -and always will be- trying to correct itself. So staying relevant means we now need to be reactive. We as sellers need to react to what’s happening, based on our personal goals, financial needs and the data we have on our hands.
So in my case, here’s when I reacted to the marketplace:
So this is the same graph as before, but I now have marked when I started re-acting to what the marketplace was telling me: “you are getting more and more irrelevant by the minute”.
Mind you the 30 days before this graph had even more blackouts in them.
So what did I do?
I started closing faster.
Meaning I started taking projects I would normally reject, or in some cases I reduced frictions that usually occur due to budget constraint or deadline’s overlapping.
This is me reacting to the situation, by compromising at my discretion in order to get some orders in, which would signify Fiverr’s algo that I am still able to perform.
I tweaked SEO, only on dead gigs
Once again a reminder that I am part of the “success” program, meaning that I can change the entire description of my gig, plus all tags and my gig will remain visible in search results, no downtime for manual review. So tweaking stuff for me meant that I wouldn’t have to wait 48 hours to see if my gig started appearing again or not.
Even then I only made minor modifications, and only on gigs that appeared to be completely dead.
I shifted my focus when delivering orders
I spent more time asking questions in the beginning of the on boarding process, so that I could hit the nail in the head in the first go, avoiding revisions requests. I did so even on my “templated” gigs, you know, the ones I consider to be foolproof.
Of course none of the above applies to all of us, since in order to be able to react like that means you still get some leads and some orders in, even if things have slowed down.
That’s why I think that instead of me writing more things I tried on this post, it would be better if I responded to questions so fellow forum members can ask me about the situation they are currently in, right now.
This has been a rather long post, I will stop writing here and I look forward to having a discussion with anyone who is willing to participate.
I am here to help anyway I can.