A disclaimer: The following post/article is not an official Fiverr statement. It’s a summary of my personal observations over how Fiverr works and I am sharing because I noticed that more and more sellers come here, stating that they “lost their ranking”.
This is my effort to provide them with some answers and some food for thought.
Hold up. Fiverr 3.0?
If Fiverr’s early days (the wild wild west days) was Fiverr 1.0 and we count the facelift in 2014 (I think?) as v2.0, then we quietly got v3.0 late last year.
Without an official announcement, without much fanfare, the website slowly rolled out a back end update which seems to have concluded late last year.
How do I know this?
This is a good time to remind you to read my disclaimer.
I have no way of actually knowing anything, no one from Fiverr shared insights with me either. This is just a gut feeling and tons of personal observation, from a seller obsessed with performance. (and figuring out how things work)
Ranking is no more
I started hinting about this mid-2020, then started actively talking about it.
Talking about ranking is moot, as there are no more results pages. Well technically there are, but you’ll see what I mean in a minute.
Fiverr transitioned from being a search engine like Google to being a match making service like Tinder.
It no longer serves users (buyers) with pages filled with search results, ranked according to how well they are “performing”.
Fiverr also no longer counts on buyers clicking on verticals to find what they need.
It’s all about the search function.
Fiverr’s new engine tries to match a buyer with a potential seller that will be as close to a 100% ideal match as possible, as soon as possible.
A great match is when:
A) a seller offers something relative to what the buyer is searching for
B) a seller has great “performance”
It’s all about reducing risk for Fiverr.
Risk that the buyer won’t find someone to hire and therefore won’t spent their money.
Or risk that the buyer will not get a great service and ask for a refund, never to return again on the platform.
What is this “performance” you keep going on about?
Here comes the good stuff.
There are two kinds of performance that Fiverr keeps track of:
A) performance as a seller (converting prospects into buyers)
B) performance as a vendor (satisfying buyers, successfully completing orders)
Fiverr doesn’t care if you are the best designer, video editor, animator, writer, what have you.
All it cares is that you can make people spend and then making sure that said people don’t ask their money back. (And therefore stay on the platform to spend some more)
I am oversimplifying things, as the system actually keeps track of a bunch of interesting metrics when serving buyers with sellers.
Which is why searching for your gig, or your competition on Fiverr, even using incognito or clearing cookies and what not, will NEVER show you anything useful.
The new engine qualifies buyers and knows a lot about them, before serving your gig their way:
-their purchase intent
-browsing habits (I mean on site)
-how they respond to custom offers
-when they spend
-how they spend
The list is long, and I am sure that even if I am right on some of the stuff I think I understand, there are hundreds more variables that only Fiverr’s coders know.
OK, let’s say you are right. What now?
Well just like every change in life, it is always met with resistance.
The new “engine” is here to stay apparently, since its sole purpose is making the platform more money.
What should we do?
Why are people losing their “rankings” out of the blue?
This is where I will try to sound less like a lunatic and actually try to form all the observations into some -hopefully- actionable advice.
When people start noticing that their gigs are losing impressions, or that messages stop coming in, etc, it’s usually because their performance has deteriorated.
They dropped the ball somehow.
I know it always seems like it’s out of the blue, but there are indicators.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
The new system values speed and relevance over anything else.
It’s all RELEVANT: (performance A)
So performance A (being a good closer) has everything to do with how your gig is set up.
If you still think about SEO, and keywords, and ranking, you already lost the game.
Focus on your gig’s title, don’t try to capture everyone, don’t use pretty adjectives, focus on who you want to find your gig.
You need to be focused on your niche.
Relevance is key. You need to make sure that only the people you can help will find you, and that will make Fiverr LOVE your gig.
Don’t use the same keywords as what you used as a gig title. Trust me.
Fiverr 3.0 hates that.
Your tags need to be complimentary to your title. Not repeating what you say you will do.
If your gig’s description is written with “SEO” in mind, and is “keyword-rich”, you will once again underperform. Fiverr 3.0 no longer crawls for keywords, it rewards descriptions that answer questions and help convert.
The need for SPEED: (performance B)
Fiverr 3.0 loves speed.
The quicker you can respond to inquiries the better.
The sooner you get that custom offer accepted, the better.
Other factors that may show Fiverr you are rocking it:
-Buyers accepting their delivery relatively quickly
-Not getting lots of revision requests
-Not leaving order updates unanswered for too long (the “buyer has posted an update for X amount of hours” notification)
-Delivering before the “you have 12 hours to deliver” notification
-Avoiding time extensions
Oh, one more thing:
Relevance and speed are just two faces of a multi-faced die, that calculates one very important thing.
Fiverr 3.0 is all about having satisfied buyers.
The platform no longer just focuses on making revenue and having gigs purchased.
The updated engine focuses solely on having happy buyers.
Which leads me to my last point for this article, to whoever wants to hear it:
Your reviews no longer matter as much. You can keep getting all 5-star reviews, and you will still experience lulls and droughts.
Because the system no longer takes public reviews into consideration, using the same weight as Fiverr 2.0.
They still count, but not as much.
And can you blame them? The majority of sellers on the platform can be phoning it in and still get a higher than 4.7 average.
The system has too many 5-star sellers for that metric to indicate anything.
If everyone is 5-stars, then no one is 5-stars. (to paraphrase something I keep saying for TRS badges.)
So unfortunately, and maybe even people gaming the system with fake reviews had something to do with this, public reviews no longer mean as much to the platform, when it calculates how happy our buyers are.
It’s a long and complex formula, but I simplified it to this for now:
Performance A + Performance B + Buyer satisfaction = Actual seller rating
I still think that “gig rotation” is not a thing. It does exist, but it would never tank successful sellers and truly valuable gigs.
So to sum up:
-When you search for your gig and find it, that’s a skewed POV, that’s not telling you the whole story. You should stop doing that.
-When your gig is served to buyers, it’s because Fiverr actually believes you can score.
-The gigs that are also presented along your offering, are also very carefully selected based on their performance. There is no “ranking”.
-When you notice a drop in sales/enquiries/impressions, start thinking about your overall performance. More often than not, there is definitely some indicator that “told” Fiverr that you were dropping the proverbial ball.
The bad news is that this will take some getting used to and sellers are once again asked to either adapt or “perish”.
The good news is that this new system is actually a lot more forgiving than the old “SEO/rank” system. Even if you drop the ball performance wise, all it takes is just a tiny spark to get things going again.
As I write this, and gave it a quick read I understand that I may have oversimplified things, or that I haven’t spelled it out as much as I could.
Please forgive me, as I have a birthday cake to attend to.
As always I will be here to answer any questions and discuss things in detail with you all.