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To Rank, or Not to Rank...


newsmike
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Even though the concept of "gig rank" has been debunked here ad nauseum, "How to rank gig?" continues to be the most asked question. For the purpose of this post, I'll skip addressing the silliness of every single Fiverr seller feeling simultaneously entitled to be top left tile in their vertical on a permanent basis, and focus more on the voluminous pile of truly crummy answers that get posted here in response. Yes Parrots, I'm looking right at you....    

Usually after someone who has been on Fiverr for a good 6 minutes posts that they cannot rank their gig, the crap answers start pouring in. And the sad part is that the answers almost always center around either myths or sloppy "low hanging fruit" efforts. Such as:

Myths:

Stay online always, 24/7, or more if you can. Be patient, wait for success. Offer unlimited revisions. Post your gig to social media. Or my favorite, pray for success. 

Lazy, Low hanging fruit solutions:

Change SEO keywords:   Chances are that you stole your keywords from a TRS seller in the first place, so unless you are totally off target, this is a silly fix usually offered by someone with SEO in their profile name. If you are a writer with "coffee" as a keyword, then you deserve failure, but if you sell coffee and that is a keyword you use, then maybe your coffee just sucks. Yes we are going to start zeroing in on the fact that product quality is never part of the solutions offered. Why would you look at the product itself, when it is so much easier to shuffle deck chairs on the Titanic? After all, it is a known fact that every single one of Fiverr's 300 million photoshop editors is the Van Gogh of background removal and 100% equal in talent and abilities.

Sell at the lowest price:   Back in the 1870's it made sense to sell at $5 on Fiverr when the algorithm was not as finely tuned to matching buyer and seller at the highest price point. This was a way to get some traction and hopefully score a sale or two. Now the algorithm abhors cheap sellers, seeing the act of providing visibility to a $5 gig as a wasted opportunity when they could just as easily present a $20 gig, and you know...make more money. I'm not saying that you should be the most expensive if you are not selling regularly, but price yourself at a point where you will earn a decent wage for providing your service. Nothing says "no skills, low quality" like selling at $5 in 2023. And don't even get me started on the fact that you will attract $5 buyers, who will no doubt make you want to self immolate. 

Offer unlimited revisions:   This seems to go along with the "satisfaction guaranteed" claim that retailers often make. Wal Mart would rather place the extra can of green beans you bought back on the shelf and refund your money if it gets you out of the store quietly and quickly. Why argue? The employees are already on the clock, and they get the $1.29 from someone else. No harm. You however are selling your time, and creative talents. While you must be open to legitimate revisions where you did not follow direction, or made a mistake, all other such requests should be opportunities to sell more services. This is helped by having a FAQ clearly outlining that all revisions requested for directorial or editorial purposes will be billed at normal rates. Funny thing is that the $5 buyer will DEMAND you rewrite the Bible 10 times for free, while the $800 buyer will ASK, "How much for this revision?"  In case you missed it, avoid $5 buyers at all costs. I can't remember which circle of hell Dante placed them in, but it was in there somewhere. Offering unlimited revisions literally means that I can keep you working for the rest of your life for just $5, which I'm sure some sadist has done just for fun. 

So.. The point of all this?

If you are not getting the sales you think your deserve, start by verifying that your product and the sales pitch (your gig) is actually as good as you think. There is still a belief that all it takes to be successful is showing up, copying others, then the money floods in. This misses the point that while you may be skilled at copying the SEO words, description and gig images of others, that may be the extent of your talents. 

If you are unhappy with your "rank" and the level of sales, forget the easy fixes. Start with the concept that there are people who are truly and exceptionally talented, already selling the exact service you want to offer. If you can honestly answer that you are every bit as good as them, then price yourself alongside them and customers will flood you with orders. If success does not come, then that is the customer telling you that your quality is not on par with the others. Listen to them, they know, and speak volumes in their willingness or refusal to order from you. The algorithm is giving you exactly as much success as you deserve, nothing more, nothing less. Learn your craft, get to a level where you can challenge that best seller in your vertical. Then success will come. Don't waste time shuffling SEO keywords.

And finally, to the Parrots: The first thing you should offer as advice is "quality of product", yet this is almost never discussed. Forget the "tips and tricks" to rank gig. No one tricks success... success hates when people try. You help no one when you suggest myths and misinformation as the alternative to product quality.  Hard work and true talent will always defeat patience or even worse, shuffling stolen SEO keywords.

Final ironic reflection: This terrible, ineffective advice is generally given by a "seller" who is equally unsuccessful as the person asking, but who is engaging in yet another myth that offering useless information on the forum, often without even reading or comprehending the thread, somehow... Let's all say it together... "Ranks Gig." 

Edited by newsmike
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3 minutes ago, newsmike said:

You think there is a static rank? 

I didn't say there was. You were saying there the concept of "gig rank" has been debunked ad nauseum. But Fiverr staff themselves say it exists and the Fiverr help pages say it exists and Fiverr staff say the help pages are accurate about it.

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customer support said that the gig rank was just one of the things taken into account.

They said:

Quote

...If you are to choose between The Forum or the Help page in regards to reliability, please, note that all information provided in the Help&Support section of the platform is official and correct.
 
Gigs' position and availability on search are determined automatically and cannot be manually adjusted. 
Fiverr does not guarantee that your gig will appear in our search. 
Only gigs that meet our editorial focus will appear. 
Gig’s exposure is based on your performance on Fiverr compared to the rest of the sellers in your sub-category.
 
There are many factors to take into consideration, some of which may include order cancellations, delivery rate, responsiveness, etc.
The algorithm includes more than 50 variables, and one of them is the Gig ranking.
Also, the gigs are being repositioned on a daily basis, so that more users can be noticed. 
It is a process carried out by an algorithm, so it can't be manually adjusted....

"The algorithm includes more than 50 variables, and one of them is the Gig ranking."

But even if the gig rank was the position it should show at in the search results at a particular time for a particular user, that doesn't exclude the possibility of it including a random element as part of that calculation that makes that gig rank.

Edited by uk1000
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Seems we are in the weeds here. I believe there were much larger points in my post. But I do believe that when Support says gig ranking, they mean something entirely different than the people who post because they are not permanently on page 1, which is what my post was about.

 

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@uk1000 I think thats an old concept and badly worded about gig rank.  you may see a gig in a specific position but thats not a gig rank (although it may seem to be)  Where you see the gig is going to be based on a lot of metrics for the seller vs your searches and in my opinion metrics for the buyers as well. This is much like google does to some degree, swapping  gigs for  google search terms. I've seen a lot of people arguing in the past about  everyone is seeing the same gigs on page one or page two. Consider this. everyone may be seeing them (sellers)  there or a large number of people may but thats because of the metrics for the sellers, not because they rank in a specific position. Although that may appear to be the case.. Anyway. I think the points @newsmike is making are very different from this and this talk about gig  rank is a distraction from that.

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re: The "Don't waste time shuffling SEO keywords." bit. If you're saying to not try to use the best keywords (eg. in gig titles) - the keyword research/info tools are one of the main things that Fiverr promotes in their Seller Plus option that you joined (apart from having success manager, which you won't get in the basic package of Seller Plus).

According to the seller plus help page:

Quote

* Get the most out of top-performing keywords
Place the strongest-performing keyword(s) in that metric category front and center in your Gig title, as it is the first text our algorithm takes into consideration, followed by the positive keywords field and your Gig description.
 

*Utilize strong keywords in your title & description
The top-performing keywords should be utilized and implemented in your title and description. Keep your Gig title and description clear, readable, and relevant to your Gig. Avoid confusing titles and/or overwhelming descriptions with text—this might negatively impact conversion rates.

...Review your keyword performance after 30 days

Edited by uk1000
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15 minutes ago, imagination7413 said:

that makes that 1 factor almost negligible

You're right that it would depends on the weights given, which we don't know, so we can't really say it's negligible. The search results probably take into account response times (eg. to the nearest hour), response rate, completion rate, % on-time deliveries into account (CS said something similar) but they may be about the same for a lot of gigs.

It would help if Fiverr clarified it really, not giving away their top secret stuff but giving enough info so people have more of an idea about it, and more precisely how they're defining it (eg. the help pages don't really specify it as just 1 variable taken into account in the search results, they seem like they're saying it's more of the overall position I think - including the fact that the position changes frequently).

Edited by uk1000
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1 hour ago, uk1000 said:

It would help if Fiverr clarified it really

That reminds me of a topic I'd nearly finished writing, right before the forum migrated...

Y'know what? Give me 10 minutes and I'll see what I can salvage/adapt from this HTML mess.

Quote

Let's get this question and answer discussion started. 

Q: What is an algorithm?
In the most basic terms, it's a math formula. Another way to think of it is as a set of detailed instructions. Fiverr's search algorithm seems to be particularly complicated. 

Quote

al·go·rithm
/ˈalɡəˌriT͟Həm/
*noun*
a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
"a basic algorithm for division"

Source: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/algorithm

Q: Is there anything known?
Some of the variables can be guessed based on other known algorithms, but most are assumed and very few proven with solid evidence. What little is hinted at by Fiverr is vague. MOST IMPORTANTLY: It's also been known to change.

Q: Why is it being secret a good thing?
In short, it prevents cheating.

As an example, you might have noticed the content farms that pop up on YouTube. These mills know the YouTube algorithm. They get millions of views and thus millions of dollars from ad revenue. The problem with this is that most of what they put out is either redundant, stolen, or faked, and some of it even dangerous. There have been injuries. (Citations for this at end of post.)

Q: What does that have to do with Fiverr?
Using the above example, there have been many competent and good creators on YouTube that have been buried and bumped out of search results because of the content farms. Good people who have been forced off the platform, because it's not worth it anymore to stay.

For an offline and older example, consider all the mom-an-pop stores that vanished when big-box retail came onto the scene.

Fiverr's algorithm can seem random at times, but it's better to be shuffled than kicked out completely. 

Q: What is known?
As mentioned, there has been very little that has been directly verified by Fiverr itself (for good reasons), but as far as trends go:

  •  New sellers/gigs seem to get a limited-time boost for a week or two, but it is temporary
  •  Editing a gig will remove it from search while the edit is verified. The time it takes varies from a few hours to a few days, but is usually within 24 hrs. So this one is highly likely either a yes or a no, and is a all-or-nothing factor with a condition that's based on a binary 1 or 0. (Gig edit verified=y/n)
  •  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) does seem to play a factor, but it's likely composed of multiple smaller factors. For sure: it is NOT the only factor, and it's not likely to be a big factor.
  •  Gig tags play a part, but are suspected to have some-to-little weight. Seems to be heavily depend on both category and tag saturation. Note: Spelling is important! (e.g. 'color' and 'colour' have different results), see also above link on SEO.
  •  Being active on Fiverr might seem to help, but merely being online, for sure, does not. There is a filter option to search by online sellers, but there is no data on how often this filter is used, or full conversion. (NOTE: The forums are NOT Fiverr, they are a separate Invision-platform forums/server, and don't count.)
  •  In relation to being 'active', using Out Of Office mode is alluded/rumored to be a negative factor, but is again one of the points where there's much debate and not much data.
  •  Having multiple gigs seems to have no weight at all. Although outside factors affect each gig individually, gigs do not seem to directly affect each other. Gig statistics affect your profile, which in turn might affect your other gigs. (Caveat: duplicate gigs for certain will, as you're competing with yourself, making all your gigs worse off. "Intentional duplicates" are also a direct violation of the Fiverr Terms of Service.)
  •  Aside from negative reviews, public reviews are not as important factors anymore (though they used to be). Reviews of 4 to 5 stars are pretty much useless due to the number of sellers with a 4.9+ average. 'Once everyone's special, no one is.' This is at least partly why the “secret reviews” were introduced, and those are much more important to if you show in search results.
  •  Level stats: Message response, order completion, delivery deadline, reviews, site seniority, conversions, earnings, account warnings. One of the few things that is known is that the first 5 stats outright state that they're a calculated average of the most recent 60 days of activity. These and the other analytics all play a role, but the weight of each of these variables is unknown, and some are very heavily debated here in the forums. (For example, some claim account warnings do seem to have been given a very heavy weight, while other report no changes at all. It's possible that the type of warning is itself a variable.)

Many of these variables affect other variables, such as a large influx of new sellers that the algorithm boosts thus making other gigs get shuffled while the new sellers have said short-term boost. In other words: outside conditions that you have no control over.

Q: What about the statistics section in the Gigs tab?
Impressions, clicks, views, number of orders received, and cancellations. This is one of the few things that we have a bit of extra data on, as Fiverr outright says they're General Analytics.

BECAUSE OF THIS: We know that these are more a report of how the algorithm is behaving in relation to a given gig, and NOT a factor in the gig itself.

LIKEWISE, all evidence suggests that the seller level is just a reflection of the statistics. Like the 'being online' variable, there is a filter option to search by seller level, but there is (again) no data on how often this is used, or conversion. (Even the granted level of Top Rated Seller, as well as Pro Verified, Fiverr Choice, and Rising Talent, are debated on if they have any actual affect, other than being filter options and/or a visual influence on the third step of the Buyer Decision Process.)

Q: What about Promoted gigs? And BYOB?

  • Promoted gigs are limited-access. You're better off pretending this option will never be available to you. 
  • Fiverr use to have a Bring Your Own Business program, where bringing new traffic to Fiverr seemed to help, and if it resulted in a sale seemed to have a greater weight, but also seemed to have diminishing returns, depending on the 'source'. (More back-links does NOT guarantee someone will join Fiverr, and thus aren't likely to have a large weight.) 
  • Fiverr Affiliates, and the Referral Program, do not seem to affect the Algorithm. Those have their own separate benefits.

Things change. Adapt or, as a business, die.

Q: Is that it?
As stated, this algorithm is a secret. Everything listed that is not stated or hinted at by Fiverr is gathered based on chatter and debate in the forums over a period of months. Because the forums are such a small sample size of the total population (and a very skewed one), and because there's so many reports of contrary evidence on many of the points, very little can be determined. One of the main problems with gathering any data of this kind are cognitive biases.

Also, the algorithm is Fiverr's intellectual property. In the Proprietary Restrictions section of the TOS, it states outright:

Quote

Users have no right, and specifically agree not to do the following with respect to the Site or any part, component or extension of the Site (including its mobile applications): [...] (ii) reverse assemble, decompile, reverse engineer or otherwise attempt to derive its source code, underlying ideas, algorithms, structure or organization; [...]

One other observation: The algorithm is not static. It's possible, and likely, that programmers are still making changes to the algorithm.

And that's a good thing.

Q: So how can I get orders?
Control the controllable. 

  • Have skill to back up your claims.
  • Do the work.
  • Do the research.
  • Know your competitors.
  • Find your target market.
  • Go to them where they are.
  • Show you are credible and capable.
  • Stay professional.
  • Stay disciplined.
  • Set some obtainable goals.
  • Make some challenging personal milestones.
  • ***Have a plan.*** And a plan B, and C, etc.
  • Stay focused.
  • Follow though.
  • Get it right the first time.

Adapt to the market, or die with the rotary phone. 

Q: What do you mean by that last bullet point?
It can be tempting to deliver an order fast, and just offer unlimited revisions to correct your mistakes or misunderstanding later, but that is a terrible business model and practice. You're risking the buyer simply requesting cancellation, or leaving a poor review.

Q: You promised citations?

Indeed I did:

Fake & Dangerous how-to videos - blog w/ video, 4 October 2019, How To Cook That, Ann Reardon
Using Plants to Dye Clothes (Debunking) - video, 1 Nov 2019, The King Of Random, Nate and Calli
Debunking Fake Videos - channel playlist, How To Cook That, Ann Reardon
The Fake 'Kitchen Hacks' with Billions of Views -video, 15 Feb 2020, BBC, Chris Fox

Quote

Why can't I find my Gig in the search? 
In the marketplace, a Gig's position is based on the seller’s performance over a set period. Gig positions are not permanent and can rotate daily. 

There are many factors to take into consideration, some of which may include: 

  • Order cancellations
  • Delivery rate
  • Responsiveness
  • The particular Gig’s maximum number of active orders in the queue, as based on your seller level.  
  • Other Gigs performing at a higher rate.

If other sellers are ranked higher, they may be consistently getting 5-star feedback, delivering on time, communicating quicker, and so on. [It] all counts. For this reason, ensure that you provide high-quality and original work, avoid late deliveries and cancellations, are responsive, and always remain professional.

Source: https://www.fiverr.com/support/articles/360011028318-Managing-your-Gigs

Click here to check your Gig status in Fiverr's backend.

 

Edited by imagination7413
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9 minutes ago, imagination7413 said:

That reminds me of a topic I'd nearly finished writing, right before the forum migrated...

Yes but even if they more precisely defined what they mean by "gig rank" then there'd be more consistency and clarity in the help pages and from Fiverr staff about it - so they'd all be using the same clear definition (again not needing to give away the top secret stuff) and it would also help avoid forum members continuously claiming it doesn't exist on Fiverr (despite what Fiverr staff and the Fiverr help pages say).

Edited by uk1000
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Seems the topic has derailed on a minute point. Let me reframe as follows:  No longer about Fiverr, this thread is now about London restaurants, and a ton of owners who routinely post that they can't sell enough.  I would suspect it might make sense to suggest that one might start by tasting the soup, checking if the shrimp if frozen, and tasting everything? Look at how attractive or disgusting the plating is. Take a look at your surly mother in law who runs the register and never smiles or greets customers. How clean is the property, what shape is the waitstaff in?  Check all this against your competitors. All the product/quality issues.  

Imagine instead that the main advice given was, "Check your SEO words, be patient, share on social media, and stay open 24/7."  Maybe this illustrates how farcical it is to address the side issues while ignoring the main facets of success. That was my point. How product quality is never part of the solution here.

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2 hours ago, newsmike said:

If you are not getting the sales you think your deserve, start by verifying that your product and the sales pitch (your gig) is actually as good as you think.

I want to frame this! Fiverr, the system, is not broken because there are no sales.

Unfortunately, so many think that there is a problems with the "gig ranking" system, buyer briefs, and anything else that might make a good scapegoat instead of looking within, and doing what @newsmike suggests.

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3 hours ago, uk1000 said:

"The algorithm includes more than 50 variables, and one of them is the Gig ranking."

The number my SPM mentioned to me was twice that. 
 

3 hours ago, imagination7413 said:

49 is a LOT of other variables. While it would depend on the weight given, that makes that 1 factor almost negligible.

And if it is a lot more than 49 the factor of ranking is very small indeed. 

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30 minutes ago, vickiespencer said:

And if it is a lot more than 49 the factor of ranking is very small indeed. 

Maybe but it depends on the weights given to them which we don't know.

If the keywords (eg. the way they're set in gig titles, descriptions, search tags etc.) are part of the gig's rank (ie. how close your gig matches what the buyer searches for) and there are very few people using those keywords then that could have a big effect I assume. eg. if you're the only one with a particular keyword in your gig title and someone searches for it and your dashboard stats are all okay then your gig will likely be in one of the top pages.

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1 hour ago, uk1000 said:

if you're the only one with a particular keyword in your gig title and someone searches for it and your dashboard stats are all okay then your gig will likely be in one of the top pages.

Probably true, but with millions of users, if you are the only one with that search term then it cannot be the least bit relevant. For example, in my vertical the cat is out of the bag about using "voice over" as a search term.  

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Good morning to y'all from Tokyo. I was sipping on my coffee and munching on my strawberry cream breakfast pie ( sorry, forgot to take a photo) and came across this thread before starting work. What a lovely way to start my day, reading through a helpful and informative post. I am aware that there are actually a good number of new sellers who reads everything and does everything right, but sadly most of them don't. Let's see how many "thanks for good advice" replies will appear in the next 24 hours.

 

3 minutes ago, gongor32 said:

In my experience I haven't seen under 50$ gig in front pages.

Ohhhhhh, I must be a rare case then! My gig starts from $5 and I tend to be on the first ( or second page) 😁😎

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6 hours ago, uk1000 said:

...If you are to choose between The Forum or the Help page in regards to reliability, please, note that all information provided in the Help&Support section of the platform is official and correct.
 
Gigs' position and availability on search are determined automatically and cannot be manually adjusted
Fiverr does not guarantee that your gig will appear in our search. 
Only gigs that meet our editorial focus will appear. 
Gig’s exposure is based on your performance on Fiverr compared to the rest of the sellers in your sub-category.
 
There are many factors to take into consideration, some of which may include order cancellations, delivery rate, responsiveness, etc.
The algorithm includes more than 50 variables, and one of them is the Gig ranking.
Also, the gigs are being repositioned on a daily basis, so that more users can be noticed. 
It is a process carried out by an algorithm, so it can't be manually adjusted....

Let's touch on some of the most important aspects, since gig position is determined automatically, it is based on a combination of all the other components mentioned in this post. It's important to be in the right category and sub-category.

Performance system is based on the ability to make sales, the number of recent sales (?) or sales amount (?), public and private reviews and ratings, your responsiveness, and a variety of other factors. 

I read another post that talked about how the algorithm loves "completeness" which means enabling subscription, etc. I will also assume that the skill test of the service that you do and the free Fiverr Learn course are two things within 50 variables that help ranking.

  

7 minutes ago, zeus777 said:

My gig starts from $5 and I tend to be on the first ( or second page) 😁😎

Mine too.

Edited by strategist_ceo
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