AJ's search algorithm is not sustainable. The Popular Files list is going stale.

Hey all,

As many of you know, it is getting harder and harder each day to rise up in the search results due to saturation. Now coming from an author who’s already had the privilege of a couple of top selling items, this may come across as some kind of joke, but hear me out…

I emplore Envato to take a look at the current system and realise that it’s so competitive now that nearly NO new items can make it. When we release new items, they need a massive amount of sales in the first few weeks to even make a small dent. Otherwise they fall into oblivion. It’s next to impossible for new items to emerge and take their place in the popular files list.

Keep in mind that this change may disrupt existing popular files, so it’s not like I’m advocating for a system that will only benefit high selling authors. My top selling item is the second top seller of all time on AJ, and it has been an incredible ride, but it’s time for newer tracks to see the light. Customers don’t want to see the same old items year after year, right? It’s so demotivating for authors who want to continue releasing new content only to find that their hard work goes straight down the toilet merely days after the track goes live.

What I propose is a system with more balance. Top selling items deserve high spots in the search results, but trending new items should have equal opportunity. Making this change shouldn’t be too hard a task. Simply push new tracks higher and give them slightly more weight in the algorithm.

@BenLeong, could you please forward this post to staff? Envato needs to be aware of this.

92 Likes

Thanks for raising this issue James. I would also like to add that the old idea of considering adding revenue as a factor for search placement could be a thing to consider. For example a mix between sales and revenue decides where in the search engine you get placed. This would remove some of the motivation for price dumping and hopefully get us a more healthy price market overall.

About trending items, I think “comments” on tracks should be removed as a factor for getting items trending. It is at least very unfair that comments alone can make tracks trend.

I´m tagging you as well @Sarah_G and @trent-aus since you replied us last time regarding search engine.

Thanks!

7 Likes

@MorningLightMusic, @RedLionProduction, @LumenMedia, @Studio89, @E-soundtrax, @pinkzebra

What do we all think? Are you finding it hard for your new items to get noticed?

4 Likes

@AurusAudio so nice to see such theme from top author) thanks)

6 Likes

One of the biggest problems with the search engine, and one of the most unfair, is that the very strongest keywords - the single words buyers are most likely to enter into the search field - are still completely dominated by top selling tracks, no matter their age.

The same tracks - the ones with 3 or 4 keywords packed into the title - appear at the top of the Best Match results for each of the popular search terms. And the first page of results for these terms often only features tracks which have sold upwards of 1000(!) times. It’s almost impossible for a new track to penetrate the first page of search results for those terms unless it sells a phenomenal amount shortly after release - and that’s generally only possible if a track has been chosen / anointed as a Featured Item.

And if you are one of those authors who has, out of desperation, chosen to focus on less popular search terms, just try arranging the search by Best Sellers. The same multi-thousand selling tracks from the popular searches now dominate the obscure search terms results as well, since under Best Seller ranking, tags and descriptions suddenly take on a new, over-influential importance (whereas before they seem to be largely ignored.)

The lack of volatility in the weekly top seller charts has always struck me as bizarre to the extreme. On the Billboard charts, which have been used for decades to measure broadcast airplay and sales, a reign of 4-6 weeks or more at #1 would mean a track is a huge, monster hit. Yet here at Audiojungle, we see tracks park at #1 for what seems like a year or more, on a regular basis. Tracks that are 2-3 years old remain in the top 20 year after year after year.

It’s time for a change.

14 Likes

Yes, it’s really hard to sell new items, we agree, but whats gonna be with top selling items after this changes, how do you think?

1 Like

Well I think there needs to be a balance. Top items should still have a high place in search, since they are proven to sell well. But for every top selling item, there should be a new trending track. The result would be a mixed page with 50% top sellers and 50% new trending items.

16 Likes

There’s already an option to search by Best Sellers or Medium, High Sales. So, person who look for more proven track can easily find what he needs.
I think the optimal way is to make this kind of search by default: 25% of newsest items, 25% of best sellers, 25% tracks from 2016-17 years, 25% with high revenue. Or something similar.
Usually we can see this pattern in smaller categories like jazz, house, percussion, world music etc. But in oversaturated categories we see problems for authors which AurusAudio described above.
Of course Envato will benefit from top sellers in search engine, but this policy destroys motivation for authors to compete with best selling tracks.

4 Likes

The problem with new items really exists, but this is not a search problem, this is a problem of oversaturation of the market with low quality items. This is the problem, and it must be solved.

11 Likes

The effect of oversaturation can definitely be reduced with a search algorithm which rewards quality new items that outsell all the cheap, template tracks.

5 Likes

Agree here, do not break what worked til now. Better to clear market from not selling garbage and clear authors pool in manner of Videohive. In case of clearing slots for new tracks, you will be impressed with 5 bucks tracks there.

2 Likes

Also, take a look at this.

This would also solve a lot of problems with oversaturation on AJ, we should implement the same model.

6 Likes

How you can count automatically wich item has quality and wich not?

You can’t. The only way to tell is to observe which items sell more in less time.

Buyers vote with their wallets. Cheap, firebird muted guitar corporate clones usually never sell more than 2-3. On the other hand, quality items have the potential to sell far more. With the right search algorithm, these items won’t get enough exposure to get in the way of quality items.

3 Likes

I see one problem here - trending can be exploited with other authors views and comments. May be just tweak the search engine, so it gives a bit more priority to the date of release, rather than amount of sales?

3 Likes

Hello, J… AurusAudio!
I agree that the search system on AJ is not perfect and needs to be updated. At various times different authors talked about this on the forum, (we proposed to prioritize searching by keywords, not by file name), but the administration has never listened to us. Probably, it will be this time too.

6 Likes

I clearly outlined some specific ways the search engine is not working. Mainly, it’s almost impossible for new items to get any traction whatsoever on the most popular (and therefore lucrative) search terms. If, as Mojo suggests, revenue is also taken into account, the plague of $5 tracks cluttering up the search is completely avoided.

5 Likes

I see the lack of motivation to participate in “yet another thread about the search engine”… BUT I really think this is one of the top 3 most important discussions to put pressure on from the community, if not top 1.

The more I think of it, the more beneficial it would be to have revenue as a factor together with sales number and date. It must be technically possible.

I understand that many popular files authors might uncomfortable about this discussion since you are sitting well in the popular list and don´t want to rock the boat, but the point is not to remove all your benefits, just release a tiny bit of the search benefits to new high quality items. The system is increasingly unfair and I agree its #TimeForAChange

7 Likes

We also affected by search system, when we talk about new items. But huge problem not in search, but number of authors and submissions. We desperately need market clearance.

3 Likes

I am waiting for it too.