TradeMe Search Optimisation

Being on top of Trade Me search makes a big difference. A listing that comes up for popular searches can get twice as many views.

What really matters for search is the product title.

For example, I want to find a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet. I type in “surface pro” as many other shoppers would …



… and get 551 listings back from TradeMe. Just like with Google Search, very few people look past page one. So here are my results …

What if I search by a slightly different name like “microsoft surface pro“?


Now I get fewer results back and they are quite different from the previous search.


How TradeMe search works

TradeMe search algorithm is completely proprietary, but we made an observation about these search priorities:

  1. The default sorting order is “Best match”
  2. The title starts with the search term. E.g. Surface pro 3 i5 8G and 256gb for surface pro and  Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – 256GB 8GB Ram – i5  for microsoft surface.
  3. The title contains the exact search term. E.g.  As New Microsoft Surface Pro 3 As New Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for microsoft surface.
  4. The title contains all the words from the search term in random order E.g. surface screen guard microsoft tablet Professional for microsoft surface.
  5. The title contains some of the words from the search term E.g. Leather Bluetooth Keyboard Case Microsoft Pro 3 for microsoft surface.

And doing this …


is a waste of valuable listing space. If the keywords are important they should be part of the normal product description. TradeMe gives the contents of the product description much lower score compared to the title.

Automated TradeMe Search Optimisation

The good news is that our TradeMe extension for Magento automates generation of optimal listing titles. More on this in another post.

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