Our Search tool strives to make it easy for Residents to discover the incredible array of content, experiences, and people in Second Life by providing the most relevant search results. The guidelines below will help you create listings that effectively connect your products and events with the people looking for them, thereby optimizing your search rank.
For information on other aspects of Search, see the Search FAQ.
Any attempt to inflate your rank artificially in search results, including the inappropriate use of traffic bots or Picks, could result in penalties to your rank, de-listing from search, and disciplinary action against your Second Life account.
Your rank may also be penalized due to keyword stuffing or false representation (for example, saying that your store sells skins when it only sells furniture).
Appeal to humans, not search engines
Help people understand what you offer by providing useful, clear, and accurate descriptions that communicate what’s valuable and unique about your place, group, or event. Know your target audience and speak to their interests as specifically as possible. This helps you stand out from the crowd and helps new Residents become long-term members of our community and economy.
Be specific and descriptive
Avoid filling descriptions with nothing but a list of keywords. Use phrases and sentences that are human-readable. The search engine will return results for words that are based on the linguistic root of words in your description. This means that if you sell tango dance animations, your description does not need to include every version of the word dance (dances, dancing, and so on). Searches on the word dancing will include your listing in the results.
Note that a large portion of searches include more than one keyword (in fact, many searches are for phrases). Including relevant common phrases in your listing will increase its visibility.
For example, if you sell Jazz-age clothing and accessories, say so. If your location also looks like a speakeasy and hosts events, let people know.
Create a brand
Top merchants and events in Second Life are successful in part because they have created a unique feel around their product that helps people identify what’s especially valuable or appealing about their offering. Communicate the vibe of your store or group through its name, imagery, and targeted descriptions.
For more info on advertising opportunities, check out How to market your products and see the Classifieds FAQ. Visit the Business and Marketing wiki portal for more tips on starting a Second Life business or bringing your business into Second Life.
Maturity ratings matter
Be sure to mark your listing with the maturity rating appropriate to the content and location. Listings that are not marked appropriately will miss their target audience and may be blocked from search results. See Maturity ratings for more info. Note that all searches on secondlife.com return only General results.
Second Life is a changing world, and Resident search behavior changes too. Based on our monitoring of user behavior and satisfaction, we continually update our relevance and rank algorithms to serve the broadest user base possible. New releases to Search will be announced in advance, whenever possible, on the Second Life Blog Technology channel. As user behavior changes, so too should listing strategies change — ask your customers what drew them to your listing, and learn from others you admire.
Check Show in Search
Click the Show in Search check box to include your listing in the search index. This option is available on places, profiles, groups, and objects. If it is not checked, search results will not return these items. Events are automatically included in the search index. Note that items in the Search index are also available to be viewed on the web and may be indexed by web search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo!
- Spelling and grammar matter. Avoid using non-traditional spellings. Also, be sure you've got the correct spelling. Avoid over-use of capital letters or symbol characters.
- Internationalize. Second Life is an international community in which many languages are spoken. If you are targeting non-English speakers, be sure to use their language in your listing name and descriptions.
- Indexing. Updates are usually available within 6 hours.
- Parcels. Take care when changing parcel boundaries. A variety of parcel data is used in calculating search rank, and changing the boundaries of your land parcel can cause that data to be reset or lost. When joining two parcels, the larger parcel keeps much of the parcel data.
Frequently asked questions about search rankings
Relevance and rank: what are they?
Linden Lab monitors and fine-tunes a wide variety of Second Life-specific data signals to weigh the relevance of listings for each search request. We first determine if a listing is relevant to a particular search query; we then determine the importance of that listing relative to other relevant results. Searchers can refine their results with filters or sorting features.
To create the best search tool for everyone, we are constantly improving the relevance and rank algorithms. Following the guidelines, policies, and tips in this document will help you create effective listings that reach your target audience.
Why did my listing move in the search results?
Search leverages advanced statistical regression of many different measures to determine the statistical significance of user behavior. Put more simply, search changes over time as people use Second Life and we gather information about what they are doing.
How do I boost my ranking in search results?
Read the guidelines above. These guidelines are the best resource for improving your visibility in search.
What is traffic and what role does it play in search rankings?
Traffic has a mild influence on the relevance of search results. It's one of many factors included in the search logic.
To see the traffic score for a parcel, right-click on the ground in the parcel and choose About Land; or choose World > Place Profile > About Land. The General tab shows the traffic score for each parcel.
If I have zero traffic, do I drop from search results?
No. This rumor is not true. The amount of traffic (that is, the number of avatars on your parcel over time) has a small effect on search ranking, but it will not cause you to drop from search results altogether.
How does size affect search rankings?
Search treats very small parcels, especially parcels that are smaller than the 128 meter size restriction allows, as less important. For more information about land parcels in search, see Search FAQ.
How else is ranking determined?
In addition to traffic, size, and many more ranking mechanisms, we also apply a small negative boost related to how spammy a listing seems to be. We determine this using software that evaluates content and gives it a rating. This spam ranking is viewable on the source code of your world page listing, and there are several inworld merchants with free objects that tell you if your parcel has been flagged for spam. Adjusting the title and description text associated with your parcel affects your spam rating, and that new rating is picked up in the next update.
Are inworld business owners subject to a periodic re-shuffling of search criteria?
Search is a very important tool for users and business owners, and we constantly strive to improve that tool to meet all our Residents' needs. We release periodic updates, new features, and bug fixes that may affect the performance of particular listings in the search results. Whenever possible, we communicate about these releases in advance on the Second Life blog.
Do classifieds that have paid more for inclusion always appear at the top of results?
Ads shown in both the Classifieds tab and on the right of all search results pages are ranked by a combination of keyword relevance and price paid.
- Read the Search FAQ.
- Investigate advertising opportunities at Classifieds FAQ.
- Starting a Second Life business? Read Business and Marketing.