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TES - Where are you?!

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by ajs12345, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    I must say that when the announcement about royalty tiers came out, I was encouraged by the raft of proposed improvements, as a sweetener to the tier changes which led to a decrease in royalty revenues for the majority of authors. Whilst there was clearly a lot of anger about the proposed changes, I could see that investing in, and focusing on, quality, would improve the platform overall, and would lead to an increase in revenue for quality-producing-authors in the long run. An overhaul of 'TES recommends', better vetting of resources and subject specialist resource reviewers all sounded like great ideas...

    In the intervening 3 months since the tier change was announced, I've been disheartened by TES' lack of progress in terms of proactively improving the quality of resources on TES. Forgive my cynicism, but it seems that the only implemented initiatives for 'improving quality' have (rather conveniently) also been equally driven towards increasing total revenue to the site: namely the royalty tier change.

    Equally, author train author events and author academies are all well and good, and I commend the efforts of authors to improve their inventories, but only a very few number of authors can access these events, and I wonder at their actual impact in the face of some deeper structural issues within TES...

    I've asked this question before and I'll ask it again: why isn't TES addressing the issue of a colossal (and ballooning by the day) inventory? Since the tier change, I've deleted near on 40 resources and am currently in the process of improving the rest. Will this improved quality lead to increased exposure for me? Key word searches reveal that I'm still competing with masses of poor quality and often irrelevant content. I suspect that other quality focused authors are trying their best to live up to the values you have promoted. However, with the inventory and search features in the state they are in, what impact will author-led improvements make?

    TES needs to completely overhaul its inventory and search algorithms. The current system is clearly ineffective and leads to a negative experience for users on the site. Imagine if you are a buyer looking for a quality resource and instead have to trawl through pages of irrelevant and poor quality content? I apologise for the rambling post but I'm sure there are others out there who share my frustration.

    If TES truly believes in improving quality, then it needs to play its part in the process, and invest in improving quality, instead of simply profit skimming and expecting authors alone to solve the platform's problems.
    astarlevels, Krazikas, MosaiK and 8 others like this.
  2. vcurrie19

    vcurrie19 New commenter

    I also share in your frustration and ask many of the same questions. Hopefully TES has some answers and progress updates very soon.
    MosaiK and penyrheol1 like this.
  3. penyrheol1

    penyrheol1 New commenter

    I'm afraid I have to agree on the grounds that "Popular Paid Resources" for science this week have mostly been Christmas activities!!
  4. penyrheol1

    penyrheol1 New commenter

    I have too and I was really disappointed to discover that, when a resource is deleted it takes its views and downloads with it from the shop totals. Surely this is not right as some purchasers would look to them as an indicator the public's perception of the quality of the resources in the shop. I really do not think we should be penalised for doing what the recent changes implemented by TES are requiring us to do. Those downloads have still a valid benchmark of the quality of the rest of the resources in the shop.

    Any movement possible on this please TES??
    MosaiK, vcurrie19 and englbee like this.
  5. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    @ajs12345 are you in the Tes author facebook group? There's a big thread on this in there. There appears to be at least two different searches running at the moment. One is throwing up a lot of very poor quality material at the top (things with one stars, no pictures, very old, free resources etc). I would imagine this is the one you are seeing.
    We emailed in and were told that algorithm changes were being tested, but this is very different to the usual testing we see. Or possibly this particular search we are seeing isn't a test but a glitch as Tes staff also commented there weren't any major changes planned for last weekend - yet this was first spotted Saturday.

    It's worrying as I've had someone email me today and say they say they saw a resource by me they wanted the other day and now can't find it, and I'm having to email them the resource and invoice them - which is a massive faff. It's also worrying as if Tes start the school hub soon and this algorithm is what schools see then it could be massively off-putting. If it's done to get bronze and silver authors higher up the search then that's admirable and hopefully helpful to them - but because it doesn't seem very quality specific, it's throwing up the very poor broonze and silver resources as well as the good.

    It would be great if @TES Resource Team could let us know how long this is going to go on for? It's not affected my sales yet, but yeah I am worried about that too!
    vcurrie19, FullShelf and ajs12345 like this.
  6. FullShelf

    FullShelf New commenter

    I recently uploaded some new resources for the first time in a while and they have been buried so far down the search results - much, much further down than they usually are when I add something new - that it'll be amazing if anyone sees them. Some of my other resources (not that relevant to the search term) appeared above them in the results, along with some very poor quality resources. I would like to know what is going on. This series of resources has sold well for me in the past and I have lots more to upload but I'm not sure it's worth the effort for now if the search results are so jumbled and if new stuff doesn't stand much of a chance.
  7. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    Ok that weird search seems to have gone now! So that's good. Maybe testing ended or it was a glitch. FullShelf new resources do have the bonus of being on the subject front pages anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after, but if it happens a lot of resources on the same subject are uploaded by other authors soon after then they get pushed on to the next page quicker. This could be why they didn't sell quickly after uploading them if they usually do.
  8. FullShelf

    FullShelf New commenter

    I guess they might still benefit from being on the subject front pages. It's just odd that when I type in key phrases for these new resources, they come up on page 7 or 8, behind lots of much less relevant resources, including some of my own which are not on the same topic! This has not happened on the previous occasions I have uploaded resources in this series. Oh well. Maybe they'll get noticed in time, even if they start off a lot slower than normal. Thanks for your comments EC_Resources.
  9. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for your messages about this - and sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

    We’ve continued to do lots of work - some of which will be visible, while some will still be beneath the surface! Under the hood, some of the biggest work that’s going on is to do with our payment systems to complete the changes we need to let users multi-buy (and which then open the door to us allowing direct payments by schools). Much of this will become more visible in the coming months.

    The announcements page on the Author Academy is designed to alert authors to all the changes you may experience as and when these happen. Indeed the Author Academy was new in December and is designed to help authors to best use the Tes marketplace to improve sales and downloads and, of course, improve quality. We realise that quality starts with the product that authors share and that is therefore a focus for where we want to help make improvements.

    We’ve also entirely revamped our reporting systems for taking poor quality material off the site, and have been testing further systems to help prevent copyright infringement. On the reviews side, we’ve responded to concerns from authors about low reviews with no explanations by insisting that one and two star reviews provide comments.

    We have been investigating the impact of the Author Train Authors events, and we have found that most of the attendees have seen significant increase in their sales in the following months. While we have ambitions to expand these live events to reach more users, we recognise that the majority of our authors will not be able to attend - hence the great emphasis we’ve put on sharing the best tips online with everyone, all over the world. We will be rolling out new elements of Authors Train Authors which will be accessible to all.

    We have run a variety of tests related to our search algorithm to improve the relevance of the content it surfaces. While we cannot disclose all the details of these tests, we do update you on some of these tests that you may experience as a user. We’ve also been working with a handful of academic institutions to explore the latest techniques for improving algorithms. Be assured we’ll doing even more on this in the coming months!

    All the best,

    The Tes team.

    [Richard and Michael]
    Krazikas likes this.

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