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Search Results All SKEWED Using Remote Filter

Community Regular
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My category is Nutritionists. 

Up until about three weeks ago, if you were performing a search as a customer would, either with the customer app or on a regular web browser, and implementing the 'Remote (phone or Internet)' search filter, the professionals rankings/order of placement in the search results were all exactly the same using ANY zip code in the U.S.  This is the way it SHOULD be since distance has NO bearing when working with customers remotely. In other words, zip code/proximity to the customer was eliminated out of the equation when customers used the Remote filter.  

But now, if you do the same exact search (using the Remote filter), the order of the professionals are being scrambled using different zip codes, and in most of the searches (outside of a 150 mile radius of my own zip code), I'm appearing at the bottom, when before this happened, I was on the first page (within the first 10 results).  I'm in Florida, so if I want to work with someone remotely who is in California, Texas, New York, or Illinois, for example, my chances have dropped DRAMATICALLY.  I personally target customers on Thumbtack who I can work with via Internet/phone, so that's all I'm focused on. 

I was receiving four or five customer contacts per week, and turning about half of them into clients, but now, since Thumbtack has literally DEMOTED me, not promoted me, while, btw, the credentials/stats of my profile have actually increased during this time period.  As of whatever change they made, I can't get one new 'Remote' customer contact!   

The only chance I have is with customers within 150 miles of my own zip code, but what good is that going to do when you're looking to work with customers remotely in areas outside of your own?   Proximity to the customer means NOTHING when you're 'remote,' so that's the WHOLE POINT of working with customers in this manner! 

Right now, I'm being limited to being located by people within my own area to work with remotely, which absolutely makes NO sense at all, and it's eliminating me from about 99% of the rest of the country!  Again, before this happened, I was on the first page, and my profile stats have gotten better since then.  

My chances of working with customers outside of my own area, especially out of my own state, over the Internet/phone have dropped to just about zero, because if you're not ranked within the first ten professionals in your category, forget it, you're not getting contacted through this service anymore.  Same situation on Google because hardly anybody goes to the second page or past the first ten search results.

I know I sound bitter, but what do you expect when you've literally pulled the bottom out from under me when I was increasingly moving up in rankings like I should be since my profile credentials were increasing, according to the criteria that you have laid out for us.  

And every time I call into customer service for them to look into this, and actually show the way the rankings are being delivered to the representative I have on the phone, they agree with me that there is an issue.  They tell me that they've made a detailed report about it, but nothing is ever done about it. 

It's getting to the point that Thumbtack has become a waste of my time and energy.  If you can't get any new customer contacts, how are you supposed to improve your profile stats?  It's literally a Catch-22 situation, and not worth the frustration anymore, until they actually fix this and bring it back to the way it was, but who knows if that will ever happen. 

And to the moderator who reads this, there are other professionals in my category who I have reached out to directly because I noticed that they dropped WAY down in the search results too (using the Remote filter), and they totally agreed with me that their customer contacts have decreased to literally zero.  One professional who I contacted directly was literally the first one in the results entering ANY zip code while using the Remote filter, and I noticed that he dropped to the bottom too (he has about 175 hires with a 4.8 rating and 61 reviews, and an extremely fast response time too).  He said that he was getting 15 to 20 new customer contacts per week, and turning about half of those into customers.  Well guess what he told me?  He went to getting THAT many customer contacts to literally zero too! 

This proves that SOMETHING IS WRONG with the way the search results are being delivered with the Remote filter selected and they NEED to fix it!  There is absolutely NO justification for this to happen to someone with his profile credentials going from that many customer contacts to literally zero!  THEY NEED TO LOOK INTO THIS NOW!

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

Community Manager
Community Manager
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Welcome to the Community @FrankkieR and thank you for starting this conversation. I'm happy to hear that you've talked to our customer support team about this and they sent this info on to the appropriate team. I as well will be sure to send this in. I can hear that your frustrated so I appreciate you taking the time to write this out this post and let us know how things have been going. Although I don't have any immediate answers for you, I can assure you that we are working hard and are always listening to the concerns and feedback from pros. Please don't hesitate to reach out in the future with any questions or concerns. We're here for you! 

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

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Thanks, but nobody from customer service ever gets back to me about it, and I highly doubt that anything is even being done to correct it.  I can't get one customer contact anymore.  I'm losing time and money the longer that this persists.

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

Community Regular
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Since the other representatives are obviously not reporting this issue, I'm going to have to ask you to let the engineers read the details of my post so that they can look into this and finally fix it.

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

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@FrankkieR as Meckell mentioned above, her and those in support that you spoke with have shared your concerns about ranking to the appropriate teams. Although I'll add that you and I had a similar discussion about why your ranking has been declining HERE, and how it's likely due to promote being turned on and off so regularly.

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

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I've already talked to representatives on the phone about what you said in your other reply regarding the promote being turned off and on, and they confirmed what I said before.  They told me that it has absolutely no bearing on the rankings, and that you gave me misinformation.  

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

Community Expert
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@FrankkieR thanks for calling that to my attention and I apologize for the confusion here. I've revisited this for full clarification and found that there's no penalty for switching between promoting and not promoting that would affect your ranking. However, when you're not promoting in a remote category for most of the day, it does have a big impact on your ranking during that time and will decrease the number of leads you'd receive as opposed to promoting at all times. 

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

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Again, you're wrong, and I know this because I study the search results.  There are professionals who are at the very top of the results during the day, and at night they are nowhere to be found, which means that they obviously shut their promote off during that time (literally for hours on-end at a time).  But when they turn it back on in the morning, they're back up at the top again right where they were before (in the same spot), so therefore it has no negative impact on them.   And to confirm this, I have spoken to other representatives on the phone who told me that turning promote on and off has absolutely no bearing on the rankings.  So again, you're giving misinformation.  

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

Community Expert
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@FrankkieR I think there may be some misunderstanding. In my last post I mentioned, "there's no penalty for switching between promoting and not promoting that would affect your ranking". To reiterate, you and the representative you spoke with are correct, in that turning it off and on repeatedly will not directly affect your ranking, aside from how your ranking is simply affected when promoting is paused. I apologize again for the miscommunication. 

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Re: Search Results Not Correct Using Remote Filter

Active Community Member
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@KameronI was having a similar issue over the past severl weeks at least.  My profile was completely missing.. I understand that using promote will boost your ranking, but there were pro's listed who have zero reviews, zero hires, zero history.. and I wasnt there at all.. it seems like rankings arent really based as much on quality of service or history as much as it is based on using promote, or in other words... being willing to pay more.  I'd like to believe that maybe it was just a glitch, but that seems too convenient.