Thumbtack dropped me from the search results!

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I have been using Thumbtack for about 7 months. When I first signed up I used targetting for about a week, but quickly realized it was not a fair system for me and turned it off. Since then I have never used targetting. Thumbtack has been a good service overall with getting me business. Though I do have a lot of problems with the amounts they charge for leads, the inconsistency of the charges, and how you pay for a lead reguardless of being hired. Though overall I cannot complain with the business I have received for what I have paid for.  I have maintained a perfect 5 star review on Thumbtack from 37 verified reviews. I have also received a "Top Pro" badge (which I'm starting to believe means absolutely nothing). The end of February I had to travel out of state and put my business on hold. There were a lot of leads that came through that I declined because of being out of state. Once I came back to town I found that my Thumbtack business fell off a cliff and I was no longer receiving leads. I tried looking up myself for the various services I offer and found I am not showing up at all on any of the searches. Therefore no one else will be able to find me either. When I contacted Thumbtack the only answer they gave me was that "its because I do not have targetting turned on". I do not buy this response. The only thing that makes sense to me is that since I was not accepting those leads that they dropped me from the site. I talked to multiple customer service representatives and they all gave me the same answer. I would love to hear from you guys why this is the case. Its become very clear to me that Thumbtack does not care about the pros on their site and only wants to try and force you into using their targetting system.

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Re: Thumbtack dropped me from the search results!

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Hey, @HometownService welcome to the online pro Community. Something that could be helpful next time you need to take a break or put your business on hold is using the Hide your business feature. Doing so will make sure that you’re business is unavailable to new leads and the break won’t have an effect on your response time/rate. Although it doesn’t sound like that was a factor this time, based on your highlighted conversations with our support team and by looking over your Insights.

I know you said our staff mentioned this to you already, but after looking over your account we agree that adding a few more photos of your work and setting your Targeting preferences look to be the biggest things you can do to improve your ranking. There are a number of things that factor into your ranking in search results, but setting your targeting preferences will be a key difference. Your targeting preferences tell us exactly what leads you want. When it comes to search results, it helps us understand when to show your business so the right customers find you. Because of this, you’ll get some help in ranking and a 20% discount on those leads. Hopefully, this is helpful and can add a little more context to why Targeting is important. We want Thumbtack to be useful for your business so if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or our support teams. 

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Search Results- Same Pros over and over again?

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Question-

if the same pros are always being shown in the search results due to their ratings, reviews, whatever you guys judge us on... how are other professionals ever supposed to compete if you just show the same people over and over again to potential clients? Then, you say to us to use the targeting feauture and to try to find through the opportunities tab to generate business.. but you do not show our messages directly through a customer's inbox once sent- only through their job post as we are "interested" pros, not that we provided an actual quote, nor do you present our actual quote without them having to be notified/open the actual job post again.

I guess I just don't understand... if we are not hired through Thumbtack, it is hard to get verified reviews but if we do not get those reviews, we are not shown in search results. But if the same people are constantly being contacted as they are the only pros showing up in actual search results over and over.. doesn't that create a catch 22 for us newer pros?? How many pros actually show up in a search at a time? When I do the "look yourself up" it only shows the same 20 people over and over again.. I WAS one of them until I guess I was no longer "new enough". This business model does not make sense to me at all...

*post merged to existing conversation by moderator on 3/13/2020*

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Re: Search Results- Same Pros over and over again?

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@Blayne_mua you definitely raise some valid points in terms of it not always being easy to compete with those longer standing and higher ranked pros. We know that the search results system is not perfect and I want to let you know that we have many teams thinking of ways to help all pros who can give customers a great experience.

While we recommend for pros to gain as many reviews as they can to climb that ladder, we also ask for them to understand that it can take time. One recommendation I can give would be to share out your public review link with past happy customers. You can have up to 10 shown on your profile which should be a good start to getting more organic hires and reviews. You can learn more about how to do this here under "share your review link": Ask for reviews.

While many pros that are high on the list will show much of the time, the list will and does change based on all of the information that we can gather from the customer. What you see in the "look yourself up" may be different for each customer depending on location and their needs. 

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Re: Thumbtack dropped me from the search results!

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Thanks for the information!
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Not showing in customer searches!

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I went to search DJs as a "customer" in my zip code, and found that I am NOT listed at all!!! Not even the regulars that usually show up with me in searches.

Anyone else see this when you search for yourself?

@Drew @Meckell @Kameron @DustiO , does anyone know if there is a change that I don't know of? I'm Targeting and should be showing up in "customer" searches. 

DJ Stevie 3-20-2020

post merged to existing conversation by moderator on 3/20/2020

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Re: Not showing in customer searches!

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@DJStevie it’s tricky to know exactly why or what changed in terms of search results in your area. It could be that some of your competition did things to improve their ranking. As for the other pros not showing, I can’t say for sure, but I wonder if some have possibly chosen to use the “hide my business” feature during this time where many events and things are being put on hold. After looking over your account and preferences it looks like you’re doing everything right. One thing that may be a factor is that it’s been some time since you got a direct lead or sent a manual quote. Sending a manual quote or two every so often could help show that you’re still active and ready for new leads.

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Re: Not showing in customer searches!

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@Kameron
It's true that I haven't received a direct lead in long while and as for sending manual quotes, which I won't do now because I will not risk spending between $60-$85 for a 4-5 hour wedding with "customer" budgets less than $500.
Direct leads I have spoken with Support numerous times and have done everything that they suggested to have "customers" reach out to me, but no results.
DJ Stevie 3-20-2020
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Re: Not showing in customer searches!

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@DJStevie, after some time we took a second look and see that you’re now sitting at the number one spot in the search results. I’ve made sure to report this lapse in the search results for our teams to look into.

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Re: Not showing in customer searches!

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@Kameron Just a heads up that the same thing happened to me. I wasn’t showing up in searches for my area and then a few moments later, I was #1. Something is definitely not right.