Wattpad Ranks/Tags/Genres - Will the issues ever get fully addressed?

question

#203

Try not to let it get you down! It’s definitely a frustrating situation, and hopefully they’ll have fixes to stabilize it going forward.

I just wanted to share a bit about my experience. When the rankings used to be only available in genres, I almost never ranked, and I didn’t see huge surges in readers when I did manage to crack the top 1000. Same story for me once they changed to the tag-based ranking system. The tags where I rank high are usually too specific to be something that a lot of readers are searching.

And yet, I’ve been able to gain and keep readers, get tons of feedback, and eventually get featured. I was at 167K reads when I got featured, and that was with a story that never achieved significant rankings. I’ve found that critique exchanges and book clubs were extremely helpful for getting the ball rolling (and I still think the algorithm rewards comments and consistent updating), but what really started to make a difference was developing a network of writers in a similar genre who added my book to their reading lists, which brought over their readers.

Hopefully, rankings will be fixed soon. But even if the tech team runs into more challenges than expected and struggles to resolve the glitches as quickly as we hope, I believe hard, sustained work will still pay off on this site! YOU CAN DOOO IT! :smile:


#204

I have a stupid question… but I just can’t get my head around it!

Say someone comes onto Wattpad searching for stories about… I don’t know, unicorns for example, how would they search for books about this?

I get that stories about unicorns would be tagged ‘unicorns’, but how would that person go about finding them? Would they just type ‘unicorns’ in the search bar? Because when I tried that with some of my own more obscure book tags, it just brings up usernames with the word I’m searching in there somewhere…

Sorry for the total noob question, I’m sure it’s been answered 1,000 times before… :see_no_evil:


#205

I think you need to search with a hashtag first. So, type into the search bar #unicorns


#206

Well, would you look at that - it worked! :clap: :clap: :slight_smile:

So the list that comes up once I search #unicorns then is the ‘hot list’? The stories I’m seeing are automatically ranked in terms of their popularity?..


#207

In theory, but there are a number of glitches operating right now that are likely impacting the lists.


#208

Yes, I gathered that scrolling through this thread - very frustrating for everyone. My book was ranked OK in about 15 categories until yesterday, now when I click on ‘see all rankings’ I only get three come up!

That said, I just couldn’t figure out the part about how people were searching for their reading ‘kink’ so to speak, so thanks for helping clear it up for me! :slight_smile:


#209

You should check that your tags are all still on your story. If the tags are present, then I think the reason you’ll see only 3 listed instead of the 15 you were ranking in before is because you may have dropped out of the top 1000 for that tag. It doesn’t show you a tag rank at all if you’re below 1K, I think. And when the ratings are working correctly, it’s actually pretty common to drop off or rise very quickly.


#210

Ahaaa, well then that would make sense - all tags are still showing on the ‘story details’ page for me, so guess it’s just not been a great few days for my book!


#211

Millions of works and 65 million users mean it moves very quickly. :smile:


#212

Well, when you put it like that… :joy: :joy: :joy:


#213

In formal publication, it’s always word of mouth that is recommended as the biggest success factor. This is the same principle: People trust others opinions, and if one person recommends something, a follower/friend is likely to trust that over seeing a book with a lot of reads/votes.

@poznati So that definitely means that aside from working tags, getting exposure on Wattpad via users/bookslubs/library adds are just as important. Those things, paired with well oiled ranks, can show some pretty powerful results. So if the ranks suck right now, I’d say take that time to focus on other things like bookclubs. I’ve heard some readers go to bookclubs to find books to read. Starting there has helped my books out tremendously too!


#214

Hey! I’m Gabby from Support! :wave:

I mostly deal with Accounts/Writing related issues which is why I tend to jump in on threads relating to those areas because those are my speciality. @vivian has been working with our developers on tagged rankings, which is why if you’ve sent in a ticket about the rankings you’ve most likely gotten a reply from her. :blush: I may be biased but I thinks she’s pretty great, but this isn’t about how great I think Vivian is…

Tagged rankings- what’s the sitch? Where’s the transparency? I just want you to know that we’ve seen you, we’ve heard you, we’re reading your tickets and threads about it. We’re not ignoring you! And I’m really sorry if it’s seemed this way. I wanted to post this to give you some answers and to hopefully bring more clarity and transparency to what’s been happening with tag rankings.

Let’s start with our bug escalation process - the escalation of a bug varies a lot depending on different aspects (how many users are affected, how much does this impact their ability to use the platform, is it reproducible?) but once there’s a Known Issues article on it, you can usually bet that we’ve made our developers aware of it so that they can work on fixing it. As you can see, we’ve had a Known Issues article on Tagged Rankings for a while, but all we’ve really said is “developers are working on it”. And that’s because, well, developers are working on it. We promise that isn’t a lie! We are continuing to prioritize this bug above other smaller bugs, which means that we have had developers working on fixing the issues every week since we first escalated it!

Unlike a program (like Next) where there can be decisions made and conversations had that we can share, the bug fixing process isn’t as linear. For instance, for the past month we have made some progress and experienced some setbacks with fixing hot list errors. So if we were posting weekly updates on the tagged rankings issue, it would probably sound something like this:

“Our developers are testing a fix for this issue this week. Hmm… looks like it didn’t fix it.”
“Our developers are try to fix this again with this other test! Oh that only worked a little bit but still lots of other areas to tweak to get the rankings working again!”

Which is just another way of really saying that, yes, developers are working on it, and it’s taking some time to create a short or long term fix. I’m not sure if communications like that would really be meaningful for you, but if it is, your perspective on that is appreciated!

We had people ask for a timeline, and we really do wish we could give one, but unfortunately, that’s not something we can really share either. Not because we don’t want to, but because we truly don’t know how long a bigger issue like this may take to get fully resolved. It’s not that we know that there is x bug and it’s going to take y time to fix it we just need the time to fix it (which would be the best, we want these bugs fixed just as much as you, I think Vivian wants it more than anyone). It’s a lot of trial and error - we hope that it will be fixed this week, but we can’t guarantee it, so we don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. Because if we say we’re implementing a fix, and it doesn’t work, then it just looks like we’re being dishonest. And we don’t want that either!

Tagged rankings are a really complex system which means that errors in the rankings take quite a lot of time to both understand the root cause, and actually implement fixes for so unfortunately it’s not as easy as a few hours of developer work and then, viola! But wouldn’t life be wonderful if this were a quick fix…(daydreams)

That’s not to say that we aren’t looking for ways to better communicate issues like these, and we are trying to expand and shift are processes, especially with longer-term bugs like this one. And we’re listening to you guys! Again, we’re just looking for ways that we can update the community in a way that’s meaningful (which sounds very generic but I hope the rest of my novel I’ve posted here makes it known that it’s coming from a hopeful place).

Anyways! Run down of an update that we can give now, which is really the best we have for the moment:

Are developers actively working on fixing this? Yes.
Do we know when this will be fixed? I wish (so, no).
Are we listening to you? Yes!
How are we going to be updated on this? I know it hasn’t changed since posting, but we’re hoping to better utilize the Known Issues page going forward with more updates going forward. And if you have any suggestions on how you’d like to be updated please let us know!

If you have any questions, let me know! :blush:


Ranking Issues?
Fellow Undiscovered Writers 12
Uh..... about always being orange.....
Anyone else ranking in only 2 or three tags for all their stories?
Decline in Reads
#215

OH MY GOSH THANK YOU SO MUCH

THANK YOU


#216

Okay now that I thanked you…

Seriously, that was all that I think a lot of us have been looking for :sob::sob:

There’s something to just hearing that a pretty chronic, major issue is, well, super hard to fix, that makes it all seem a bit easier to deal with. There’s also something in that acknowledgement, and I think when Wattpad does respond, it can be what separates it from other sites.

So thank you again for the update. This was much more personalized than the Help Page (which helps to see that it is an issue, don’t get me wrong!) but this really makes it feel like an active issue, versus passive one.

I am sure I will add more later. Right now I am just really happy and wanted to let you know that :joy:


#217

Thanks so much for taking the time to give us this information!!

I’m very happy to hear that this is on your radar! :blush:


#218

Oh my goodness, thank you so so much Gabby. This is such a relief to hear from you honestly. I’m sure many others would agree. We appreciate the work you and Vivian are putting in to resolving this issue. Thank you for letting us know!


#219

Finally! Thank you, @gabby, that was really the sort of response we were looking for. And, tbh, I actually am one of the people who would read the “oop, here goes another test” posts, lol. Thanks again for the response!


#220

You validated what some were stating since the beginning. Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this info, Gabby :slight_smile:


#221

All I want is for the rankings to go back into actual genres instead of fanfiction dominating a lot of genres, books being in the WRONG GENRES DUE TO TAGS, and somehow having books be able to be #1 in tree.

I liked the old system and I still do. Wish we would go back to something similar to that one, honestly :woman_shrugging:


#222

I agree with @Nablai

I think when a major error occurs, people just want comfort/validation that it’s not the site moving on past them. I think with all the changes Wattpad is going through right now, there was a minor appearance that it was doing just that (although it didn’t make much sense that they would leave us behind). Which is why I think the word validation is appropriate here! We just wanted comfort :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::joy:

Thanks again for the validation, and acknolwedgement, @gabby I think that’s all we wanted.

I agree here! I would love to see this too :joy: Even if it’s a weekly update, I would feel like I am along for the journey. Although that’s hard to do, so even a monthly status report that we could rely on would work.

Either way, I think this message will carry my patience for a while now. Thanks again!