Understanding your search result placement
Your placement in search results on GigSalad is determined by various criteria. Whether you appear at all is determined by the categories you've added to your PromoKit and the travel distance you've chosen. If you are in the category the event planner is searching for and they are searching in a location that's within your travel range, your placement in those results is then determined by the following:
Main category vs. additional categories
In order to provide the most relevant results possible to event planners, the first criteria we use to sort by is your profile's main category. Your main category carries more weight than any additional categories you've added. You'll still receive exposure in all of those additional categories, but other profiles with those categories as their main category will receive priority in search results.
Example: The event planner is searching for Photographers in Atlanta. Sweet Photography has Photographer as their main category. Fun Photo Booth has Photo Booth as their main category and Photographer as an additional category. Because the planner is searching for Photographers, Sweet Photography will be given priority in the results.
Level of membership
The next determination is the level of membership. Paid members with the searched category as their main category are given priority, with Featured appearing first (and identified with a Featured banner), then Pro members, then Semi-Pro*, and last will be free profiles. After all members with the searched category as their main category have been shown, it will then show all the profiles that have it as one of their additional categories sorted by membership level, giving preference to paid members.
*Semi-Pro is a discontinued membership level, and only those that are grandfathered in will still be at this level.
Example: The event planner is searching for Face Painters in Los Angeles. Awesome Face Painting is a Featured member in Los Angeles with Face Painter as their main category. Cool Face Painting is a Pro member in Los Angeles, also with Face Painter as their main category. Awesome Face Painting will be listed before Cool Face Painting since they have a higher membership level.
Then Beautiful Balloon Twisting, who is also a Featured member but has Face Painter as an additional category, will show up after other profiles that have Face Painter as their main category, regardless of membership level.
Profiles in cities closest to the searched location will show up first, with priority determined by category match and level of membership. Paid members will be given priority within the city's "preference radius." The preference radius for a city is determined by size and population. Profiles outside of the preference radius will be sorted only by distance from the searched city, regardless of their level of membership and main vs. additional category match. If there are multiple profiles outside of the preference radius in the same city, those results will be sorted first by main category match and then membership level.
Example: Chicago, IL has a preference radius of 40 miles. So, any Featured member less than 40 miles from Chicago will be listed higher than any other member of a lower membership level that is closer than that Featured member, within their category.
Let's get more specific: Haha Comedy is a Featured member and located in Naperville, IL (28 miles from Chicago). Chuckles the Comedian is a Pro member and located in Chicago. Both have Comedian as their main category, so when searching Comedians in Chicago, Haha comedy will be given priority because they are Featured and within the preference radius. If there is a third Comedian that is Featured but located in Woodstock, IL (52 miles from Chicago and therefore outside the preference radius), they will not appear in the results until after other members closer to Chicago, regardless of membership level and category match.
About preference radius: We have a preference radius in place to ensure that our event planners are seeing the most helpful and appropriate results possible. If we gave priority to Featured members who are further away, event planners may get discouraged and leave the site thinking that there is no one close enough to their location. When, in reality, we do have some that are closer, they are just buried in the results. We feel the preference radius is the fairest way to give our paid members priority in searches, while still providing relevant results for the event planner.
When all the above are equal, meaning multiple profiles have the same main category, are at the same level of membership, and are within the preference radius of the searched city, those with verified bookings will appear first.
Example: The event planner is searching for Singing Guitarists in Atlanta. Great Guitarist and Smooth Singer are both Featured, they are both located within the preference radius of Atlanta, and they both have Singing Guitarist as their main category. However, Great Guitarist has verified bookings and Smooth Singer does not. They'll both be given priority in the results, but Great Guitarist will be displayed before Smooth Singer.
A booking is verified if it is completed through GigSalad. This can be done by clients paying upfront to book through the website or by marking gigs as booked if they are booked directly. By booking gigs through GigSalad, you can increase your leads and enjoy a number of other benefits such as guaranteed balance payments & cancellation protection.
Members who have achieved Top Performer status will be given priority in search results within their membership level when all other things are equal. Meaning, that if two members are at the same level of membership and one is a Top Performer, that member will appear first. Learn more about how to earn Top Performer status.
Example: The event planner is searching for Magicians in Seattle. Magic Man Mike is a Featured member in Seattle with Magician as their main category, and they are also a Top Performer. They will be listed before any other Featured Magicians within Seattle's preference radius. Magnificent Mark is also a Top Performer but has a free profile in Seattle with Magician as their main category. Because they are at a lower membership level, they will not appear until after all other paid members with Magician as their main category within Seattle's preference radius. However, they will be given priority over all other free members that are not Top Performers.
If everything is equal, including Top Performer status, the results will be ordered at random. Each time the search is done or the page is refreshed, the placement of the equal profiles could be different.
Example: The event planner is searching for Bartenders in Los Angeles. Bartender Brian and Drink Slinger Steve are both Featured & Top Performers, they are both located in Los Angeles, they both have Bartender as their main category, and they both have verified bookings. They'll both be given priority in the results over other profiles without that same criteria, but their position within those 2 spots will be chosen randomly.