Very sad and disappointed about the new system of ranking tutor's profiles

I don’t know whether you guys have noticed.
Today I found Tutorful has changed the system of ranking tutor’s profiles. As a tutor who has been working very hard for the past 3 years to make my booking score, repeat student’s score, response time and client review all full marks, my profile has been dropped down to page 6 for no reason, even when I filtered the search, which will hugely influence me hiring new students. I’ve called Tutorful customer service team, they said this is a testing thing that put tutor’s profiles in a random order which is extremely unfair for tutors especially for old, loyal tutors who have been working hard to keep performance score as me. What Tutorful has done is just make our efforts for the past three years in vain.
I don’t think it is a good idea to put tutor’s profile randomly, firstly, it will hurt lots of loyal, old tutors’ hearts because for the past several years you(Tutorful) keep telling us performance can decide where your profile is and now you are doing the complete opposite of what you said. Secondly, you(Tutorful) randomly put some tutors’ profiles on the first page and put good, experienced tutors on the last page. This will increase the chance that students meet lower quality tutors and tarnish your site’s reputation. Tutors who can keep their score so high can clearly show their ability and there is no reason to put them after unexperienced tutors. I geniually don’t think it is a good business move. Thirdly, deciding to show profiles randomly means that it is meaningless for tutors to care about their performance scores. This means tutors will respond much slower and reject any students they want because it no longer matters
Now Tutorful has just turned it into a game of luck rather than rewarding those who put the effort in. As a tutor, hard work is no longer a means by which I can improve the ranking of my profile. That is not fair at all.
I know Tutorful wants to give new tutors more chances to be seen but there are so many other ways to help new tutors. New tutors can attract students by lowering their prices. Also you can randomly recommend one or two new tutors but when the first page is mostly new tutors it hurts old tutors. Tutorful shouldn’t helping new tutors while hurting old tutors.
Today, when I saw that my profile ended up falling like this, I literally cried. It really made me very, very anxious and depressed. Please don’t hurt the heart of your loyal old users like this. This is a very, very bad step.

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Definitely understand where you’re coming from, I agree that all your points are extremely valid, and I’m sorry you were so disappointed. I do however think that Tutorful is in a difficult position because new tutors deserve the chance to get noticed too, but not at the expense of upsetting long-term tutors. It is hard though; how do new tutors break through without support from the company?
I have never overly focused on the scores, personally I’ve never been a fan as it always adds pressure to be at the top of your game and plays tutors off against each other. I suppose we are all in competition but I like to think that we can all help people.
Just keep doing what you’re doing; you’re obviously a really good tutor if your scores are always high. Try and trust in the process and keep believing.
I do hope Tutorful respond to this as it’s a valid concern.

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I completely agree that making the search results random undermines the purpose and usefulness of the booking/repeat scores.

Of course new tutors need a chance - but it would be far better for them to get a ‘new tutor showcase’ appearance, separate from other tutors but at the top of the search results, like you suggest. Or perhaps just a temporary boost in their search ranking for their first few students.

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Hi Dave,

I totally agree with what you said! What they have done now is just like saying “I don’t need old tutors I only care about my new tutors” which makes me feel that my past three years’ trust and effort towards Tutorful is just like a joke. Tutorful is the platform I decided to solely stick on for the past three years and now they make me so disappointed and depressed. I don’t think I am the only tutor think like this. If they don’t listen to our suggestion and keep doing this I am sure lots of good experienced tutors will be disappointed and leave and switch to other platforms and Tutorful are literally destroying their own business if they keep this bad ranking system! What they have forgot is that we (old tutors) are the ones who have contributed so much and made money for them and helped them can grow to this stage, not new tutors!
If you agree with me please sending negative feedback to them! Hopefully that will help!

Hi all,

Thank you for the points you have all outlined in regards to our recent changes to the search results - we are sorry some of you are disappointed with the changes you are seeing.

We have received feedback that some potential students are having difficulties getting matched with their perfect tutor and we are keen to understand the reasons for this. We are running a short test to see if broadening the search results will lead to an increase in the number of students successfully matching with a tutor. The change is being shown to a portion of total traffic and we anticipate that it will increase the number of high quality leads our tutors receive. We can reassure you that maintaining a high tutor score will continue to be important to your page ranking.

This is only a short term change and it is part of a longer term plan to deliver a higher quality of student match for all of our valued tutors. We really appreciate the support of all of our tutors during this experiment, which we hope will have a positive effect for all in the longer term.

Thanks, Nikesh

Hmm. I understand every base needs to be covered but it feels that often long-term, loyal tutors get overlooked and that shouldn’t be the case at all.

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Gosh I haven’t been online for months but just checked and I can’t even find myself, when I last checked I was in the first or second row. I’ve worked so hard to keep all my scores 10/10. I don’t know what to do or think. I am planning on going online soon and I don’t even know if I will get enough for September. This is very scary.

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I think what Katie means is that she has turned on her profile to search to check and can’t see herself.

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This is such a horrible and awful change!
Please take a look at the complains in this post, and please don’t make this become a long-term change. It won’t benefit anyone at all. We are all old faithful Tutorful tutors so of course we want your company doing better! We are saving you from the worst decision. Please don’t let us down.

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I don’t even appear when searching maths and dyslexia/dyscalculia (my specialist subjects) yet people who have no mention of these in their profile are in the rankings?

Baffling move…

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Ah this explains a lot. I turned my profile back on after GCSEs and I’ve had a lot less enquiries than usual and they haven’t resulted in any bookings. This is the first time this has really happened and I’m usually top of the first page.
Tutorful please sort it out. All of my income is through this site, and Ive worked hard to get my scores high!

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I suggest we all officially complain, I’ve sent an email to support@tutorful.co.uk and sent the same message in the live chat and will ring up later too. Let’s all get behind this while it’s only an experiment!

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I think it’s worth leaving some time to allow Tutorful to analyse the situation. If this really isn’t working as they apparently intend then I expect it will be fixed or reversed. Similarly, I doubt this is going to be a long term thing. Tutorful should have every bias in favour of long term tutors (who are proven reliable and esrning them the most money per session), so I can’t imagine they’re lying when they say this is a short term test to gather data.

For what it’s worth, Tutorful isn’t a huge company and I would be amazed if the bosses weren’t aware of something like this going on.

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I suppose on one hand, Tutorful doesn’t care who gets a lesson as long as the student books in, but on the other hand they should absolutely care about their long-term tutors.

I do think Dylan is right though, we need to give Tutorful more time to acknowledge frustrations.

I’m curious about what is being tested - what new search ranking criteria are being tested, and what is the hypothesis about why it would be more effective about pairing students with their ideal tutor than the current system?

The current system seems good to me because it is based on repeat client score which is a great indicator of client satisfaction (of course there are subjects and levels [university] where it’s not a great indicator).

Obviously no system is perfect - but I wonder what criteria tutorful has in mind and is testing for pairing students with their ideal tutor if it’s not a tutor’s ability to attract clients to book more lessons?

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Thank you all for your comments - we really do appreciate your feedback, and understand the concerns that a number of you have raised here.

It’s important to say that this experiment is a short term change for a proportion of search results, which started on Monday, that we’re running to better understand a problem we’ve seen grow over time, where students don’t go on to book lessons after searching on our site. There are a number of reasons for this, and we want to understand these reasons in more detail.

This is not a final change we’ve made, but rather a first step in understanding, and from this, we are aiming to continue to develop the search results to help students find the right tutors for them so they hopefully go onto book lessons. We’re doing this with a view to helping both established tutors to continue to get students, as well as helping newer tutors find their first student through us.

We are doing this short term experiment now as we have seen a drop in the number of students looking for a tutor, as we have seen in previous years at the end of the academic year, to ensure that we can make any improvements prior to our busiest time of year, which is late August to September, and help ensure that students are finding tutors who can help them.

We are noting all of your feedback as a company, and please do be assured that we do want to reward established tutors who have taught a lot with us, like many of you here, but whilst also helping newer tutors and helping students find the best tutor for them.

Can we ask what you’re doing in the long-term to help more established tutors?

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Personally, I think the best way to solve this problem is to spend more effort and money on advertising your website. When I search “tutor” on google, Tutorful does not even appear on the first result page. How could you expect more students to book lessons if they don’t even know that this website exists?

Also, personally I think you should change your slogan on the first page “Tusted tutors to unlock your children’s potential” become “Trusted tutors to unlock your potential”. Why would you limit your custormer base? If there are some adult students who see your website and want to find a tutor for hobbies for example “language, music instruments”, they will not even search for a tutor because they will think your website is solely for children. I just don’t understand, limiting your students range will not benefit your business at all.

There are so many things you can do to improve the situation, but the only thing you choose to do is to hurt your faithful tutors.

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With respect, the response doesn’t inspire confidence. It makes it seem like this will go on at least a month and everyone being given seemingly random results is deliberate, not an accident. I’ll add that this is a very unfortunate time to have chosen. I understand that Tutorful wants to prepare for next month, but this is happening at a time when one cohort finishes and the next is due to start. Tutors have just lost most/all students and are expecting new ones over the next few months which apparently just aren’t going to come due to some data gathering exercise. Losing what may be the entire summer’s income is bad enough but it seriously undermines trust in Tutorful. If they will silently cut off their tutors’ supply of students (and students’ supply of tutors, if near random ones really are shown) with no notice to prepare then it seems ridiculous to have any long term trust in the site.

I try to be as understanding as possible but removing the ability of tutors to get students based on the metrics Tutorful itself has been enforcing, and to do so at such an important time, is almost comically bad. Choosing it based on when the site is quietest with no regard for the fact that is when tutors need the most support highlights an increasingly prominent trend of Tutorful apparently not considering that they need tutors.

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