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ebay rules SERPS
Google SERPS full of ebay listings

 5:42 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is it just me or is anybody else seeing this. Some of the search terms in my field (three or four word phrases) are pretty well plauged by ebay listings, to the extent that up to 6 of the first 10 are from various ebay domains. What makes this worse is that your average listing has ended long before it makes it to the SERPS so provides little or no value to someone searching for <manufacturer model blue widgets>



 9:50 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

That may be related to our Home Page news article about "Black Friday":

EBay was the online winner this "Black Friday," data published on Saturday showed,



 10:07 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Probably very true tedster. Ebay SEO their pages well, coupled with a PR helping to give them great rankings across a very wide range of products. The same goes for many of the price comparison websites.


 1:43 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I noticed this a few days ago. It's very strange. It seems to be part of this latest update going on.


 2:03 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I get so tired of it many of my searches end in -ebay


 2:15 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yep it's bad, one particular search I tried brings 23 out of 30 ebay listings.


 2:21 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

It can actually *cost* them money in the end.

Example, I find something on ebay. I *think* I want it, but want to research the exact item by part number(think server parts). Off I go to search it. Google points right back to ebay and a bunch of price comparison/MFA sites.

Sorry, can't buy it without knowing more.

Item remains unsold. No commission.


 2:29 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

They have tons and tons of subdomains and at times occupy 5 out of the first top ten listings for a keyword phrase - with some out of stock or priced over average retail.

If a "small guy" with less prominence did that kind of subdomain flooding in the SERPS with multiple subdomains for the same categories and items, they'd probably end up being banned.


 3:34 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


I include that in every search I do. Most browser search bars and search-bar plugins have the ability to add terms to every search.

This improves SERP quality 1000%.

(Actually, the full list I use is -inurl:(ebay¦dealtime¦nextag¦bizrate¦epinions) )


 10:06 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree and find this very surprising considering that according to Google searchers seek "information" in the 1st place and Ebay is all but informational. Secondable...Ebay content is really of the lowest possible quality IMO (no offence to ebay sellers but c'mon..:) )


 10:46 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, I am going to put the tinfoil hat on for a second. Has nobody noticed that this started to happen about this time last year? Major ecommerce site ruled the serps. At least that is what I was reading last year. Ok taking the tinfoil hat off.


 12:54 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was looking for a B&M retailer last week (needed to pick up a part PDQ) and despite qualifying with locality I had to try several arguements before getting SERPS that weren't swamped by eBay. Of course I had totally forgotten about -inurl and of course Joe Public will have never heard of it.


 3:09 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I see the same price comparrison sites that I can't stand and won't buy from. Ebay junk and a bunch of sites with small bits of info and google Ads. Sometimes I get so sick of the same stuff I just go to page 3-5 to find useful information I am looking for.

I have been using MSN more and more to get better results as Google is in need of some help. I believe they have overdone the algo and the results are not what they use to be.

I am also seeing in Google buying links is the way to go for better serps contray to what Matt or anybody else says I have proof but can't show it due to no links or serp results in this forum.


 4:17 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Latest Business 2.0 (December, 2006) has some ironic comments from Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt. The magazine asked a number of industry leaders "How to Succeed in 2007".

Brin and Schmidt say to succeed with simplicity.

A couple of goodies:

Schmidt: Google from the beginning focused on the simple search box, the simple search page

It's turning out to be TOO simple. Give us options. Give us the ability to control search. Without having to memorize obscure keywords. Give us the ability to store our preferences on your system. Not having to navigate to obsucre areas of browser or plugin setup screens to add search terms to every search we do in order to get decent results. That is insane!

While not admitting it directly, Brin aludes to Google's confusing and unsuccessful array of additional products:

Brin: We eliminated future products that would have made the complexity problem worse. We don't want to have 20 different products that work in 20 different ways. I was getting lost at our site keeping track of everything. I would rather have a smaller set of products.

As Brin and Schmidt struggle with complexity, and how they are (now) getting it right (which I don't agree with), there's one important factor they fail to mention.

What do users want?


 4:29 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ya, I hate those ebay listings in Google too - clutter mostly. On the topic of the Business 2.0 article - I have the latest issue but have not read yet - but I disagree with the last comment - simplicity is what the majority of users want - you might want more features and functions but usually it is the techies who want this - most people here are tech savy - but the majority of the public (including myself) want simplicty.


 5:17 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm beginning to wonder if it is just Google's way of admitting they can't actually provide the right result - user searches for widget, G gives them a load of sites that are effectively more search results. Instead of G providing the most relevant page they point you to someone else that might.

Granted, this is not a simple problem but reading the ramblings of Mr Cutts could leads me to believe that the Oracle of search engines knows all about site ownership, footprints, business models etc.

You would have thought that it could figure out:
a/ That there only needs to be at most one result (and maybe an indent) from each large corperation.
b/ The user came to G to search and not to be sent somewhere else to do the same.
c/ A user searching on a term like "blue widgets" may be looking for info, reviews or to buy and probably doesn't want a whole load of results from either one but a bit of a mix of all.

Maybe they should just add a couple of extra search buttons
1 - "Search" - As it is now, a mix of allsorts
2 - "Service" - For services, reference, non-ecommerce
3 - "Reviews" - Comparison and review info
4 - "Shopping" - For those that want to shop

Has anyone done a 'Build a better search engine' thread yet?


 7:52 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

At some point we have to move beyond flinging keywords at search engines.

There is meaning in the connecting words that search engines throw away as "noise words". They are among the nuances in language that allow us to communicate effectively when we can't see each other to devine fine shades of meaning from facial expressions and gestures.

When do search engines start understanding language? Why does nobody have this as a goal?

I see a disturbing trend in language, which seems driven by Internet conventions, and I think needlessly so. It started innocently with smiley faces, moved on to keyword-flinging, and now we "communicate" by "shouting" single words at each other.

The latter is AKA tagging. Is it entirely a coincidence that this technology shares the same terminology used by graffiti "artists" who can't even draw?

Simplicity. Yes. How about we just tell the search engine what we are looking for? In real language. Surely that is possible today.

To work, it requires the search engine to maintain state, over both short and longer periods of time.

"I'm looking for information on widgets"

"Here are the widget stores with the best prices! Lots and lots of widget stores!"

"No, I'm not looking to buy anything today. Maybe later. I'd like to learn about wigets, maybe from people who own them."

"Here are some nice sites by widget enthusiasts!"

"Those people are really into widgets! That's way over my head. I'm more interested in people's first-time experience with widgets."

"Here's a selection of "widgets for newbies" sites, along with some manufacturer's forums for their widget users."

"Thanks, that was what I was looking for!"


 10:00 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have noticed a lot more "real language" in my log files lately. Complete sentences in the form of a question, kind of like jeeves queries.

>>>At some point we have to move beyond flinging keywords at search engines.

Not sure if that is ever going to start dominating any time soon. Using 1,2 or 3 word queries is still very effective.


As for the ebay topic at hand. It seems to me in a tinfoil hat kind of way, that is in google's best interests to continue to allow ebay, bizrate and the rest of them dominate the serps. Forces the thousands of small players to break out the credit card and buy terms.

It is very frustrating from a user perspective. I know when I am looking at a SERP my eyes skip right past the ebay stuff.


 10:49 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

As for the ebay topic at hand. It seems to me in a tinfoil hat kind of way, that is in google's best interests to continue to allow ebay, bizrate and the rest of them dominate the serps. Forces the thousands of small players to break out the credit card and buy terms.

In terms of eBay, I fail to see how ended auctions could be the most relevant results that Google says they strive for.


 11:02 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since ebay will not let sellers use google checkout (Pay Pal Competitor) would it not be great to see google boot them out of the index and start their own auction site....


 12:38 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since ebay will not let sellers use google checkout (Pay Pal Competitor) would it not be great to see google boot them out of the index and start their own auction site....

I can see it now "Comming Soon - GoogleBay"



 3:29 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>MThiessen>> This is actually very interesting, let me tell you why:

I noticed some time ago that Google does not penalize spamming web analytics brands.

Would they also leave Ebay and its poor quality listings up on their SERP for a particular reason?

My answer straight out of the box would be that Google is affraid of being sued...
IMO they won't put down companies that have similar offers/products anymore because of risk of lawsuits.

So just build some product competing with Google and spam all you want :) (don't do..I'm just kidding)


 5:42 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

No kidding, a LOT of people think that Google and eBay are waiting for the day. I get so sick of seeing those eBay listings as well. Ridiculous that a WHOLE page of results can be eBay. It really "feels" like your looking at spam in my opinion. :)-

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