eBay.com ban ME page website links
As part of today’s policy changes, eBay.com have announced some major changes to the links policy. These will take effect from July, and have been announced for .com; when we know when and if they will affect sellers on other sites, we’ll let you know.
Likely to most affect sellers is the ban on About Me page links to a seller’s ecommerce website:
The new Links Policy prohibits linking from a seller’s listing or other content on eBay–including eBay Store pages, About Me pages, eBay Blogs, Reviews and Guides, and forums–to any site that offers a product or service for sale off eBay.
About Me pages have traditionally been the one place on eBay that sellers could legitimately link their website; eBay Blogs have – until now – been quite relaxed about the external links that were permitted.
Other links once permitted within listings have also been banned: pages which expand upon the item description or include terms and conditions not expressed on the listing page are no longer allowed. Sellers are permitted only the following links:
- to third parties supplying solutions and services directly related to the listing (e.g. listing tools, hit counters, etc.)
- up to five links to “eBay property” pages (i.e. eBay, PayPal, StubHub, Half.com etc.); quite where this leaves scrolling galleries of sellers’ other products, I wouldn’t like to guess
- embedded links to videos, so long as the videos comply with eBay’s policies themselves
- links to photos of the item for sale, “as long as the page displaying the photos doesn’t offer, or link to a site that offers a product or service for sale off eBay”.
Many sellers have, for years now, used eBay as a customer acquisition tool, directing prospective buyers to ecommerce websites by way of About Me pages and “further photographs” pages. This is going to be a very much more difficult process from now on, with eBay tightening up the opportunities for promoting off-eBay sales on-site. Sellers will perhaps have to accept that the first sale must be through eBay now, and work more on bringing returning happy customers back to their websites for subsequent purchases, rather than trying to funnel traffic from eBay to their own sites directly.