eBay.com to launch revamped keyword ad program

eBay have announced today the launch of a pay-per-click keyword ad program to be known as ‘eBay AdCommerce‘. Initially the program will be run as a Beta test for selected sellers on eBay.com and eBay.de, but it’s anticipated AdCommerce will be opened up to all sellers on the US and German sites by the end of the year. Currently there are no plans to expand the program to other countries.

eBay AdCommerce will enable sellers to bid on selected keywords and those that bid the highest may have an advert displayed at the bottom of search results, when a buyer searches for that keyword. Links from the adverts can only go to an eBay page – the sellers eBay shop or a particular listing.

The adverts consist of a title, a short description, and if the seller wishes an image. Similar to a Google Adwords campaign sellers can set a budget and a cost per click – they’ll only be charged when a potential buyer clicks on their advert.

Getting sellers to pay for keyword advertising is nothing new to eBay, a similar keyword program was launched on eBay.com in the summer of 2003 and retired in September 2006 due to low adoption rates.

The original program displayed adverts at the top of search results, but the new program will insert them as sponsored results beneath the main search results where Yahoo!, Google or Shopping.com adverts currently appear.

With the recent changes to selling formats and visibility from a combination of Best Match, Recent Sales and the new Featured First listing enhancement it remains to be seen if sellers are willing to pay for yet another shot at getting their products seen by buyers.