eBay announce roll out of Cassini search engine

eBay Marketplaces homeMark Carges, eBay CTO, announced the roll out of eBay’s new Cassini Search Engine at the Analyst Day being held today.

Currently eBay search is powered by the 10 year old Voyager search engine. Voyager (and yes eBay do like to name their search engines after NASA spacecraft), has done well for eBay, but it’s limited. Voyager only indexes the 80 characters in an item’s title, if the keywords aren’t in the title then the items won’t be found.

The new Cassini Search engine will index not only title but also everything else in the listing including the full description. Cassini will go further than pure keyword matching however. It will learn what’s important to a particular buyer and offer different selection depending on your preferences. For instance a new buyer that’s never purchased before on eBay might want to dial up trust and buy from in-country sellers with great feedback. A collector might want to dial up diversity and find the rare products to complete their collection. Other buyers may make buying decisions based on value and relevance and know exactly what they want to purchase but want the best price.

eBay already have all the data. They know who is eager to buy from overseas and who is only interested in buying from a seller in their own country. They know which set of buyers prefer new fixed price goods and which want to find auctions with unique used inventory. Cassini will enable eBay to provide not only relevant search results, but a great variety of results tailored for the buying habits for specific buyers.

The new Cassini search engine is already live on eBay.com for completed listing search and for search queries that return no, or few results. It’s also rolled out on the eBay.com site for small parts of core search. It’s expected to be fully rolled out on eBay.com by the end of 2013 and then to hit other parts of the world including the UK.