More details on the Google downgrade of eBay in search results

In all the hoo-ha of the eBay hack, it seems to me that the small matter (ahem) of Google’s downgrade of eBay in search results got a little lost.

We wrote about it on the same day as the hack was revealed here and at that time the details were scant.

In the week or so that has elapsed, we have some more details. But as ever with these things information is hazy and, as with everything related to Google and its search algorithm, subject to speculation. So if you do have any specific intelligence, please do let us know.

Last week it was noted that eBay had slipped down in prominence on Google lists according to various observers. It was thought this was a result the latest update to Panda (codename for the current Google system). But it now appears, that a so-called manual downgrade was the culprit.

That means (as I understand it) that some of eBay’s SEO (search engine optimisation) efforts have been spotted by a Google human (rather than the automated spider bots) who found them a bit dodgy and deserving of a penalty.

As a result, the manual downgrade was applied. This means eBay isn’t going to be bobbing up as prominently on Google for a bit. Indeed, who knows how long. And that’s bad news.

It’s also particularly bad news when combined with the eBay hack and the subsequent bad publicity. So if you’ve had a slow 10 – 14 days on eBay as a seller, it’s likely a combination of both these things that’s to blame.

To be honest, in the long run, the Google downgrade may well prove to be more damaging to the eBay marketplace than the cyberattack. But only time will tell.

Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, eBay have kept their lips tightly sealed on this one. I’ve asked for comment twice (once last week and once this week) but I have been declined (again, perhaps unsurprisingly).

eBay would appear to be amending its bad behaviour on SEO that so offended Google but it’s impossible to know when that might come good.

We’ll keep you posted. And if you have any insights on this, please do share them. We’d love to know more and talk about it with greater authority.