eBay is still underperforming on Google
Is something fishy going on with eBay’s Google Rankings? It’s easy to think of the Google results as something static and unchanging. They’re just trying to return the best result for a search query. That can’t change to dramatically or frequently can it?
The reality is there is a huge amount of change and flux in the results.
There are even websites out there that track the changes like a weather station: http://mozcast.com/
If you watch the results close enough you start to realize quite how common change is. Google is a dynamic system.
It’s not surprising. Search engines use hundreds of different factors to decide where a website should rank. There are thousands of different websites vying for a spot in the search results. Just a small change in one of those factor,s on one of those thousand sites could have an impact.
One website that’s seen quite a lot of change in it’s rankings over the past few years is eBay.
Anecdotally you might have heard questions about how much traffic eBay gets from Google. But are the stories true?
Without access to eBay’s analytics we can never know for certain how things are looking. Yet there are tools out there, which can help.
One is SearchMetrics. They track millions of different keywords and keep track of who ranks where. Tools like this aren’t perfect but they can give an sign of how a site is doing in search.
From the picture below it doesn’t look like a pretty story for eBay. A large dramatic drop in visibility followed by some small rebounds. This tool doesn’t capture all the keywords eBay might be ranking for. But does suggest they’re not getting the natural search traffic they once did, though.
That might not be a big issue. Perhaps they’re getting more traffic from social or other channels. But it looks like natural search isn’t delivering the returns it used to. That’s still influenced by the manual downgrade last year.
Google Panda likely also played a part. This is where Google reduced the rankings of sites with lots of boiler-plate content.
If you’re relying on eBay as your main distribution channel, there are things you can do to help your listings do better in search.
Firstly, think about the words people are using to search for your product. On both eBay and on the search engines. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you get a better understanding of the way people actually search.
Additionally look to see what opportunities there are to drive links to your shop and product listings pages. If you have your own website perhaps you could link through? Maybe you have a powerful social media presence? Sharing your products there could help the visibility of those pages.
There’s a lot going on in search at the moment. eBay’s not the only website which seems to have found themselves with less rankings. If you rely on them as your store front you need to understand what you can do to make sure you get the most footfall you can.