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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Mon Jan 10 2011 16:50:52

eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
To the Editor:
I've brought this up before and don't know if it is worthy of wider discussion. On Monday at 11 a.m. I made the following searches on Ebay the number of items that came up. I just used vintage old license tags (plates) as an example to check out the search function.

old license plates (1176 items)
vintage license plates (4514 items)

old license tags (260 items)
vintage license tags (812 items)

vintage old license tags (155 items)
vintage old license plates (331 items)

Remember when we were told to put different descriptive words in the title to score more hits for our items? Seems the opposite is true.

Anyone listing an item should be aware of what happens if you add words… you will get fewer hits. What have they done to the search function?
R.

Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
Comments (10) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: Searching
       
Mon Jan 10 21:57:58 2011
Putting more words in your search isn't the same thing as putting more words in your title. I don't think you understand how keywords work.

When you put many words in your search, EVERY word needs to be found, so fewer hits.  But more (relevant) words in your title is always a good thing because - it increases hits.

Your logic is backwards.

A proper search would be:

license tags (vintage,old)

That would be all ''license tags'' with ''old'' and/OR ''vintage'' in the title.

Ebay (and google) have always worked this way.  Always.  From the very start.
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jan 10 22:32:14 2011
Search on eBay has become totally dysfunctional. Couple that with the automatic "suggestions" that interfere with what you are looking for, and the slowness of the whole search system now, and you have a major problem for finding all of the items you are looking for. Why would anyone want to waste their time doing 5 different searches with different wording, just to try to root out all of the items in the category they are looking for? The answer, is, of course, not many have that much time. So they go elsewhere.
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
This user has validated their user name. by: Ina
       
Mon Jan 10 23:52:54 2011
Shoppers searching for items on eBay need to be aware of this - however, eBay was supposed to have added functionality to apply synonyms for certain searches.

Interestingly, a Google search for "vintage license tags" displays a Google ad for eBay for vintage license plates, so it can make the connection on Google's search engine.
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Tue Jan 11 00:47:45 2011
@searching,

You are of course correct. This problem is no fault of eBay’s. The problem with complex search strings is that naive people think that the search process is actually intelligent, when in fact it is totally dumb, just like computer hardware. You have to understand the conventions of search syntax to get the most accurate result. If you do a lot of searching, make the effort to read up on search syntax ...

Regardless, eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: walter
       
Tue Jan 11 02:46:00 2011
YEP and traffic matters too. Not much around ebay these days.

My traffic stats charts on ebay resemble a dying patients heart monitor. My past history in 2007-2009 looks alive and well until 2010 I'm nearly flat lined each month of the year.

Amazon however is very is busy!
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: Bob Denton
       
Tue Jan 11 08:20:42 2011
It was my understanding that Ebay, Google, etc. took into account all permutations and combinations in the search process.  Am I wrong?
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: Searching
       
Tue Jan 11 10:28:10 2011
When searching...

Fewer words, wider search.

More words, smaller search.

The more keywords you use TO search, the more specific the search becomes.

The more keywords you use in a title, the more you will be found by searchers.

Synonym search algorithms attempt to widen a specific  search by matching other items that ''might'' be relevant.  In general, this muddles search results by finding a lot of items that don't actually match the search.

But regardless of ''relevance'' searches, the idea that the letter writer is suggesting - that more keywords in a title equals less search hits - is completely wrong, and the examples given demonstrate the exact opposite of what he is suggesting.

Take his example...

The ONLY listings that would be found using ALL of the search parameters he tried, would be the ones with ALL of his keywords:

A listing with:
''Vintage old license plates tags''

would be found using any of these:

old license plates
vintage license plates
old license tags
vintage license tags
vintage old license tags
vintage old license plates


eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: R
       
Tue Jan 11 12:52:23 2011
TO: Searching... thanks for clearing that up
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Tue Jan 11 15:02:21 2011
Even incompetent eBay supplies a description of the search sytax that works on eBay:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/search/advanced-search.html>
A
Google search for "eBay search syntax" produces many other explanations of search syntax.

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter   eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter
by: jud
       
Wed Jan 12 08:33:58 2011
keywords dont matter because ebay pushes its favoured sellers to the front of the search


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