|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3092 - June 21, 2013 - ISSN 1539-5065 1 of 3|
eBay's Vice President of Experience, Search, and Platforms Hugh Williams had some advice for eBay sellers on his personal blog this week. He presented information for sellers on how to get better visibility in eBay search results and discussed the status of eBay's new Cassini search engine.
The topic is an important one to sellers. Ever since eBay introduced Best Match as a default sort order, sellers have tried to optimize their listings to ensure their listings get seen by shoppers. eBay doesn't reveal much about how the Best Match algorithm works, saying it fears sellers will try to game the system, much in the same way Google handles its search algorithm. So when anyone at the company talks search, sellers listen.
In his post, Williams had specific advice on getting found in search, a summary of his nine tips follows:
Williams' fourth tip was "Study what it takes to be a Top Rated Seller on eBay," and although some sellers say they do not get better exposure despite following these practices - some are particularly skeptical about the tips around return policies, for example - it's worth reviewing eBay's TRS requirements:
Full details of TRS requirements are available on the eBay website.
Williams also said eBay's search team focuses on three tenets of delivering a great experience for buyers: "Trust: ensuring our buyers get a retail-like experience from great sellers; Value: ensuring our buyers find great deals, including shipping costs; and Relevance: ensuring our buyers see items that match what they want."
"If you focus on these three tenets," he said, "you will be successful in gaining visibility in search." However, he did not explain how sellers could influence relevancy, since sellers have no control in how eBay's search algorithm determines what is relevant for a particular search.
eBay's Cassini Search Platform
A feature of Cassini that Williams made a point of reviewing was "description search." Cassini will search not only titles and catalog data, but descriptions as well. "Sellers will no longer have to rely on the title to ensure their items get visibility."
And, as EcommerceBytes previously reported, Cassini's "description search" feature is already powering parts of eBay search today. "Cassini has arrived for Completed search, and Null and Low results search," Williams said. And Cassini has been powering completed search for the past 6 - 9 months. "It was the first scenario shipped out to the site that was powered by Cassini," he said.
eBay has tested Cassini in "active items" searches in North America since late last year ("a small fraction of users get Cassini by default since last December"). And Williams said Cassini will power all active items searches in North America within the next couple of months, followed by an international rollout of Cassini "by 2014."
However, Cassini will initially mimic Voyager before eBay launches some of Cassini's more powerful features.
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eBay's Hugh Williams Explains Cassini Search, Part One - July 01, 2013
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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