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Wed Nov 5 2008 11:40:08

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

By: Ina Steiner

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Do a search on Google Shopping (aka Google Product Search) for an item, such as "skeleton halloween costume," scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on eBay under "Stores." You'll see that eBay has stripped out the individual product description and replaced it with a generic message.

For example, a listing from a non-eBay merchant, Moon Costumes, reads, "Skeleton costume includes a complete stretch jumpsuit with bones printed on the fabric. Looks great under a black light. Also hood. Comes in one size only."

But similar listings from eBay sellers read, "Find CHILD'S GLOW IN THE DARK SKELETON HALLOWEEN COSTUME SM on eBay in the category Clothing, Shoes & Accessories>Costumes & Reenactment ...."

A savvy seller noticed this late last week. "This is only happening on ebay submitted products," the seller said, "not on the product feeds that I submit via google store connector. Can you advise why this is happening and doesn't this dilute the search optimization via these feeds?"

It certainly would seem to disadvantage eBay listings if they are missing product descriptions. I wrote recently about eBay's declining exposure on Google, and this certainly is not the way to help optimize exposure of eBay listings on Google!

 




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: i'd rather remain anonymous

Wed Nov 5 12:49:23 2008

if it DISadvantages a seller then it must be good for ebay.

-lao tzu donahue

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: Peter Leeflang/CEO of Leeflang Archives Corporatio

Wed Nov 5 13:06:06 2008

All Bonanzle listings get displayed WITH description.

The great benefit of this is that the keywords in the description broaden the visibility of the listing, so oen gets way more traffic than on Ebay on one's listings.

We could not get customers if our listings were not indexed with the text in the descriptions and that is valid for most 'media' type of sellers where 'content' is what buyers seek.

If Ebay does not have Google index the descriptions anymore according to a seller's keywords, Ebay lost all value for many sellers, since the sellers will not be able to control customer traffic through descriptions.

Apart from Ebay having made sellers invisible in their own search engine, they now achieved to make them invisible in Google as well.

I hope that many of my fellow competitors will soon join me at Bonanzle, as far as they have not already done so.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: TekGems

Wed Nov 5 13:11:14 2008

This is good news because the same items are carried on our web store. If eBay is not including full descriptions, it is very possible our web store items will appear before eBay.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: Mermaid

Wed Nov 5 13:31:09 2008

Oh, well. Web traffic is down at eBay for lots of dumb reasons like the newest one you found, Ina.

My money is on Amazon.

According to STATBRAIN.com (a company that reveals visitor stats) Amazon far surpasses eBay in daily Web traffic.

Amazon apparently gets
10,749,472 visits per day

eBay apparently only gets
6,126,548 visits per day

It appears to be a landslide for Amazon.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: les

Wed Nov 5 15:01:27 2008

It seems that eBay remains determined to insult, anger and denigrate the sellers that make the site.
It's hard to know if this latest fiasco is sheer arrogance on the part of eBay, or if it is another in the never ending series of glitches.  
eBay may find itself emptied of the good, quality sellers that are the true backbone.  What will remain will be the Walmarts of the internet, with the same products listed ad nauseum; for variety there will the the casual seller that ships bone china in used pizza boxes.  Sprinkle in some Asian knock-offs, and there's the new eBay.

It's incredible to me that this company can continue to find ways to self destruct.....

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: Michelle

Wed Nov 5 15:01:42 2008

I looks like eBay is now showing the descriptions when you come from Google product search.  It must have been an experiment by eBay.  

But why would eBay ever block the description?  That's counter-productive.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: Elizabeth

Wed Nov 5 15:29:52 2008

And ebay told me to use the XML feed urls over the GBSC because the connector scrapes the listings and doesn't get the keywords.  HUH? What part of RETAIL do they not understand in San Jose?

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: yotter

Wed Nov 5 17:40:27 2008

How about WE, the ebayers, strip ebay of it's useless CEO?

Fire John Donahoe!

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?jdon
ohoe

"Ebay
Stockholders and Sellers Calling For Immediate Termination of John Donohoe CEO Petition"

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: FED UP WITH EBAY/PAYPAL THIEVES

Wed Nov 5 19:41:38 2008

ATTENTION: PAYPAL IS NOT A BANK!  
                 Before you read any further, you must completely understand that fact!  I sympathize completely with all of you sellers who have been robbed by dishonest buyers who've taken your merchandise and then also taken back their payment for it...and all of you buyers who've had your personal financial information taken by dishonest sellers.  All of these illegal acts have been enabled and facilitated by Paypal and eBay.  

                Paypal holds your money for days and weeks - yet it doesn't pay you interest. A bank must pay interest by law, as regulated by the Federal banking authorities.  Paypal can take money out of your personal checking/banking account.  Banks can only do this with a Court order.  
       WHEN 'THREATENED' IN THE UK, AS WELL AS IN AUSTRALIA, TO BE REGULATED UNDER THOSE COUNTRIES' BANKING LAWS, PAYPAL TURNED TAIL AND RAN, REGISTERING THEIR 'SERVICE' IN LUXEMBOURG.

               You may post messages on these great and informative blogs, a public service in themselves.  This is all well and good and serves to help one somewhat feel better over your losses at the hands of the Paypal and eBay thieves.  But afterwards, and it only takes a few minutes, write your congressman, or write the banking authorities.  Regardless of your partyaffiliation - we're all Americans and we need this to be done for all of our good,  you can write Senator Charles Schumer from New York State (he's already received more than a few) or write Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts. New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, is attuned to help consumers and definitely would like the chance to expose the deceptive practices of both Paypal and Ebay.   Write and ask why is it that Paypal can operate as a bank without being regulated as a banking institution.  You can always write the SEC, the FDIC and the federal banking authorities and ask them to look into it.  Demand that Paypal be regulated by United States banking laws.   All of this thievery perpetrated by this now-bogus service will then all be held accountable.  It's simple and would immediately cause a beneficial change.  Just write that note.  It only takes a minute and will accomplish so much!   Remember:  PAYPAL IS NOT A BANK - UNDERSTAND THAT FACT - it must be corrected!  

                                  It is laughable how Paypal moved quickly in reference to this eCheck scam business.  Big deal - THEY STILL HAVE NO RIGHT TO GO INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, HOLD MONEY WITHOUT PAYING YOU INTEREST, AND GO UNREGULATED BY US BANKING LAWS.  THEY DO NOT GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF YOUR MONEY THAT THEY HOLD.  IF THERE IS ANY SORT OF LEGAL ACTION AGAINST PAYPAL AND THEIR ACCOUNTS ARE TIED UP, THERE WOULD BE NO RECOURSE FOR YOU, THE BUYERS/SELLERS, TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK.   Ask PAYPAL: "Is my money insured and safe AND by what guarantee?"  They could not give you an honest answer!  Imagine that!!!!
         

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: SandraB

Wed Nov 5 20:06:46 2008

SHOCKING - In this time of economic downturn, how paypal and ebay are basically getting away with outright fraud and thievery.  I contacted my state's Attorney General and was told that, yes, they've had complaints about paypal and how it IS NOT COVERED UNDER US BANKING LAWS!!!!!  My money with paypal is not secure, not to mention my financial information, as paypal and ebay are now plagued, absolutely plagued, with identity theft.  This outrage has to be addressed and hopefully will be attended to soon, by this new administration in Washington.  Ebay's Meg Whitman was a supporter, and supported by, John McCain.  That fact, and that fact alone, was ample reason for many of us not to vote for McCain.  Glad to see, overjoyed actually, that he lost.  For us, yes it's true, for us it was more important that he and his ilk (translate:Meg Whitman) lost!

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: JoeyB

Wed Nov 5 20:12:10 2008

Bravo - I also voted AGAINST McCain and for that same exact reason....Goodbye Meg Whitman and her political aspirations!!! HAhahaha!!!
Goodbye next, to these EBAY and PAYPAL CROOKS.  Bring Ebay back to what it used to be - GREAT!

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: DP

Wed Nov 5 21:54:58 2008

Alright, alright, clowns, the circus is over there ...

Honestly, must every topic about eBay include some frothing-at-the-mouth maniac ranting about something completely unrelated (in this case, the bozo wasting minutes of his life getting bent over something in regards to PayPal ... The political potshots were a joy too ... The beauty of a blog with comments is the type of discussion that could be possible when posters stay on topic. Instead, as with most topics on eBay, it just becomes a vile cespool of vitriolic vomit time and again.

IN REGARDS TO THE TOPIC:
Ina, when your "savvy" reader submitted the news, what did they say should normally have appeared? Any screenshots or descriptions? If not, you may wish to remove the adjective "savvy" and replace it with "unsophisticated".

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: DP

Wed Nov 5 21:58:38 2008

Michelle wrote:
"I looks like eBay is now showing the descriptions when you come from Google product search.  It must have been an experiment by eBay."

I see the same. I do not see the results discussed in the OP. Much ado about nothing? Who's got more on this story?

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Nov 5 22:04:18 2008

The seller noted that the descriptions provided by sellers should have appeared, as they do with non-eBay listings on Google Product Search. Instead, generic messaging about finding like items on eBay appeared for the eBay listings.

Do some searches on Google Product Search for items, and compare eBay and non-eBay listings. Descriptive terms about the item are better for search engine optimization than eBay category names.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Nov 5 22:07:00 2008

Are you looking at the eBay listings? Here's another example for Barometers:
Find Decorative Seth Thomas Brass Ship's Wheel Barometer NIB on eBay in the category ... Medicine (1930-Now)>Scientific Instruments>Barometers for $205.00.

This is information provided by eBay, not the seller - and if every eBay listing for barometers say much the same thing, it's very poor SEO.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: persiaa

Wed Nov 5 22:19:16 2008

The descriptions were missing as of 7:15 PM Pacific on 11/5.  I did a search for vintage purses and clicking on ebay as a seller did bring up photos of individual purses listed, but generic wording to search on ebay
 
Listings for sites such as TIAS included specific descriptions of the items.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: A small business antique store

Thu Nov 6 08:44:23 2008

Could someone explain why such a big and successful (at least it was) company does so many stupid things to their customers ? Why on earth would you remove the item description at google ? If you have your own website, you have to work your a.. off to be in goggle with as much information you can put in there. If this new ebay move is supposed to be innovative and cutting edge, I can only recommend: Come back to earth.
The scary thing is, what strange move do they do next ?

Ina, please allow me some critics:
Whenever I open the auctionbytes site, I wonder: What's new with ebay today? It seems auctionbytes turned to a website that's the information bank for ebay's bad news. It is not chic anymore to show bad news in the news. So I recommend we should all look forward and find some new venues to sell online and discuss about them. I just cannot hear those ebay news anmore, they are all bad and I can't even remember when I heard something good about ebay. So please lets drop all those ebay stories for good and lets concentrate about good news and how we can all move forward with our lives and businesses.

We all wasted too much time already, so lets go to those new small auction websites. They want us sellers, so give them a chance. We, the sellers, have to make the first move and list with other sites, the buyers will come sooner or later.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

by: joyful alternative

Fri Nov 7 10:20:01 2008

I've accidentally found another example (my real job is copyeditor, and the author spelled ''Walther,'' so I was just checking): http://www.google.com/search?q=bass+devries+southern&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
 
or  http://snurl.com/57d7c  [www_google_com]

It seems like eBay could have stuck a lot more info in here, rather than a generic ''shop eBay!''

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Fri Nov 7 13:06:52 2008

Plain and simple, eBay does not want the sellers, they want the buyers.

eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google   eBay Strips out Descriptions on Listings Sent to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Mon Nov 10 10:47:52 2008

Has anyone else noticed this?  Since I have been adding Free shipping to as many of my eBay items as possibe, I noticed that when I download items from my eBay Store to Google Base, the items from my store with Free shipping are not being posted to Google Base.  I get a message that in so many words says that there is a problem with the pricing.  Seems like Google Base won't take items with free shipping.  Your comments please.



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