|Fri Mar 20 2009 10:05:02|
Paying to Get on eBay Search Results Pages
By: Ina Steiner
eBay launched a pay-per-click ad network last year to allow its sellers to advertise their listings on the bottom of search results pages. When it launched AdCommerce in beta in November, it said that in order to be eligible, sellers must have a standard or raised standing in Best Match searches.
The program allows eBay sellers to advertise on the US, German, UK, Australian, Canadian, French and Italian sites. eBay AdCommerce offers a choice of two campaign types: keyword or category.
A keyword-targeted campaign works very much like other keyword based online marketing products (think Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing). A category-targeted campaign matches chosen categories against specific customer browsing or searching activities that are relevant to that category.
The question sellers may be asking themselves is why they would pay eBay advertising dollars on top of the listing fees and commission fees they are already paying for exposure on the site.
Others might ask whether their ad dollars are better spent promoting their own websites on other ad networks.
However, eBay sellers may not be inclined to participate in any advertising network. Wall Street analyst Jim Friedland of Cowen and Company attended the Internet Merchants Association conference this month. In a research note published yesterday, he wrote, "Most of the sellers we talked to are not focused on the purchase of Google AdWords. We have found that the majority of small online retailers do not acquire traffic through paid search."
eBay's Sponsored Results section draws not only from eBay AdCommerce advertisements. eBay shows results from its Shopping.com comparison shopping site as well as advertisements from competing ecommerce websites. (Note that eBay sellers are not allowed to link to their off-eBay websites.)
Before eBay launched its Best Match algorithm with its emphasis on Recent Sales (or popularity, as eBay calls it internally), sellers were more confident in designing strategies to get natural exposure in eBay search results. Now, many sellers find it too complicated as well as difficult to compete with high-volume sellers. (Just look at our recent post about eBay taking away the restriction that limits the number of listings from a single seller to ten per page.)
eBay launched an incentive this week, sending sellers a $20 coupon to sellers to sign up and try the program. Let us know what you think.