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Sun Feb 27 2011 16:56:53

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is testing new search-engine features thanks to Natalia Burina, former Program Manager of Microsoft's Bing search engine. Now Senior Product Manager at eBay, Burina is working on Auto-complete features that help send shoppers to special landing pages on eBay - in effect, finding new real estate in search.

Many search engines use auto-complete to suggest queries after users start typing in the search box. eBay calls this feature "eBay suggestions." (eBay generates Auto-complete suggestions by looking at the history of popular user queries and demand over a period of several weeks.) On Friday, AuctionBytes broke the news of a new feature eBay added to its search engine that uses its Catalog to suggest "popular products" underneath search suggestions - displaying thumbnail images to accompany the links.

We're now seeing another new feature: links to special landing pages that display underneath the auto-complete "suggestions."

When typing "sneakers" into eBay's search engine, the regular suggested searches appear, such as "sneakers nike," along with the new "Popular products" feature that links to eBay Product Pages. And now, there is also a link that sends shoppers to eBay's Fashion landing page for men's shoes - next to a graphic of a pair of shoes, it says "NEW! Shop men's shoes."

Clicking on the link for "Shop men's shoes" brings shoppers to one of the special landing pages eBay created in the Fashion category last year that offer tailored shopping experiences - other redesigned landing pages include Women's Clothing, Women's Handbags, Women's Shoes and Men's Clothing.

By figuring out how to create new real estate in search, eBay can use its catalog to point to Product Pages and send shoppers to enhanced category landing pages. But as noted in Friday's story, eBay is limited in the product pages it can serve up (mostly in media and gadget categories), and has only launched tailored shopping landing pages in Fashion and Motors. eBay faces the same old problem of trying to put an enhanced user experience on top of its legacy infrastructure.

It's important to note that no one else seems to be running such experiments in Auto-complete - the same search for sneakers on Amazon.com, Bing, Google Shopping and several retail websites show only the standard auto-complete suggestions. But eBay may be giving them ideas!




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Feb 27 18:38:23 2011

Auto complete isn't new; I've noticed it several times in the last year or so when searching. It NEVER completed to show me the item I was searching for.

That said, both of these manipulative new anti competitive 'features' are noth9ng more than two new wats to direct buyers toward ebay's Diamond sellers and away from ebay's BEST TRS sellers, we small and medium sellers.

Ebafia is a criminal syndicate, and its management from top to bottom should be sued/prosecuted in their personal as well as professional capacities.

Let a few them lose their homes, cars, and bank accounts as many ebay sellers have, and it would go a long way to establishing a new corporate ethic if that isn't an oxymoron.

Ebafia has the most criminally despicable management of any corporation in this country.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sun Feb 27 18:48:38 2011

Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that auto-complete is new.

New features are the links underneath the suggestions that go to Product Pages and other landing pages.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Rich

Sun Feb 27 19:15:34 2011

eBay is testing new search-engine features thanks to Natalia Burina, former Program Manager of Microsoft's Bing search engine.  

Translation: I'd guess to expect more problems with searches and to have many hours or even an entire day or days without any sales

Translation 2:  I'd guess this lady who came from Bing is looking to help Bing; that she still is close with Bing in some capacity and it makes no difference to her if this is needed and if it will really make the search better.

I would hope Ming is wrong that this will lead people to mainly the larger sellers.  I'm curious what Ming bases this on and he says Ebafia are criminals?

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Rich

Sun Feb 27 19:16:54 2011

I meant to say; I would hope this doesn't lead buyers away from small and medium sized sellers and over to mainly the large sellers

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Tekgems
Web Site

Sun Feb 27 20:19:15 2011

Ina your site is really at attracting complainers. :) I like the changes. Anything to make buying easier is good with me.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Feb 27 20:58:26 2011

''Ina your site is really at attracting complainers. :)''

Such statements are true enough, but such a simple phrase could cause people to infer that we ''complainers'' are doing so because we are chronically unhappy and are career ''eBay-haters''.

I hope that more intelligent readers will realize that we complain because we CARE and because we want eBay's success to be based on OUR success... not based on bleeding us dry and working against us!

I'm sure that's not what you were suggesting... but in case a random reader was passing by, I wanted to make clear our motivation.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Not THAT John

Sun Feb 27 21:57:57 2011

@ AA
Tekgems is one of eBay's diamonds.

4100+ items listed

37,000+ FB

Of course he will like any changes that benefit him, even if it is  at the expense of the small sellers.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Ron

Sun Feb 27 22:09:32 2011

@Tekgems,

I am a complainer.  The reason that I am a complainer is that eBay originally was conceived as a collectors marketplace where people would buy and sell items by auction method because it was difficult to fix a value on the items being traded.  Unlike the electronic crap that you sell and the Chinese supply.  That stuff is easy to price and should be sold at a fixed mark-up because it's easy to establish a cost and it's easy to replace once that it's sold.

I complain because eBay used to work great for the collecting community before eBay management decided that they had to destroy a perfectly functioning auction based marketplace in order to satisfy Wall Street analysts and bankers.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to grow revenues.  But there is something wrong with being so clueless that management thought it necessary to destroy something in order to pursue a plan that could have been implemented in a way so as not to have destroyed income streams for 10s of 1000s of collectibles sellers.  
Auction based collectible items and fixed price items never should have been mixed together in the same marketplace and subjected to the same rules.  The rules and changes that eBay has implemented since Donahoe arrived never made sense for the collecting community - there was never a need for an auto complete or an auto anything else, or for eBay to insert themselves between buyer and seller until they started encouraging fixed priced items on the website.

So, yes, I'm a complainer, because my revenues are half of what they were before all the nonsense. And don't tell me to go sell somewhere else, I'm already doing that.  But, there is no other well functioning auction website for collectibles, because that requires a mass of buyers and sellers present in one marketplace, something that eBay once had, and has now cast away, solely because management never understood the difference between an item that should be assigned a fixed price and one that should be auctioned.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Digby
Web Site

Mon Feb 28 00:01:02 2011

Ebay seem to be rolling out anti-small sellers features at a fast rate.
Its a wonder they all stay there.
The best way to vent is to leave them and join one of the top 3 alt sites.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Mon Feb 28 02:18:07 2011

I for one agree wholeheartedly with Ming that the senior management of eBay are a most unscrupulous, indeed criminal, group of cretins.

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Joe Average

Mon Feb 28 02:45:01 2011

The big question is what does the search define as "popular products"? Walmart-type stuff or hard-to-find widgets?

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Mon Feb 28 03:01:42 2011

Personally, I find it encouraging that I'm selling more on Bonanza now, than I am on Ebay.

Ebay keeps making it harder and harder for Sellers and Buyers to use the site. For Sellers, there are constant changes, and never for the better. As a Buyer, I find it so irritating when Ebay changes the spelling of what I am searching for.

I think Ebay is so desperate to please the Diamonds, they are doing everything they can think of to drive more business to them.  They will even trick you to get you to look at a Diamond's listings.

I'm just fed up with Ebay! I'm so happy some of the alternate sites are starting to increase their sales!

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Ann

Mon Feb 28 20:40:03 2011

To: @Tekgems
You described what eBay was, how it should have remained and how all of us (including eBay) would have benefitted, if they had left ''well enough alone'' but the problems started with Meggie, long before Donahore (did I misspell that)?

I've all but stopped searching eBay for new items and today just reinforced what I already knew. I needed a new keyboard for a 2 yr old laptop, because I have long fingernails. I bought a new laptop and I'm giving this one to a grandson. I took a chance and looked on eBay first but they had ''absolutely'' nothing, even close to my search. To add insult to injury: I was furious when I kept entering one word in the search box but it kept filling in things, totally unrelated to my search.

I left eBay quickly, went to Amazon, did one quick search and found the keyboard I needed. I added it to my cart, checked out and finished the transaction, all within 4-5 minutes. On days like today, I didn't have time to browse, shop, compare prices etc. I just needed to buy and go. Amazon can't be beaten for a BIN experience, end of story.

EBay was a wonderful place to browse, to get caught up in bidding to win, after finding deals I wasn't even searching for. I know other people enjoyed the hunt, finding bargains, exploring hidden treasures, discovering matching pieces to broken sets we had and knowing our ''Snipe'' bid would win, though it didn't always work out as we expected. I was a buyer and a seller and like many, I made enough money on eBay, to buy what I needed and a few things I just wanted. I MISS EBAY, the way it was 8 years ago.

I'm not a complainer, as one person said; I'm sad and angry that a few people had so little foresight. The auction site eBay could have remained virtually the same, with some of the changes that helped us all with shipping but eBay forgot, SELLERS like me, where they largest group of BUYERS.

I agree with Tekgems, eBay could have split, formed an equally successful BIN site, could have been the ''unbeatable'' 5000 lb gorilla, with the top Auction Site, Top BIN Site and of course, all locked up with PayPal. Instead they had to treat us like children, as though we knew nothing about business, drove up our cost, lowered our profits, put the power in the hands of buyers only and pushed us away with both arms. What kind of idiot does that in business?

I read Auctionbytes daily and have, since they first began publising their newsletter. Over the years, I've read the complaints and all sounded as if one person was speaking, with one voice. Why didn't eBay listen and why didn't they hear, before it was too late? I'm grieve for the loss of an old friend, who got high on drugs and refused to go to rehab.
Ann    

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Feb 28 22:39:33 2011

@ Rich

With all due respect, you either haben't been the AB blogs for very long or know little about the law.

The list of probable criminal and civil offenses committed by ebay since the The Ho took over would literally stretch around the world.

One of ebay's operating strategies is do whatever they please whenever they please to anyone they please because they know they'll make tons of money before anyone sues.

It's called risk assessment, and ebay has decided that violating both criminal and civil law is more profitable than adhering to it.

What they've done has been extremely well documented in the last three years and need not be repeated here.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 1 11:52:47 2011

I absolutely hate, hate, hate auto-complete features. When I type in a search phrase, that is the pfrase I want. Most of the time, the auto-complete gets in the way and messes up the search I originally wanted.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: ebay express

Tue Mar 1 12:07:18 2011


@Ann

''I agree with Tekgems, eBay could have split, formed an equally successful BIN site, could have been the ''unbeatable'' 5000 lb gorilla, with the top Auction Site, Top BIN Site and of course, all locked up with PayPal.''

They did it was called ebay express. It failed. So they decided to turn ebay into ebay express ,probably believing it failed only because no one visited ebay express so decided they would just tranfer customers to ebay express from ebay by combining the two.
I don't know why express failed.
Donahoe at one time after all the complaints  said that he wished he could have just started a new site instead of angering all the ebay sellers.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Mar 1 14:00:14 2011

-- ''I don't know why express failed.''

I think that its NAME had something to do with it. (Not the only thing, just one of many things.)

In a retail environment, the word ''express'' suggests to me that it's a smaller version of the original... something that's not as good, or not as complete. An imitation of the original.

''Borders Express'' comes to mind. It's a ''Borders'' bookstore... but not as big. It has books, but not as many.

eBay execs and decision-makers should have invested at least a LITTLE bit of money in researching names that WORK and that evoke the type of image they wanted.

EbayPlus.com
ebayandmore.com
beyondebay.com
R>Success
was theirs to lose... and they blew it.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Mar 1 17:29:11 2011

Wasn't The Ho in charge of Ebay Express?

If yes, its failure and demise is fully explained.

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

by: Just My Opinion

Wed Mar 2 14:56:51 2011

John Donahoe was responsible for developing the failed eBay Express..Just as he is responsible for the death spiral of the eBay Marketplace....It is NOT surprising eBay's direction under him these past 3 yrs has been a disaster for the core marketplace...JOHN DONAHOE HAS NO VISION, NOR DOES HE HAVE ANY MARKETING EXPERTISE.....He's a frick'n idiot on steroids willing to sell-out his soul to a totally corrupt eBay Board of Directors!!

eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina   eBay Adds New Features to Search with Help of Bing's Burina

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Fri Mar 4 09:30:05 2011

"To add insult to injury: I was furious when I kept entering one word in the search box but it kept filling in things, totally unrelated to my search. "
"It NEVER completed to show me the item I was searching for."
Auto-complete feature on ebay doesn not work right:It should be called the Auto-Completely-Worthless feature. I've also had the above listed problems with it also.





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