|Mon Sept 12 2011 22:49:36|
What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay rolled out longer titles last Tuesday, though not without a few bumps in the road reported by sellers. The change was part of eBay's Fall Seller Update announced in July and was generally perceived as a positive by sellers who hope that by adding extra keywords and descriptors to listing titles will help their listings get found in search results.
Expanded titles may also help sellers differentiate items that otherwise might appear to violate eBay's duplicate listing policy. Terapeak, which helps eBay sellers create effective listings, gave an example of a title under the old limitations versus the new limitations in a recent blog post:
With eBay's old, 55-character limit, an example of an effective title could be:
Rare Qbert Table Top Handheld Electronic Arcade Game.
With the new 80-character limit, an example of an effective title for the same listing could be:
Rare Parker Brothers 1983 Qbert Mini Table Top Handheld Electronic Arcade Game.
Being able to put Parker Brothers in the listing means collectors who are searching on that term by title only will now find the item. But be aware that eBay advises sellers to place important keywords at the beginning of their titles. "While all 80 characters are used to determine search relevancy, there may be some instances where all 80 characters are not displayed due to the size limitations of some pages."
We heard from sellers that it took eBay up to 3 days to update its listing tools, leaving Turbo Lister and Blackthorne users at a disadvantage. One seller reported that he began using the extra characters in his listings but they weren't showing up in search results - "All you see is the first 50 chanters in the title line when you search for a item with the longer title the rest of the characters are CUT OFF !!! Worse yet if you search for the words in the extra character section the listing does not even show up in search results."
eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said eBay was not experiencing any issues that she knew of and said, "I don't believe we have insight into Blackthorne from a systems perspective so I'm not able to advise there."
eBay as since told developers (in a blog post on Sunday) that all eBay listings flows and tools have been updated on all sites, globally, to account for the new 80-character titles.
Also part of its Fall update, eBay will also soon ban URLs and email addresses in listings (beginning October 1). This is generally seen as a negative by sellers especially since eBay eliminated a link at the top of listing pages that allowed shoppers to ask sellers questions and changed it to an "ask a question" link at the bottom of the listing, which sellers say shoppers have difficulty finding. When we talked to eBay executive Todd Lutwak in June, he said the policy affects all sellers, including branded stores such as Dell and Barnes & Noble.
Let us know if you're items are getting more exposure thanks to longer titles and if you're prepared for the ban on email addresses and links.