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Mon Sept 12 2011 22:49:36

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

By: Ina Steiner

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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.




Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Rich(y)

Mon Sep 12 23:17:43 2011

Just posting cuz I've always wanted to be first at something.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Rich(y)

Mon Sep 12 23:19:38 2011

I have ADD and I get bored and my mind wanders off before I get 80 charac....

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: marky456

Mon Sep 12 23:23:53 2011

Utterly useless & unnecessary. Another attempt to replicate Amazon. Too little (or too much in this case), too late.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Phil in MN

Mon Sep 12 23:29:53 2011

Because the whole 80 characters won't actually display, the upgrade is totally meaningless. What a pointless idiotic "upgrade" this turned out to be, but that's eBay for you! They sure know how to please their sellers! Thanks for nothing!

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: RicRoe This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 12 23:51:07 2011

The full 80 characters do not display in eBay search results.

Google does not pick up 80 character titles, and the longer title may cause Google not to pick up the listing at all.

This change by eBay was designed to be a feel good gesture made to surviving sellers who have been beaten and bloodied by John Donahoe's three and a half year small seller extermination program.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: pete

Tue Sep 13 01:09:56 2011

more eBay playing ...look here is a big tip johnny boy..dump best match and get back to attracting buyers thats what sellers want

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Francoise Van Heusden

Tue Sep 13 01:12:44 2011

I won't be changing my titles. Not until I know there's any point to it as I don't see the entire title showing up either. And the longer titles may even prove detrimental as others have said.

Thanks for nothing, eBay!

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: name game

Tue Sep 13 02:31:41 2011

It has reached the point when eBay introduces ANYTHING I look for the catch. The mistrust eBay has created runs deep. Sellers always have to look over their shoulders. I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

Longer isn't necessarily better in this case.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Tired of eBay's Bullsh*t This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 13 03:11:35 2011

eBay is BRAIN DEAD (as usual).

As a test, I changed one of my items from 55 ch. to about 70 ch. It took me all of 30 seconds to find an obvious glaring stupid bug. In my eBay store, that item title was truncated at 55 ch -- never mind that there is about 8 friggin inches of whitespace on my screen to the right of that truncated title.

I mean really, even a 14 year old would likely  have noticed (and fixed) that nonsense. How can eBay be so utterly incompetent (?)

- Tired of eBay's Bullsh*t

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: anyone out there

Tue Sep 13 06:41:35 2011

Just not going to change any of my 10,000 listings.

Not interested in their garbage.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Rich

Tue Sep 13 09:44:24 2011

Expanded titles is an excellent idea.  A rare positive change from Ebay

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Rich

Tue Sep 13 09:49:49 2011

This is an excellent change if all 80 charecters come up in searches.  

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 13 10:08:26 2011

eCrater.com uses 100 character titles. It is true that you need to get the very most important information into the beginning of the title, but the longer titles are useful for "long tail" searches on Google and other search engines.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: John

Tue Sep 13 10:17:31 2011

I thought this was interesting. Originally posted in 07 but there are comments on character search to 2010...

http://www.searchmasters.co.nz/articles/94/how-many-cha
racters-in-the-title/

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: dan

Tue Sep 13 11:33:49 2011

why doesn't ebay just expand the keyword title to 3000 characters and just spam the entire internet with it.  Oh, I forgot, they don't allow keyword spamming on their platform, but its okay if they do it.  And don't forgot you are not allowed to have an identity

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Tue Sep 13 15:10:46 2011

The only negative I see is that it took eBay so long to make the change,especially since many other sites have had 80-100 character titles for several years already.

The change should be a huge positive since I sell a lot of items that have keywords.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Tue Sep 13 15:13:53 2011

Forgot to add about the link policy.

I do think it's a positive removing URLS and email addys from listings, since lots of sellers seem to use it to game the system and get offsite sales.

That said, eBay needs to make the "Contact Seller" link easier to find! I do a lot of buying on eBay and finding the new link is such a hassle.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: Saintsteven This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Sep 13 15:16:24 2011

I'm interested in "long tail" searches, so I'm capitalizing.

This change will probably enable a few boilerplate artists to get their entire description into the title.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

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

Tue Sep 13 16:09:22 2011

It looks to me as though they are merely arranging deck chairs. The SS Ebaytanic is still sinking.

What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?   What Do Sellers Think of eBay's Expanded Titles?

by: WOODJUNGLE!

Tue Sep 13 22:23:34 2011

All it means is when buyers search for something, they will have listings to sift through. This benefits Ebay the most of course.

That's all.

WOODJUNGLE! on Ebay

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