AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Mon Aug 22 2016 22:03:51

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Everyone is buzzing about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning these days, and eBay is no exception. Now comes the revelation that eBay data scientists are using the technology in its Best Match search algorithm.

In a post on Monday, eBay wrote, "The largest scale application of machine learning technology at eBay is currently Best Match, the algorithm used to optimize relevance for buyers during their shopping experiences."

Best Match is a sore point for many sellers. They want eBay to return listings in search results solely on relevance, but the marketplace uses many other factors. For instance, eBay uses Best Match to reward sellers for whatever behavior it wants sellers to follow, from free shipping to generous return policies.

In 2014, we published a column written by a seller who believed he had cracked the code on eBay search - it gives a good idea as to some of the factors eBay may be using when ranking listings on its search results pages. 

But with data scientists let loose on Best Match, things are more complicated than ever. For instance, in Monday's post, eBay data scientist Alex Cozzi said, "We are also applying statistical learning to optimize the whole page: reacting to the users' actions we can reorder and prioritize the content in the search page, providing search guidance or access to top deals and top products in appropriate context while minimizing distractions."

As we point out in Tuesday's Newsflash, that means the results a seller sees may be very different from what other buyers and sellers see - and that can make search optimization quite challenging.




Comments (48) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 22 22:34:25 2016

In other words award their cronies and to hell with every one else...

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 04:17:18 2016

What a totally messed up company. They say ''minimizing distractions?'' They have so many distractions on the search results page that I've had to set dozens of add blockers. I have so many elements of their search results page blocked in Firefox that many of my bookmarked searches no longer work. As for machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, go for it eBay! You're all too stupid to realize that your buyers and sellers are your best source of knowledge for improving search.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 23 06:44:19 2016

The boobs at eBay and machine learning. What could go wrong.

Why can't eBay management get it through their VERY thick skulls that a buyer wants what he wants, not want a machine predicts that he wants.

As a seller, if I just look at completed listings to get an idea of what a selling price should be, these fools will think I want to buy that item and I'll be bombarded with anything related to it.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 06:54:26 2016

OH DUH Machine intelligence.

Machine programed by human programmers that couldn't find their way to the bathroom without a road map.

Result on trip to bathroom is wet pants. Machines result incompetent as the Ebay programmers.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 08:35:45 2016

Selling "experience." Buying "experience." Search 'experience."

How about some freakin' RESULTS for a change? When I list an item, I don't give a rodent's posterior about the 'experience' - I want CASH!

Time for feeBay's [mis-]management to drop the mumbo jumbo and concentrate on stuff that WORKS!

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 10:40:06 2016


Ridiculous, but not surprising.

Another waste of money and time.

Just show a buyer what they are looking for and watch sales rise.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 10:40:35 2016

Just this past Sunday I attempted a search on eBay. It took soooo long for the page to load that I eventually gave up, opened a separate tab and went to Amazon and a couple other web sites. The other sites returned their search results before eBay had finished loading. eBay is simply a waste of time!

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue Aug 23 10:59:25 2016

artificial intelligence? this is nothing more than search manipulation as they have done forever. a very poor choice of words for a way to ruin a site as it has nothing to do with intelligence. Simply more code to make what you are looking for... not be found or to be found for the sellers they deem worthy. Yes we know what this is all about.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Aug 23 12:01:27 2016

Ebay's definition of the word manipulation: to apply statistical learning to optimize the whole page: reacting to the users' actions to reorder and prioritize the content in the search page, providing search guidance (steering) or access to top deals and top products in appropriate context while minimizing distractions (small sellers).

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 12:57:02 2016

I thought eBay had been using artificial intelligence for many years, instead of real, logical intelligence. As they say, garbage in, garbage out. Someone has to program the artificial intelligence, and it will only be as good and logical as the designers of it. Not good, and not logical and definitely not useful. As a matter of fact, it is a detriment to the entire site, and is causing lost sales, few views and frustrated buyers.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 23 12:57:40 2016

bitbybit, I think you nailed it.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 13:39:09 2016

I stopped buying on Ebay during the last great idea, Cassini. It is so frustrating when no matter what I do, it changes what I search for to what it thinks I want to search for. I am sure this "great" idea is going to help that a ton.....  

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 13:56:40 2016

SOOOOO glad I gave up on these idiots and the cesspool that is ebay.

Why not show people what they are looking for, rather than what they already bought somewhere else?

Dumb@$$Es.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 14:43:48 2016

Artificial Intelligence = Oxymoron

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 23 16:39:02 2016

Translation:

Gear search towards china, retaikers with back door deals.

End of story.

What buyer would want to buy from ebay if they knew they were not being shown what they were looking fir, instead they were shown only those things which ebay profits most?

No wonder sales have dropped overall on ebay..but ebay diesnt care cayse they make money other ways. Its fraudulent and dispicable.

Screw ebay and every worker and their families. Curse them all.


Search is only a tool.to redirect buyers to what ebay wants the buyer to buy, not what the buyer is actually looking for.

Amazon is guilty as well so curse them and their families as well.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Aug 23 17:14:16 2016

Ebay seems to feel that the more complicated something is the better it is.  It shows in so many things they do.  Sometimes the simplest things are really the best things.  it is no wonder that so many people are frustrated with Ebay.  I'm sick and tired of being TOLD what I'm looking for as I am sure many buyers are.  Which is evident from the lower sales I've experienced over the past couple of years.

But this isn't just Ebay anymore.  More and more sites are adopting similar things.  I find it more and more frustrating.

It takes me far longer to shop for certain things than it ever has before.  And when I get too frustrated, I just wait until my next trip to town and buy it at the price I find it locally.  Or since I live rather rurally, I'll wait until i venture out into the BIG city, LOL.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: Dhp3 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 24 01:52:13 2016

Artificial intelligence? More like artificial stupidity.

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

by: corpuschristi1956 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 24 08:55:45 2016

Why the heck they just don't open another website exclusively for all items is beyond me. Many people want stuff they cannot find on other platforms. They were willing to watch as the listings based on ending first came by and went. They paid good money for it so give it back to them. Get it?

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Wed Aug 24 09:08:31 2016

I really think this has a lot to do with them making their purchases of Artifical Intelligence Businesses recently look legitimate and not like a stupid bonehead idea for a selling venue.. they have to impress the stock holders

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages   eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Wed Aug 24 09:11:38 2016

if you want to see where they spent their money.. uh.. I mean YOUR fees...

https://www.ebayinc.com/stories/news/ebay-acquires-expe
rtmaker/

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.