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Tue July 16 2019 20:58:44

eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay's search traffic has reportedly fallen, according to a Wall Street analyst who cited third-party services. Mark May of Citi said eBay's reported decline in search traffic could be related to a recent Google update.

May communicated the news in a report previewing eBay's second-quarter earnings release set for tomorrow (July 17th). 

May might have been referring to last month's "diversity" update, about which Google wrote: "This site diversity change means that you usually won't see more than two listings from the same site in our top results. However, we may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it's especially relevant to do so for a particular search..."

Citi's May also discussed a concern about eBay's pullback on marketing and incentives, which we wrote about in April when we reported that eBay's top executives admitted they had expected the first-quarter sales decline caused by their decision to significantly reduce marketing activities.

Today, May indicated the decline in eBay's marketing budget continued in the second quarter (April, May, and June). He also noted the reduction in buyer subsidies - readers will likely remember all the sitewide flash sales eBay ran in 2018, where it was basically paying visitors to buy goods.

But while less traffic due to reduced marketing and poorer rankings in Google is devastating news from a seller's point of view, it's not so bad from an investor standpoint - May noted that eBay increased its take-rate "and enabled revenue to grow faster than GMV" (sales).

In today's report, May didn't mention revenue eBay generates from sellers running Promoted Listing ads, which is an obvious byproduct of slower sales growth as sellers battle each other for eyeballs. In fact, in April, when eBay reported a 6% decline in GMV in the US, eBay CEO Devin Wenig told analysts that its own 4% revenue *growth* was partly driven by Promoted Listings - he said sellers were "flocking" to Promoted Listings.

Nor did May mention another good-for-eBay but bad-for-sellers item related to managed payments. Yesterday we wrote about eBay's surprise "per-listing" payment processing fee that will commence in October.

We don't know if eBay executives will address the reported Google search problem during Wednesday's call and what they propose to do about it. But if eBay expects sellers to pay for Promoted Listing Ads to get more exposure, shouldn't eBay increase its spend on Google Shopping ads to get greater exposure if it can't do it organically?

Update 7/17/19: eBay CEO Devin Wenig responded to May's concern about search traffic today, see this article for details. 



Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: Lahav-CampaignGO This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 02:17:52 2019

eBay give up the fight...
This is very bad, in the end, the buyers will pay more if sellers want to stay profitable....
So the prices are going to be even less attractive
which will result in fewer buyers...

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

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

Wed Jul 17 02:40:50 2019

Wow, no wonder for the first time ever I haven't been able to pay my bill.  I am more than 30 days behind now, the next cycle is due, they STILL autorenewed my listings when in the past they would have suspended the account.  Maybe I should let the account just lapse, and go to collections so I can pay a settlement that's less than the fees.  Ebay is a ripoff now, it's not worth the price they charge at all anymore.  My sell thru rate is so low, I might not even check the site everyday anymore.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 05:02:47 2019

Looks like Ebays change to GTC for all fixed listings is nothing but a pure money grab from sellers having their items relisted while stating that this will help their Google search.  In fact this news from this article shows just the opposite effect will be happening as Google is going to show even less items from Ebay going forward.

Ebay was hoping they would get extra views from Google searches without having to pay for it and once again being cheap is only going to hurt their Sellers Sales and Ebay will have to find another way to steal money from their sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 06:24:04 2019

ebay was once a big winner. now it's so corrupt with greed that one honest CEO will never be found there anymore.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 06:53:55 2019

it's not 1999 .........those days are long gone

ebay is now just one site in a sea of millions of other sites to buy stuff from, it's rare for buyers to directly only go to ebay,

ebay without google will be a slow painful ride to the food bank for many sellers, and as they die off, ebay will suck the last few dollars from them with GTC, never ending listings.





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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Jul 17 08:43:56 2019

It's less the case with eBay, believe it or not, but often on-site search engines are so bad I have go to Google to find stuff on a particular site.   I mean go to Google and type "item/video site.com." There's no excuse for your site being so broken that Google is the only way to find your content.  And I'll tell you, once I start going to Google first, it's not long until I drop your site from the search criteria.  THAT'S how Google grabs control of so much traffic.
 

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 09:53:01 2019

Seems like eBays going to sell Stubhub any day now ...

maybe they could spend some of it on fixing the site (after they stock up on scotch and rum for Walkers West)

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: Denny This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 17 10:07:51 2019

After GTC I shut down my sales after 16 years. It was fun for a while especially in the winter. I never did need e-bay. They will learn there are many other sellers that don't need them either. They are the small time sellers that make up most of e-bay. I may sell again after there Bankruptcy if they fix things though I'm starting to like having more free time for other things since it was not much money after there greed anyways. Denny

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 10:07:53 2019

As a seller the new policy may be bad for me, but as a searcher (for research) it is really annoying to get 8-10 eBay listings on the first page of my search.  If I was a neutral buyer I might consider too many eBay links as "Spamming" my Google search and it might encourage me to shop elsewhere in protest.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 10:12:55 2019

Ebay Search has been a total failure long before the google update. To make matters worse, ebay went and screwed up the search by putting "promoted listings" at the top of the search even when one tries to search "lowest price first"  What one gets now is not lowest price but ebay trying to trick buyers into buying higher priced items. Ebay = Dead Man Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jul 17 11:33:28 2019

@Denny

I sell Rivnut tools when I can get my hands on them!

Mostly BF Goodrich, both hand and pneumatic.

I would think your stuff would do well on eBay. . . .

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 13:02:37 2019

looks like the delusional pos ceo now has someone to blame for fleecebays problems.

to bad the investors will once again believe the double talk instead of doing a little research and find out its all smoke, mirrors and lies.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 13:41:17 2019

@Silver Ice King Correct. The GTC mandate was never about Google Shopping in the first place. It was just another money grab scheme under the guise of "helping sellers and helping sales". Even after this news, eBay will still be telling everyone it's about Google Shopping because most will be unaware!

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 14:30:43 2019

@RKTOYS

You are absolutely correct, Google is where most people, shoppers, buyers go to find stuff,


Google is not stupid little company anymore, , ebay has lots of money to spend on advertising and Google is not giving them a free ride,

As ebay has shown us time and time again they have easy ways to gain millions more, in profit without spending a dime, that's why they refuse to use google, all ebay needs to do is a few changes to the percentage of fees, or adding some new fees, / draconian policies to take in millions more is super easy to do, anyone can do it, all you need is millions of desperate sellers, which they have plenty of.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 16:39:41 2019

Ebay wants less sales. Less sales means more idiots to pay promoted listings. Free money

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 16:45:12 2019

More than likely its because people aren't using ebay anymore as it is so glitchy. Why go through all the trouble trying to find something when the site times out continously.
Most of us don't have the time to fool with it when you can go somewhere else and find the same thing without all the problems.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: eastwestphoto This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 17:57:52 2019

No morals, No ethics, all illegal ebay activity, like charging for a return when you encourage returns to start with! Or, blocking sellers visibility and then offering them a business loan? Is their a government in the USA any-longer, or is it corporations that run our government?  

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 21:43:53 2019

Thank you Google, you had me at hello!

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

by: No Princess This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 18 19:26:19 2019

First time ever since 1998, other than vacation time off, that I had 10 days without a sale.  Something is really off.  I reasoned to myself, fourth of July holiday, people going on vacation, etc, but it doesn't add up.  

Perminate Link for eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update   eBay Search Traffic May Be Falling Due to Google Update

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

Fri Jul 19 08:10:14 2019

Since google disbanded their individual accounts I am lost.  I did my own advertising.  My sales are horrible now.  I have an ecrater account as well that sends my products to google but I feel like I need to still advertise myself.  I do all I can to help myself in advertising, it seems to be a losing game all around.  When they made everything "good til cancelled" it took my advantage of rotating items and showing as new listings.  Now what options do we have???????NOTHING that i can see.

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