|Wed June 5 2013 09:28:22|
eBay Rolling Out Cassini to All This Summer
By: Ina Steiner
In Monday's blog post, I wrote about eBay's new search engine, Cassini, which prompted a source to share new information. I was told that eBay has been showing employees a video explaining Cassini and that it will be rolled out to all users by mid July. (We'd reported in March that it would be fully rolled out by the end of this year.)
eBay already rolled out Cassini to completed item searches and null-results searches, and I'm told eBay currently has various versions rolled out to subsets of users. I've asked eBay for confirmation of these reports. It's clearly very frustrating to users - sellers in particular - that eBay won't share information about such a critical part of the site experience.
The version that eBay will roll out sitewide is nowhere near the perfect fix eBay's been looking for, I was told, but it is designed to allow the company to continue to launch and test iterations to see what works and what doesn't. (eBay's current mantra is, "test and learn," something not reassuring to the test subjects!)
Some of the things to keep in mind about Cassini is that it is even more reliant on certain criteria than the current search engine, such as Item Specifics; it takes into account the quality of photos; and it can search item descriptions - so keep that in mind when writing your listings.
One year ago I asked eBay about how Cassini searching descriptions would impact the quality of search results (a reader was concerned about keyword spamming); at the time eBay said it was too early to discuss and would give sellers "appropriate notice."
Yesterday a reader noted a new challenge in searching eBay - a limitation to the length of a search string, which, as he noted, is critically important now that eBay has done away with wildcard searching. See today's news story for details.
If it's a glitch, it's a major one, since results are coming back with zero listings. If it's a change, it's inexcusable eBay gave users no notice (remember it promised to give sellers 60 days notice of changes impacting their business?).
Keep your eye out for changes in search and let us know what you're seeing.