|Tue June 11 2013 16:35:12|
Is eBay Traffic Problem Real or Is Reporting Tool Broken?
By: Ina Steiner
Is eBay's traffic problem real, or is its reporting tool broken (again)? Last week, Julia Wilkinson blogged about a webinar presented by eBay's Vice President of Experience, Search, and Platforms on how eBay sellers could succeed in the new world of Cassini search, which eBay is in the process of transitioning.
I noticed that readers were commenting about eBay's traffic reports, some saying the reports are showing eBay is driving only a small portion of the total traffic to their eBay Stores, the rest coming from outside search engines, etc.
"Many times I have called eBay and said that Omniture is reporting the facts and it says eBay search engine is only delivering 1-2 % of all my page views when before it delivered 80-90%. Every time the CSA tells me that Omniture site catalyst is broken." But the reader, who goes by the user name Map, insists Ominiture reports are accurate and wonders where the eBay traffic went.
Omniture reports had been broken for months last year, but eBay deemed them fixed in November. I checked with eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore last week, he said eBay was not aware of any technical issues with Omniture Store reports but would be happy to look into seller(s) who are experiencing problems if provided their seller IDs.
Then I received an email this week from a seller who provided her monthly traffic statistics from last fall - it showed the same dropoff in traffic driven by eBay search as reported in the AuctionBytes Blog comments. At the same time, her sales decreased from an average of $8,000 per month, to less than $2,500 last month.
She wrote, "Can anyone explain to me the following strange discovery I just made checking on Ebay traffic report. Here are the facts concerning my Ebay Store traffic":
Sept. 2012: Ebay search 56.6 % - Google search 17.4 %
Oct. 2012: Ebay search 49.7 % - Google search 22.7 %
Nov. 2012: Ebay search 30.7 % - Google search 30.1 %
Dec. 2012: Ebay search 24.7 % - Google search 35.4 %
Jan 2013: Ebay search 19.1 % - Google search 34.8 %
Feb. 2013: Ebay search 8.1 % - Google search 34.2 %
March 2013: Ebay search 0% - Google search 43.8 %
April 2013: Ebay search 0% - Google search 49.5 %
May 2013: Ebay search 0% - Google search 41.3 %
She said, "If I understand well the purpose of those traffic report (Ebay quote): "The Search Engines Report helps you identify which search engines people are using to find your store and listings. The graph shows you the percentage breakdown of the search engines that have been used to find your store, listings, and your other pages on eBay."
"But at the same time they tell you also, "Watch for decreases in the number of searches for each search engine to determine whether you need to resubmit your URL.""
The reader continued, "How do you re-submit your URL to Ebay since that's where you are supposed to be well visible. In short the question is what's happening into Ebay world? No more visibility of our Ebay stores, no people in the Ebay search engines and thus no more sales?"
As with all anecdotal reports such as these, what some sellers experience doesn't indicate what all sellers are experiencing, but it's generally a sign that something is going on worth looking into. With eBay constantly changing and tweaking search, especially now as it is in the process of testing and launching Cassini, at least some sellers' listings are dropping in search results.
It would be very interesting to hear what other eBay Store owners are seeing in their Omniture store reports as far as the percentage of traffic coming from eBay's own search engine, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.