Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Dec 20 2016 20:59:22

Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Don't assume that your listings will appear in Google search results, even if it's for a rare or unusual item.

An eBay seller described a case in which he had listed a unique part for sale on eBay on December 12. He still couldn't find it in Google search results as of today, December 20th.

"I chose this particular listing as a test because the part number is unique on eBay and did not return any search results on Google (or Bing) either," he said.

He had included the part number in the eBay listing Title, Description and Item Specifics section. When I searched Google today for the part number, it did not show up in default search results. In fact, there were zero results - Google said, "Your search did not match any documents" and made the following suggestions:

- Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
- Try different keywords.
- Try more general keywords.

However, when I clicked on the Google "Shopping" tab, the seller's eBay listing showed up. It was the only search result, and alongside it was the message, "Merchant links are sponsored" - meaning, eBay had to pay Google for that search result to appear in the Shopping results.

While it's aggravating to think that Google wouldn't show its visitors the eBay listing unless it got paid to do so, it's perplexing as to why it didn't present a message on the main search results page suggesting that searchers click on the Shopping tab.

In fact, often Google will display Google Shopping ads in a widget on general Google search results pages - it's not clear why that didn't happen here.

The seller hadn't thought to click on the Shopping tab, and it's not clear that searchers/shoppers would think to do so either. 

The seller asked, "Is there something else I should be doing with this listing to get it "noticed" by Google?"




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Wed Dec 21 08:27:34 2016

if these 2 corporations would work together it would be to the benefit of all involved. wishful thinking i suppose

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Dec 21 10:24:09 2016

Google...blech.  Ebay...pffft.

More often than not, when I use Google to search for even simple information, not goods - the results are not even close to what I was looking for.

I feel sorry for the current ebay merchants.  I can't find what I am looking for via Google or the ebay site. I feel sorry for me too.  It is always frustrating to have your money in hand and nothing to spend it on!

It is the same 'nothing' result for interesting supplies at a reasonable cost or for a finished item for myself or a gift for others.  I feel like an old grandma when I say things like,  ''I remember when I could see millions of things to spend my money on when I searched Google (or eBay).'' That was in the old days...a few years ago...sheesh.

On occasion I remember to click on the Shopping Tab, most of the time it does not change the results.  smh.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Dec 21 11:25:28 2016

Yesterday I sold a collectible toy, one in a series, and I wasn't sure if I had pulled the correct one as I had several from the series and I didn't really remember its name. So I Googled what I thought was the correct name, and the second entry on the first page was a link to my toy for sale. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I guess that's why my sales on eCrater are so great; they are being seen in Google organic searches.  

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Dec 21 13:01:29 2016

@IDKwhoIare
No kidding.  Online shopping is turning into the wasteland that offline shopping turned into.  Reminds me of photos we used to see of Soviet Russia.

Google's shopping tab has been a joke since forever.  I have better luck typing "buy X" into the main search.  Going to the image tab and clicking what looks like a stock photo or storefront address also works.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Dec 21 13:32:35 2016

Some of the other things regarding Google search I learned years ago is that they don't like titles with all caps.  So I never do a title with more than 3 words in capital letter.  And Google doesn't like words that repeat in the title, so I never do that either.  

Now things may have changed and Google doesn't regard what I said above like they use to, but I'm in the habit now and have a specific way I like to do my titles.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Dec 21 16:27:52 2016

To add to what Marie stated, I read an article a while back that Google also doesn't like symbols in titles, such as #, so I always make sure that everything is written out (i.e., Number).

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 21 21:41:58 2016

eBay and google never really made up, and the money that eBay should/would use to pay for placement was given to JD for his $23 million dollar golden parachute...,

"Merry Xmas Sellers!" Lol

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

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

Thu Dec 22 00:06:01 2016

This isn't just a problem with ebay. I do think at times many of the posters here forget that this is called ecommercebytes not ebaybytes. When Google first starting changing how they did their search and then a few years ago instituted the pay to show nonsense to allow items to be shown in Google shopping things have been awful for ALL on line sellers. My sales on eCRATER are probably about 25% of what they were before all this started. I still have sales on eCRATER,and probably good compared to some other sellers there but mostly because I do a lot of promoting of my inventory.

I had never even heard of google shopping until I started at eCRATER and then found out it was very important apparently - I didn't know why if I was an average on line buyers and never went to shopping to buy things. But I am at the point when I occasionally want to check on one of my listings and I can't find it in google shopping (although all eCRATER sellers that want to be shown on shopping have to pay graduated fees to be shown there) I can't find it or they are all from ebay or maybe etsy and as a last resort it seems they may throw in a couple eCRATER sellers and some other small venues.

Google NEEDS to go back to what it did well and that was being a search engine. It seems though that google somehow thinks it is going to take over all of ecommerce which is why they want to tell sellers who are not signed up under google to sell, we have no contract with them and they don't pay us a plug nickel, wants to tell sellers how to how to set up their listings. They then keep changing the rules about 'attributes' which just about drive us all crazy. With few exceptions I do most of my searches now with Bing. I'm sick of Google and its shenanigans.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 22 00:24:41 2016

I have 2 different ebay stores. 1 I've had forever and has over 10k listings. They used to show up on google shopping through ebay, but they haven't showed up since google had their issues with ebay a few years back. I have noticed my competitors do show up which P*sses me off.  All the items in my 2nd store show up in google. I've called ebay and searched all over the internet for answers of why the first store is no longer on google shopping. No one seems to have an answer for me. Very frustrating.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 22 05:32:51 2016

I read an article recently that BING had overtaken Google in search engines.  Try searching using BING.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2685215/the-4-reasons-i-switch
ed-from-google-to-bing.html
and
http://lifehacker.com/search-engine-showdown-google-vs-bing-1739263052
I
recently did a search for one of my items using BING and it showed up in a list on Ebay.  And EB was listed at the top of the list.  I think EB has switched to Bing for searches.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 22 07:42:02 2016

I stopped using google years ago because of this. I use Bing and mostly DuckDuckGo.  The allure of Google was that small stores and mom and pop stores came up, now it's all ads. Plus they keep and share your searches. Have you dumped you searches on Google? DuckDuckGo tells you how. I digress....My sales have been waning the last 3 years, each worse than before. I'm not on eBay, it doesn't matter where you sell. At some point, they'll charge you to do a search. Dump Google.

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 22 09:06:55 2016

I looked up a game title (there are 4 editions) on Google organic. Four sponsored ads, only one that is the game title.  That one was a Bonanza (which was mine).  Click on Google Shopping and there is one listing: $118.39 from 4 stores. Very few shoppers would bother to click on that when, of the 31 sold on ebay in the past 60 days, the top price was $32.  Just one example, out of millions, of a low or no value ad with Google Shopping. I would also believe that it would drive shoppers to go directly to ebay (or Amazon) where there are currently 15 listings among the four editions.    

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

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

Thu Dec 22 09:56:22 2016

Amazon wouldn't pay the pay to play nonsense with google, however they do show up in google organic searches, but not google shoppping.

If I'm looking for a product, I tend to go directly to the site where I think I might find one. Want a book? Try Amazon first! Want vintage or antique, try ebay (I try to avoid that place), etsy or ecrater. Or I just start a search in Bing. I thought that Bing only returned results for new items, but maybe they changed policies. When I do try google I usually find a few examples, but it sure isn't the search engine it used to be. When do millionaires and billionaires have enough that they can afford to not keep charging for things?

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 23 19:24:51 2016

Gee...let me see now we gotta pay for what was once free and after having suffered major losses due to this corporate greedy ploy of realigning the search function so that products don't show up.  We can now maybe have our products show up if we feed the monopolies lots of money...I can't wait until the internet reverts back to what it once was: a peer to peer system free and fair...

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: Twiganne This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 24 10:47:46 2016

I find listings for ebay all the time on Bing problem is that most people still used Google as a search engine when shopping.  I can't have an eBay store because I own two homes and eBay won't let me have two stores unless I pay the fee for both of them every month.  I don't sell that much so I don't show up in any search results.  Most of the time I don't even show up in ebay searches.  I sell nice stuff but my sales are terrible.  I am thinking of trying to use another venue other than ebay.  Thought of opening and Etsy store as I notice Google does link a lot of their items to the seller.  Hard to sell when you have mechandise in one home and some in another.  What would be suggestions for other venues that you would get more views on.  

Perminate Link for Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants   Google Pay-to-Play Costs eBay Merchants

by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 27 15:11:02 2016

I just did a similar test and my items were right at the top of Google organic search results. They also included lots of capital letters.



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