During this week's chat session, eBay addressed a seller's concern over whether their listings were getting exposure in search engines like Google, since they sell vintage goods that don't have Product Identifiers (referred to as PIDs).
"Just the simple assignment of a random code to satisfy the eBay catalog won't do jack to satisfy and stay competitive with the major search engines," the seller said.
eBay explained that while unique items are not necessarily excluded from Google Shopping, auction-format listings are. (And readers should note that according to eBay's FAQs on Structured Data
, eBay won't require such items to have product identifiers.)
Here's the fulltext of eBay's response to the seller:
Our advice is to start by checking to see if your listings appear via Google, both on Google natural search and Google Shopping - using keywords that you have in your titles.
Items that are one of a kind or do not have Product Identifiers are not excluded from Google Shopping. Only Fixed Price listings appear on Google Shopping (Auction format listings may appear in natural search).
That said, we can't guarantee that all eBay items will appear on search engines. Search engines tend not to share all the factors that make up their algorithms externally.
To learn more about how Google indexes marketplace listings, we recommend that you check out the following page (link to Google help page)
As eBay's inventory is more aligned with structured data, buyers will see more and more product pages for many basic searches in some categories (like Electronics). Product pages provide buyers with a better shopping experience. They can compare prices quicker and make informed purchases faster. Sellers who provide the best value (prices, shipping, etc) can rise to the top of these product pages.
eBay moderators also addressed sellers' question about the February 2017 mandate on adding Product Identifiers after the first question posted on January 18 (and repeated on January 25) had gone unanswered during those previous chats:
Thanks for your patience on this. Here's the update:
We heard from many sellers that they need more time to get ready so we are relaxing the timelines and postponing the requirement until next year.
At the same time, we want to encourage you to adopt product identifiers wherever you can now to get more visibility for your items in search on and off eBay - and to have them appear on eBay's new product pages.
This summer you'll have more options, including the ability to use Amazon, Google, and seller-generated product identifiers.
The new portal for uploading your entire catalog of private-label and unbranded products with eBay-generated product identifiers will also be available this summer.
We hope this extension helps. We'll provide more specific dates as soon as we have them.
A seller then questioned why eBay was blaming sellers entirely for the delay, since the tools meant to help sellers comply were not yet available (one was due out in the fall but has been postponed).
Moderators didn't respond.