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Fri Nov 17 2017 14:25:37

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

By: Reader

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eBay sent this reader a warning about her use of keywords, but she said her title was an accurate description of the product she was selling. Does it signify a new crackdown (or a new glitch)? Let us know if you've experienced anything similar.

Dear Ina,
This is a heads up that eBay appears to suddenly be cracking down on sellers for "keyword spamming."

I had a doll listed. The item title was an accurate description of the product I was selling, not keyword spam. eBay sent me a warning note threatening me with banishment etc. if I continued to "keyword spam". 

I have never been tagged like this on any of the 3 accounts I have had over the span of 19 years on eBay, so I can only surmise that this is a new thing.
Amy

Comments (25) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 17 15:00:10 2017

So what were the dasterly words that she used??????????

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Nov 17 18:55:31 2017

Amy

I think it goes without saying that you feel the title was correct, otherwise you would never have used it.  However  your opinion may differ from Ebay's or from other members.  Without knowing the product you were selling and the title you used, anything we would say here would be guess work and assumptions.

Would you be willing to have Ina tell us what you were selling and how you worded the title?

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 17 19:46:39 2017

If this person is so sure that what they did was right then why haven't they posted the item and the keywords in question. This smells like BS to me and frankly I am quite surprised that it was even printed here!

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 17 20:36:59 2017

I've reported a seller for 4 days straight and his KEYWORD spamming listings are still up!

eBay doesn't care about keyword spamming from what I can see. . .

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sat Nov 18 01:16:37 2017

I also put accurate descriptions in my titles like I have been doing for amlost 20 years now and have never had eBay say anything about it. Keyword spamming is repeating the same key word over and over which I have also seen many sellers do for years. Google will never pick up the listing because of spamming and my listings always are on Google.
Since the original OP has never responded with what the exact title was this obviously is a bogus issue and a waste of web space.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 18 02:34:44 2017

@Bill

That is an incomplete definition as Ebay views Keyword Spamming.

Keyword spamming is when people use words or details (such as brands, item condition, model names, pop culture terms, product names, style, and type) that have nothing to do with their items so that their listings will show up in search results. Since this clutters eBay and makes buying and selling more difficult, we don't allow keyword spamming.

You are not allowed to:
Calling out similarities—for example, when selling a DVD, don't talk about Blu-ray discs.

Comparisons between products aren't allowed. For example, you can't say things like "shirt not pants" or "video not Nano."

Descriptions that promote items in other listings. For example, a listing for shoes can't say things like, "Check out my other listings for hats, shirts, pants, coats, gloves, and underwear."

Hiding unrelated keywords in a listing by using white-on-white text, tiny fonts, or HTML or JavaScript code.

Keywords in any part of a listing that aren't related to the item you're selling. Here are some examples:
If you're selling a shirt, the title can't say "Nike shirt size M – shoes, hat, shorts."

If you're selling an MP3 player, the listing description can't have keywords like "purse, shoes, baseball hat, DVD, toys, cell phone," etc.

Words with question marks (such as "carved wood dresser – antique?"). If you're not sure about a detail, don't call it out at all because doing so can be misleading.

Here is a link to the policy.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/search-manipulation
.html#keyword

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: onlinecommerce1 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 18 04:44:30 2017

Exactly what Marie said.....there are lots of ways to “keyword spam”. I think search manipulation might be a better way of defining it.

Impossible to say if the OP’s warning was justified without more info. That being said, I can’t say I’ve heard of too many people getting nailed for this in the last few years, though.

You should be putting keywords in the title. However, if you are selling a Louis Vuitton bag, you shouldn’t be putting Coach and Chanel in the title, too, just because they are comparisons to a Louis Vuitton bag.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Nov 18 14:31:55 2017

@Marie

Just curious...

"Since this clutters eBay and makes buying and selling more difficult, we don't allow keyword spamming."

Who is the we in the last phrase in this sentence? Do you work for ebay?

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 18 14:38:38 2017

SOMEBODY reported the OP.  

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: Studiolines This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 18 14:40:06 2017

The jewelry division is full of keyword spamming. I got tired of reporting. NOTHING IS EVER DONE about it. Depends on who the seller is .

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 18 14:44:19 2017

@Ming

I realize this is often the question by regulars on these blogs "Who is the we in the last phrase in this sentence? Do you work for ebay?", but as I've stated many times I do not have have not EVER written any of Ebay's policies, well except in my dreams, but then they look quite differently from the ones we all see on the website.

Sorry to disappoint you!  As I know the question is in an effort to try and discredit anything I might have to say. But it is an excerpt from an Ebay policy and I even provided the link so that you can research that for yourself if you'd like.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: Clothing Seller This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 19 09:35:19 2017

People still use ebay?  

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 19 09:49:51 2017

The eBay 'policy' on keyword spamming is like every other eBay 'policy'; selectively enforced, often innacurrately, usually automatically.  It is then followed by immediate sanction, and obstruction or denial of any appeal.  

The most prevelant keywords 'mis-applied' are vintage, antique, and '(brand)-like'.  One can currently find thousands of examples for say, 'vintage' jewelry, 'antique' furniture and pottery, and '(brand)-like' clothes, accessories, and electronic item knock-offs, usually supplied by an overseas or domestic seller of 'volume'.

These sellers appear to be immune to this, and other eBay 'policies' prohibiting their behavior.  

For almost a decade now.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: Studiolines This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 19 12:08:27 2017

@snapped
You are absolutely correct and reporting is futile. Ebay has no desire to clean it up. Totally depends on the volume of the seller or seems to be other factors in play.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 19 12:51:39 2017

Nothing to clean up. Nothing illegal. Ebays playground and they can enforce their rules anyway they want.

If one doesn't like it then one should LEAVE

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Nov 19 16:27:46 2017

Google also likes to tag items as violating their spam policy. I have a couple of items in my store from the Walt Disney World Pandora, The World of Avatar, attraction gift shop. No matter how I re-word the Google Attribute, they keep rejecting it.  

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 19 23:46:47 2017

2 years ago I was listing a Coogi sweater and looking at the other listings to figure a price. I selected 100 listings for sweaters that had "Coogi" in the title but were not Coogi brand. Many said "Like Coogi" or "Same as Coogi" or just "Coogi" along with the true brand name. None were counterfeit and I doubt many of the sellers knew they were doing anything wrong. I reported all 100 sweaters after adding them to my watch list. Then I watched for a week as some sole, some were relisted and some remained. None were taken down or altered. I called CS and was told it takes time for them to act. I watched these 100 listings for a month before I lost interest. None of them were changed or taken down. They either sold or were relisted as-is.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 20 06:51:10 2017

iheartjacksparrow, Disney is a powerful company with deep pockets and powerful attorneys.  Who knows what threats they've given to Google, so no surprise here.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: Caroline1 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 20 08:35:02 2017

I ran into this a few weeks ago when I was blocked from listing a pair of Cole Haan Nike Air loafers. Despite the fact that this is a genuine collaboration between the 2 companies, despite the fact that I already had 2 other pairs listed, and despite the fact that there were several thousand other listings on eBay at the time, I was told by CSR "Bob" that unless my shoes appeared on the Nike website, I could not list using both brand names. Pathetic.

eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords   eBay Charges Seller with Improper Use of Keywords

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 20 11:00:05 2017

@Marie:

> As I know the question is in an effort to try and discredit anything
> I might have to say. But it is an excerpt from an Ebay policy and I even
> provided the link so that you can research that for yourself if you'd like.

The confusion comes in because you pasted in a very large quote copied from an eBay page without attribution, leading people to think that it was your own writing.

It would be helpful if you'd added a line at the top reading something like, ''Here is what eBay Help pages have to say on this subject:'' Then paste in the relevant copy in some way to show that it's a quote, and perhaps add a Reference URL at the bottom.

As for the Original Post that started all this, without the actual title that got eBay all offended, I don't think we can make a whole lot of comment beyond the general stuff that's already been offered.

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