|Wed June 4 2014 12:10:11|
Good News, Bad News on eBay Seller's Exposure in Google
I have a couple of little stories for you that you might be interested in concerning the recent hacking and how I think the problem is bigger than were being told. I wouldn't even be surprised if out of some misguided attempt at appearing cool, eBay hired hackers knowing full well that they were indeed hackers.
Ok here it is.
I used to do very well from Google traffic, it accounted for as much as 70% of my eBay traffic. Google liked my content, particularly the images and I would often and still do make it onto the first page of images and often in first place. But my Google traffic died a death and sales became a fraction of what they had been.
When I learned about eBay's black hat tactics manipulating the Google search I decided to have a look into one of my items. It still made it to Google's first page, first place so all good so far. When I clicked on the visit page link it took me to eBay's Ireland site when I'm based in the UK and always have listed in the UK.
This may not sound a big problem to someone across the Atlantic but the UK and Ireland are very different, we have different currencies for a start and postage needs to go by Airmail, so it is considerably more. Not to mention that the Ireland site has very few actual users. It is the worst eBay site in terms of rankings by far. The landing page it took me to had 2500 listings showing so my Google link was now buried.
I checked another listing of mine, again doing well in Google on the first page, not 1st place but above the fold so I was happy with that. Again I clicked on it to see where this one lead to this time. It lead to a landing page again which stated my product was unavailable. It certainly isn't unavailable, I've been paying listing fees on it for months to keep it maintained.
eBay did however suggest around 50 alternatives. A selection of button badges and sew on patches with pretty vulgar comments. Included among them were suggestions that I should "Go F*** Yourself" "See you later alligator" and "Kindly go screw yourself". I was a bit stunned actually.
I queried on the Lithium boards whether this was just synchronicity, coincidence or was it conspiracy. Was it a cosmic joke or was it a hacker's idea of a joke but it didn't feel natural. Well Lithium didn't like the question and banned me for asking it.