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Sat Apr 11 2015 22:38:18

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
This 2009 search issue is back. I searched for pottery +cat in title only and got way too many items back that did NOT include both words in the title.
Karen

2009 letter to you from another Ebay'er:

Hello, Ina,
Can you tell me what's going on with the Search results lately? When searching something like "furniture legs", it used to be that I would get about 200 listings or so to wade through. Now, I get over 800 to dig myself out from under, so to speak, and a large number of those listings do not have the both the words "furniture" and "legs" in the listing, usually only the word legs.

It appears that eBay is returning Search results based on the title having "either" Search term in the title instead of "both" or else they are just throwing in furniture listings in general in spite of what Search criteria is used.

And just to be specific, my Search words were "furniture" and "legs" meant to return results that had BOTH words in the TITLE ONLY.

I understand that eBay is trying to "enhance" the buyer's experience but, as a buyer, I don't feel that my experience is at all enhanced by have four times the number of listings presented to me, including those which don't pertain to my search criteria.

Is this what we can expect from eBay's Search engine from now on because if it is, I would think a lot of buyers would be turned off by it, if they haven't been already.
Thanks!
Cindy




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Apr 12 00:19:09 2015

This is nothing new and has been going on for a long time.
Back in '99 when I started you would get results when you did a regular search with 2 or more words you would get results Boolean results with out using the typical and/or because the items were not in large quantities. If you wanted a specific set of terms you put it in quotes.

Back in '09 they started on eBay search to not recognize the quotes and started to go give you anything that included a word in your string.

With Cassini they give you what they think you are looking for. That is why buyers are leaving because they come up with items that have no relevance at all. At times it is like going through an old newspaper adds in the classified section listing items for sale and you have to search through all of the junk to find what you want.

The only buyers that are left on eBay are true hard core buyers (that have a lot of time to waste looking for that specific item) and the thieves that game the system for what it is.

eBay is a waste of time for both buyers and sellers and for many people it is a joke.

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 12 00:29:32 2015

There are so many problems with search. Hijacking my keyword search and changing the word I am looking for is maddening. Another serious problem with search is that a keyword search searches all of the listing, including the sellers business name, the boilerplate, etc. I asked Meg Whitman if there was a way to restrict search to just the words describing the item, and excluding the boilerplate and spam words that most sellers use to draw attention to the listing. She told me that one engineer told her they could design that into search, and another said no. That was the last I ever heard of that idea. When I keyword search for “Alaska" items I get every seller who says “Shipping is extra to Alaska and Hawaii.” Someone searching for Ohio memorabilia will get “Ohio residents are required to pay Ohio sales tax.” The boilerplate should not be included in the text to be searched.

When eBay took away the wild-card search, after many of us had spent years creating very sophisticated searches using the wild card, there was a huge outcry from thousands of eBay users. Did eBay listen to its users about why the wild-card was vital to eBay search? No. They weren’t interested.

But right now the issue of being able to filter out re-listed auctions from search is the critical issue. It’s the problem that is ruining our eBay experience and preventing eBay from seeing the growth that one would expect for a site with so much potential.

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Apr 12 00:52:46 2015

For me, both “pottery +cat” and “pottery cat” (both sans quotes) produced the same result: 65 items, all pottery cats, all with “pottery” and “cat” in the title line; the plus sign in this instance is superfluous; indeed, the plus sign appears to be superfluous, period.

“pottery (dog, cat)” (sans quotes) produced 128 items with “pottery” and “dog” or “cat” in the title.

“pottery –cat” (sans quotes) produced every item that mentions “pottery” sans “cat”: 13,945 items!

“furniture legs” (sans quotes) produced 4748 results; apparently, the word “furniture” is here interpreted as a category (after all, eBay knows best what you want!) so you get every piece of “furniture”, and anything else, with “leg” mentioned in the title (see eBay “Automatic Search Expansion) …

“furniture legs” (in quotes) produces 1350 results with “furniture legs” specifically in the title …

Strangely, ‘“furniture” legs’ (sans the single quotes) produced 1968 (who knows why the difference, not even eBay, I suspect …

Yes, this is what you can expect from eBay because eBay knows best what you want, even before you yourself know; but, actually, it’s not too bad once you come to terms wityh the search syntax …

http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/search/search-commands.html

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Apr 12 15:54:43 2015

The Cassini search engine has been a joke from day one.

The too many results issue is due to the fact that eBay insists they know more about what you are looking for than you do.  Consequently, results often include similar items that are totally unrelated to the search terms entered but may be slightly related to the terms entered.

This has been a search engine defect since Cassini was first rolled out in limited categories, and continued to be an issue after it was rolled out site wide.

Buyers are as frustrated as sellers.... Buyers because they are forced to sift through a ton of carp in the hopes of finding their desired item, and sellers because since eBay rolled out Cassini, sales have been incrementally declining across the entire site.

Additionally, as eBay was engineering this disaster, they could not figure out how to make wild card searches work.  Then, rather than take the time to properly engineer the feature in, the geniuses running eBay decided to discontinue wild card search functionality.  The lack of wild card search capability has also served to frustrate and alienate buyers.

Another problem is that the original engineer eBay stole from Microsoft to build this pile of hot stinking mess resigned from the eBay shortly after Cassini was released.

The big question in all this is why, with so many buyer alienating limitations which have served to deliver steadily declining sales, eBay continues to utilize Cassini instead of reversing course.

Apparently, eBay management is unable or unwilling to attribute the decline of the marketplace to a search engine that fails and frustrates buyers. This is likely due to the fact that they poured hundreds of millions of dollars into developing an inferior search engine and they do not want to admit that multi-million dollar failure to the Board of Directors and/or investors.

At the same time,nor can they justify hundreds of millions more to develop a functional search engine especially since eBay will soon be a stand alone company and will not be able to afford such a sizable investment.

Instead, eBay management continues to be the ultimate source of the many marketplace shortcomings as they bury their collective heads in the sand and ignore one of the root cause of their decline in popularity with buyers.

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Apr 12 21:31:11 2015

I just searched for a certain type of men's belt.  I got countless listings of automotive belts.

Looks like Can't See Me Search is working just as designed.

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: Go tell the Spartans This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 00:31:49 2015

enclosed your search terms in quotes, as in "furniture legs". This has nothing to do with Cassini or anything similar. It has to do with machine language and the lack of an interpretative algorithm.  

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 02:19:22 2015

this explains why my sales have tanked for the past week....

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 02:56:34 2015

If ebay would give us SEPERATE places TO use "The boilerplate"  instead of just the absurd "item specifics"  that often times dont even cover the items types properly--then things like the sellers address or tax issues would not BE anywhere for the search to LOOK.  

I am NOT a programmer and not even very tech-orientated but pretty much ANYONE can see HOW this could work--firewall off the INFO section of the listing;  train your SELLERS to use THAT PART for the nitty gritty and the OTHER main section for the ITEMS DESCRIPTION---then make this VISIBLE to ALL--and et voila--I believe we would have it FIXED.

What ebay  lacks for some reason known only to the God Of Hot Mess  is the WILL to do so.  They really would not have to pay billions towards "band aiding"  this--they have ALREADY paid for TWO systems--one that WORKED-and could be re-installed;  and the one that DOESN'T work and that they should DEMAND be MADE to work or they should demand their money BACK with interest or sue the developers.

There--I fixed it.  

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Mon Apr 13 07:46:57 2015

If you want to see just how dysfunctional their search feature has become: try finding a specific set of guidelines in the eBay Help Pages - I have had no luck at all. Then try the same search in Google - takes you straight to the eBay Help page you could never find using eBay's internal search engine.

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 11:14:48 2015

I believe item specifics are included in searches now and may qualify as the "title" even though the words don't appear in the title.  This can be good and bad.

If I search for a movie  as "Movie Title DVD" I get results for DVDs even though "DVD" is not in the title for the items.  The same happens for if "new" is added to the search term.  You'll see items listed in new condition without the word "new" in the title plus any used items that contain the word "new" in the title.  

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 11:25:47 2015

@DVDSAND MORE--

YEs that can be useful or take up time--but when you type in "GREEN WIDGET"  and get 10000 hits for items that are neither green NOR widgets===and the site sorts EVERY search DIFFERENTLY--it gets reall annoying real fast.  SO shoppers==including US==are running away.   I have had search returns with 1000 items that a few seconds later I re-ran and got---20 items,  It is frustrating and they seem fine with losing massive amounts of revenue.

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 11:37:06 2015

Don't worry.  eBay will make sure you still get a defect when your item shows up in a search it shouldn't be in. If items are showing up in search results that shouldn't be there it's obviously the seller's fault and a new price increase will be implemented to correct it.  

Eventually there will be so few sellers that there will no longer be items in your search that don't fit what you're looking for.  Of course, what you're looking for won't be there either.  

 

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Apr 13 16:44:52 2015

@Don Wagner, try ...

http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/search/search-commands.html

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

by: AC_in_Mich This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 14 10:35:52 2015

@Philip  -  Amazing that if you delete out the au in your link so you can go the the US website you get a totally different page that is not as helpful.  Can't have those Americans finding things!

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Apr 14 18:51:17 2015

@AC_in_Mich,

I've not noticed that particular variation; the only question then is, is such variation by design or simply incompetence—a combination of both I suspect, depending on the situation ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again   eBay Search Returns Too Many Results, Again

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Apr 14 21:24:12 2015

@AC_in_Mich,

I've just had a look at the ".com" page; it surely has to be a stuff up; every hyperlink leads back to itself, and the page, as you say, contains absolutely nothing of value; is it any wonder some U.S. searchers have no idea how the industry-standard search syntax works ...

Then, what else could we expect from these disingenuous cretins ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  



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