Google Has Become eBay’s Panda in the Butt


As a copywriter, PR professional, and overall Class-A nerd, I love Google.

Why? If you understand the ‘Google Zoo’ — Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird — then you would know about the many changes Google has made to the search algorithms. In fact, the Internet guardian has practically declared war on Black Hat hackers and other ne’er-do-wells living in Mom’s basement with the latest version of Alienware.

NEWS FLASH: Google is making us better writers. Of course, in the process, they are so angering brands who spam the Internet. Latest on its ess-list is eBay. Not good.

Last week, Google rolled out its thunderous Panda 4.0 update. The update was made to hone in algorithms to detect “low-quality content” from Google search results. Many shopping websites that do moderately well with organic search got nailed badly in terms of paid shopping product listings ads (PLAs).

That left eBay as chum in the Google ocean as Panda 4.0 stripped eBay of more than 80 percent of its search results, according to this Business Insider article quoting Larry Kim, CEO of search marketing company Wordstream. eBay spends truckloads of cash on paid search results; yet, here’s Google spanking them to Page 12.

And you know the adage, “The best place to hide a dead body is Page 3 of Google.”

Evidently, more than 80 percent of eBay’s top-searched items didn’t make past the golden area of pages one and two. And then, there’s this…

A similar result was found by Peter Meyers who writes for the Moz Blog. eBay’s share of top 10 Google rankings across of a range of search results basically just collapsed in the past couple of days:

moz ebay

So, who’s to blame? Google for protecting the Webiverse or eBay for using clandestine SEO tactics. Yeah, them.

“eBay’s asleep-at-the-switch AdWords management style not only made them look stupid to searchers – those irrelevant ads also cost a brand a ton of money. Their failure to implement even the most basic of paid search best practices, like using negative keywords so you’re not appearing in queries for vomit, made their research completely unreliable,” Kim says.

And that is called a sound bite, folks. Bad PR for eBay after all.