Bounce Back Mode
It goes without saying that eBay is HUGE part of what I do online. There’s no way I would’ve achieved all the success that I’ve had without leveraging the traffic and exposure that the company provides.
So when I read about all the bad news and press that eBay has been garnering lately, I’m going to be honest – it’ makes me a little worried. Okay, a lot actually!
You may or may not have heard but eBay has been negatively affected by two (2) serious events: a massive data breach and Google penalizing them for bad search engine optimization (SEO).
Security Concerns and Inadequate Response
Earlier this week, the company announced that as many as 145 MILLION of their customer’s data – including names, phone numbers, addresses, and passwords – have been compromised. As of now, financial information is not on the list of compromised data but that doesn’t make me feel any better at all and neither should you. The possibility of identity-theft is definitely a cause for concern and it can takes months or years even to reverse the effects.
If you haven’t done so already, I would strongly recommend that you change your passwords immediately. If you go to the eBay website, there should be instructions on how to do just that.
Not only is the company receiving negative press for losing all this data, they’re also being questioned for their unorganized and lackadaisical response. Apparently, the data breach occurred sometime in February or March and only now have they been aware of it. Furthermore, once they did acknowledge the possibility of a cyberattack, it took weeks for them to start emailing their user base about it.
In fact, I actually heard about it on Twitter and Yahoo before I received any official news from eBay themselves. I finally received my notification on Thursday, May 23rd but there are still some users who haven’t received their notice and, worse yet, maybe don’t even know that their information was potentially stolen.
Decreased Search Engine Rankings
Another issue that eBay is dealing with recently is the punishment they received from Google for their internet practices.
Wait, why should eBay care about Google?
Google is the biggest search engine in the world and millions of internet users use their site everyday looking for information and products. It would make sense then that a company like eBay would profit tremendously from the search engine traffic that can be generated from Google. For example, if I need a dog leash and I type “cheap dog leash” in the search box, it would be beneficial for eBay to be on the top of that search result. They are millions of motivated buyers doing the same thing, after all.
On the other hand, Google is also a business and it’s their job to provide the best and most relevant information to users of their site. As a result, their search results are designed to reward high-quality and engaging content. Because they’re a well-known and established company, eBay has enjoyed favorable rankings in Google search results despite having very thin content and some unusual advertising practices.
But that all changed about a week ago as, according to searchengineland.com, as many as 120,000 eBay pages have lost their rankings and this accounts for 80% of their organic traffic. Google doesn’t comment on these things so we can’t officially know why eBay’s rankings have dropped, but those who follow SEO believe it’s because of the lack of content in their site (it’s mainly just ads and things for sale) as well as their poor advertising practices.
For example, check out some of these ads. Dynamic Keyword Insertion, or DKI, is an advertising tool that allows company’s to place a user’s search term directly on an ad and it’s lead to some pretty interesting ads from the company. Interesting, but I guess Google is no longer amused. Check out these examples:
Time to Rally
Can the company recover from all this? Of course they can! I need them to – my sales depend on it!
I may not agree with all their policies but I’m still a huge fan of the company and I want their site to continue to grow and do well. Thanks to the data breach, regaining consumer trust will be a big issue moving forward and I hope they take the necessary steps (immediately) to do just that, whether it’s improving their security or offering some sort of identity-theft protection similar to what Target did recently.
The Google penalty is troublesome but I’m hoping that eBay won’t be affected too much by since they’re already a well-established company. Plus, I think most people already know to check out the site for deals without Google having to remind them. I guess only time will tell and we’ll just have to see how the lost in rankings will affects the company’s bottom line.
Before I go, I just want to remind you one more time to please change your password if you haven’t done so already. It only takes a few minutes and it could potentially save you a ton of headaches.
Hope you’re having an amazing weekend. C’mon eBay, time to rally!