eBay Needs to Weather the Storm

Bounce Back Mode

Rough RoadIt 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

Decreasing

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:

Heads ad 2Vomit Ad s

Time to Rally

Kobe(I know I’ve used this image before but I think it still relates…Go Lakers!!)

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!

-Meinard

After Promo Belcher photo f89c1799-e54d-4f71-bbfd-a2dfdd4e2b4a.jpg

10 thoughts on “eBay Needs to Weather the Storm”

  1. As someone who is extremely new in this reselling business, the bad press lately with ebay is really scary to me. I truly hope that the fact of people wanting to get good deals outweighs the negativity. Time will tell, I guess!

    1. Hi Jessica, you’re not alone – the bad news is scary for me too. As sellers, all we can do at this point is continue to provide good deals and great service, and remind buyers that there’s still great deals to be found on the site. Hopefully, the leaders over at eBay will learn from these events and make all the necessary adjustments.

  2. a friend posted an article on my FB page about the data breech before i heard anything from ebay. stuff happens companies can only do so much (i don’t blame target either) but i am concerned with the time it took them to figure out/announce it. but then that sounds like there customer service in general.

    Excellent that ebay has been sandboxed (sarcasm dripping). I used to freelance write SEO content for clients. I did hundreds for ebay for search engine optimization so I can say that they do want some crappy work and I’m really not surprised. While I do still write SEO content, I keep it limited to my husband’s websites.

    It should be interesting to see how our sales do from this. Ebay is the bulk of my income too. Maybe its time to start diversifying online venues LOL.

    1. Hi Grace, I was concerned that it took so long to notify us also; to me, that was the most disappointing thing. You’re right, companies can only do so much and sometimes things like this just happen. I still shop at Target and I trust that they’ve taken the necessary steps to resolve their security issues – I just hope consumers feel the same way about eBay moving forward. On that note, it never hurts to diversify our online earnings. I’ve recently started with AdSense and the Amazon Affiliate program to get other income streams going. The stream isn’t as big as eBay yet but I’m encouraged by the results so far.

      I’m a newbie to the SEO world, but it always amazed me how eBay would rank on the first page for so many terms with only ads and auctions on their page. I just assumed that they would always get by just because of their brand recognition but I guess those days are done. We’ll see how they adjust. Btw, is it possible to get out of the sandbox after you’ve been placed in?

  3. i finally bought my first item, ( a Blue Lacoste Mens Polo ) It was buy one get one free deal, and i’ve yet to hit the womans jeans rack. I also snagged a beverly hills polo club pullover sweater. Total investment $2. If i don’t sell the pullover, I’ll Just keep it, Its in my size anyways.

    1. Congrats Michael, $2 is a great deal for those two items. Good luck with the auctions and please keep me updated on the results, thanks!

  4. Ebay is just killing me lately. I do not have a store and I don’t want one. I feel like I’ve been shoved into a corner by ebay because they took away our 50 free fixed price listings per month and have not had any free insertion offers in over well over a month. Last year I sold about 1,000 items with out a store by taking advantage of the various free listing offers as well as the 50 free per month. So, I can open a store now (don’t want to) and suffer slow sales throughout the summer or I can change all 700 of my listings over to auction style to take advantage of the 100 free auction style listings I get per month. Either way, it’s a loose / loose for me, and for ebay. I haven’t bothered to source new items since they announced this change as well as the new defect rate. At this point why bother?

    1. Hi, I know exactly how you feel – I had a feeling that those recent changes to their free listings programs were going to upset a lot of sellers, especially since more and more of us now prefer to use fixed price listing as oppose to auction-style formats. The good news is that I just received a promo yesterday for 10,000 fixed price listings until June 6th; hopefully you received the same promo because I’m definitely going to take advantage of it.

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