It’s no surprise that eBay’s Profits were damaged by the Google Panda 4.0 Algorithm Update where they lost an estimated 80% of it’s search listings. However, Ebay has opened the door to “Black Hat” type practices that force Sellers to spend money on “FAKE Stats” in order to get better visibility. In this post, I will dive into some of the specifics of this new and questionable practice.
“eBay Watchers” Rank smells like Old Fashioned Link Farming
According to a great article by eCommercebytes.com entitled “You Can Buy eBay Watchers – But Should You?“, author Ina Steiner states “eBay gives greater exposure to listings that have a greater number of views and watchers than other listings. In addition, shoppers on eBay are naturally attracted to listings that have many watchers and views, often believing that popularity indicates a sought-after item that they should be looking at too. ” So now, there are companies which allow Sellers to buy Watchers and Views in order to help their eBay Rank. Starting to smell like a Link Farm yet? Currently, it appears that eBay is not policing this artificial inflation but lets all hope they can identify these cheaters.
eBay Sellers Not too Happy
Since eBay has lost revenue to Google Panda, they are opening doors to force advertisers to pay their way to the top. However, according to some online forums, the sellers are sounding off on this dirty practice. For example, on eBay’s Community Forum, Sellers are raging mad. Here are some excerpts from the Thread entitled “Buying Popularity to Boost eBay Search Rankings”
eBay better get their act together before this new “Snake Oil” ruins their reputation. Just like Link Buying in the 2000’s, companies are finding ways to make money off of “holes in algorithms” and the only people who suffers are the advertisers. So, before advertisers start selling items on eBay, they need to know what is going on “behind the scenes”.