SEO Stands for: Sell Everything, Okay?


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What are the top five things sellers should know when listing items in order to get more traffic from Bing and Google? How about the top three tips for systems integrators? With a whopping 10 million new items listed every day on eBay, we want to share how we optimize for search engines so even the smallest vendor can grab the spotlight in a rolling flood of content.

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  • eBay is Unique - Huge Inventory - Constant Churn - Items not Products - Marketplace
  • eBay has millions of new items everyday and millions of items end everyday.Photo by
  • eBay doesn’t have warehouses. eBay is a marketplace so we don’t know what inventory we will have tomorrow we only know what sellers have put on the site so far.Photo by
  • eBay has Advantages - Great Traffic - Long (Internet) History - Fantastic Logging - Experts in Topics
  • eBay has a lot of traffic. There are SEO tests you can only run if you have lots of traffic. We have sites in many countries and languages that get lots of traffic. This lets us see things change in different markets at different times.Photo by
  • eBay has had a lot of traffic for a long time. We are one of the original ecommerce powerhouses.Photo by
  • eBay has the capacity and systems needed to track and understand all that traffic.Photo by
  • Some of our sellers are the world’s experts in their field. This is an Edison Phonograph.Photo by
  • Why SEO at eBay is Different - Very little static content. - Very few durable canonical pages. - A Store that acts like News (or Stocks). - Linking has limited utility. - Trust involves our Sellers. - Content created by (Amateur) Sellers.
  • eBay’s content changes so quickly that inter-linking has limited value. For inter-linking to be valuable the crawler has to find the page from multiple routes and move off the page to other pages before all of the pages disappear.The bots don’t move all that fast when you are talking about tens of millions of pages on a single site.Site Maps help the bot discover the page but they don’t help it see the source of the in-bound links.This causes havoc for PageRank.Photo by
  • Think of eBay as a store with inventory that changes as quickly as a stock ticker.Photo from
  • Trust is an important part of ranking.On eBay trust is a combination of our effort and the activities of our sellers.It is a partnership.Photo by
  • Although most of the things eBay sells today come from large professional sellers, most of the sellers on the site are small part-time or amateur sellers.The amateur seller isn’t worried about SEO or thinking about Trust.They want to sell their item with the smallest overhead possible.eBay has a role in educating sellers on the things they can do to improve the performance of their listing, including SEO.Photo by
  • How We Approach SEO - Search Engines are trying to simulate a person. - Test, test, test. - Stop Hurting Ourselves. - Clarify the page for the bot. - Observe the most important customer. - Consider all searches. - Measure performance.
  • First, apply pressure to the wound. - Titles - Meta-tags - Javascript obfuscation. - Redirects in Navigation. - Few paths to new designs. - Turn off the cruft. - Fix legacy network issues.Photo by
  • Over time your site will accumulate pages that aren’t maintained anymore.After a re-org entire parts of a site can be left unmanaged.Cleaning up the cruft is a useful first-aid practice. Find the stuff no one is making better and remove it.Photo by
  • Sometimes new features lack sufficient links. Photo by
  • How do we approach SEO?1. We keep in mind the goals of the search engine teams.Search engines are trying to simulate a person. What would a person look at on the page?What would a person think is most important?Where would a person go after this page?When would they want to see this page?A good UX design is good for SEO.Photo by
  • We test our way forward.Test, Test, Test - Traditional tests EXCLUDED the bot. - Designing tests for SEO. - Change the entire site. - Compare countries? - Vary by Item or Product. - Expected outcome? - Ranking improvement? - Coverage improvement? - Latency reduction? - Bounce-rate reduction? - Conversion improvement? - Trust???Photo by
  • Clarify the page for the bot - Traditional SEO practices. - Does the link text identify the target? - Are we expressing how we value to page? - Is the H1 accurate, succinct and useful? - Where are the ads? - Can the bot follow all the navigation? - Have we laid any booby-traps for the bot?Photo source:
  • Clarify the page for the bot - Can the bot follow all the navigation? - Have we laid any booby-traps for the bot?Photo from:
  • Observe the most important customer - Search Bots are the most important customer. - Are you logging the bot? - Are you studying what it does and doesn't visit? - Are you studying how often it revisits a page? - Can you identify when it gets lost?Photo from:
  • In designing a page: - UI Design and SEO Design are complementary.Photo from:
  • SEO Stands for: Sell Everything, Okay?

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