eBay’s New Browse and Product Pages

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Image: Adobe Stock | SEO
Image: Adobe Stock | SEO

At eBay Open 2017, the company demonstrated its new browse and product pages. This demo was probably the first time many sellers learned about the pages and how they work.

eBay had been working on them for about half a year and to date has over 200 million of these SEO friendly pages.

Since eBay Open, there have been many comments on seller forums discussing these pages and what some sellers consider an “Amazonification” of eBay.

So let’s take a closer look at how they work and how a seller can make use of these static pages.

THE GOOGLE EBAY SPAT OVER LANDING PAGES

For those that have been on eBay for a while, you may remember the spat between eBay and Google. Basically, Google started to downgrade many eBay listings. The search giant did not appreciate some of the SEO tricks eBay was applying.

Part of the problem was that eBay’s ended listings continued to receive high search results because of the SEO methods. So the relevance of these links was pretty weak for Google users and led to many people going to ended or out of stock listings.

eBay did make some interim changes trying to improve SEO on running listings, but without a major overhaul, Google search was still a problem.

Moving forward to 2017, eBay made the significant changes that will dramatically improve SEO and provide relevant landing pages for Google search results.

200 MILLION LANDING PAGES AND COUNTING

eBay created to date over 200 million landing pages that are SEO and Google Friendly. These pages consist of two distinct types, browsing pages and product pages.

The landing pages are generated from eBay catalog content, listing content, and item specifics provided by sellers. While the actual landing page has an SEO friendly static URL, the content is dynamic.

So let’s take a look at these two major SEO friendly landing pages and how you may need to change your listings to make use of them.

BROWSING PAGES

Image: Richard Meldner | eBay Browse Page
Image: Richard Meldner | eBay Browse Page

Browsing pages are kind of like category pages on standard eCommerce sites. In the image, we used Samsung Televisions browsing page as the example.

You can see from the screen shot, eBay is giving a shopper in the body of the browsing page, screen size options, resolution options, special deals option, and best selling options.

In the left-hand navigation bar, shoppers also have the choice to narrow down a category, Display Technology, Resolution, Screen Size, Smart TV features, Additional features, Color, Condition, Buying Format, Delivery Options, Item Location and a link to provide more refinements.

The navigation information pulls data from seller’s listings that use item specifics in their product listings.

As a buyer picks on specific features or product information, eBay adjusts the search results to show only listings that match the customer’s requirements.

From a buying point of view, this is a huge step in the right direction as it aligns eBay browsing pages with catalogs often found on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other major eCommerce destinations.

Image: Richard Meldner | eBay Product Page
Image: Richard Meldner | eBay Product Page

PRODUCT PAGES

The product pages eBay generates are from manufacturer SKUs, MPNs, UPC or EAN codes.

When you go to a product page for a particular item, and there are more than one listings, eBay will show the different options available.

A shopper will see options for new and “Nearly New” (used) items, as well as details (About this product section) from the eBay catalog for that item. It appears that at the moment eBay is only displaying product pages for which it has full catalog information.

On the product page, eBay shows customer reviews which are aggregated from all sales on this particular SKU, UPC, or EAN code.

FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT TO LISTING DISCOVERY FOR BUYERS

For many sellers, these new landing pages represent a significant change by eBay. Some sellers have criticized eBay for trying to be like Amazon.

They claim these landing pages create a selling environment where sellers now are competing for top spot placement on browsing and landing pages. The critics claim this will be similar to the competition for Amazon’s Buy Box.

There is some truth to that, but there are also major differences and sellers have much more control.

What this shift does mean is that sellers have to create better listings and can’t be lazy about creating simple listings with little description or item specifics information.

There is no doubt that diligent sellers, who take the time to make sure their listings have good descriptions, who take proper photos, and who provide the most structured data (item specifics) information relevant to a product or category will place higher in search.

Fundamentally professional sellers will benefit from this change, and that means higher sales for them and eBay.

EBAY IS PROVIDING THE TECHNOLOGY – IT’S UP TO SELLERS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE

Whenever a marketplace like eBay or Amazon makes changes, there will be sellers that criticize the changes. But this also represents a great opportunity for those sellers that provide the data and follow best practices.

The browse and product pages improve SEO on Google search. They improve ranking and relevancy in results. In turn, this means sellers that take advantage of these new pages should see improved conversion and sales.

Third party listing tools such as Sixbit Software or M2EPro (with Magento) will make the process of using item specifics and structured data on eBay listings much easier.

Even eBay is working on new listing tools and improved bulk listing and editing tools. These improved tools will also help sellers provide better data and information on their listings.

What do you think of the new static SEO friendly pages? Do you think they will help your business? Let us know in the comment section below.

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