Some major brands have taken a hit after Google’s most recent update to the way its search algorithm works, and a report from Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian provides further evidence that eBay in particular is suffering.
We’ve previously reported that the update, known as “Panda 4.0,” has stripped eBay of 80% of its best search listings, according to Larry Kim, CEO of search marketing company Wordstream.
RWBaird data corroborates that report, showing that after strong growth in early May, eBay’s growth showed a meaningful decline in growth in the second two weeks (when Panda came into effect), both week over week and year-over-year compared to the first half of May.
RWBaird also cited the negative headlines from eBay’s data breach and slower sales before Memorial Day as possible factors for the decline in growth.
eBay relies heavily on search traffic. When you Google a product that you want to buy, eBay wants one of its listings to be on the first page of results. Since Google’s update, eBay results have lost their prime real estate.
Google routinely changes its search algorithms to weed out results from lower quality or spammy websites, and Wordstream’s Kim says that eBay’s bad ad practices caused its results to get punished. Although the company is seeing lousy results now, RWBaird predicts that the negative impact on eBay will be temporary, as it adapts to the algorithm changes and purchases additional product listing ads.