According to a chart from SearchMetrics (below) eBay has had a 48% drop in search visibility on Google and over a very short period of time:
Image sourced from Seroundtable.com
eBay has suffered a huge loss in organic traffic and rankings as the above chart clearly shows but what happened? eBay uses what is known and referred to as “doorway pages” on its website. These pages are designed for higher search rankings but when you actually delve into the content it’s quite thin and light on. To illustrate this with an example we did an eBay search for used iPhone 4’s and the results were as follows:
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/used-iphone-4 - screen shot shows keyword stuffing for the words “iphone” and “used” in the red circle below, and the page itself consists solely of product photos with no information or description provided:
The above is a good example of a “doorway” page but with the release of Google Panda 4.0 these types of pages are disappearing from Google search results and whilst eBay still ranks for used iPhone 4’s in search results their ranking position has moved down. What this does mean now for shoppers and retailers alike is that the pages that do appear in search results (post Panda 4.0) are more relevant. Take a look at another example below (using same search term used iPhones):
They now rank number 6 in search results on Google for the term “used iPhones” but you can clearly see from the above page that a lot more useful and relevant content is provided. Note the amount of text provided to describe iPhones as well as the useful feature comparison table of different iPhone models and the page even goes on to outline the things to consider with used iPhones too.
If the outcome of Panda 4.0 does result in better quality pages and websites ranking in Google then all the better for it. We’re sure that eBay will be responding to the release of Panda 4.0 over the coming weeks and it will be interesting to see what comes of those changes so stay tuned.