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tictictic_OnEbay
(member)
10/30/06 02:11 PM
More on Now What? re keywords  

I know this is not a sexy topic, and it's also a little brain-numbing, but I think it's important, so I'm going to post about it again. [Be sure to read the Update at the bottom]

EBay's search protocols are very tricky; seems to me they are pretty close to rocket science. I've read their Help files as well as the site Moonstruck22/Marty posted here. Informative and interesting, but I'm still puzzled by which keywords and keyword strings get results and which don't.

Right now I've got an auction for a Halloween toy with its original box. The name of the toy is AMAZING FLYING WITCH (I am NOT trying to promote my auction; it's just a perfect example of the search problem). If someone knows of this toy and is searching on that exact name, the auction WILL NOT SHOW UP in search results. Here is an excerpt from the description:

AMAZING FLYING WITCH
BATTERY OPERATED
Nicely detailed -- love those green socks and pointy fingers; flies by propeller at end of broom; works well (batteries not included); about 8" x 11"; nothing missing; with box (great illustration of her flying over a city with strange towers and turrets)


And here are the specifics of which words/strings (or keyword expansions, as eBay apparently calls them) work and which don't work (all searches are Title and Description, All Categories):

Works:
"flying witch"
"amazing flying" witch
and of course this: amazing flying witch (no quotes), but then you get 90 listings.
Does not work:
"amazing flying witch", which is the full name of the toy as printed on the box.

Works:
"green socks" "pointy fingers"
Does not work:
"green socks and pointy fingers"

Works:
propeller broom (no quotes)
Does not work:
propeller "end of broom"

Works:
"strange towers"
Does not work:
"strange towers and turrets"
"strange towers and"
"towers and turrets" (although a bunch of listings for decorated eggs turn up -- apparently, Towers and Turrets is a brand name).

Works:
witch "flying over"
Does not work:
"flying over a city"
witch "flying over a city"

I don't know about you, but I find this troubling. If I were looking for another of these toys, I would study the box and use search strings such as "amazing flying witch", propeller "end of broom", "flying over a city" witch, but none of these would bring up the auction in question. In fact, after seeing no results for the exact name of the toy, I'd probably just give up, being confident that any seller would certainly use that name in their description or title.

We all do our best to think like an eBay shopper when we write our descriptions. If eBay's search protocols don't behave like ordinary people think, our efforts are defeated. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check some of your auctions to make sure the most likely search strings are working, and if not, please complain to eBay.

Thanks, Sue

UPDATE:

Just before posting this, I decided to try something. I revised the auction to add the phrase amazing flying witch in black text, so it's hidden in the black background -- it's above the pictures and below the link to email me (if you go to item #140047390944 and highlight it, you'll see it). Now when I search on this exact keyword string (with quote marks), the auction comes up! What does this mean??? Is it something to do with the formatting of the original auction's text? The original has the phrase in Maiandra GD, size 18, green, all caps, centered. The phrase in the revised auction is in the default eBay formatting (Arial 10, black, lower case, aligned left). Should we all be hiding these key phrases in our backgrounds?? Is it something to do with the location in the description (above the images)?? What is going on??






 
Entire thread
Subject  Posted byPosted on
.More on Now What? re keywords  tictictic_OnEbay10/30/06 02:11 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps10/30/06 02:42 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady10/30/06 03:07 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 11:36 AM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 11:40 AM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 05:14 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 11:42 AM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 11:45 AM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 05:17 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/12/06 04:00 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/12/06 06:31 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 11:49 AM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 05:20 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 12:08 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 06:48 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 07:07 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 07:19 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 07:24 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 12:25 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 12:38 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 01:14 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/12/06 04:02 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/12/06 06:33 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/21/06 08:56 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/12/06 04:07 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/12/06 04:57 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/12/06 05:03 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/12/06 05:39 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/12/06 05:44 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/12/06 06:45 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/12/06 05:57 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/21/06 09:08 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/12/06 06:46 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/12/06 06:52 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 02:02 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 05:29 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 06:13 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  AquilaStamps11/01/06 06:42 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 02:11 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 02:13 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady11/01/06 02:22 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  substance29211/01/06 02:23 PM
.*Re: More on Now What? re keywords  bluepennylady10/30/06 02:24 PM
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