eBay Claims Google Ads Don't Perform Well; Clearly eBay Needs New AdWords Specialists

Mar 14, 2013 • 8:11 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

ebay googleBBC reports that eBay is questioning the real ROI and benefit of them spending millions of dollars with Google through their AdWords program.

eBay released a report claiming that paying for Google AdWords has little effect on sales. The Guardian has a copy of the 25-page PDF report.

"[In the absence of paid search links] consumers simply substitute to organic search links [the results Google's search algorithm brings back without companies having to pay]," said the report.

"This implies that brand keyword advertising has neither persuasive nor informative value to well-known corporations."

Um, well, have you ever seen some of eBay's search ads? Not the best looking, most convincing and highly crafted ads you've seen. Both on the ad copy side and on the keyword targeting side.

netmeg in WebmasteWorld isn't surprised, she said:

Of course, ebay's ads were beyond pathetic, but that couldn't have had anything to do with it... oh no.

How much does eBay spend with Google? Well, we try to answer that over here.

Update, Larry also wrote a blog post on this.

Forum discussion at WebmasteWorld.

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Praveen Sharma

03/14/2013 12:40 pm

"I Dare You To Fire Your Ad Managers And Give Me A Shot" - nice one by Larry. lol.. :)


03/14/2013 01:10 pm

Amateur/part-time retailers generally make bad SEMs.


03/14/2013 02:50 pm

what a moron barry is, did you read the study??????? eBay stopped buying ads for "eBay" on some markets and didn't in others. It was a branded keyword, nothing to do with what you say All these SEM losers are rushing to defend Adwords.

Barry Schwartz

03/14/2013 02:51 pm

You are back to hating me?

Andrew Agnello

03/14/2013 03:36 pm

I think the larger issue with eBay AdWords, is users already know what to expect from eBay and that determines if they will click the ad or not. A lot of my friends don't like eBay and think of it as a shady place for people selling out of their basement and wouldn't click an ad to eBay regardless of the ad's copy or specific relevance to their search. Personally, I buy and sell a lot of products on eBay, but wouldn't click an eBay ad. I would go to eBay directly in my browser instead of Google for certain product searches. I can say the same for Amazon ads and I'd go to Amazon directly if i wanted to see what they have for me. I'm sure there are people who do/would click eBay ads, but I think users' preconceptions of the brand are affecting CTR quite a bit.

Larry Kim

03/14/2013 03:39 pm

thanks praveen :)

Aaron Opfell

03/14/2013 04:26 pm

Can't believe Ebay is questioning Google Adwords ROI, everyone knows that Google Search is Direct Response http://www.searchermag.net/sem/

Alex Koontz

03/14/2013 08:57 pm

Think this could have something to do with it? Not sure people are clikcing on ads with anchor text of "Discount Baby Mexican" or "Dirty Thoughts For Sale" http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/internet/ebay-ads.htm


03/15/2013 02:55 pm

Why doesn't anyone get it Barry Schwartz is Google bitch. Its very clear that everytime there is bad news about Google he is the first to write a post clarifying things or defending them. Go back and read his articles about Facebook or Bing or Yahoo...see how he bashes them. Seroundtable.com is very bias towards google everyone knows it. Its not like Barry is fooling anyone here. Chag Pesach Sameach

Barry Schwartz

03/15/2013 02:56 pm

If only you saw what Google thinks of me. I am hated on all sides. It is a win win. :)


03/16/2013 03:04 am

Funny, but many eBay sellers now think that eBay Ads too 'don't perform well' ... The findings of this study may well be valid for very well known brands, but the report suffers one very serious material flaw, it is an eBay document—undoubtedly, straight from the disingenuous eBay Dept of Spin—and should therefore be taken with a grain of salt … Regrettably, you can always tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving! And, the ugly reality for consumers dealing with the clunky, unscrupulous eBay/PayPal complex ... "eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #5" ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas


04/15/2013 02:39 pm

Perhaps eBay need to think outside the box. I've found 13 ways PPC can add value for branded searches: http://www.calculatemarketing.com/blog/techniques/13-reasons-why-ebay-are-wrong/.

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