eBay Admits Google Penalty Had A "Dramatic Impact" On Earnings

Jul 18, 2014 • 8:12 am | comments (22) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Penalty CardsBack in May we reported that eBay had some sort of penalty that hit their Google search visibility by about 50%. That is major but now we somewhat know how major.

Danny Sullivan reports on Search Engine Land that it may have costed them $200 million. On the eBay earnings call yesterday, eBay’s chief financial officer Bob Swan said:

Now, let’s turn to the Marketplaces business. Marketplaces delivered $2.2 billion in revenue, which grew 6%, GMV grew 8%, and operating margin declined 340 basis points. It was a challenging quarter. As John indicated, we got off to a good start, but we had significant obstacles late May.

The combination of the cyberattack and the Google SEO had an immediate and dramatic impact on GMV growth. June GMV growth was 7% driven by slower active buyer growth and lower conversion. In light of these events, we have made significant investments to get eBay users reengaged, including couponing, seller incentives and increased marketing spend...

Yes, he said, "The combination of the cyberattack and the Google SEO had an immediate and dramatic impact on GMV growth."

The issue is, it seems to be getting worse, the search referrals from Google at least. SearchMetrics data shows a continued decline in search visibility to eBay's property:

ebay searchmetrics

That is another 5% drop week over week and 5% even for small sites are huge, to lose 50% and see continued drops, will have a continued impact on eBay's revenues.

Danny sums up the call as it relates to the SEO part nicely.

I bet many of you are surprised that such a big brand is still suffering but some may speculate it has to do with eBay's AdWords stance.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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