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Strange Search Results on eBay

In the last few weeks we have seen some very strange search results, and this may well be another reason why eBay sales are down.

The problem seems to be a change in the search algorithm for phrases. We are seeing some wildly different numbers for search terms which use the same words but in different positions.

One search we saw shows 806 results for “USB Cable extension” and 15,452 results for “USB Extension cable”.

We also saw 4,107 results for “1st Birthday Card” and 43,078 for “1 Birthday Card” even though most of the titles said “1st” and not “1”.

“9ct gold chain” has 6,939 results, whilst “Gold chain 9ct” has 15,239.

This is particularly puzzling as the logical, natural search would presumably be “1st birthday card” rather than 1 birthday card, and “9ct Gold chain rather than “gold chain 9ct”.

This may explain why sales have been reduced for some sellers – if buyers are getting the same results then they are not finding the products they are looking for.  


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