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Subject: eBay, search engine spammers galore? have you noticed this too? What should I do

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/25/05 at 9:54 pm

The back story:

When I was getting the baby's room ready, I did some searching on the Internet for some knobs for a cabinet that needed replacing.  I wanted some Winnie the Pooh knobs since we were trying to stick with that as the theme (I think we've got plenty now anyways) and figured the best thing to do would be to look online for some knobs.  The local home improvement stores didn't have much, and I had tried ebay and found nothing but decopage stuff (which we ugly). 

So I hit google and the first ten pages of results are nothing but links back to ebay through redirect sites or sites filled with search results from ebay.  All with legit sounding addresses, but all junk sites with no content of their own.  I changed search results several times (I'm not exactly new at using search engines, I know plenty of tricks for optimizing my search), and found maybe two places in the UK selling some knobs that I did like, but between the currency exchange and the shipping, would have ended up costing close to $100 for 16 knobs, a little more than I had planned on.  Using keywords from these pages, I figured I'd knock the results down and maybe find someone in the US who was importing them, etc.  No luck, tons more ebay spam, or hardly any results at all if I filted too much.

Today I got an email from the people who run the ebay commision program wanting to know if I joined.  My gut tells me I'd be degrading my site with links to ebay, since their commision program appears to be filled with scumbags.  I like ebay, I've been using it since their first year of operation, but I don't think I could support them after my recent experiences with them.  I'm sure I'd get a good return on the ad revenue, since it's a perfect fit for inthe80s.  I've been telling people for years to try ebay for stuff from the 80s they're looking for. It's not really the service I hate, it's their ad department.  I'm also a little afraid that if google begins to penalize the spam sites, a legitmate site such as my own could get caught in the crossfire.

The questions:

1) Has anyone else noticed a ton of ebay links when they've searched for stuff they want to buy?  Not just google either, I tried several other search engines, and even a couple meta-search engines.

2)  Would you agree to partner with a company that appears to be spamming the Net in this fashion?

Subject: Re: eBay, search engine spammers galore? have you noticed this too? What should I do

Written By: ADH13 on 08/25/05 at 10:00 pm

Is it possible that Ebay isn't doing it??  I think it would be possible for any site owner to link to ebay on their own, although I'm not so sure what they would gain from it.

I have noticed this sometimes.  I have also noticed it with amazon.  Sometimes I try to search for a popular store and when I click on the site it takes me to amazon.

Subject: Re: eBay, search engine spammers galore? have you noticed this too? What should I do

Written By: jackas on 08/25/05 at 10:31 pm

1) Yep, I've noticed that with ebay and I don't use google.  Zappos (shoe store) does that too.  You go to search for a shoe and some odd site links you to Zappos.

Subject: Re: eBay, search engine spammers galore? have you noticed this too? What should

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/26/05 at 7:25 am

It's not ebay themselves doing it.  They're giving commissions to others who do it for them.

How it works is this:

Site XYZ creates a page that will show up when you search for smurfs.  When someone visits their smurf page, if you click on a link you are brought to ebay, and ebay knows how sent them there, and pays them for directing the traffic to them.

The problem arises, when someone doesn't create a page on smurfs, but just grabs a bunch of words related to smurfs and stuffs them on a page, and gets a lot of other sites to link to that page (say, by spamming others sites that allow links to be posted on them).

If you have a few dozen people doing that, eventually all you find is crap in the search engines.

When I explained all this to my wife Susan last night, she agreed that it's way too risky getting labeled a spammer for some extra revenue for the website.  At some point, google is going to try and clean these spammers out of their indexes, and that last thing I want to do, is get caught in the crossfire.

Subject: Re: eBay, search engine spammers galore? have you noticed this too? What should

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/27/05 at 10:53 am

I do a lot of buying on-line and use Google's Froogle A LOT and yes, e-bay comes up A LOT!!!! I could be wrong but I think the reason why that happens is because these websites (e-bay,, etc) plugs into Google. So these sites pop up more than others. I do use e-bay but for certain things. For other things, I like to go to other places.

I wouldn't get involved in that, Chucky.


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