eBay SEO For Organic “FREE” Search Indexing

Is it possible to Search Engine Optimize an eBay Sellers Listing so it is easily accessible via external Google or Bing organic (free) search?

eBay SEO For Organic Google Search

Example of an eBay sellers item description text that is hidden from search bots inside this inline frame hindering it’s placement in organic search. Click to enlarge.

This topic has been been getting some attention lately, as some eBay sellers are concerned why their auctions and buy now listings are not appearing in Google search.

eBay sellers item text descriptions are displayed on the seller’s item page. But are physically embedded in whats called an inline frame.

This is what’s commonly referred to as an iFrame among seo’s.

An iFrame is a web page embedded within a page but as far as i can tell are not viewed as that same page by search bots.

As a general rule Googlebot does not crawl iframes as outlined in this Google webmaster tools page on iframe support.

Another article found while researching this scenario claim Google does crawl iframes, but will ignore iframes that point to another domain (ebaydesc.com).

Google is often capable of crawling iFrames on web pages, as long as the iFrames are SEO-friendly. In fact, Google is also capable of passing link juice via iFrames. However, it is suspect that Google, unlike other major search engines, will ignore iFrames that point to a different domain, and not the top-level domain, or TDL. If true, this prevents webmasters from having iFrames leading to high-ranking websites just to improve their own pagerank.

Another possible scenario. eBay sellers descriptions could have been used to generate those doorway pages that got eBay spanked hard by Google Panda in 2014. While some sellers have only a few words of poorly laid out text, others go to great detail describing their auction and fixed price eBay listings. Those descriptions being on a different domain could prove quite useful for other purposes.

Google no longer counts meta keywords. But considers the pages meta title and it’s meta description. It’s a well known fact to seo’s that Google looks at your webpage or blog article text content for keywords and keyphrases within that text. A minimum of 300 words is suggested.

But with eBay hiding your item description text in this iFrame it don’t matter if you have 500 words, bullets, italics, bold, etc. It’s not being seen by organic search crawlers as far as i can tell.

It is my opinion that eBay is limiting outside organic search bots namely Google from indexing eBay items. I also suspect they do this so they can control what items are shown in internal Cassini search. Otherwise why not just put the sellers description text on the item page where it can help influence the items placement in organic search?

Doc talks about how eBay is hiding sellers descriptions in auction and fixed price listings. This gives eBay more control over listing visibility within their own internal Cassini search engine. But hinders placement in organic search.

As usual just my two cents worth 😉

6 comments

  • Richard Grenda

    Doc – can we, as sellers remove this iframe notation from our listings?

    • No that iFrame embedding your items description is internal eBay code. Nothing you can do other than complain to eBay to remove it. Google has a crawl url page where you can submit your sites pages to search. I don’t know if this will work for eBay listings with all the tracking code in the item url. Possibly worth trying if you can strip the url down to just the ebay item number minus the other junk. Here is the url: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url?pli=1

  • I just checked the source code on three separate listings, no iframe in any of them. Were these images “borrowed” from an older article?

  • Russ Gallegher

    Gee, I thought eBay was in the biz of collecting FVF’s [ie. rake-off’s] from sales of items listed on its site. Why would they do anything to limit visibility; ie. stop traffic from getting to the site? I guess when a clueless BoD pays you $23,000,000 to keep a seat warm for six months, there’s little incentive to manage the enterprise effectlively.

    • Yep.. Sad but true. Hopefully Devin Wenig will reverse Donahoe’s destructive innovation and make eBay great again. But i’m not holding my breath waiting around. Thanks for your comment.

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