eBay SEO Review of the 2024 Winter Seller Update

The eBay Roller Coaster May Just Be Fun Again

2024 eBay Winter Seller Update
Free image, courtesy of AlainAudet via Pixabay

As we have been doing for several years, we’re here with our eBay SEO review of the 2024 Winter Seller Update.

 

It’s time again to go over eBay’s latest seller update.

There are numerous aspects that I won’t be covering in this post, including:

As always, I recommend that you read the entire 2024 Winter Seller Update for yourself.

With that housekeeping out of the way, let’s get into how the update impacts eBay search and marketing.

 

eBay’s GMV has finally begun to increase

In connection to our collective interest in the longevity of eBay, I first began to publicly track eBay’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2019.

Most sellers are aware that eBay’s revenue derived from its ad platform has continued to go up most quarters, this most recent reaching $2.6 billion.

But GMV, defined as “all paid transactions on its [eBay’s] platforms inclusive of shipping fees and taxes”, has been on a steady decline over the last year.

At last, it looks like the site’s downward GMV spiral may have reached its bottom.

eBay’s gross merchandise volume has been on a steady decline over the last year.  At last, it looks like the site’s downward GMV spiral may have reached its bottom.

eBay’s Q4 2023 gross merchandise volume rose from $18.0 to $18.6 billion, climbing back up to its former position as of 18 months ago.

For what seems like forever, we have watched the trajectory of eBay’s quarterly GMV with trepidation.

Some of our own clients have had to wait it out with us, their own product markets on eBay directly impacted for the worse by the ongoing GMV woes and hoping to take advantage of an eventual upturn.

It looks as though that time may finally have arrived.

 

Changes to category no longer erase all Item Specifics

eBay first began toying with a new “unified listing tool” at the end of 2020, calling it Helix.

As sellers who were around then will remember, the original version of the tool was extremely difficult to use — almost as though it had never been tested by a human prior to rolling it out.

Since then, many changes have been made to it.  Some of them good, some of them not so much.

The recent seller update includes a reminder that the tool — now the only listing creation and revision page available within eBay itself — ports over the relevant item specifics when sellers update the product category.

Previously, eBay used to erase the contents from all item specifics fields during the listing revision process when it involved changing the category.

However, it is important to note that the listing tool does not port over item specifics in the following instances:

  • When the field has a dropdown menu and was originally filled in with custom content instead of a selection from the menu.
  • When the field has a dropdown menu, was originally completed by selecting an option from the menu, but the new category’s dropdown menu options are different (even if only slightly).
  • When eBay simply deems an item specifics field to not be one of the “most relevant”.
  • When the field is for the product’s UPC (yes, it erases the UPC in every single instance).
eBay Unified Listing Tool
Screenshot of eBay’s listing tool after changing category, indicating item specifics that do not port over

 

The interactions the tool has with dropdown menus demonstrates eBay’s ongoing dependence on them to build out its structured data, still a foundational component of eBay SEO.

As I have said many times before, your listings will experience listing displacement (they will be removed from eBay search results altogether) when buyers select a filter and you haven’t selected an option exactly as it appears in the dropdown menu.

 

eBay professionals can breathe a little easier

The 2024 Winter Seller Update released two specific improvements that directly impact sellers who have hired or wish to hire a third-party service provider to work on their eBay account.

 

Expanded multi-user account access

I have been ranting about the extremely limited ways in which businesses can give third-party access to their eBay accounts since the feature was first introduced in 2021.

Multi-user account access (MUAA) permits an outside party to perform specific actions via a controlled form of limited account access.

Up until now, this access has been so limited that we have found MUAA to be useless in our own business.

Multi-user account access (MUAA) permits an outside party to perform specific actions via a controlled form of limited account access.  Up until now, this access has been so limited that we have found MUAA to be useless in our own business.

The latest seller update’s changes make it less so.

Now, third-party service providers (like an eBay SEO agency) have access to the following additional pages:

  • “Advertising dashboard” — to create, modify, and manage advertising campaigns.
  • “Manage promotions” — to both manage listing promotions and associated buyer groups.

This change is a long time in coming, but it is welcome.

Now, if they’d just give us access to that analytics page so we can actually measure the results of our work…

 

Addition of authenticator apps to eBay 2FA

This one’s going to be a little more obscure than the first, but I think a number of sellers will be very glad to hear it.

We discovered that eBay did not previously permit the use of authenticator apps — security programs that generate time-based one-time passwords (TOTPs) instead of requiring a code at each login — when we were recently working with an Australian client.

Although two-step verification (2FA) does not guarantee the security of the account it protects, it does add an additional layer of security that most sellers want to keep using while providing access to third parties.

Previously, we had to create an elaborate workaround for clients who wished to maintain their 2FA.

Because of eBay’s inclusion of authenticator app technology, our clients can now use a password manager like 1Password to provide us with seamless, unfettered access to their eBay accounts — and still continue using two-step verification.

 

Changes coming to List Rank Sell

While the rest of the eBay world is presently in a state of upheaval, the process of applying search engine optimization to eBay stores and listings remains steady and true.

It is a fact that our own optimization process continues to adapt and grow, but the fundamentals of eBay SEO are as dependable as they were when I started this business 11 years ago.

For years, I have wanted to create a resource for the eBay seller community that would be educational, supportive, and continually growing.

We’ve done a decent job of that so far, both with the List Rank Sell blog and the occasional interview.

But there is so much more that I haven’t to do.  And it looks like this just might be the year.

So keep an eye on our website for more developments soon, friends of eBay SEO, and as always…

Keep your chin up.

About Dave Snyder 26 Articles
Dave is Founder & Chief Analyst at List Rank Sell. He began his intensive testing and study of eBay SEO in 2010, which eventually grew into a full-service agency dedicated to the practice. Dave has developed a methodology that embraces traditional search as well as technical SEO specific to eBay. Previously, he led a successful career as a tax analyst representing Cook County property owners.