Panda 4.0: Lessons from eBay’s Mistakes

A week ago, Google released the 4.0 version of Panda. On its release date, several sites were hit, and it did create ripples in the search landscape. One of the most prominent sites that got hit was eBay, giving everyone a curious case to ponder. Let’s take a look at what went wrong with one of the largest e-commerce sites today.


Searching for products and clicking an eBay link almost always directs you to a product listing instead of the actual product page.

When you search for a product, you want to be directed to the exact page where you can already buy the item and figure out the shipping setup. With such doorways, you would have to click other links, thus creating more traffic for the site. These doorways are what got hit on the eBay website.

Now, there are rumours that a manual penalty is what really hit eBay. Both Google and eBay, however, have yet to confirm this. It’s too soon to tell whether or not it was really a manual penalty or an algorithmic consequence.

Whatever the case, the lesson here is that you should always aim to improve user experience, including the layout of your site’s content, placement of ads, and other parts of the portal.

Thin content

Product listings have very little content, often featuring only internal search results. Add some ads and a lot more internal links and you have the basic structure of the page. This is the reason Google penalised the site, as content has become the buzzword for SEO.

It’s important for a page to have quality, compelling content – even if it’s an e-commerce site. Doing so improves the user experience, which is the end goal of search engines. This is lesson number two: understanding the importance of content.


The quality of content was bad and the site architecture was confusing; it made the pages look like spam. What’s worse is how the quantity of these pages affected the results. With millions of doorways, eBay has a lot of work to do to get back the rankings it lost. The lesson: always think and rethink your strategy, monitor it, and adjust accordingly.

At Nu Studio, you can be sure that we use only the most ethical practices in SEO. We can help you achieve better rankings and gain stronger online traction with our effective, tailor-fit solutions. Talk to us to know more about our services.

photo credit: Ryan Fanshaw Photography