Finding will fundamentally change with the introduction of Finding 2.0 which is in a test phase. The importance of the auction title will lesson as new ways for search results to be presented to buyers comes to the fore. The single biggest change will be the change of focus from eBay generated content such as item attributes and introduction of organic content created by the community.
If you’re not already using item specifics this is possibly the single most important change you need to make to your listings. Already in the UK categories are being rationalised with subcategories removed, this will also happen in the US. However to balance this item specifics will begin to be returned in search results, so if for instance you’re selling a hard back Harry Potter book by J K Rowling you’ll no longer need to include any of those words in the item title so long as they’re specified in item specifics. Of course you’ll probably still include some to confirm to the buyer they’ve found the item they’re looking for but it will go some way to relieve the pressure of cramming every possible keyword into the 55 character item title.
Eventually search results will be drawn from the title and item specifics across the entire site, but from next month testing will commence in six categories and it’s expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.
Product Based Search Results
eBay will start presenting product based search results, an example of this is for a Harry Potter search on the eBay playground three specific best sellers are highlighted along with rankings from ebay reviews and a price guide to enable you to narrow your search to a specific book. Clicking on the specific product your interested in will guide buyers to the product their looking for, normal search results will still be displayed below. This will only be available for items for which eBay holds catalogue data such as books, dvds and cds where Muze or ISBN references are available.
Finding 2.0 is being designed to return as many relevant products as possible. It will use Categories, Item Specifics and Catalogue properties to improve the recall of products even if the item title isn’t a match. Currently it’s being tested with 1% of US buyers with more testing coming in August this year. In some categories where visual buying is important gallery searches with larger pictures and additional information available via mouseovers will be introduced. This will be in categories such as Shoes, Clothing art and Jewelry where visual buying is more important than titles.
Finding 2.0 is all about the community building the terms that are most relevant to products, enabling search results to pull more information about products than just item titles, and ensuring all relevant products are returned to a search. It should drive down instances where a search shows up few, or no products at all.
The best part of all is as sellers add new items specifics for products and as buyers search for new terms eBay will organically learn which terms sell product and and which don’t and use this information to present the products buyers want to buy when they want to buy them.