News by Topic
- Search Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Loyalty Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Marketing
- Viral Marketing
- Trends & Ideas
- Internet Marketing 101
eBay research suggests search ads have 'no measurable benefit'
Researchers at eBay claim that brand keyword ads in search engines have little benefit to advertisers in the short-term, calling into question the millions of dollars invested.
Adverts in search engines have "no measurable benefits" to eBay, found a paper 'Consumer Heterogeneity and Paid Search Effectiveness: A Large Scale Field Experiment' produced by eBay along with researchers from Berkeley and Chicago universities.
The research found that ads in search engines do attract clicks but that consumers would have otherwise clicked on the natural search result. To test this, eBay shut down advertising for its brand-related items on Yahoo! And MSN. This led to a significant uptick in natural clicks.
According to the report, "almost all of the forgone click traffic and attributed sales were captured by natural search". In other words, advertisers were spending unnecessarily on search ads when natural search was just as effective, and free.
"This is strong evidence that the removal of the advertisement raises the prominence of the eBay natural search result," says the report. "Since users intend to find eBay, it is not surprising that shutting down the paid search path to their desired destination simply diverts traffic to the next easiest path, natural search, which is free to the advertiser."
However, for advertisers buying space on search results for generic (non-branded) results the news is somewhat better. eBay's research found that whilst branded search usually showed up on the first page, generic results placements varied. Therefore, unless a site pays there is no guarantee it will show up on the front page.
Image via Shutterstock
- Facebook launches Event ads to appear in Newsfeeds
- UK: Online Christmas shopping to exceed £13 billion
- Top 3 retail tips to personalize across channels
- Expert Advice: Use in-store techniques to sell online
- Twitter helps agency campaigns take off with Flight School
- Top 3 tips to improve employee productivity
- Retailers: Why you need live online assistance for the 2014 holidays
- Top 3 tips to create better transactional email messages
Featured White Papers
- 5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
Many marketers are still using batch and blast tactics for their emails and are often limited in their personalization efforts...
- How to Maximize, Manage, and Measure Organic Search
Organic search delivers high-quality traffic and revenue with a high contribution margin. But organic search is hard, and it's getting...