According to AuctionBytes, we might be headed for an eBay dance. Ina Steiner, the editor of AuctionBytes explains:
Sellers need to prepare for an eBay Dance, which will likely be similar to a “Google Dance.” For those unfamiliar with the term, Google Dance is used to describe an index update of Google’s search engine. Typically, this wreaks havoc with many web site owners, who may lose position in search results. An entire industry (SEO) has been built on keeping up with Google’s changes and maintaining or improving the rankings of websites in natural search. I believe eBay is about to do a Dance of its own soon, and it may be painful for many eBay sellers.
You can read the full article (link here), but she goes on to explain that the rumored eBay dance will affect the way the default search results are displayed to buyers. Currently the default for search terms is by Ending Soonest. This article speculates that Best Match will be the new default and hence ‘the dance’.
Best Match is eBay’s proprietary method of displaying search results according to relevance. It is supposedly based on seller quality (which is largely based on detailed seller ratings) and other criteria. Currently, Best Match is available in Advanced Search as an alternate sorting option. You can preview it to see how your listings will display if indeed the default sort is changed to Best Match.
While such a change might shake up many eBay sellers, it’s also a change that has some positive potential. Since eBay’s humble beginnings, the default search has been Ending Soonest and many eBay sellers have built their entire selling strategy around listing ending times. Depending on how eBay implements this, it might be a way to lift that default which in many ways is restrictive. I say that because it’s a well known fact that some time slots are better than others to end listings. Sunday evenings for example, are generally considered the overall best time to end listings but it’s hard to run full fledged business just on Sunday night!
Such a change could be more of an equalizer than a devastating change. If implemented correctly it may also provide the buyers with a better overall experience than they currently get. I know as an eBay buyer, I often get frustrated with the Ending Soonest sort and find myself changing it to some other sort or just going somewhere else to find the item.
In any case, the AuctionBytes article gives some great pointers on how you might prepare for this change. And this will certainly be interesting to watch and see how it pans out.