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  1. #1
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    Is eBay engaging in keyword spamming?
    I don't know how long this has been going on, but I just noticed it today. I was browsing the Music Instruments > Brass > Trumpets category and at the bottom of the page is a box containing the following:

    More Info About Brass:
    eBay's Musical Instruments category is the home for novice, advanced and professional musicians alike. Whatever your musical taste or your band's sound, eBay's Musical Instruments category is the place to buy and sell music gear. Future rockers can build a band from scratch - from DJ gear and lighting systems to instruments and traveling equipment! Find guitar amps, rack gear, electronic keyboards and piano keyboards, multi-track recorders, banjos, bass, and cases. Looking for a guitar? Whether its an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, eBay has the top brands at the best prices - Fender, Gibson, Martin, Ibanez, Washburn, Music Man, Paul Reed Smith, Ovation, Takamine or Yamaha. eBay also has top brands in Pro Audio: Alesis, Mackie, American DJ, Shure, JBL, Technis, Yamaha, Peavey, Tascam, NuMark and others. Perhaps you prefer Brass instruments - eBay has tubas, trumpets, French horns and more. Perhaps its percussion: we have bells, cymbals, drums and tambourines. If its woodwinds - eBay has bagpipes, oboes, clarinets, flutes, saxophones and more. If you prefer to DJ and mix, eBay has DJ gear, turntables, drum machines, and electronic samplers. Just learning to play? eBay has a huge variety of sheet music, song books, instructional books, instructional CDs / DVDs, and wholesale lots. Whatever your skill level or interest, eBay's Musical Instruments categories is the ideal location to buy and sell music gear - we make it easy to upgrade your equipment and improve your sound!
    The header in bold implies that it is about brass, yet only 1-2 sentences are actually about brass. Furthermore, as you change instrument categories the header changes, but the body text remains the same regardless of category.

    On a whim I browsed some other categories, and this only appears to be happening for certain categories. For example, Music > CDs > Rock does not have any these (nor do any other CD genres), but Music > Digital Downloads > Rock (or any other genre) all have the following:

    More Info About Rock:
    eBay's Music category is the best place to buy or sell music from top artists across all music genres: rock, pop, R&B, rap, hip-hop, reggae, blues, classical music, country music, easy listening, adult contemporary, new age, heavy metal, Christian rock, folk music or children's music. Whatever your tastes, eBay has it available new or used in every format: CD, cassette, Box-set, LP, record, vinyl record, single EP or super audio CD. eBay even offers music as digital downloads, meaning you can buy music in digital / MP3 format. Looking for today's most popular music? eBay has great prices for Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Springsteen's Devils & Dust, Coldplay, Systems of a Down, American Idol, Green Day, Audioslave, Toby Keith, Il Divo, Jack Johnson, Beck, Rob Thomas, Kem, Nine Inch Nails, Ryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, 50 Cent, The Game, Mariah Carey and others. Looking for the all time top selling albums? eBay has them new and used at the great prices: The Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975 (The Eagles), Thriller (Michael Jackson), The Wall (Pink Floyd), Led Zeppelin IV (Led Zeppelin), Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volumes I & II (Billy Joel), Rumours (Fleetwood Mac), Back in Black (AC/DC), The Beatles (The Beatles), Come on Over (Shania Twain), Boston (Boston), The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston), Cracked Rear View Mirror (Hootie & the Blowfish), Elton John Greatest Hits (Elton John), Hotel California (The Eagles), The Beatles 1967-1970 (The Beatles), No Fences (Garth Brooks), Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morissette), Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen), Physical Graffiti (Led Zeppelin), Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd), Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (Bee Gees), The Beatles 1962-1966 (The Beatles), Appetite for Destruction (Guns 'N Roses), Garth Brooks Double Live (Garth Brooks), Supernatural (Santana), Backstreet Boys (Backstreet Boys), Ropin' The Wind (Garth Brooks), Bat Out of Hell (Meat Loaf), and Purple Rain (Prince and the Revolution).
    Again, when you change genre categories, the lead-in header (in bold) changes, but the body text is always the same.

    Is there really any purpose to this other than faking out search engines?
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    I don't get the 'spamming' part?
    It seems like all related stuff.... listing the bands is good, if I was looking at the category, maybe I wouldn't have thought about buying Elton John, but seeing it there gets me interested.
    To me, it just seems like marketing.

  3. #3

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    I think the point is that if we did such things on our sites google would penalize us (even if it was music related) for having unecessary keywords. If you took the same paragraphs and put them in "hidden text" (or same color as background) it would be considered black hat seo.

    The first two sentences of each one seem fine. The rest is very questionable and seems put there just for the search engines.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Look at the brass section again:

    "If you prefer to DJ and mix, eBay has DJ gear, turntables, drum machines, and electronic samplers."

    That's got nothing to do with brass instruments, not remotely. I call that keyword spamming.

  5. #5
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    Unhappy
    If you were an ebay seller trying to sell a brass instrument you couldn't mention anything about trumpets, drums or musical groups that used a brass instrument.
    LeDonna
    Those who think they know everything annoy those of us who do

  6. #6
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    Eh, don't think it's too bad. It's not hidden and it's all related to musical instruments so don't think Google with do anything with stuff like that. I've seen some bad stuff, hidden or just jam packed with unrelated keywords and/or links.

  7. #7
    Moderator Nabz's Avatar
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    Its far away from spamming. Its just keyword stuffing.

  8. #8
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    If it's keyword spamming then it's counter-productive and retarded.

    Imagine all of eBay being like this - then nobody would ever be able to find anything relevant when they did a search. The idea is for the keywords to be RELEVANT so QUALIFIED prospects can find your product - namely the product they're looking for.

    The conversion rate for non-qualified traffic is crap. "Ok, lemme Google for trumpets...let's see, here's some...OH, lookee, they also have drum kits! I think I'll buy one of those too." Yeah, right.

  9. #9
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    They have a search box. I've never had a problem finding stuff on ebay.

    As far as Google, a search on trumpets brings up trumpets:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=trump...&start=20&sa=N

    which is this page full of trumpets:
    http://instruments.listings.ebay.com...istingItemList

  10. #10
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    They keyword stuff, they've also been spamming the hell out of Google for years with subdomain spam, which could well be taken care of now with the new handling/clustering of subdomains & subdirectories.

    They use very aggressive SEO that the average Joe could never get away with; it's the kind of stuff Inktomi used to ban sites for. But... sites above a certain level of PR and/or authority status have a certain immunity, IMHO.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    They have a search box. I've never had a problem finding stuff on ebay.

    As far as Google, a search on trumpets brings up trumpets:
    Google is great that way. It works despite all the irrelevant garbage. Amazing, really.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabz
    Its far away from spamming. Its just keyword stuffing.
    Point taken. That's what I meant.

  13. #13
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    IMHO
    Big G has different rules for big spenders

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