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eBay vs. Google, Round 6?




Here’s the blow-by-blow so far:

2006: eBay owns PayPal. Google starts Google Checkout (June 2006). eBay bans Google Checkout (July 2006).

June 6, 2007: eBay announces they’re going after the online auction for radio ad space, too.

June 11, 2007: Google Checkout says they’re organizing a “Freedom Party” at eBay Live! in Boston. They claim to be celebrating freedom at the site of the Boston Tea Party with lots of free stuff. It was supposed to be on Flag Day, after all. Nobody falls for it: we all know you’re tacitly protesting eBay’s Checkout ban.

June 12, 2007: eBay pulls its PPC ads in the US. All of them. It’s “an experiment” to see how they’ll do without PPC. Nobody falls for it: we all know you’re putting the squeeze on Google. People who are so tired of seeing PPC ads for “used underwear” and “dead fish” from eBay rejoice.

June 13, 2007: Google crumbles like a cookie over the approximate 2% of their revenue that eBay’s ads represent.. They say, “After speaking with officials at eBay, we at Google agreed that it was better for us not to feature this event during the eBay Live conference.” Nobody buys that either. Fear spreads–will eBay bring the ads back?

June 14, 2007: eBay says its traffic has increased. I attribute this to recent headlines. Oh, and um, the fact that they’re already one of the top most trafficked sites in the world. Hitwise says eBay’s traffic from Google has dropped 7%.

June 18, 2007: Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Meanwhile, at several points on this time line, eBay and Google sign agreements to prove that they’re friends. Should they stop pretending already or can we all just get along? They are still partners outside the US.

And of course, we have to wonder why it took so long for the Google Checkout/eBay PayPal competition to come to a head, and whether eBay will keep its ads offline for good.

  • http://www.beagooddad.com/ Mike

    I refuse to take Checkout seriously until Google starts using it as an option to pay AdSense publishers. Why should I take it seriously if they don’t?

  • http://www.rheadrysdale.com Rhea Drysdale

    Nice summary! It will be interesting to see how things progress. I really like seeing the Google boycott trend… eBay, Jennifer Laycock, who’s next?

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Mike–Good point.

    @Rhea–I’m excited to see how Jen’s experiment turns out. (I wanted to say hi to you at SMX, but I didn’t want to bug you. So . . . hi!)

  • http://www.seorefugee.com/seoblog SEO Refugee Blog

    Mike, that’s a fantastic point! It’s like that neighbor who is always giving stock tips but never has any of his own money in the one’s he’s suggesting. Actions speak louder than words and in this case, Google’s actions speak loud and clear.

  • http://www.rheadrysdale.com Rhea Drysdale

    Jordan, please bug me next time! And, hello. =)

  • http://www.orbit-publishing.co.uk Alan Marks

    Ebay represents 2% of Google ad revenue?!

    That seems rather a large amount. You would think that they would have a little bit more respect if that was the case.

    I wonder when one company will buy the other out?

  • http://www.introsoft.co.za Jacob

    I agree with Mike, Google is not seriuos about the E-Bay fight…I think they just like the attention..”GOOD FREE MARKETING”

  • http://omadsense.com Omadsense

    I love the fact that someone actually challenged Google where it counts. What I don’t get is why would Google challenge eBay knowing they make up a large portion [ 2% sounds small put we’re talking about 2% of millions or billions of dollars].

    My question would be – does this effect the affiliates of ebay who use adwords???? I know they are seperate accounts – but I wonder? Is it a plus or negative for them?

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  • frank burns

    I think it’s time Google entered a new phase and outdid the lot of you by opening their own site in which they can compete at all levels. With all of their resources, trained staff & tech know how – why wouldn’t they be a mammoth force online.