eBay Halting its Google AdWords Advertising?

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Google has definitely become more aggressive lately in the field of competitive warfare and public relations with its anti-trust complaints of Microsoft’s Vista search functionality and now eBay’s banning of Google Checkout as a payment option.

So aggressive apparently that Google has put together a planned protest of eBay merchants at an eBay event.

Now, eBay seems to be firing back and hitting Google where it hurts, in their wallets.

Brian Smith of ComparisonEngines.com says that he received a tip that eBay is pulling the majority of its AdWords advertising campaign in response to Google’s actions.

I got a tip saying that eBay had pulled all its ads from Google AdWords as of late last night. While I have no official confirmation, I couldn’t find one eBay ad live on AdWords, and AdWords is usually littered with them. Ads for eBay companies like Shopping.com and PayPal are still live on AdWords, but there isn’t even an eBay ad up for keywords like ‘ebay’ or ‘auction’ on Google AdWords.

My first thought was that this is as bad for Google as it is for eBay, but I’m starting to think otherwise. I believe that Google’s AdWords revenue is diversified enough to handle a loss of an advertiser like eBay. I don’t have data to back that up, but I don’t recall seeing statements in Google’s filings highlighting eBay as a significant proportion of its AdWords revenue.

Will the eBay AdWords boycott last for long? Probably not as Google AdWords is a tremendous sales and traffic generator for eBay.

But given Google’s recent “pull no punches” stance, one has to wonder if this eBay-Google will spill over into the partnerships which the two companies have formed, specifically the eBay-Paypal-Yahoo partnership.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Dave Davis

    Well, I hope it lasts a while. Might be nice for a while to see something other than:

    “Looking for a dead horse? Find it on eBay”

    Seriously though, I doubt it will last long. With eBay having the budget to get so many of their ads wrong, they must be doing a lot more right.

    In the end, the only colour that matters is Green.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Well put.

    “Looking for a green dead horse? Find it on eBay”

  • CVOS Netpaths

    Im not sure ebay likes google – these companies are in many competitive spaces, especially with google showing direct links to G Base.

    I wouldnt be surprised to see ebay integrate with yahoo.

  • Dave Davis

    HAHA, it honestly would not surprise me.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    A merging of Yahoo & eBay would make much more sense than Yahoo & Microsoft.

    Primarily because both companies have holes that the other can fill.

    Sure, their current partnership is a start, and does address the Google dominance of search entering the virtual marketplace… but partnerships only go so far.

    Thinking of partnerships in the past like Yahoo Search : Google & Yahoo/Overture : Microsoft.

    The first example skyrocketed Google to stardom. The second made Yahoo & M$ a boatload of money. Enough for MSN to get smart enough to build their own adCenter and keep everything for themselves.

  • Pablo Palatnik

    I like this ad on Adwords:

    13 Year Old Girl
    Find 13 Year Old Girl Online.
    Shop & Save at Target.com Today.

    I think its a tough position both companies are in. The amount of traffic eBay gets from Adwords alone must account for a good percentage of traffic & for Google..losing that account..OUCH.

  • Brian Smith

    Ok, so it seems that eBay’s ads are back up, but for a while they were no where to be found. Whether or not there was a tiff that led to the ads being taken down, we might never know. I’m not sure either company would admit to a PayPal/Checkout war leading to such behavior. However, Google’s move to host a ‘Checkout party’ in protest to eBay’s ban on the payment system is a pretty bold move.

  • Terence Chang

    It’s interesting to see if Google and eBay come up a deal to post eBay Ad on Google and exchange for Google CheckOout on eBay.

    I am not a fan of eBay and paypal, but would love to see Google Checkout on eBay.

  • Biff Tiberius Farnsworth

    As of June 1st, eBay notified it’s affiliates that they are no longer allowed to directly link to eBay from adwords. Some people kept doing it but eBay would not pay them for any commissions earned that way.

  • Matt Keegan

    No surprise that a war between dominating internet companies would eventually break out. With Google, Yahoo!, MSN, eBay, Amazon, and others attempting to carve up the ‘net, the battle lines have been drawn.

    I just hope that we publishers aren’t a casualty in the making.

  • Mukesh

    I can see ebay.com/india ads still showing up.


  • Alex U

    eBay is taking things way too far. My colleague and I got thrown out of eBay Live for wearing Google insignia and promoting our website that uses Google Checkout. Whatever happened to free markets and competition?