Are eBay Listings Being Blocked By Ad Blockers?

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


Comments

UPDATE 4-26-22

While the changes made by AdBlock Plus initially appeared to help resolve at least some of the concerns, sellers are still noticing problems with some listings being blocked and results seem to vary depending on whether you stick with eBay's default "best match" or choose another sort option.

Re: There is something massively wrong with search!
wrote: However, doesn’t eBay default to “Best Match”? Effectively hiding all listings for specific searches. Yes, it does - the search results I was getting (3 hours ago) for my listings were the same, regardless of how the results are sorted. But, things have already changed! I thought this…

Yes, it does - the search results I was getting (3 hours ago) for my listings were the same, regardless of how the results are sorted.

But, things have already changed! I thought this was only a "Sponsored" thing, but it looks like most of my listings (as well as yours) have already reset to being entirely hidden when sorted by "Best Match" with AB enabled, even if the search is incredibly specific.

The above is from Action Figures category - my listings in dolls still appear organically, but not at all as Sponsored.

Unbelievable, this is absolutely maddening. Considering the amount of time I've spent chasing this nonsense, only to be right back to square one - it would've been easier to just drive to the ATM and throw the cash out the window on the way home.

I'll continue to track this issue and update as more information becomes available.


UPDATE 4-26-22

An AdBlock Plus developer responded to the Issue Ticket on GitHub.

I’ve made some adjustments, which should resolve the issue you’re facing, it can take up to an hour give or take for you to see it reflected on your end, but try to update your lists on the extension.

Further testing shows this has at least mostly resolved the issue. I'm not longer seeing non-promoted listings being blocked, but some promoted ones still are - however, that may be by design from the perspective of the ad blocker and "working as intended."

While the major concern about non-promoted listings appears to be addressed, it still leaves room to wonder if in fact paying to promote items may end up working against sellers in a world that is increasingly using adblockers and privacy filters to customize the browsing experience.


eBay sellers are concerned that some listings appear to be blocked by ad blockers, even possibly when they are not Promoted Listings.

Ad blockers blocking listings including listings that are not promoted
A previous post has a green checkmark, but this issue is not resolved. Ad blockers are blocking listings including listings that are not promoted. I was doing some searches and have discovered that my ad blocker on Google Chrome is blocking a large portion of my listings regardless of whether or…

Ad blockers are blocking listings including listings that are not promoted.

I was doing some searches and have discovered that my ad blocker on Google Chrome is blocking a large portion of my listings regardless of whether or not they are promoted and it is doing the same thing for many other listings. When I disable my ad blocker, the listings reappear.

This seems to be a recent occurence although conversations about this have been going on for years and it it why many sellers refuse to use promoted listings. The fact that non-promoted listings are also being blocked is very scary. I do not know the exact date that this started happening, but it may have been in one of the recent updates as this corresponds with a sudden crash in my sales down 50%.

I believe that ebay has a way of programming things so that the ad blockers do not think that promoted listings are sponsored ads. As for non-promoted listings, I have no idea why they are being blocked except for perhaps they were once promoted and they are somehow recognized as stll being promoted even when no longer promoted.

There is something massively wrong with search!
I tried to list a doll this morning, and, while researching comparisons, I noticed that the total items shown didn’t match the total search results. It showed there were 6 results, but only 1 was shown: I thought maybe it was a “clear your cache”, etc. issue, so I did all that and got the same…

I tried to list a doll this morning, and, while researching comparisons, I noticed that the total items shown didn't match the total search results. It showed there were 6 results, but only 1 was shown.

I thought maybe it was a "clear your cache", etc. issue, so I did all that and got the same result. Then I tried searching from a private window, where the same search yielded accurate results. Incidentally, I had several items to list and this happened with every item I searched, so it wasn't a one-off.

Another member posted here about how ad blockers are preventing promoted listings from appearing in search, and the results were accurate after I disabled AdBlock.

However, all my listings are promoted, I've used chrome with AdBlock as an extension for years, I research comps routinely, and sponsored listings have never been "hidden" like this, nor have the number of results been noticeably different from the number of listings shown.

I don't know if this is a change with AdBlock and/or chrome and/or eBay, but I do know that my sales have been down dramatically for about 2 months. I've previously accepted this fate as just part of the business, but if promoted items aren't appearing in searches for people who use ad blockers (literally everyone I know), it's safe to say that's going to affect sales.

This certainly seems like an issue that eBay needs to address immediately, especially with the constant emphasis on promoted listings. Sales for everyone using promoted listings are being lost every single second.


I did a test using FireFox with AdBlockPlus to see if I could replicate what the above user referenced.  She had used the search terms "lol winter vrqt".

Sure enough when I tried it, eBay said there were 4 results but only showed 1 (not promoted). I turned off AdBlockPlus, refreshed and now there are 4 results showing - the top 3 all promoted and all had been not shown in the previous search.

Just to see if the same thing would happen, I tried a search that would be likely to return more results. Searching for "sea turtle mouse pad" with AdBlockPlus on there was not a single sponsored ad shown in 2 pages of search results.

When I disabled the ad blocker, 24 Promoted Listings that previously did not show up were now visible between the two pages of search results (side note - Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click routinely serves up not relevant results in the top slot, but that's a rant for another time.)

Just for reference - here's what I see when I check the AdBlockPlus ABP filters source.


What does eBay say about ad blockers and Promoted Listings?

eBay's FAQ page for Promoted Listings does address ad blockers, but tries to downplay the concern, saying it affects less than 2% of traffic.

Promoted Listings
Put your merchandise in front of more shoppers, increasing the likelihood of sale. Promoted listings standard is the smart way to get your items noticed.

Will ad blockers block my promoted listings?
Ad blockers generally are intended to block intrusive ads (like pop-ups) that disrupt the user experience. We have designed our Promoted Listings Standard ads to align natively with our site experience, and most ad blockers do not block that sort of non-intrusive content.

However, there are a host of ad blockers on the market, and each maintains its own user settings and policies distinguishing between intrusive ads and acceptable native content.

Currently, our data suggests that promoted listings are being blocked for less than 2% of traffic. Like other marketplaces and social networks, we are constantly evaluating our user experience and our advertising programs, including the impact of ad blocker software on the content we make available.

While it's hardly a scientific conclusion, my two searches above resulted in 75% and 24% blockage, respectively - significantly higher than "less than 2%."


Do you believe ad blockers are hiding your listings on eBay? Will this cause sellers to change their Promoted Listings usage/strategies? Let us know in the comments below!

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