eBay Promoted Listings Advanced Takes Over Top 4 Search Spots

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


UPDATE 9-23-22

Hot off the presses from eBay Open 2022 - Promoted Listings Advanced will soon not just take over the top 4 spots in search, but also have a dedicated ad area in the middle of search and bottom of search as well.

In theory you'll be able to specifically select or target each of those ad areas, but they haven't given any details on that yet. Stay tuned!

UPDATE 9-5-22

eBay has announced the same changes are now rolling out to eBayUK.

What’s new with Promoted Listings Advanced BETA
We’ve listened to your feedback and have been working on new features for Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA that enhance your ability to reach more buyers. Recently, we expanded to more slots at the top of eBay search results, creating more opportunities for your listings to reach interested buyers…

UPDATE 9-1-22

eBay has finally announced this change to sellers via email, several months after the initial testing began.

eBay's Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click product is taking on an even larger role in search placement, expanding to cover the top 4 spots in any given search on the platform.

Promoted Listings Advanced CPC rolled out in 2021 and originally only the first search result was opened up to be used for this type of ad.

eBay Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click - First Look
eBay Promoted Listings Advanced Beta is starting to roll out to the masses - here’s a first look!

It's not clear exactly when the program was expanded and eBay has made no announcement, but I noticed today the FAQ page has been changed to show Promoted Listings Advanced now covers the top 4 search spots.

Promoted Listings Advanced | Seller Center
Promoted Listings Advanced lets you drive traffic to your listings with preferred access to the top slot of search using keyword and budget controls and pay per click on your ads.

Where will my ads show?

Advanced campaign ads will show in the top 4 slots of eBay search results across all platforms.

It appears this change will also be "coming soon" to eBayUK as announced today in a self-congratulatory post all about what eBay has done for sellers in the first half of the year.

You said we did July 2022 | UK Seller Centre

You said…

you want greater visibility and more impressions for your listings through effective promotional tools

So we…

are expanding the placements of Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA ads on eBay

Currently, Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA ads are only eligible to appear in the top slot of search results, but soon this will expand to the top 4 slots.

Promoted Listings Standard ads can still appear in these first 4 slots, and will continue to appear in over one hundred placements across the eBay network. Organic listings will continue to be eligible to also appear in these top slots as well.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Since the introduction of Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click, many buyers have complained about irrelevant search results appearing in the number one slot.

As a CPC product, PLA ads use keywords and bids to determine placement and relevancy to search - but keyword spamming or manipulation or even just using keywords that are too broad can negatively effect how relevant the promoted item ends up being to the actual search performed by the user.

It's bad enough when that causes 1 result to be irrelevant but if the top 4 results don't match what the buyer is actually looking for, odds are they're just going to head to Amazon to find it instead.

Not to mention I'm sure brands like Nike are really happy to have their trademarked brand name keyword hijacked by a competing brand. 🤦‍♀️

Sellers of course will now be paying even more in ad fees to try to claw their way to the top in eBay's ever expanding "pay to play" game.

Is eBay Becoming A Pay To Play Platform?
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While eBay carefully says Promoted Listings Standard and organic, non-promoted listings can still appear in those top 4 spots, it doesn't say they will and you can bet all the ad revenue in eBay's quarterly reports that Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click will be given priority as long as there are sellers willing to pay for it.

Those who are not willing or able to pay will just be pushed further down the page.

Anyone who has experience selling on eBay knows when you see glitches, it's a good bet changes are on the way.

Several major glitches have been noted in the last week impacting search results, one particularly troubling one seemed to indicate Promoted Listings were not being displayed correctly on search pages.

eBay Search - 0 Results Found, No Promoted Listings?
eBay search has been problematic for years - has CEO Jamie Iannone’s tech-led reimagination made it better or worse?

Are changes to Promoted Listings Advanced CPC coverage connected to these technical issues?

Have you used Promoted Listings Advanced CPC ads on eBay? How do you think expanding PLA will impact sales on the marketplace? Let us know in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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