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Old 08-16-2009
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Default Warning: eBay Search Results May Vary by Browser

An online seller wrote to me claiming that eBay Best Match was broken. Best Match is eBay's way of delivering search results by relevance plus quality, and it is the default sort order. The seller stated, "Type in "ipod" on IE, Firefox, and Google Chrome. I get different results for each."

I conducted a search for the word ipod on Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and on Firefox, and got a slightly lower number of items in search results for IE, and sorted in a completely different order. eBay does support both of these browsers - see help page to see which versions.

I wondered what would happen if I did the same search on Google instead of eBay. When I conducted a search for ipod on Google on two different browsers, it brought back identical results in the identical order.

A search of the eBay discussion boards finds that others have experienced this issue, and pointed to August 6th as the day things may have changed. (Interestingly, I received a letter from a seller who said on August 6, Best Match ranking dropped one of his best selling items from first to last, and sales plummeted for the item.)

It appears that sellers who are trying to optimize their listings for eBay's Best Match not only have to contend with a dearth of information about how to do so, they must also face the challenge of optimizing for different web browsers.

I was logged in under the same User ID when conducting these searches, and they all came back with Best Match as the default sort order.
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Old 08-16-2009
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Yes - I have noticed this for a while now.
Also, a few featured listings appear on the second page, instead of the first page in different browsers.
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The ebay search has been much talked about for many many months on the ebay discussion boards. Geographical sales, hinting that people in different parts of the country are seeing different listings, I have noticed this.
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