eBay’s New Links Policy Clarified

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 at 11:20 am Pacific USA Time.

Your’e hearing it here first… I finally got clarification on eBay’s new links policy. This post was revised at around 3pm PT with further information I got from a conference call. This allows me to rewrite my eBay Live presentation slides this weekend! :)

Part of the new links policy is that listings are limited to no more than 5 approved links. This was confusing. I just got a clarification, and here is what you should know…

* You cannot link to ProStores, Kijiji, Rent.com, or Shopping.com. I assume this goes for Craigslist too. :)

* There is now a 5-link limit to "eBay community content" and "eBay properties" such as PayPal, Stubhub, and Half.com. By community content, they mostly mean forum posts, reviews, blogs, and guides. And the wiki if you remember that. :)

* The 5-link limit does NOT apply to your email address. You can link your email address all you like. You can link to third party credits and tools, and you can link to off-site photo pages as long as they don’t offer items for sale. Photos only!

* You CANNOT have any Skype links or links off-site to
information-only pages. So if you have an eBay listing for a printer,
and it links to HP’s page for the specs on that printer, that’s no
longer going to be OK. Any info you want to give people has to be in
the listing (or within eBay like on a Custom eBay Store page).

* The About Me page can no longer have links off eBay. So if you’re promoting your website on your About Me page, that’ll have to go.

* Third party credits will have to link to a web page that describes the service or product that company provided. For example, rather than linking to our home page, our As Was Third Party Credit will actually need to link to our Services and Pricing page since that is where what we supplied to that eBay seller is explained.

* Oh, did you know that Auctiva isn’t using compliant third party credits, and is dropping in extra links into your listings? Well they’ll now have to stop as non-compliant third party credits will be cracked down on.

* Speaking on non-compliant, eBay actually WILL crack down on Third Party Endorsements. I’ve been warning people about those for YEARS, including last October 2007 in this here blog. That means that any link or logo (even an unlinked logo) from an outside company that is verifying trust, membership, or the like will NOT be allowed. If you are part of some sort of society, group that certifies you as something, PESA, or IMA, you will NOT be allowed to have a logo or link.

* The link limit does NOT apply to eBay Stores, Custom eBay Store pages, your About Me page, or your own cross-promotions. That includes galleries (Vendio Gallery, for example). Those will be ALLOWED and not limited.

* That means that clients with our Matrix service are OK as those are Store links and/or cross promotion links. And I was just specifically told that those are OK. As Was clients can stop worrying now. :)

And I’d like to remind a bunch of non-compliant sellers that HTML pull down menus are not allowed in listings. I don’t care how big you are or how much you sell. It’s against the rules because of keyword spamming, so stop doing it!

When are these changes going to be enforced?

The people I spoke to said that no specific date has been set, but it should be roughly mid-July 2008. That means that you have around 6 weeks to get your listings, Stores, About Me, etc… into shape. As Was clients, call us… we need to help you navigate these changes!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Categories: That's Good Marketing

Comments Closed

15 Responses to “eBay’s New Links Policy Clarified”

  1. Adam Morris says:

    Thanks for the clarification. Your post actually reminded me of two questions I’ve been meaning to ask for a while now. Maybe you have some insight?
    1. What meets the criteria for “compliant third party credits” links.
    2. Why no HTML pulldowns for navigation?

  2. Debbie says:

    Hey Adam. Here are your answers:
    1) As of when I’m typing this, a Third Party Credit is what an outside company who had something to do with the listing has the right to add to a listing. You can have one graphic logo no larger than 88×33 pixels. You may have not more than 10 words in HTML in no larger than font size 3. And you may have one link (either the logo or some of the words) to the page on your site that shows what you offer that that seller used.
    So companies putting in their credit words as a graphic, non-compliant. A logo larger than 88×33, non-compliant. And as of when the new crack down goes into place, links have to be to the page that shows what you do, and not a home page or general page.
    2) No HTML pull downs are because of keyword spamming. Sellers who might put into their listing a pull down that lets people choose from their most popular eBay Store categories are spamming the site with those words. If you do a Title and Description search for the words in the HTML pull down menu, every item that seller has will come up, even if the item has nothing to do with that word or brand.
    That’s why we build pull down menus in Flash. You get the function without the keyword spamming.

  3. Diane says:

    There _IS_ a way to do HTML drop downs that are not keyword spamming – all you have to do is use a little javascript that is something like this (not sure how it will parse in the post)
    script type=text/javascriptdocument.write(TEXT GOES HERE AND WILL NOT BE KEYWORD SPAMMING)/script

  4. Debbie says:

    And how will you do it if/when eBay bans that javascript?

  5. Pat says:

    Thanks for posting this info.
    Are you saying that links sellers put in the description area to their own store pages, ME pages, and their other listings will be allowed as long as they’re not searchable?

  6. Debbie says:

    They’d have to be not searchable AND link inside of eBay only. That’s why we suggest that the links mostly be graphics or Flash so that you’re not running any risk of breaking rules.

  7. Pat says:

    Thanks for the reply. That’s good news and will be a big relief to many sellers and designers.

  8. Lesley says:

    “I finally got clarification on eBay’s new links policy. This post was revised at around 3pm PT with further information I got from a conference call.”
    Would you please tell us who gave you all this information because there have been other eBay sources that claimed links to Store categories (non-searchable custom nav bars) inside a listing description would no longer be allowed. Thanks.

  9. Debbie says:

    I don’t give away my sources, but I will say that I was on a conf call with one Global T&S Policy person and one eBay US T&S Policy person. I was not talking to eBay Stores. I was talking to the Trust and Safety policy people.

  10. Do you know if MYSPACE can be added on our ABOUT ME page?
    Also, on the ABOUT ME page, are we allowed to put OTHER EBAY SELLERS STORES/LINKS?

  11. Debbie says:

    They’re basically looking to stop pretty much ALL links off eBay. So without checking with eBay, I’m going to guess NO to MySpace.
    As the links to other sellers keep the buying on eBay, I’m going to guess YES to that.

  12. Lesley says:

    Here is another response from T&S regarding custom nav bars in listing templates and this time the answer was NO…
    Refer to Post #s 47 & 50.
    So which T&S person can you trust until there is actually written policy stated on eBay’s site?

  13. Debbie says:

    Well, we can’t tell from that forum topic what the links in the template were.
    I will email you privately since you nicely supplied your email. :)

  14. Dan says:

    So, how can we verify what you say is true? If I don’t read it on a official ebay page, I don’t pay attention to it.

  15. Debbie says:

    Hi, Dan. eBay is still working on the official announcement about this. eBay staff have been coming to me because I seem to be the main keeper of the rules clarification right now.
    I taught the “How To Stop Breaking Commonly Broken eBay Rules” and other classes at eBay Live, and I was hand-picked to do so.
    If you want to wait for eBay to more formally announce this, you can. But I’d suggest starting to change your listings and everything based on what I wrote because it’s what they’re doing. :) You can wait if you’d like! :)