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So Far, eBay Sticks to Its Guns

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Nobody’s certain except Google and eBay how much money left Google’s bottom line with eBay yanked its AdWords campaign. But one thing is certain, though Google tried to make a concession early, eBay means business and has continued not advertising on Google for a solid week.

Depending on who you go to for your numbers, that’s about $3 million lost and counting in eBay ad revenue. Some have set eBay’s spend at $450,000 per day, others at about $275,000. Either way, that’s a lot of money.

A Google search for "ipod," one of the most searched product words there is, shows a noticeable eBay absence. Apple, BestBuy, Buy.com, but no eBay, who used to try to sell us anything from babies to the Bubonic Plague via an automated keyword system.

The scuffle, if you’re just tuning in, began when Google threw an apparent protest party in Boston to promote its Checkout payment system at the same time eBay was hosting eBay Developers Conference and eBay Live!, promoting the company’s own PayPal service.

Google cancelled the party, but not before eBay threw a hissy fit about it and pulled its campaign. The feud manifested itself in other ways as eBay’s chief marketing officer, Gary Briggs, reportedly set the goons on a couple of entrepreneurs who dared to wear a Google polo and utter the words "Checkout" at their eBay party.

Regardless of bad blood, it spells losses for both sides, as eBay loses 10 percent of its overall traffic, which Google used to produce via AdWords.

"Should Google fire the person who is responsible for the party?" asks InsideGoogle‘s Nathan Weinberg. "Probably. It’s a major hit to the bottom line as the result of a very juvenile insult against a major competitor who just happens to be a major advertiser."

While that’s one approach, and also somewhat likely as the buck is passed along until it lands squarely on one set of shoulders, it’s important to note that it takes more than one person to throw a whole party, er, event.

Sometimes memes are just bad ideas. Sometimes they have larger consequences than other times. Good luck to whosever shoulders the blame falls.

How’s Google’s stock doing after this? Hmmm. Trading up about two percent (just before 1PM EDT).

So Far, eBay Sticks to Its Guns
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  • SS2BM

    Ebay have far more to lose from this. Vendors are already sick of Ebay moving the goalposts without a moments warning. Their childish response to Google by pulling adwords can only confirm to vendors that Ebay would happily jeapodize their businesses for the sake of one-upmanship

    Ebay are not as big as they think they are. In fact ECrater.com and Ebid.net both outrank EbayExpress in traffic according to Alexa.

    Many alternative auction sites are also taking part in a promotion called “SS2BM” to highlight alternatives to Ebay; both via independent websites or alternative auction sites:

    http://pheebay.com/forums/index.php?c=9

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