Saturday, February 06, 2010

How to commit search suicide..

The ability to be found or seen in search queries is absolutely essential. Keywords, text formatting, attributes all play a part in the formula for search visibility. But there is a foundational concept that sellers often forget. and that is their user id.

I often hear Bonanzle sellers saying that no buyer ever searches for a seller by user id... Is that really what a Bonanzle seller want? To be so "forgettable" that no buyer will ever look for you by name..?? Do the Bonanzle sellers forget to type in "Bonanzle"? When was the last time that you forgot you picked up a great gadget at Bed, Bath and Beyond?. Or that you found a perfect pair of shoes from Zappos.. You know those sellers names. Why do you want to be so "forgettable" that a buyer will not remember you by name?

The first step in committing search suicide is to create a user id that is hard to remember or more effective in your suicide efforts is to use punctuation in the user id such as an apostrophe. Using punctuation such as the apostrophe means a browser will not interpret the apostrophe correctly, most buyers do not know they must use an underscore where the apostrophe is at so it renders correctly. And the seller can't be found by name.

Bonanzle sellers booths are branded quite well. Every listing page URL contains the seller's user id right in the address bar. Keep that important little tidbit tucked away for a minute. As it is extremely relevant to committing search suicide quickly and efficiently.

The sellers decides they have made a grave mistake with their user id. Let's change it. No worries, easy to do. contact support, and voila' user id changed. Life is all good. Or is it. we won't even talk about how the user id change can impact business identity, marketing and your bottom line. We will talk about what happens to all those booth items that are already published to google shopping.

So the seller hops over to Google shopping, types in their user id,, and no items are served up.. Great all items associated with the previous user id are gone from Google shopping. Or are they?

Remember the little tidbit about the Bonanzle listing page URL containing the seller's user id... Well on Google shopping the marketplace name must be displayed underneath the price. But the Bonanzle booth URL allows each seller to be branded hence someone can find a particular seller by user id. So it looks like all the sellers product is gone because the seller's user id is changed.

But use item title line search. And well I'll be. There is the item. So the seller presumes their items are in google shopping new user id and all. If the title is clicked,, an Item not found in inventory " error appears. oops, broken link which is a google product policy violation. And the seller just committed search suicide. Until the old listings that are associated with the former user id are either removed by the uploader OR expire in 30 days so a new xml file containing the seller's New user id can be uploaded, the seller can't be found.

There are definitely correct circumstances to change a seller id. But make the changes slowly. Take into consideration all aspects such as all the blogs you are connected with, twitter, facebook, squidoo and how the change impacts google shopping results. Otherwise you will be committing search suicide.


The Wedding Boutique and More said...

Great article bluepennylady and thanks for the info!

Unknown said...

I think eBay is a big culprit in the mindset of the seller name not being something people remember.
eBay pushes there brand - eBay - while the sellers there are pushed into the background.
Bonanzle came along and gave the sellers the unique oppertunity to establish there brand of their own.
Unfortuately far to many fail to take full advantage of this.
Great information Judy, for sellers everywhere.
Signed (with my brand)

Brenda Moultrie said...

I totally agree.. I like the fact that my seller Id means something ..and its easy enough to remember..I think this is so importnt for people to know as soon as they come in the they can develop a name that is catchy, meaningful to the person themselves , and/or easy to remember ...thanks for the gret information Judy...

Abbystreasures said...

Great article!

When I chose my user ID, I also registered & bought it as a domain name. I use the same name on several sites. Is that a good idea?

Judy said...

I agree, and many find me by name Stationery By Judy and I find a lot of my items when I put my name in search.

I also want to add that I think your logo/avatar is important.
You are recognized by your logo and you should find on you like and stick to it.

Just my thoughts. Judy

bluepennylady said...

Hi all

Yes registering your user id (business name) is an excellent thing to do..

Logos are very important. Think about a coca-cola can. Even without the writing you know what the can is because of the marketing behind it. Same with the Nike white checkmark or the Olympic rings.

IcedLilac said...

Pretty sure Mine is simple enough, but not simple at the same time. I have had people not sure what it stood for. And yet I wanted something very unique and SO not run of the mill.

I picked my business name and started my website long before bonanzle. But sometimes I wonder if I picked very well. Too late to change it now really after 2 years. JMO

bluepennylady said...


Your seller id is a unique business name with all sorts of marketing angles.

You have been in business a while. You have a good reputation. There isn't any reason in the world that you should even consider changing your seller id (business name)

twysp2 said...

Hi Judy..just found your blog tonight and it is timely since I just today changed my Bonanzle ID. I was I am just twysp2 which I have been on eBay for 11 years. Now to figure out how to do the Google fix and the others stuff. Thanks for all the great info. Marla