Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Sale, eBay Items, and Google Search Problems

In order to try to move some items, I have increased my coupon discount in my Jennifer's Series Books booth.  The coupon can be seen on any item page near the price.  You'll have to go to one of my items to see the discount.  I learned last year never to mention the amount of a temporary discount, because months later, someone expected that discount after reading an old post, even though the sale was long over.


I have listed a large number of books on eBay.  While many prices stayed the same, others were reduced.  Also, around 40 items are new and were not previously listed elsewhere.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

eBay offered me a "by invitation only" free listing offer in which I could list up to 40,000 fixed-priced items for free and for up to 30 days.  I chose the 30-day duration on all items and was able to get 204 items listed.

This is the first time I've ever taken advantage of the fixed-price free listing offers by listing a large number of items.  I'm trying to simulate what it would be like to have an eBay store to see whether that is a viable option in the future.  Since these listings will be active for one month, I should be able to get a good idea of what it would be like to have an eBay store.


I am now in another period of reflection with respect to how I sell my books online.  I've done great for 4 1/2 years in my present situation, but I find myself having to re-evaluate whether this will continue to work.  The problem is that my Google exposure has reduced to almost nothing, and this is not due to anything that I can fix on my end. 

This is my Google traffic over the last 4 1/2 years.

What is significant is how bad the Google traffic has been since September 1.  One could be tempted to attribute the drop to the fact that sites had to pay for inclusion in Google's shopping search beginning in September, but the above graph only shows Google's organic search.  This data has nothing to do with the shopping search.

This is out of my control.  My site, this blog, and everything I can control show up well in Google.  I cannot control how well my items show up.  I could leave more and more links everywhere, but something I cannot fix is at play. 

Here's why I know I have a problem.  From May 1 to June 10, I had 281 visits that came through Google.  I am going to spare you the long explanation detailing how the visits break down into who already knew about me and who didn't.  Going by the search terms used, I was able to figure out that no more than 50% of my Google traffic since May 1 can be from people new to me.  The rest of the Google traffic can be attributed to people who already knew about me who used search terms to get at my items quickly.

I decided to compare this to Google visits from three years ago.  In order not to have a huge amount of data to check, I looked only at my Google traffic for February 1, 2010 through March 31, 2010.  I had 874 visits from Google during that time.  Only 101 visits were from people who already knew about me.

Three years ago, 773 out of 874 Google visits brought me new people looking at my items.  Now, only 137 out of 281 Google visits brought me new people, and I am confident that the actual number is lower than that.  Google now hides some data, and remember that I am sparing you a long and boring explanation.


I also decided that I wanted to have a backup of my items, so I uploaded my items to Addoway.

Jennifer's Series Books on Addoway

There is no coupon code, and I doubt that combined shipping is set up correctly.  I placed the link here to gain Google exposure.  It doesn't hurt to have books listed on several venues.