eBay is voluntarily removing about 500,000 pages from their web site, possibly giving up what some estimate to be one billion page views. According to a Seeking Alpha report, eBay has hundreds of thousands of buying guides that were created in order to bring free organic search traffic to their web site.
Emails sent to the content owners indicate that the content will be removed from the eBay.com web site on April 12, 2018. And the content owners have until then to copy/paste their content and save it. They recommend uploading it to another web site, such as a WordPress blog or Blogger:
eBay is discontinuing guides and will be removing them from the site between now and April 12, 2018. We’re letting you know because it looks like you’ve created at least one guide.
If you’ve used guides to help bring buyers to your listings, we offer sellers even more effective ways to generate traffic. Learn how promoted listings and Promotions Manager will help you drive velocity.
Please save your work before guides are removed from the site April 12. Backing them up to your computer is as simple as copying and pasting them into new text documents. To keep your guides published on the web, consider transferring them to a web publishing platform, such as WordPress or Blogger.
Thank you for contributing to guides.
I know that over the years the Google algorithm has taken a toll on a lot of web sites, and the quality of the content has always caught up with the web site owners. A few sites come to mind: About.com, Mahalo.com, and a few others. Some have been able to survive, but to me this looks like another Google casualty. eBay, in this case, is apparently removing the content and not offering any way to easily download the content. But, I do think that most likely they are removing the content with pressure from Google, either by being in touch with them directly or indirectly. If the pages on your web site doesn’t get traffic or page views, then it’s time to reconsider the content and whether that content really should be on your web site or not.
Then there’s the paid options for eBay: they can remove the guide content and charge sellers to promote their listings instead.
It will be interesting to see how they deal with the removing of this content, though. They should remove it from Google by serving up “410 Gone” errors on the pages. It will also be interesting to see how long it takes Google to remove the content from their index, as there’s now about 72,000 pages still indexed using this command: site:ebay.com/gds