Truelogic Episode 21 Recap: Carousell vs eBay: The Marketplace Showdown
Who would win the fight in Carousell vs. eBay?
Carousell has almost 3 million monthly web visits while eBay has 700,000 monthly web visits in the Philippines, according to Semrush.
To help you make the right call to determine which marketplace is the best fit for you, we’ve conducted the ultimate comparison in terms of SEO effectiveness between them. Let’s see how the battle plays out!
Berns San Juan: Welcome back to another episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. We are going to do the Battle of the Marketplaces Part Two. Last time I was joined by Ant and Gabby to weigh the SEO strengths of Shopee versus Lazada. And we’re always taking it from the Philippine context. And this time we’re going to talk about the other older players, Carousell and eBay, with Timo.
These two are some of the most successful marketplaces in the world. If you guys know your history, eBay predates Amazon, and depending on how they’re performing most of the time, both eBay and Amazon are credited for having ushered in the age of eCommerce for all of us.
And this time, the question is: who would win in a fight versus Carousell and eBay?
eBay vs. Carousell
Berns San Juan: Let’s talk about the basics between the two brands. Which one are you more familiar with, eBay or Carousell?
Timothy Uichico: Well, Carousell, particularly because it was here at least actively in the Philippines for a long time, and they do a lot of YouTube ads. If you need something or you need to sell something online, it’s always Carousell. It’s really like a buy and sell platform.
Berns San Juan: eBay is a multinational company. They were from Silicon Valley, so they’re based in San Jose. And originally they were founded as an auction website, and you’re talking way back in 1995. So you’re talking about one to two years before Google, or actually two years before BackRub, before Google, but Carousell is actually a Southeast Asian brainchild. So, when Carousell first entered the market, I believe Southeast Asia was the dominant market.
Timothy Uichico: And I would say Carousell is really more built for modern users on smartphones. It’s designed for that. When you look at the interface of eBay and Carousell, you’ll see that eBay hasn’t changed much from the early to late 2000’s. Carousell has a younger look. When you look at it, even when you’re navigating through both websites, the pickup from Carousell is much easier because it has similar features when you see online stores or eCommerce stores. eBay looks like the website your dad made.
Berns San Juan: Maybe because there’s never really been a lot of leadership on eBay in the Southeast Asian market, which is why I think its performance has been lagging. You know, I can’t really fault that, like whether that’s a good business decision or not, because their largest target markets are in the US and Europe.
Berns San Juan: Carousell is the number one shopping and lifestyle website, or at least, application when it comes to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. But in the Philippines, it clearly belongs to Shopee and Lazada. But you can’t ignore the fact that eBay is a 13.1 billion dollar company. If buying and selling has switched hands many times, like OLX to Carousell, eBay has also switched hands several times, from its jump to Half.com to PayPal, to Skype, to StubHub.
Timothy Uichico: So when we’re comparing the stats, if you’re looking at Carousell, we’re looking at the Philippines, we’re roughly at 2.5 to 3.1 million.
Berns San Juan: Because we’re looking at this from an SEO perspective. Of course, we’re talking about organic traffic.
Timothy Uichico: So when we talk about eBay, we’re also going to localize it to the Philippine version. So, and for some, it might be more shopping; for others, it’s not. But eBay actually used to breach 1 million, but currently they’re at I think 700,000. Internationally, though, when you’re looking at eBay.com, they have over half a billion visits every month.
And that’s sort of the prime difference, especially if you’re looking to sell locally. It’s not just oh, eBay is an international brand, that’s where I sell my stuff . You can also look at who is dominating the local market. Who can get you the visitors that will buy your product?
At least on eBay Philippines, position yourself that you can sell internationally, but as a seller in your consequence, it doesn’t really matter whether or not the buyer is local or international. In fact, you might even want to have a local buyer because it’s easier to transact with. The delivery is easier to fix. And so you buy from whoever is accessible.
Berns San Juan: Timo and I are using Philippine data. Let’s just take a look at the sheer number of pages.
Timothy Uichico: Carousell has 11 million pages indexed on Google while eBay only has 1.4 million, and we’re talking in the Philippine setting.
Berns San Juan: We looked at the authority score of both websites. Clearly, eBay would be on top, primarily because of the size of the domain, the age of the domain, and how long it’s been around. So SemRushgives eBay a 68 score and Carousell a 61 score. What does that mean?
Timothy Uichico: It means it’s easier to rank generally by authority with eBay because you have a higher authority score. Also, eBay also shares equity with its other international websites. It’s stronger when you’re related to eBay.com, since they’re older than Carousell.
Berns San Juan: So we talked about pages earlier, and in terms of pages, I guess one point goes to Carousell because it’s got more pages. In terms of authority in this case, one point goes to eBay. Both of them are sort of neck and neck.
Number of backlinks
Timothy Uichico: Backlinks are simply another website that links to your website. That gives you a vouch, or that tells Google that, hey, I am passing my authority to this website. I am mentioning this digital brand’s digital footprint online.
Berns San Juan: And so how I like to talk about it is the amount of noise about your brand, your products, your pages, and who’s generating more noise. Is it eBay or is it Carousell?
Timothy Uichico: eBay for backlinks; it makes more sense. eBay gets 36 million mentions.
And you’re talking about eBay PH only, so that’s pretty huge. Carousell has 9 million mentions, which is still big.
Berns San Juan: They’re both sizable. What’s the impact of that? 6 million to 8.9 million people? Does that mean eBay makes Carousell eat dust?
Timothy Uichico: I don’t think so because, aside from the number of mentions, we also look at who’s mentioning your brand. And then, how many times do they mention your brand? So if you’re actually looking at what we call your individual C class or individual referring domains, Carousell actually has more with 15,900 and then eBay with 12,500. So when we’re looking at that number, that just means that while Carousell has more people talking about them, the people who talk about eBay talk about it significantly more, meaning they mention eBay multiple times on their website.
Berns San Juan: This one is interesting because even though eBay has made more noise, there are fewer people making that noise. eBay Philippines is talked about on about 12,500 websites. But Carousell talked about almost 16 million websites. So, in this case, in terms of referring domains, Carousell gets the point.
Berns San Juan: Are you better off publishing your product on eBay or Carousell if you’re a seller who wants your product to be found? And what we’re looking at is how do these pages make their content easy to understand? How do they make it contextually easy to understand for both users and search engines? Let’s talk about some ranking factors.
- Meta titles
Timothy Uichico: They both use meta titles. But both of them are also just pulled from the page.
- Meta description
Timothy Uichico: No, they both don’t. It’s a little bit difficult because they just really pull whatever content you put on there.
Berns San Juan: Content is the most powerful ranking factor. Who utilizes it?
Timothy Uichico: Well, eBay utilizes their headers pretty well. They have one H1 and multiple H2s, which is necessary. Carousell does not use headers at all.
Berns San Juan: The content is sort of a mixed bag because it depends on the seller. If a seller grabs the manufacturer’s description and pastes that on the page, then the seller is essentially putting up duplicate content on the web. And then there are sellers that will take the time to write a description of their products. Therefore, they both produce original content. I would say it’s fair that they each get a point because they do allow you to put up original content.
- Product Schema
Timothy Uichico: They both have a product schema. Is it utilized to the full extent? No. But is it better than having no product schema? Definitely. Actually, the four major things you want to look at are the product name, description, currency, price, and image.
Berns San Juan: The descriptions are pretty sloppy. If the describer likes to put emojis in the description, the emojis get captured inside the product schema, which is not ideal.
Timothy Uichico: But I think in general, if you’re handling 1.4 million pages or 11 million pages, you really can’t expect your users to be able to know that off the top of your head. And you can’t expect your webmaster to be auditing individual pages just so other users can sell them.
Berns San Juan: The other thing that I also noticed is the lack of utilization of the alt text.
It’s not because the platforms do not allow it, I think it’s probably more the sellers not understanding what it’s for. An alt text helps Google understand the context of the page.
Timothy Uichico: And it helps you rank an image. So if I’m looking for a product image, or if I’m looking for a specific product, sometimes you’re looking at images. You’ll end up clicking it.
Berns San Juan: Let’s talk about who is really driving more impact. Like, how many keywords is eBay performing for and how many keywords is Carousell performing?
So 1.9 is for eBay and 5.7 is for Carousell. If you go neck and neck, it’s really Carousell that’s pulling.
Berns San Juan: They’re doing almost triple the rankings that Carousell is putting in. And then just to be clear, when we say 1.9, you mean eBay is performing well for 1,900 keywords, almost 2000 keywords?
Timothy Uichico: Yes, and Carousell is performing for 5,700 keywords. And we’re looking at where they’re strong, not just necessarily where they are. These are where they can get traffic. And that’s also considering having opportunity keywords that we spot for almost half a million, 500,000 opportunity keywords.
For eBay, there are a lot of keywords that Carousell is ranking for that eBay will not rank for. And it makes sense when you’re comparing 11 million pages to 1.4 million pages. If you’re not still ahead in the rankings, you’re doing something wrong.
Timothy Uichico: Hands down for me, Berns. It’s really the keywords and traffic that tell you it’s Carousell. Given that, okay, they don’t have an H1, but the fact that they’re able to get 11 million and they’re ranking for half a million more keywords than eBay has.
Berns San Juan: At least Philippines-wise. Because if we, again, there’s not a lot of strong push, not a lot of aggressive marketing happening on eBay in the Philippine setting. So let’s give some unsolicited advice here. What would you do differently?
Timothy Uichico: I think ideally for Carousell, it’s really programming the H1 and H2. In fact, it’s easy because the content is already there. I’ll start out with that. And then for both websites, I will try to adjust the schema when it comes to products.
Berns San Juan: Do not allow sellers to upload because they’re going to put them in the category eBay or they’re going to put them in the category Carousell. Maybe allow the seller to use only 30 characters to put in a product description. So that you can still get an optimized meta title, which goes a long way.
I’ll also teach you a trick. I think, for any of you that are posting on Carousell, the freshness metric is a big deal to merchant websites. And what I tend to do if I want to get continuous inquiries for the stuff that I sell on Carousell, I make it a point to refresh my ads and my posts on a daily basis. I just edited the ad. I put a space here. I may change or add a word, but the posting is updated daily. And what I find is that I usually appear at the top of the search that happens inside Carousell. So that’s another thing that you could be doing if this place is a channel for you to acquire customers.
I think we can fairly say that in this battle of the merchant websites, Carousell is the winner.
We appreciate the 20 minutes you’ve spent listening to us. We want to invite you to participate in the conversation by giving us a shout out, dropping us a message, or leaving a comment on YouTube to tell us which two competing websites you would like us to do a comparison of.
That’s it for this episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. Check out our website for more digital marketing resources. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify, Google, and Apple accounts and set up your alert for new episodes. We’ll see you in the next episode. Thank you, Timo.