I was discussing eBay search with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while and he brought up that he was impressed with a number of the changes we’d made over the past year. Flattered, I probed a bit further to find that it was how eBay handled bad queries that he found most helpful. This is now the third separate person that has mentioned this particular improvement to me.
Here’s how the feature works (launched in June 2005). When a buyer searches for something that returns low or no results we offer suggestions on how to improve the query. For example if a buyer searches for more than 4 keywords we suggest crossing out some of the more problematic ones along with the number of items they’d find with that query (patent pending). Here is an example of a Finding Nemo query:
Please let me know what improvements you find helpful or areas that still need improvement so I can add it to my long list. 🙂