eBay Halfheartedly Returns to Google

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Less than two weeks after announcing it was ditching Google, eBay is back, but not in full force. According to a New York Times report, eBay discovered, through what it stressed earlier was simply an ad optimization experiment, it wasn’t as dependent on Google’s AdWords as “some people thought.”

As reported here, eBay pulled its ads aimed at U.S.-based Google users on or before June 13. Coincidentally, and many believe in direct response, the online auction house made the decision official after Google threatened to host a protest of eBay’s ban on Google’s Checkout payment system during eBay’s annual bash for its hardcore sellers.

Of course, eBay owns Checkout rival PayPal, so it’s no surprise it would rather not allow another digital transaction system on its site. Plus, although eBay will be allocating dollars to all the big search engines, it’s got a special relationship with the Google adversary Yahoo, which both handles display ads on the eBay site and serves sponsored text links on eBay. Indeed, some folks think it’s about time Yahoo and eBay tie the knot officially.

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