eBay CEO Meg Whitman said the company is allocating marketing dollars to Google, but also plans to spend with other partners on increase returns.
On eBay's earnings conference call Whitman addressed the Google flap last month (eBay pulled its Google ads over a Google Checkout spat). Overall, eBay had a solid quarter. Here's what Whitman had to say about Google:
Late in the quarter, as you know, we ran an experiment to see what would happen if we were to change our allocation of Internet marketing between our largest providers. As you know, we pulled back from Google, reallocated to AOL, Ask Jeeves and Yahoo! in particular. We learned a lot from this test that will actually drive our go-forward Internet marketing (IM) spend. It has to do with return on investment, where we can get the most leverage.
As you know, we have gone back to spending some money on Google. We will continue to reallocate not only between IM engines as we go forward on particular words, but also, frankly, we are reevaluating our spend between offline and online.
So (it was) a great test that we did. I think we learned a lot from it. I think we are going to be even more efficient than we have been in the past in terms of the efficacy of our IM spend. By the way, it had no impact at all on the results for the quarter, because the money we largely were spending on Google we moved to other partners and saw actually great ROI.
The message to Google seems to be that eBay can go elsewhere and get the same results. In fact, it may spread its bets around as a policy in the future.