Hidden Active Content

hidden active content

Active content is a broad term which covers any type of non standard text that can be included in item descriptions to provide additional functionality. Examples of active content include Javascript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions which can be used to create features such as cross-promotion modules or video players.

Fron June 2017, eBay will limit the use of active content in all new listings across all devices, and it will not appear by default. Later in 2017, eBay plan to remove or block listings with active content.

Ebay are encouraging sellers to check if their listings contain active contentby following this check list. They are also sending out emails alerting people to listings which contain active content.

Some sellers are not currently using any active content in their listing design but are still receiving emails from eBay alerting them to active content in their listings and being flagged by i-ways checker. There is one very common reason why, and that is that we are looking at the finished page, while the computer is looking at the code. These two things are not always the same.

Here’s why –

Sell Similar

Our director Adrian Bausorwas invited to speak about active content on eBay radio. Presenter and eBay veteran Griff spoke about how he thought that his listings were active content free, but has now been alerted by eBay that they are not. His current design contains no active content, but, years ago, Griff subscribed to a third party rotating carousel that was made with active content. He stopped using that feature, and as far as he is concerned,it is gone from his listings.But it is not gone. It is just hidden, and so now Griff is recieving emails from eBay warning him that his listings contain active content.

This is a common issue. Griff’s listings contain hidden active content. Because he is using the sell similar feature on old inactive listings which still have the active content code in them. He no longer subscribes to the carousel, it doesn’t appear appear for the eye to see on the page, but the code is still there, lying dormant, and so it is still there for the computer to read. Until the code is removed, every time he uses the sell similar feature on that listing, he is simply multiplying his active content problem.

Will hidden active content effect listings?

Listings with active content will still be live and working after June, just the elements which are active content will not work. Alisting with video embedded for example, will still be a live listing in June, just the video will not work. For elements of active content no longer used and lying dormant in your listing code like Griff’s long forgotten image carousel, not rendering as expected is obviously not a concern, as it is not seen anyway.

Does hidden active content need to be removed?

In short, Yes. Here’s why;

Ebay are not going to block listings with active contentfrom June, but they may block them in the future. Clearing any hidden elements of active content from your listings now, means that you do not have to worry about this later.

Active content is being disabled by eBay because it slows load times and is bad for customer experience. It is especially bad for customers shopping via mobile. With the internet being a convenience that now serves as part of our everyday lives, users expect fast load speed. Research from Google found that if a page takes three seconds to load, 58% of customers will leave that page and not return. Over half of customers on eBay are now shopping from a mobile device, so mobile experience should be a priority for every business on eBay. Carrying active content will make your listings slower to load and may not work as well for customers using mobile devices. Leaving dormant active content hidden in your listings impairs user experience, and could potentially lose you sales.

How should it be removed?

You can remove hidden active content yourself by going into the listing code and deleting any old pieces of active content such as scrolling galleries. Emails from eBay will indicate what kind of active content you would be looking for (eg;javascript).

If you are not confident with code, or have more than a handfull of listings, removing the active content yourself may not be an option. Even for confident coders it is a time-consuming task. So we have created an automated listing rescue service. This service starts at just $149, and removes active content faster than any other method.

Hidden Active Content was last modified: May 11th, 2017 by Jessica McDonald