Jonatan Kedar - SEO Team Product Manager

Name: Jonatan Kedar
Position: SEO Team Product Manager
Something you should know about him: He lives in Karkur, married and
has twins and a one-year old baby.
Has been working in eBay: 10 (!) years

Hi Jonatan, tell us what do you do in eBay.
I am a product manager on the SEO team. It’s a small unit, located
in Israel, which reports t o a bigger team abroad. Our product is
Browse Nodes.

 

What does that mean?
Browse Nodes are entities based on structured data, and they try to
detail buyer’s intent and build a static page behind it, as part of
the user experience for buyers on eBay, but still something Google
can index, so that users can reach it using search engines.
We are trying to be the basis of the buyer’s experience, when the
main idea is to create a shopping funnel. The buyer starts with a
search term, and we find him more in Google, get him to enter the
website and navigate him through relevant pages to his search.

Let’s say I’m looking for a watch. I’ll get to eBay’s page and then
navigate through relevant questions, such as whether the watch is
for a man or a woman, maybe different brands or types. These
questions will help me move from page to page, until I get to the
product pages themselves. That’s the idea of the experience behind
browser nodes. We want the buyer to be comfortable. We are part of
the Buyer Experience group. Our approach is that we don’t work to
rank at the top search results on Google, but that we work for the
customers. If the buyers are comfortable, Google will rank us
higher, and if we have more unique, relevant content, that makes the
buyers stick around the website, Google will find us more.

Our team is made up of two parts – the part responsible for the
data, the entities, the look of the titles and images; the
development is the other part of the team – these are the guys who
work on the platform that manages the entities.

Sounds interesting. How did you end up in eBay?
I came to eBay immediately after finishing my studies at the
Technion and moving to Tel Aviv. It was a tiny company with a huge
name. That was my first job. I started as Data Manager on the
Catalog Intelligence team. I was responsible for building catalogs
and defining their metadata. The purpose was to understand what’s important and relevant in any catalog, so we needed to research it
and become experts on the subject. One of the first projects I led
was the synchronization process between the catalog’s metadata and
that of the categories. After almost five years in the company, I
moved to UMS, a central data system, that was designed to unify all
data under one source. That’s where I first started to work on
product worlds. When the product manager who worked with me went on
maternity leave, I replaced here, and when she didn’t come back, I
just continued to work in that position. Three and a half years ago,
I moved to Browse Nodes.

What are the challenges in your job these days?
Right now, I am trying very hard to find other places in the company
that can use our product. I think we built a very good product, with
a high level of technology, that creates a strong basis for a lot
more other uses in eBay’s systems. I think the size of the company
makes it easier for everyone to create their own, local, solution,
instead of using existing ones. One of the challenges I have today
is finding other places that will use our product instead of
developing a new one.

Why eBay?
It’s a very big, established and stable company. I personally
believe the idea behind it. I think it’s one of the first companies
in the world that built a unique platform, in which anyone can buy
and sell. It actually a place that helps many (many!) people make a
living. I know people who make a living off of selling in eBay for
years now.

These days of the Corona crisis help you understand just how
important those things are, how big they are. That’s part of what’s
so good here – the buyer’s success is our success.
Other than that, it’s just a great place to work in. There are great
people and great atmosphere in the office. On the professional
level, there are always many interesting technological challenges.
You are constantly challenged with things you don’t know and find
new areas to learn and develop. I enjoy having a lot of professional
independence. I’ve been a product manager for a few years, and my
boss is in the USA. Me and my teams were always allowed full
independence on the road map, I always had the freedom to initiate,
lead and change.

How do you deal with the Corona challenges?
Actually, I’ve been working a lot from home even on regular days,
because my boss is in the US. So, I’m rather used to the situation.
Working with quarantined teams in Israel was a bit more challenging,
it’s harder to communicate within a team that’s used to being next to each other in the office. I am responsible for keeping in touch
with the people and for making sure everything is happening and
developing as it should.

Jonatan, thanks for sharing! We hope we’ll go back to the regular
routine, be together in the open space and communicate more closely.