I am working on a pseudo-comparison shopping solution that would be accessible to small affiliate sites, and I know price comparison widgets convert very well regardless of their SEO value, but just wondering what your take is on full-on comparison sites and whether that is a viable model any more?
I can say that when I used to try to send Adwords traffic to affiliate bridge pages (not a viable model these days, not sure it ever was) I used to get landing pages rejected with a message along the lines of "comparison shopping pages must have 3 or more different retailers listed". Wish I could find that email, I can already see people disbelieving that, but there is something along those lines in the Adwords help, though more general:
|"Bridge pages offer little functionality beyond driving traffic elsewhere. Travel aggregator or shopping comparison sites, for example, cannot simply drive traffic to a single online merchant [my emphasis]. To make such sites valuable to users, offer compelling features like reviews, comparison charts [my emphasis], rating scales, or sorting or filtering capabilities."|
And besides Adwords, time was that every product search would throw up results from PriceGrabber, Shopping.com, Shopzilla etc. But I am just not seeing them in the SERPS now - it's all Amazon and eBay (which are basically comparison engines anyway due to the large number of retailers selling through them now) and the top review sites (CNET etc.)
A lot of comparison shopping sites are very thin and have huge duplicate content issues, but still, they do provide value of sorts. So has Google got a downer on them, too, now?