Google no longer all gooey over price comparison sites?

3 replies
  • SEO
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Price comparison is quite difficult to implement on small-time affiliate sites without paying for an expensive aggregation service. But Google frequently cites price comparison as one of their examples of "value" provided by a site.

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."
So the Google Monster generally likes price comparison and that is something that is fairly easy to find algorithmically.

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?
#comparison #gooey #google #longer #price #sites
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    The days of beating Amazon and eBay for the most part appear to be over.

    Google cares about true global Authority these days. They appear to want to send people to sites that are in the top 100 of Alexa.

    Why bother with a price comparison website? Make an App instead. Websites are getting to be pretty old school with half of everyone online using mobile.
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      The days of beating Amazon and eBay for the most part appear to be over.

      Google cares about true global Authority these days. They appear to want to send people to sites that are in the top 100 of Alexa.

      Why bother with a price comparison website? Make an App instead. Websites are getting to be pretty old school with half of everyone online using mobile.
      Yes, I'm with you there on the "global authority" thing. And I am unlikely to make a full-blown comparison site - I did have a vague notion to create a script that people could use to create "niche comparison shopping sites" or some such, but am definitely moving away from this precisely for the reasons discussed. Sure, I could "do a BANS" and sell a shed-load of scripts, but that would be a one-shot deal and I prefer something more sustainable (and ethical).

      I had thought about apps - problem is, a lot of the data providers like Amazon, eBay and CJ have limitations about using their product data in mobile apps and you often need to get special permission and jump through a ton of hoops. It's definitely something I will look into though, thanks for reminding me.
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      • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
        Originally Posted by markowe View Post

        Yes, I'm with you there on the "global authority" thing. And I am unlikely to make a full-blown comparison site - I did have a vague notion to create a script that people could use to create "niche comparison shopping sites" or some such, but am definitely moving away from this precisely for the reasons discussed. Sure, I could "do a BANS" and sell a shed-load of scripts, but that would be a one-shot deal and I prefer something more sustainable (and ethical).

        I had thought about apps - problem is, a lot of the data providers like Amazon, eBay and CJ have limitations about using their product data in mobile apps and you often need to get special permission and jump through a ton of hoops. It's definitely something I will look into though, thanks for reminding me.
        You're welcome. Let's face it: Google jumped the shark awhile ago for most 'competitive keywords.' They really want to show people the favorite sites.

        Part of this may be personalisation, but mainly it's probably a corporate decision by them to show 'safe' picks. That, plus a whole lot of Paid Ads

        Apps still are pretty wide open. Of course there are all sorts of rules there, too. In any event, good luck with whatever you attempt
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