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Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Price comparison sites?
What do you all think of price comparison sites? I get a relatively high eCPM, which I think meant I hadn't seen any till recently. Then, possibly due to the fallout from the ongoing changes, I did. It has "shopping" in the URL. And when I checked it out, it was in fact a pretty well-known site....

As the ads were set up like the classic "buy used diapers at ebay" ads, and I have ebay in the filter, I put this site in the filter too.

I figure it doesn't really a product or service to sell, and is functioning as a kind of referral service. Can't possibly pay much per click.

Am I wrong?
June 14, 2007 10:32PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
I have long-since blocked all generic auction/shopping sites that I come across.

(I designed one of the earlier comparison sites, for WAP, and I know just how vacuous they can be!)

Rgds

Damon
June 14, 2007 11:06PM
nitrous
Posts:730
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Ask yourself - are they adding money or taking money from the system as a whole, and are they organised enough to get max clicks for the lowest amount?

Then ask if they sell anything.

I am not sure because they take money from the punter as a part of the sale and add it to the adwords acount.

If they have ads too they def get filterd. If not then I am not sure. If you have enough advertisers then filter them. If not it could be a mistake.

Personally I filter them.

They are similar to the adwords > other ads mfa sites that all the banned sites are now doing. They add money to the system but dont take so they shouldnt hurt but, bad user experience and low click value...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2007 02:11AM by nitrous.
June 15, 2007 02:07AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
No ads on the site, but def. not what I want for visitors.

Filter.
June 15, 2007 01:14PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
I quite like the compact sites for things like credit card comparison. If they are done well and you can easily compare the different cards etc in one place - then chose the one that suits you I think that is good. I don't mind paying their commission. Same with Car insurance. I really don't like very much the sites with load of fridges etc on - tend to hop right out of these.

Not really relevant to me now - as I'm in France, but when I was in UK I would have used - and found useful - the two examples I just gave.
June 15, 2007 01:23PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
This was a vast site, comparing all kinds of things. Consumer products, mostly.
June 15, 2007 03:12PM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
I think it comes to the quality of the information provided.

If you want the cheapest widget and accurate prices are provided for all sources of widgets - then this is providing a good service.

If prices are inaccurate or is some types or sources of widget are not included then it may be no more valuable than a page of ad links.
June 15, 2007 04:05PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Not releveant to my site content...... Zap.
June 18, 2007 07:09PM
Joshua
Posts:2831
Administrator
Member since: 2007-03-16
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
I know it is in Dutch, but take this one as an example.

[www.kieskeurig.nl]
(just picked a random product)

They are reviewing, they do have user comments and they *do* carry Google ads.

Still I used the site a lot on deciding where to purchase something.

(Not my site, won't earn anything from it)
June 18, 2007 09:09PM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
The original post(I think) concerned whether or not price comparison sites should be blocked.

I'm guessing that most such sites will carry ads - why else would they exist? As such, price comparison sites will fail the nitrous sniff test.

This doesn't make them bad sites - some of them may provide an excellent service. My view would be to block them on the basis of 2 questsions:
1 Does the ad concerned reflect the nature and content of the site?
2 Is the site and ad pertinent to the subject matter on your page?

If the answer to either of these is no, then I would block.
June 18, 2007 09:18PM
nitrous
Posts:730
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Nothing wrong with the site but since its advertising in competition to me with the same subject and advertisers its my competition! It what the competitive ad filter is for!
June 18, 2007 09:20PM
Joshua
Posts:2831
Administrator
Member since: 2007-03-16
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Quote:
why else would they exist?

This site is so popular in our country, each store pays for the clicks.

You can easily say that every outbound link is a payed one.

Just only if we did that 6 years ago!
June 18, 2007 09:25PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Pengi, to clarify, the site I noticed had no Google ads.They seem to make money by doing price comparisons for products on Amazon and other popular shopping locations and then earning commissions.
June 19, 2007 07:27AM
PhilG
Posts:53
Full member
Member since: 2007-03-03
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
My opinion on this is going to be rather biased because I am starting up a price comparison site.

Price comparison sites are not in the same category as MFA or thin affiliates. Comparison shopping is extremely popular and adds a lot of value. It is not just that they aggregate prices from many merchants which are not always so easy to find on search engines. They also provide product specifications, reviews and other technical help that most merchants do not have time or expertise to provide.

Of course some price comparison sites are better than others. You can tell the poor ones because they have links to ebay most of which do not find any products listed there, or they have extra sponsored links such as adsense. But several price comparison sites are very good and a customer would be happy to be sent there by your ads.

I think that when you filter sites you have to remember a very important fact. If you filter out one low paying advertiser it will in general be replaced by another even lower paying one. You only gain if your visitor is more likely to click on it. If your page is not attracting high paying ads make sure it has appropriate high value keywords. If the subject matter is not sufficiently commerical to attract enough high paying ads then put less ads on it so that only the highest payers get on. I am sure most people here are aware of these things but perhaps sometimes they get neglected.

I tend to think that time spent setting up filters could be better used creating new more sucessful pages that dont need filters, but I am sure there will be some disagreement on that.
June 21, 2007 11:22AM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
you bet!

Quote:
when you filter sites you have to remember a very important fact. If you filter out one low paying advertiser it will in general be replaced by another even lower paying one

That's perfectly true in theory and if the algo works. From experience, the algo is broken and could mismatch a topic or is vulnerable to advertiser spamming broad ranges of keywords paying bottom cents, also the algo is broken specifically when it favors what it thinks a more likely ad to be clicked against a better matched well paying ad, also simply because it does not take into account how creative spamming advertisers are in their copy writing, another vulnerability when basing the decision on CTR.

So no, filtering is a must until the algo is fixed.
June 21, 2007 02:45PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
But I'm with Phil in that I like to spend as little time as possible on the negative angle, eg filter-twiddling, and as much as possible on the positive, eg adding or improving content.

If G eventually sorts its algos then 'negative' time may have been wasted but 'positive' time won't have been, and will have raised a higher entry barrier to competitors.

Rgds

Damon
June 21, 2007 03:49PM
nitrous
Posts:730
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
If I had not filtered aggressively I would be 30,000 dollars down. Based on the amount my revenue drops when I clear out the filter every couple of months. I would say its a few hours well spent anyway as you protect your visitors from the garbage ads as well as improving their adsense experience and the likelyhood of further clicks
June 21, 2007 07:07PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Recently I've been using Yahoo a lot more than in the past (I wonder why......winking smiley)

Anyway - the number of parked domains carry absolute shite - page full of adsense is a nightmare.

What I am not seeing is the parked domains carrying yahoo ads. Interesting.
June 21, 2007 07:11PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Phil, I do understand the theory of what ads get served. I am not trying to filter low-paying ads. I'm trying to filter out ads that don't do much for my visitors (and I'm a better judge of that than the algo) or that are related to scams.

Last year I blocked a phony literary agency and the following month my earnings were down about $100. Not a coincidence, I think. And that's OK with me.

I also don't spend all that much time on this. I work on a Mac so I don't have the preview tool, which last I checked was Windows only. I do browse around the site periodically to make sure all is well.

The price comparison site was showing up on pages where I make specific book recommendations. I don't want them there--they are acting as competition in that context.
June 21, 2007 07:14PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
That should be exactly what the filter is for. Competitive ad filter. I think it has become quite sad that (not for all) but a load of people see it as a means of increasing revenue by filtering out low paying ads - whether relevant or not.

I know a lot of this is because of the MFA/Arb sites - but there are a lot out there who use it for this purpose, and this alone.
June 21, 2007 07:36PM
nitrous
Posts:730
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
copied from the other place as its very relevant here:

>>>Comparison shopping sites are far worse offenders than eBay.. I should know, I have 3 of them and the majority of the income comes from "sponsored links" search results from Google, not outgoing clicks to merchants.. It is in fact almost impossible to compete on Adwords without running secondary search results.
This isn't straight arbitrage however.. Straight search results arbitrage without any supplemental content is so easy it is doomed to fail as a business strategy.. Everyone can easily do it and most of the web development community considers it to be spam.

There's plenty of other stuff to do out there...


So I say filter them...
June 21, 2007 07:38PM
PhilG
Posts:53
Full member
Member since: 2007-03-03
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
I take your points about the filters. Obviously everyone should do what works for them. When I targeted adense for income I chose material that had good commercial potential and I never had to worry about the filters. Other strategies will work better if you come from a different direction.

Coming back to price comparison sites, I am surprised by the statement that comparison sites get most of the income from sponsored links. My experience so far is that the merchant links bring in much more income and it was not long before I removed the adsense altogether from mine. Of course there are people who set up quick price comparison sites using feeds from shopping.com and they provide no extra tools or product information. They should not be surprised if that does not work well.

Of course e-bay owns shopping.com and appears to have strong affiliations with some of the other big sites so it is not surprising that they are run largely as a feed to e-bay itself.
June 22, 2007 09:05AM
nitrous
Posts:730
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
I only want the end user the real advertiser trying to sell a related service or product on my pages.

No middle men or added "value" etc The most efficient profitable system that gives the best deal for advertiser, publisher, and google is the simple one above. Advertiser pays for an ad on a content page, and google splits the money with the publisher.

All the rest that are not selling something real and tangible are always going in the filter since they just suck up the money that should be going to genuine content publishers. They ARE my competition. They compete for the advertisers cash while doing so by riding on my back and paying me cents a click. So obviously they go in the COMPETITIVE ad filter.
June 22, 2007 03:07PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Price comparison sites?
Phil, it's interesting that you mention shopping.com, since that's the site that I filtered. I hadn't realized that they were connected to ebay.

What I see on their site is this: the home page and section pages are AdSense-free, with only a couple of banner ads. But if you click on a specific product, you find a LARGE block of ads on that page in addition to the price comparisons. And click for reviews or tech specs and you'll get even more ads along with the info.

That confirms my decision to filter them....
June 22, 2007 04:53PM

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