Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 2

Here’s a look at new and interesting developments at the major shopping search and comparison sites during 2004. Today: NexTag, PriceGrabber, and Yahoo Shopping. Yesterday’s SearchDay covered BizRate/Shopzilla, Froogle, and MSN Shopping.

Search Engine Watch members have access to additional information about shopping search engines including paid inclusion, paid placement and other promotional programs available to merchants, affiliates and other search marketing professionals.Click here to learn more about becoming a member.


NexTag received 10.6 million monthly unique visitors as of September, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, up 138% from last year. The service has more than 3 million product offerings from more than 3,000 merchants.

In October, the company launched a new ServicesShopping program for mortgages, travel, cars, real estate and online education programs in the United States. The new offerings combine traditional shopping search tools with some interesting new features.

  • Mortgages – Fill out 1 form, get up to 4 quotes from a nationwide network of lenders.
  • Travel – NexTag has developed a metasearch engine called MultiSite Search that provides real-time side-by-side pricing from 46,000 online travel agencies and hotel merchants based on destination, hotel preferences, and arrival/departure dates. Results can be sort by hotel, price, name, rating, airport and seller.
  • Cars – NexTag’s car search function provides users with the ability to match car preferences with dealers with competitive price quotes in a specific area, based on zip code, auto preferences and availability.
  • Real Estate – Matches homebuyers with local real estate agencies. The service also provides free home valuation service for home sellers.
  • Online Education Programs – Compare & apply for educational programs from online accredited colleges and universities.

In June, the company expanded internationally, debuting NexTag UK. The site is already performing quite well, currently the 7th most visited shopping search service in the UK, according to Hitwise—interestingly enough, just behind parent in the number six position.

NexTag crawls online merchants and includes many listings at no charge. The company offers a number of programs for merchants and service providers, including bid-based sponsored listings, as well as programs for sellers in its real estate, travel and auto comparison programs.

More information on NexTag’s merchant services is available to Search Engine Watch members.


PriceGrabber continues to be a popular shopping search service, with 13 million unique users in November and 16 million anticipated this month, according to Tamim Mourad, PriceGrabber’s CEO. The site features between 5 and 6 million product offerings from more than 5,000 merchants and sellers, both online retailers and merchants that sell via Pricegrabber storefronts, which are hosted stores.

The company rolled out numerous new features this year. Mourad says that the primary focus was on “rounding out” the site’s “channels,” which now feature 20 major product verticals. New channels this year include apparel, health and beauty and automobiles.

The automobiles channel allows users to fully configure car a car, specifying the exact options, colors and materials desired. PriceGrabber invites dealers within a range of distance to the user to put in bids, and then conducts a 72 hour reverse auction among the dealers. The dealer with the lowest offered price gets the lead for the potential buyer.

PriceGrabber also added merchant coupons, allowing users to see all coupons available for individual products, in addition to rebate offers that the site has displayed for years. Also new are professional reviews, as well as review voting and a interactive forum that allows users to ask questions of reviewers or start a discussion with other users.

In August the company launched PriceGrabber UK, a scaled down site that’s currently focusing on consumer electronics and home appliances.

More information on PriceGrabber’s merchant services is available to Search Engine Watch members.

The big event for this year was the company’s initial public offering in October. Shares were initially priced at $18, quickly nearly doubled, plunged to $25 two weeks later, and are currently trading at around $32. had 15.8 million unique visitors in October, according to comScore. The site features “millions” of product offerings from more than 5,000 merchants.

New this year are Trusted Stores, awards that recognize high quality merchants. To gain the Trusted Store designation, a merchant must have cumulative user rating of at least 4 out of a possible 5, must provide accurate price, shipping and availability information, and clear and fair customer service policies. Merchants must also be listed on for a minimum of three months to be eligible for the Trusted Store designation.

In conjunction with the Trusted Stores program, introduced the Smart Buy program, which displays the lowest price from a Trusted Store for a particular item. Smart Buy listings appear in the fourth spot on product listing pages and are highlighted with a blue background. The Smart Buy position cannot be bought or bid for by a merchant. also launched a Cash Back program, rebating up to 5% cash back of purchase from participating retailers.

More information on’s merchant services is available to Search Engine Watch members.

Yahoo Shopping

Yahoo Shopping is the most popular shopping search and product comparison service, according to Hitwise. The site features more than 50 million product offerings from over 200,000 merchants, making it the largest in scope and comprehensivenes as well.

This year, Yahoo focused on improving the relevance of shopping search results by creating something called “attribute search,” according to Rob Solomon, vice president and general manager of Yahoo shopping. Essentially this means tagging product offers with relevant additional metadata, either manually or automatically, to better describe the attributes of the product.

Yahoo also added tax and shipping information, as well as the ability to compare products side by side for all 50 million offers in the database.

Another user interface improvement is the ability to save and share results. This allows you to permanently save information in your own personal “products locker,” and this information can easily be emailed to anyone.

Going into next year, Yahoo will be focusing on beefing up community, personalization and customization features, similar to features rolled out this year by Yahoo Local and My Yahoo Search.

More information on Yahoo Shopping’s merchant services is available to Search Engine Watch members.

Want to discuss or comment on this story? Join the Shopping Search Arrives as an Important Vertical discussion in the Search Engine Watch forums.

Search Engine Watch members have access to additional information about shopping search engines including paid inclusion, paid placement and other promotional programs available to merchants, affiliates and other search marketing professionals.Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Shopping Search Week

Monday: Shopping Search 2004 Overview
Tuesday: Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 1
Today: Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 2
Thursday: Shopping Search Around the World

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Amazon Gets Search
Business 2.0 prem Dec 1 2004 9:21AM GMT
Make way for Google
CBS MarketWatch Dec 1 2004 8:54AM GMT
New Netscape Browser Impersonates Both Firefox and IE
Windows IT Pro Dec 1 2004 7:02AM GMT
Phishers swap email for Google to hook victims
ZDNet Australia Dec 1 2004 6:58AM GMT
Microsoft About Ready to Compete With Google’s Blogger
Microsoft-Watch Dec 1 2004 6:29AM GMT
Singingfish Relaunches Under New AOL Strategy
ClickZ Today Dec 1 2004 6:19AM GMT
Mastering Search Engine Advertising
ClickZ Today Dec 1 2004 5:26AM GMT
Online Holiday Shopping Update
iMedia Connection Dec 1 2004 3:54AM GMT
China’s Google Block Sparks Media Group’s Protest
Internet News Nov 30 2004 11:19PM GMT
Google Motion of Summary Judgment Denied in Geico Case
Searchblog Nov 30 2004 10:03PM GMT
Google to Start Buyback of 23.4 Million Shares
Dow Jones via iWon Nov 30 2004 6:39PM GMT
Everything’s coming up Google
Billings Gazette Nov 30 2004 6:16PM GMT
Snap: the future of transparency?
SiliconBeat Nov 30 2004 6:08PM GMT
Lycos Europe: ‘Make love not spam’
ZDNet Nov 30 2004 6:03PM GMT
Google Is Best Global Web Site (Again)
Corante Nov 30 2004 5:42PM GMT

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