Just want to thank everyone for reading over the last 6 months (yes, ComparisonEngines.com officially turned 6 months old last week). The comparison engines are starting to get a lot more interest – both from a consumer and investor perspective.
For months, I’ve been trying to figure out why the industry is not getting the respect I think it deserves, and I’ve decided that I just have to be a little more patient as comparison engines make up a small subset of search.
I estimate the shopping comparison engine industry (comprised of Shopzilla, Shopping.com, NexTag, Yahoo! Shopping, PriceGrabber, MSN Shopping, and a lot of smaller players) at $550m-$650m in revenue. That’s not anything to laugh about, but compared to the billions in PPC revenue reported by Google Adwords and YSM, you can see why shopping comparison engines are not yet the talk of the town. As you know, I expect a strong holiday shopping season to turn many more heads come January.
As for travel search (or travel meta-search engines), no one is releasing numbers, and total bookings are tiny compared to those from Online Travel Angencies (OTAs). However, there are a lot of factors which seem to be pointing to a tipping point in the industry: AOL driving traffic to Pinpoint Travel, Yahoo putting FareChase on its main travel page (as opposed to keeping it separate from Travelocity), Google working on travel search, established travel suppliers like Hilton Hotels and American Airlines signing deals with the travel search engines, Amazon choosing to partner with SideStep as opposed to an OTA, DCA3 carrier agreements up for renewal at the same time travel providers are seeing success with direct bookings, Mobissimo (and others) searching Orbitz, Kayak working on cool Google-like aps and an impressive travel only PPC engine, etc.
If you want to catch up on some recent news, I’ve added a number of stories/press releases to the general industy news section. By next Monday, I’ll post my backlog of interviews – so look for posts on PriceGrabber, AOL Shopping, NexTag, and ShopLocal.
Have a great Thanksgiving!