ShopWiki is almost ready to launch. The site claims to crawl “more than 120,000 stores” which, if true, would make it one of the most comprehensive comparison shopping engines. See yesterday’s introduction to the new crawler based engines. Here’s an excerpt:
Which brings me back to Dulance and similar shopping search engines which don’t depend on merchant feeds but rather crawl the web for merchants and associated products. These shopping engines don’t impose price floors and get paid through affiliate programs or reasonable pay per click fees. Which means that these services can move past 5,000 merchants, past 50,000 merchants, and maybe past 100,000 merchants…hitting the long tail and possibly becoming an order of magnitude better than the current field of shopping comparison engines.
I’m a little late to the game on ShopWiki and don’t know much about the company, so no review yet. The name of the CEO is under wraps right now…and I haven’t looked into ShopWiki as I did RedCarpet/Pronto…but the CTO & Founder, Eliot Horowitz, sent me the following information:
We are currently in a “soft launch” phase. The site is open to the public, but we have not started our pr or marketing campaigns yet. We plan on officially launching in the middle of April.
We are crawling over 120,000 stores automatically. We are not accepting any data feeds, so everything you see on our site is crawled and extracted automatically. We have what we believe is the most advanced data extraction algorithms and can extract data correctly from any merchant. I’m sure you understand the benefits of this, but we feel this is an incredible advantage to consumers. We will never exclude sites like amazon because they don’t want to pay, nor miss the tail of smaller stores that don’t have data feeds. Some of the engines also have minimum number of offers for merchants – we don’t have anything like that. We can also present data in a much more consumer friendly way because we do not have contracts with merchants.
Besides crawling, we also have a more advanced search engine and a wiki. You can try searches like “digital camera under $300 at least 5 megapixels,” “1 horespower amplifier,” or “4 inch heels.” The Wiki is starting to reach a point where we have articles on most of the major shopping categories, and many of the not so major ones. As most wikis, anyone can create or edit articles.
More information can be found on the About Us pages of ShopWiki.