Shopzilla Learns About Link Building

April 29, 2007

Scripps (owner of Shopzilla) has taken a beating recently as the company claims click costs are too much for Shopzilla to handle. Scripps has therefore said it would concentrate on brand building and driving free traffic. One strategy seems to be link building. And I mean a TON of link building.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), one factor that goes into rankings on Google and Yahoo! is the number and quality of inbound links. If your site has a lot of links from high quality (traffic, relevance) sites, that’s good. Not a lot of links, not so good.

Well, seems that Scripps has discovered this SEO tactic and has put links to Shopzilla, BizRate, and uSwitch on most of its media properties. Here are some examples:

From Redding.com:
shopzilla on redding.com

From Newsnet5.com:
shopzilla on Newsnet5.com

So this is what they mean by free traffic.

You can find these links on most of Scripps’ newspaper (20 listed on this page) and broadcast television (10 listed on this page) sites. These links are in addition to the various modules of Shopzilla content that were already in place on most Scripps properties.

Very smart move on the surface. Whether there should be some sort of disclosure that Scripps is the parent company of both the newspaper/tv station + Shopzilla is not really bugging me.

What does make me a little uncomfortable, though, is the lack of relevance and value to the average Joe reading a newspaper site like Boulder’s Daily Camera.

After reading Looking for the warning signs in kids, do parents really need to ‘Comparison Shop for Digital Cameras and Appliances at Shopzilla& BizRate’?


Become Sports New Look

April 25, 2007

Over the last couple months, it’s become pretty clear that Become has become more and more of a shopping comparison engine and less and less of a product research engine. Yes, the AIR (affinity index ranking is still there) and all that product research stuff (buying guides, discussions, etc.) is still there, but shopping search is the focus of the company.

Big difference with the redesigned homepage is the addition of ‘shop by category’ section.

become product search

This comes on the heels of Become’s updated taxonomy for merchants.


Scripps Interactive Group Posts First Quarter 2007 Loss

April 25, 2007

Highlights from the press release:

“Revenue at the company’s interactive media division, including Internet search businesses Shopzilla and uSwitch, rose during the first quarter of 2007, but segment profit for the division was down because of changing business conditions, strategic investments the company is making to improve the consumer experience and competitive position at both businesses, and costs related to a transition in leadership at Shopzilla. On a pro forma basis, as if the company had owned uSwitch since Jan. 1, 2006, Scripps Interactive Media revenue was down 8.7 percent during the quarter.”

Interactive Media revenue was $62.9 million for the first quarter compared with $58.6 million in the first quarter 2006. On a pro forma basis, as if the company had owned uSwitch for the full year 2006, Scripps Interactive Media revenue was down 8.7 percent. The segment loss at Interactive Media was $400,000 compared with $13.9 million in segment profit in the first quarter 2006. Costs related to the leadership transition at Shopzilla reduced segment profit by about $5 million. The company also invested $10 million during the quarter to build brand awareness for uSwitch in the U.K.”

Scripps Interactive Media, which includes Shopzilla and uSwitch, is expected to generate segment profit of about $5 million in the second quarter. The company’s outlook for the second quarter and balance of the year assumes no improvement in market conditions experienced by both businesses in the first quarter. For the full year, interactive media segment profit is expected to be between $30 million and $40 million.”

The bigger they are the harder they fall?
Q4 2006 Earnings Call
Q2 2006 Earnings
Q1 2006 Earnings
A look at 2005


Froogle Out, Google Product Search In

April 18, 2007

Google Product Search

Froogle is being replaced by Google Product Search. I’m waiting for the site to launch (it still says Froogle) to write up my comments. In the meantime, check out Elinor Mills’ take or Danny’s take.


Google Base

April 16, 2007

A search for ‘engineering jobs in san francisco’ brings up a google base search box:
google base search

A search for ‘new york apartment’ brings up a google base search box:
google base real estate search

Does it make any sense that a search for a product (Plantronics CS50/HL10 Wireless Convertible Headset) brings up Froogle listings as opposed to a Google Base search box or at least Google Base results?
Google Base product search


Amazon Might not be Working With Google Base Store Connector

April 16, 2007

According to 2 posters in Google’s Google Base Help Discussion Forum, Amazon sent an email that it is ‘stopping the feed for Store Connector.’

Haven’t spoken to anyone at Base or Amazon about this yet, so I have no more details.

If you’ve been following my posts on Google Base, you’ll know that I think these automated feeds represent a poor solution for merchants.


Search Engine Strategies NYC – Next Week

April 5, 2007

The Rangers Clinched! Go Rangers! Ooops. Wrong topic. ;)

I’ll be presenting at Search Engine Strategies as part of the Shopping Search Tactics session @ 2pm on Thursday. We jazzed up the session last time (Chicago) and got a great response. I’m hoping to include lots of new information, and I hope my fellow panelists (Brian Mark – Toolbarn & Jake Berry – Marchex) will as well. Allan Dick is sure to keep it educational but entertaining. Oh, and we’ll be bribing the audience again with great rewards!

I’m only in the city Tues – Thurs, but let me know if you’d like to meet up. Just send me an email (brian at comparisonengines dot com), and we’ll make it happen.


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