How Comparison Search Engines Work

Comparison Search Engines are commonly used when consumers are trying to find a product for the lowest price possible and to find reviews from other consumers on a range of products in order to find the best product for their needs. In order to get the best buy, it is necessary to compare a variety of comparison search engines. Depending on the search engine, you will find different prices for the same product because of the way these search engines are operated.

There are two common ways comparison search engines sites are created. Merchant websites are indexed for the specific products and prices that the search engine is looking for. This collective search of merchant sites is called “crawling.” Crawling is similar to the way that Google collects its data but this formula can be more difficult when creating comparison search engines. When websites are formatted or have different product names and descriptions, inaccurate products and prices could show up as results.

Because the crawling method can at times be unreliable, comparison shopping engines are more successful when they use the merchant stores’ “data feeds.” Data feeds are gathered by the merchant stores and are then accessible for these search engines. Although the data feeds are more accurate when it comes to product names and descriptions, they can be outdated because the merchant is responsible for keeping them updated. Often merchants won’t include all of their products in the data feed, which is also another downfall.

After the comparison search engine collects all the information that they want to provide on their site, they then decide how they present the products to the consumer. Most comparison shopping engines will not list the lowest price first because merchants pay for the clicks to their product, so the merchant who pays the most will most likely be at the top of the search engine’s stream. And since a lot of searchers click the links at the top, the merchants who charge more are also willing to pay more to be at the top of the results. However, most search engines offer you ways to sort the products to your liking.

Since every comparison search engine has a different method of collecting information from merchants and displaying it, the smartest consumers will go to different comparison search engines when looking for their desired purchase.

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