Talk:Comparison shopping website

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Structure and NPOV Questions[edit]

I'm not sure that I have written this in the best way. Many of the early services websites now do not work, so I didn't bother linking. Following what seems to be the style elsewhere on Wikipedia, I have linked to a list of working price comparison sites elsewhere. I have also merged this article with Price engine and Online shopping directories. If anybody thinks that was the wrong decision, please advise what to do instead.

Also - I have quite a good knowledge of the price comparison industry as I work in it. I have tried to maintain a completely neutral point of view, but if it seems that I haven't please feel free to say. Also, that means that I know some information that I can't actually find sources for on Google. Is it worthwhile adding that information? Blowski 20:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Price comparison service[edit]

What a great topic, will be following this with interest. How can I contact Blowski?

Probably best just to leave a message on my talk page. Blowski 08:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Other Price Comparison Sites[edit]

This page is mostly about the technology of price comparison. There is a small history that includes when the biggest services were launched. It is not a directory of price comparison services - there are over 100 UK based sites alone, so this article would become meaningless. Those sites that can be considered notable are listed in the List of price comparison services article, so please add any other sites to that page. Blowski 13:04, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Other Price Comparison Sites[edit]

That list of price services disappeared? now the links are to a blank page? Sept 9.

I suspect this is because Wikipedia is not a directory. I've trimmed the external links down a bit. I'm inclined to think we should get rid of all of them - links to sites that discuss that actual technology and business issues invovled in running a prce comaprison service would be more appropriate. --Siobhan Hansa 05:15, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

You are wrong. Wikipedia IS a directory. Pricewatch is no longer listed. I want to get a list of price comparison sites. SIOBHAN, you have made wikipedia LESS useful and have thus harmed the public. I hope you are happy with yourself. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 75.63.57.171 (talkcontribs).

You can try our category:Price comparison services for a listing of all the articles in Wikipedia on price comparison service companies (thanks - you've inspired me to put this link in the article). Otherwise you'd be better off trying an actual directory service like http://dmoz.org/Home/Consumer_Information/Price_Comparisons/ -- Siobhan Hansa 12:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

This page is being manipulated to only identify a couple of comparison search sites. SIOBHAN may be affiliated with one of these (nextag?) and is willfully diluting the usefulness of wikipedia for his own benefit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.4.29.81 (talk) 16:00, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

I'm not affiliated with any price comparison service. I am a member of WikiProject Spam which is how I first came upon this page. More than that I am interested in a neutral and encyclopedic article which is why I have made an effort to establish objective standards by which we can judge whether to mention a particular engine. I think there is also a good case to be made for not listing any of the engines. As an encyclopedia article this should be about the technology and the impact on society, rather than individual service providers. -- SiobhanHansa 16:22, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd be very much for not listing ANY search engines if that's the intent. However, once you list one comparison engine, then you're being not truthful to your own standards by refusing to list other, legitimate such sites. I'd recommend either removing all, or allowing all those that are honest, legitimate sites that serve the internet public to be listed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.29.239.254 (talk) 03:40, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

That's quite an accusation. In what way am I not being truthful? I haven't listed any individual engine - just cleaned up lists that were way out of control and tried, repeatedly, to engage editors in discussion on how we can make the article encyclopedic. Your insinuations about my motives are unjust, unsupportable, and completely out of keeping with our policy.
This discussion thread and the one below titled "External links" were originally about an external links section that is no longer in the article. You can see more on what I had attempted to do with the example listings that there is currently a lot of back and forth over at the thread at the bottom titled "Example listings". As I said I think there is a good case for not listing any, although I do not believe, as an encyclopedia, our choice is between none or all. Listing all entities in a broad and expanding category is almost never appropriate for an encyclopedia. We are editors and exercising editorial judgment is one of our most important tasks. Perhaps you could add to the thread below with some thoughts on what would make good encyclopedic content and why rather than making baseless assertions about my motives. -- SiobhanHansa 11:57, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Simply put, your claims do not match your actions. I'd assert that by leaving ANY search engine listed, you're absolutely, positively and very clearly violating your own policy. You may not like being told that, but that is indeed EXACTLY what you're doing. Unless you remove all, then you're creating a directory, and in fact a very special directory that's partial to the ones you choose to keep listing. By doing so, and removing other legitimate sites, you're doing a disservice to the internet community at large and the wikipedia community in particular. Please be consistent, otherwise why be an editor? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.29.239.254 (talk) 13:13, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

What policy of my own? Directories are not against my policy, they're against Wikipedia's policies on the basis they this is an encyclopedia and directories are not. Listing a few of the largest is not creating a directory - it's pointing out the biggest players. Some people consider that encyclopedic. I think it's marginal, especially in the absence of prose providing decent context. However others editors apparently thought some inclusion was important so I tried to work with consensus. I came up with some simple criteria that were as objective as I could manage and listed them below - inviting comment and alternative suggestions. That's not enforcing my policy, it's attempting to collaborate. So how are your own actions, which seem to consist entirely of adding a single, non-notable engine to the list, helping to improve the article? What's the point of that? -- SiobhanHansa 14:23, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm amazed at the clear double standard. Enough said. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.29.239.254 (talk) 10:55, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

We seem to be a magnet for people trying to promote their price comparison service. Unless anyone objects I'm going to remove all the links to price comparison services and keep the external links section for links to good information about comparson sservices, the technology they use or academic research on their use. If people want to find price comparison services google does a pretty good job of bringing up a big list. --Siobhan Hansa 16:05, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the whole section - it's just a directory (which people can easily use google for) and has been attracting persistent attempts to include particular links without attempts at discussion.
Links to reliable research on price comparison services or their impact on business might be appropriate though (and useful for developing the article too). --Siobhan Hansa 16:46, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with Siobh.. this page should serve as a information source about valid price comparison sites. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.29.239.254 (talk) 10:38, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

This bit was specifically about the external links section for which we have guidelines that these links fall foul of (as described above). For the article in general we can certainly be a source of encyclopedic information about notable comparison services but I have concerns about us simply being a listing (which I is what I understand you to be suggesting). Do you have a suggestion for how that can be done in an encyclopedic manner that would meet our neutral point of view, verification and not a directory policies? -- SiobhanHansa 16:13, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

PageRank of Wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia has a highest rank at Google: http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Software/Groupware/Wiki/Topics/?il=1 Wikipedia is a directory indeed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Price_comparison_services Many people try to publish links to their websites on Wikipedia to improve PageRank. Unfortunately, equality does not mean 'improvement' over other's PageRanks... Some major players are listed in Wikipedia-Directory. For instance, NexTag. It has more referrals from Wikipedia than CNET. Overral PageRank of CNET is higher. (Funtick 20:39, 29 November 2006 (UTC))

Grocery?[edit]

What about groceries? Are there any up and running comparison pricing sites for groceries? --195.210.230.226 22:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Are there any price comparison portals that compare groceries exclusively?

Example listings[edit]

I've trimmed these down to include only sites that compare like for like products (which is the model described) and to highlight only the largest one or two from each geographic market (since we're not a directory and we have a category to link to articles on significant, individual engines). I used Alexa to determine the largest sites, but if someone has a better way of gauging please suggest it. -- Siobhan Hansa 13:07, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Having the examples just seems to encourage people to add more and more without any real encyclopedic value. I suggest getting rid of all them and only mentioning a particular service provider if there is some reason to do so that provides encyclopedic information about the subject of price comparison sites in general. Any objections? -- SiobhanHansa 00:09, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
We need some history with links of course; who was the first (I believe PriceGrabber which does absolutely nothing "grabber"-related!); we need also to highlight differences in technology: there are at least hundreds Price comparison service engines around, and all are re-publishing RSS, ATOM etc feeds of merchants, including PriceGrabber, Google, etc... There are just a few attempts to build truly Robot based Shopping Search Engine: BBF (they are the first), Dulance (not really... metasearch using services of Google&MSN&Yahoo etc. is not truly "search" with own crawler, with signature)... and recent additions to the list: ShopWiki, Pronto(?), Tokenizer (may be more)...

Funtick (talk) 20:24, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi Funtick - do you have any sources (magazine articles for instance) about any of this? It would be great to get dome of this differentiation properly explained and documented. -- SiobhanHansa 02:29, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Since there were no objections I've gone ahead and removed all of them. -- SiobhanHansa 15:23, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Resistance[edit]

looks interesting Banks fight back against price comparison websites

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that the "Comparison shopping agent" article be merged into the "Price comparison service" article. I think both articles share the same subject. "Price comparison service" is longer and better written. "Comparison shopping agent" might offer some information that could improve "Price comparison service". -- The Aviv (talk) 19:35, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

  • AGREE. You know it makes sense :) Archolman User talk:Archolman 00:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Most definitely. Galileo01 (talk) 00:48, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. I'm going to start working on it. —Neil 19:36, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
  • In record time (less than one year later!), I'm going to make good on my promise and actually do the merge.—Neil 04:38, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Proposed Move to 'Comparison Shopping Engine'[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: relisted with changes suggested in this discussion. —Neil 00:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)


– There four main terms for this type of vertical search engine floating around in current use: price comparison service, price comparison engine, comparison shopping service, and comparison shopping service (comparison shopping agent is occasionally used, but only in technical contexts). I've compiled a comparison of search results for these five terms.

The decision breaks down neatly into two parts: (1) comparison shopping or price comparison and (2) service or engine. On the first issue, comparison shopping represents the scope of the topic far more accurately, since many of these search engines allow products to be filtered by many criteria other than price. For example, see the search for men's watches on Shopping.com or search for laptops on PriceGrabber. That leaves a choice between comparison shopping service and comparison shopping engine. The decision could go either way—comparison shopping service gets considerably more results on Google Books and somewhat more on Google Scholar, but fewer on Google Search—but I favor comparison shopping engine because it is used significantly more often by Google searchers, is dominant in the search marketing industry, and makes it clearer that the article refers to an online search engine rather than a personal shopper or mystery shopping service. —Neil 07:34, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Search Engine Data[edit]

Term Google Books Google Scholar Google
Price comparison service 2590 results 170 results 650 000 results
Price comparison engine 970 results 47 results 2.5 million results
Comparison shopping engine 389 results 85 results 3 million results
Comparison shopping service 2390 results 127 results 1.9 million results
Comparison shopping agent 1410 results 680 results 99 000 results
Additional suggestions
Comparison shopping website 137 results 50 results About 971 000 results
Comparison shopping site 1520 results 110 results About 15.7 million
Price comparison website 1560 results 201 results About 5.6 million results
Price comparison site 1480 results 640 results 1.7 million results

Discussion[edit]

  • Oppose: It would make sense, before proposing any change in article title, to sort out the proposal that has been outstanding for over 18 months (and which is listed on this page immediately above this discussion) suggesting that Comparison shopping agent is merged into this article. Once that is done, then will be the appropriate time to consider what the combined article is titled. Incidentally, it might be worth including search results for Price comparison website, which redirects here and for which which a simple Google search gives 7.2 million hits. Skinsmoke (talk) 08:20, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
    • I definitely agree that Comparison shopping agent needs to be merged into this page, but I don't think that will change the content of this article enough to meaningfully affect this debate, since comparison shopping agent seems to be a pretty niche term from the search data above. So since I've already done the legwork to open the proposal, I think there's no reason not to come to a conclusion on the title right now. The terms price comparison (web)site and comparison shopping (web)site hadn't even occurred to me, but you're right—they do seem to be even more common than the ideas I laid out, so I'll definitely add them to the data table. I still think the new title has to include comparison shopping rather than price comparison, but I'm tempted to switch my preference to comparison shopping website. —Neil 23:51, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: Must admit, I hadn't even thought of Comparison shopping website as, here in the United Kingdom, I've only ever heard them referred to as Price comparison websites. Would be interested in seeing the results of your further research. Is this a case where there are differences between English speaking countries, possibly? Or are there perhaps differences between the term used within the industry and that used by the general population and press? Skinsmoke (talk) 00:42, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Oops! Hadn't noticed you had already put the results up. Duh! It does look like there are different uses depending on the national variation of English used. The United Kingdom seems to prefer Price comparison website, while the United States, South Africa and India seem to prefer Shopping comparison site. I haven't looked any further than that as I'm a bit busy at the moment, but I think we need to check whether any other English speaking country follows the United Kingdom pattern, and also determine which version of English the article was originally written in, as it looks increasingly that Wikipedia:National varieties of English applies. The section on Opportunities for commonality may well be applicable here. Skinsmoke (talk) 00:51, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Hmm. To be honest, I've done a lot of research on these terms, and other than the differences in frequency that you can see in the table, the only trends that I noticed myself were that comparison shopping agent tended to be used by computer science researchers and that search marketers generally used comparison shopping engine (which I think is the best term aesthetically, for whatever that's worth). Now that I look for it, there may be something to your idea that the UK tends to use price comparison website, although I think both price comparison website and comparison shopping website are used commonly in the US (I would lump site and website together just because people use them almost without distinction, and because using site in our title here seems too imprecise anyway). I wouldn't know about other countries without researching.
However, I'm not sure it makes sense to try to delicately parse which slices of society each term is most used in. I haven't really been able to find anybody paying attention to which of these terms they use or drawing distinctions between their meanings—even in The New York Times, for example, you can find writers using comparison shopping engine, price comparison service, comparison shopping service, price comparison site, and comparison shopping site interchangeably, as far as I can tell. I don't think it's possible to pick the commonest term out of this mingled heap; we just have to narrow it down to the three or four that are most commonly used and then pick by whatever other criteria we have.
In my case, I feel strongly that the title should include comparison shopping rather than price comparison because, as I've said, I think it represents the scope of the topic better. As far as the final word (engine, service, website, or whatever), I'd prefer engine, because I like the evocativeness and the connection to search engine, but that's really a personal preference. Does this make sense, or do you think we have enough evidence to actually pick a single best title on commonality alone? —Neil 03:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Changing to neutral: I must admit, my initial opposition arose from the fact that I saw the proposed title and thought "What the hell's that?" It was, simply, a term I'd never come across, and it took me a while to realise that the only term I'd really heard was price comparison website (or price comparison site). That's why I wondered whether national variations came into play. I do think we need to be careful not to chose a name that is perhaps common within the industry but unfamiliar to the general reader (we are specifically advised not to do that in the naming conventions), but if you're still happy to go ahead with the proposal (and I can see that you have given my points serious consideration), then I'm not going to maintain my opposition. I do, however, think that the outstanding proposed merger needs sorting out one way or another. Skinsmoke (talk) 10:47, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for adding your thoughts! If you hadn't mentioned it, I'm not sure I would've thought of website, which is probably the most familiar term available. I think I'll relist the proposal though—probably best to get one or two more opinions before forging ahead. —Neil 23:45, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested Move to Comparison shopping website[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved as suggested.  Sandstein  21:00, 26 February 2013 (UTC)



– This discussion evolved from another discussion which just took place. The search data below shows that there are a number of widely accepted terms for this type of search engine, but comparison shopping (web)site seems the most common. In addition, it's also a more precise representation of the topic: many of these services allow filtering by criteria other than price, and website is a more concrete term than service. —Neil 00:38, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Search Engine Data[edit]

Term Google Books Google Scholar Google
Price comparison service 2590 results 170 results 650 000 results
Price comparison engine 970 results 47 results 2.5 million results
Price comparison website 1560 results 201 results About 5.6 million results
Price comparison site 1480 results 640 results 1.7 million results
Comparison shopping engine 389 results 85 results 3 million results
Comparison shopping service 2390 results 127 results 1.9 million results
Comparison shopping agent 1410 results 680 results 99 000 results
Comparison shopping website 137 results 50 results About 971 000 results
Comparison shopping site 1520 results 110 results About 15.7 million

Survey[edit]

  • Speedy close the category discussion. Renaming categories is handled by a different process. Please issue a WP:CFD CFR request -- 65.92.180.137 (talk) 05:23, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Is that really necessary? This is the category's main article, so surely a consensus to rename the one is a consensus to rename the other. Do you know of some way to notify the regulars at CfD of this discussion? —Neil 07:32, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: Neil, 65.92.180.137 is correct on this one, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. The process at WP:CFD would not even be considered until this is resolved. If the article moves, then once the category is listed as a speedy rename, it would usually be dealt with (automatically) within 48 hours. Just close the category move on this page and, once the article title is resolved, simply list it at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Speedy showing the reason as "C2D" (a rename to facilitate concordance between a particular category's name and a related article's name). Skinsmoke (talk) 08:49, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Okay, thanks for the explanation! I've removed the category from the proposal for now. —Neil 14:44, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: Yeah, sounded really authoritative and knowledgeable, didn't it? I only found out last week, after cocking something up! Skinsmoke (talk) 15:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: As nobody else seems to be bothered, looks like we're not going to come up with anything better, Skinsmoke (talk) 06:43, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Language[edit]

Empirical projects that assessed the functionality and performance of shopping bots demonstrate that no best or parsimonious shopping bot exists with respect to price advantage

A tad pompous and overbearing, perhaps? Skinsmoke (talk) 06:40, 16 February 2013 (UTC)