July 20, 2010, 3:50 PM

Amazon moves up in a ranking of comparison shopping sites

Amazon Product Ads send more traffic to merchant sites.

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Already by far the top online retailer, Amazon.com Inc. is moving up in the quarterly rankings of comparison shopping engines by CPC Strategy, a firm that helps retailers sell through comparison shopping sites.

Amazon Product Ads moved into fifth place in the CPC Strategy rankings for the second quarter. Those pay-per-click ads on Amazon were introduced in 2008 but only started driving large volumes of traffic to the sites of participating retailers this year, says Rick Backus, co-founder of CPC Strategy.

Google Product Search remained No. 1 in the rankings, as it has since CPC Strategy began ranking comparison sites in January 2009. The rankings take into account for each site the amount of traffic sent to retailers’ sites, amount of revenue generated, conversion rate, return on ad spent, average cost-per-click rates, responsiveness of the comparison shopping engine’s management and the quality of the tools it offers merchants.

“Google Product Search has always been No. 1 and the gap is widening since it’s free and they send just as much traffic as the top paid shopping engines,” Backus says. Google does not charge merchants for clicks from Google Product Search, Google’s shopping portal, to merchant sites; most comparison shopping engines rely on click fees as their main revenue source.

Amazon Product Ads led the way in conversion rates among the top 10 comparison shopping engines in CPC Strategy’s rankings. But it also had the highest cost per click, ranging from 30 to 71 cents.

Backus notes there was more movement than usual in the quarterly rankings, which have largely remained the same until this quarter. PriceGrabber, which in March became the comparison shopping provider on Yahoo sites, moved up two spots to third. And Microsoft’s Bing Cashback dropped one place to seventh; Microsoft has announced plans to shut down the Bing Cashback program July 30.

Here are the second quarter rankings of comparison shopping engines by CPC Strategy:

1)  Google Product Search

2)  NexTag

3)  PriceGrabber

4)  Shopping

5)  Amazon Product Ads

6)  Shopzilla

7)  Bing Cashback

8)  Pronto

9)  Become

10)  Smarter

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