Tuesday, 28 August 2007
I've spent all morning working on this and am rather pleased with the end result.
Check out the Compare Sat Nav page for the Navman F20 at http://www.comparesatnav.co.uk/gps/navman-f20.html and you'll see a live example of what I'm about to talk about.
For those new to this site, Compare Sat Nav started life as a simple Price Tapestry website. After designing a template for price tapestry, I then set about customising it.
The net result is something almost unrecognisable. I have built a new admin interface specific to this site, which enables me to run the price tracking section of the site.
I have also made the URL's even more friendly (even though Price Tapestry URL's a rather friendly anyway!) and endulged in a spot of on-page SEO.
This latest venture sees satellite navigation results grabbed from eBay, merged with my local results and the whole lot sorted into price order. For those who have never used Price Tapestry, mixing database results with API results is a bit of a challenge, but evidently feasible.
So why have I done this?
Well, eBay is essentially a giant catalogue of goods that can be used to support your own efforts. As the API is live, you get fresh results without having to lift a finger - that's my kind of website ;-)
Is it foolproof?
Urmm, no. Ebay sellers are a crafty bunch and they like to name their products as something else to get maximum exposure. So instead of:
*** BRAND NEW NINTENDO WII ***
they opt for
*** NEW NINTENDO WII, NOT PS2, PS3 Gameboy ***
What this does to my results is that if I had a product called PS2, it would pull this advert out as it thinks it's for a PS2. I don't deem this to be important as some results is better than no results. I have also added a description on my site so that the visitors can weed out the irrelevant results themselves.
If Compare Sat Nav were a woman, she'd be well overdue a haircut and a bikini waxing ;-)
A new skin and layout to maximise turnover is on the cards, as is something to capitalise on the 1000 unique visitors it gets a week.
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