In some niches, aggregator sites are today’s reality. We are talking about platforms, marketplaces and other types of intermediary websites that replace company sites in search results.
It is possible to say that in some niches, there will soon be no company sites or business card sites — just aggregators. Let’s discuss why this happens, and can it be used for your business.
What is aggregator website?
Actually all of us use aggregators almost daily. Examples are Google — websites aggregator, Amazon — goods aggregator, Spotify — music aggregator, Uber- taxi aggregator etc.
Actually before search engines there were aggregators — catalog sites. And they did not disappear, they simply transformed to the needs of their audience. Although most of them practically did not change the design over the past 15–20 years. For example, one of the largest western aggregator sites is Craigslist. Even though the site looks old-fashioned, it has more than 800 million visits per month.
So what aggregator website is? — In general it is a website that collects information from multiple sources in a single place.
Today there are some types of the aggregators:
Goods aggregators with shipment from their site
The most famous of these aggregators is amazon.com, with more than 2 billion visits per month. Partners are offered the opportunity to deliver goods to Amazon’s warehouses and sell them on the site, using various preferences like delivery to the client in a few days, free delivery, etc.
For businesses, placement in specific, thematic aggregators, message boards, catalogs is much more interesting actually. For example, real estate forums or message board, building materials websites etc.
Intermediaries and partners
There are also niches where the sales model is based on an interaction with partners and intermediaries. Today there is no airline company that doesn’t work with tickets aggregator, a hotel that doesn’t work with Booking, taxi driver who doesn’t work with Uber or Gett.
Such platforms also provide users with guarantees: uber fixes the cost of travel, Booking makes sure the hotel gets money even the client declines his booking.
As soon as a steady demand for any services is formed, a relevant platform appears. It brings together customers and sellers. Freelance marketplace is the most popular example. But there are also aggregators in dozens of other niches.
How to find out that in your niche a separate company website will not collect acceptable search traffic? You just need to open the Google search and enter the basic users’ requests for the given niche.
If aggregators are on the first and the second page of the search results — it is already too late, you have either to adapt, or try to compete.
In fact, if in some niche you do not see any aggregator, this means:
- The niche is empty and there are few companies in it.
- It is impossible to generate a constructive business model for monetizing the aggregation project.
- A product or service is specific — all the data can be placed on a single website.
- No one has yet thought about this niche.
- A combination of the four factors above.
The reasons why aggregators in dozens of niches occupy the entire top search results.
Behavioral factors. They will be higher on catalogs. It is known that search engines show exactly those pages that better respond to a user’s request in the results. Search engines are not so smart to understand which site has helped better, so they evaluate it indirectly. What is the path of the average user?
A user entered the search request, saw in the result “a solution to the problem from the company “NeveHeardAbout” and “a solution to the problem from the best companies of the city “UserCity” at the lowest price”. Surely, the user wants to choose from the best, and to make it cheaper. The user opens both sites (or only the aggregator).
The user spends a minute on the company’s website — and understands, either the solution to the problem is a little expensive, or they solve the problem, but not the one the user has. Or calls the company because needs to solve the problem urgently, and they will only solve it the day after tomorrow. Closed the site.
The catalog-aggregator website contains 13 companies solving the problem. Reads that each company is good, so let’s call only them. The site is still open, the user will open one company, then another. Finally, seems that the user has found the company he was looking for.
What does search engine «see»:
- The user entered request «solve the problem»:
- The user spent a minute on the company’s site, then closed it after browsing a couple of pages,
- Opened the aggregator.
- He spends a lot of time on the aggregator, opened 15 pages, did not open other sites from the search result.
Search engine makes a conclusion that aggregator is more useful because the user
The amount of information and the number of pages on the site as a whole.
If the catalog has 50,000 pages (and an aggregator can get them simply by displaying information about organizations at the addresses of one city in the form of “organizations at% address% in city% city%” with the content “sorry, we didn’t find anything”). As a result, most probably that at the user’s request the aggregator will have a page, but the company’s site will not have one.
So, aggregators take this low-frequency requests traffic. And each user who found what he was looking for is a small plus to the ranking of the site. After a while the aggregator received 10,000 clicks per month, and the company’s website — 1 000. So the thing is that aggregator begins to accumulate statistics faster.
Aggregators often provide users with a more detailed information than the company on its own website.
In what cases can a single website advance catalogs in search results?
Specific niche. For example, tanker construction, equipment for nuclear power stations, software for state digital transformation.
This happens because specific projects better understand the needs of customers, more competently elaborate the structure of the site. They have landing pages for various specialized interest groups.
Strong brand. If the company is recognizable, search traffic may not exceed 20-30% of the total traffic to the site, while half of this traffic will be branded, such as «Buy% product% in% store name%«.
In addition, more than 90% of the content on aggregators is a so called UGC content — created by users. Usually, the quality of such content is not always satisfying: Spelling mistakes, low-quality photos, bad description, not enough content.
Lead generation for your business.
As a summary we would like to mention a possibility to create your own aggregator as a source of lead generation for your business.
If there is strong competition in a city or region and there are many companies that provide the same service, customers will compare them. And the rating or catalog of such companies will collect a “warm” audience. In case there is no such rating in a given niche, its high time to create it.
And surely place your company, product or services in it.
Do you think there is a chance to increase the flow of leads for business if you are the owner of a rating of companies in your region?
In case you have an idea of creation an aggregator, marketplace or any other software, address o Code Inspiration and we’ll discuss how we can contribute.