Google Buys Sparkbuy: Comparison Shopping Site Now Closes, Team Remains

sparkbuy-google-logosGoogle has acquired Sparkbuy, a comparison shopping site that has focused on laptops. The site closed today as part of the purchase; the three person team will continue on with Google.

Was this a talent acquisition, then? Google wouldn’t comment nor give any details on the purchase price for the year-old company. However, a person familiar with the purchase said it wasn’t just for the talent.

Still, it feels that way. I wouldn’t expect Sparkbuy to reemerge, but it does seem some of the user interface design for shopping (Google apparently liked UI ideas the Sparkbuy team had) will make its way into Google Product Search.

At Sparkbuy, the site now has a “we’ve been acquired” message, saying:

We are pleased as punch to announce that Sparkbuy has been acquired by Google.

I know, right? We can hardly believe it ourselves.

When we built Sparkbuy way back in the waning days of 2010, we wanted to make it really easy to find the gadget that’s perfect for your needs. Our idea was that you could combine huge piles of structured data with an intuitive interface, et voila: a few clicks to find the electronics widget with exactly the features you want. Have you tried to find a great laptop or TV recently? Crazy hard.

But when people started actually using Sparkbuy, we started to see that the opportunity was bigger. In fact, it was much, much bigger. There are so many “crazy hard” search problems out there we know it could take ages for us to deliver what our customers are asking for. So when Google showed up and suggested we could work together to turbocharge our efforts, we just couldn’t pass it up.

We’re stoked about the opportunity to share our vision for search with a broader audience. And while we won’t be offering services at any more, stay tuned for truckloads of new awesome from our team at Google.

Thanks for coming by!

It’s signed by Dan Shapiro, CEO of Sparkbuy, along with the other two people at the company, Scot Haug and Isaac Myers. Google says all three will begin working in Google’s Kirkland office, which is near Seattle. From the statement Google sent me:

We’re thrilled that Sparkbuy will be joining Google. They have built an impressive comparison shopping site that is simple in design yet powerful for consumers, and we think their expertise, vision and energy will be a great addition to our Kirkland office.

Related Topics: Channel: Retail | Google: Acquisitions | Google: Google Shopping


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Vinson

    So I’m guessing this is for a new Google store to showcase all the Android and Chrome OS devices? And perhaps added benefit for Google Shopping results?

  • Andrew

    @Vinson looks to be that way. Google Product Search is a force to be reckoned with, and with so many recent developments such as the addition of and new category browsing isles in Google Shopping results, future enhancements appear to be on the horizon.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide