Cottrill Research, LLC

Initial Review of Company/Supplier Comparison Tool RivalSeek

Initial Review of Company/Supplier Comparison Tool RivalSeek

Please note: RivalSeek is no longer in business. 

RivalSeek has the potential to be used as a way to identify suppliers in a particular market, regardless how specific the product or service, and assess web traffic data, which is one way of determining market share. Potential suppliers that do not get identified through previous repetitive, routine search efforts, are made visible.

RivalSeek is a new company comparison tool with the tag line “Find your competitors that Google can’t.” The hook is “RivalSeek’s competitor search engine looks past filter bubbles, finding competitors you’ve never heard of.” On the home page, the term “filter bubbles” is linked to Eli Pariser’s interesting presentation on Ted Talks. (I briefly discuss this Talk in my Jan. 26, 2015 post about DuckDuckGo: “In a fascinating nine-minute 2011 TED talk, the author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You, Eli Pariser, explains how Facebook, Google, and Yahoo News are participating in ‘invisible algorithmic editing of the web.’ This is where, based on past search behavior, two people searching Google at the same time will get very different search results. He proves the point by showing screen shots of results for an exact search, ‘Egypt,’ performed by two of his friends. Put side by side, different results are indeed displayed. In short, Google ‘personally tailors your query results’ and ‘there is no standard Google anymore.’”)

Basically, RivalSeek helps you create competitor landscapes. In this case, a landscape is a collection of companies, determined by you. You can collect companies from a small category, bigger industry, or even a whole sector. The dashboard, after all companies have been selected to be included, displays the percentage of website traffic in pie chart format. In addition, six-month website traffic is presented via a line graph and a table shows traffic share percentage and 3-month/3-month traffic growth.

The interface is sparse and simply designed. When you login you get two options: View Landscape (for a previous project) or Add Companies. To start, select “Add Companies.” You provide a search term and a list of companies appear. You go through these companies one by one and select either “Not Relevant – Discard,” “Unsure – Save for Later,” or “Relevant – Add to Landscape.” When selecting the “Relevant” option, the company gets added to the landscape data and to the graphs and charts.

It’s important to understand the pricing plan before you get started on a search. For $29.00 a month, the Beta plan provides and allows for:

  • 20 Competitors
  • 5 Search Terms
  • 100 Results per Search Term
  • Website Traffic Share
  • 6-Month Traffic History
  • Company Growth Rates
  • Automatically searches for new competitors

Before I realized it, I had used up my five search terms, all for one landscape! There was a particular company I knew belonged in the group that did not show up with my first, most direct search term (I wish I could say what it was, but it needs it to stay confidential for client-related reasons).

Observations to note:

  • Surprisingly, in a good way, RivalSeek did pull up competitors that had not been identified in my previous search efforts (using other tools and websites) for this particular “landscape.” In fact, one of them had the largest percentage of website traffic and the other had the third largest. Gulp.
  • The other companies in the landscape meshed nicely with my previous search efforts. Two important companies did not show up with my initial search term, and to pull them up, I needed to enter the exact names.
  • The graphs are easy to read and populate automatically.
  • Limiting to 5 search terms does not provide enough flexibility when pulling up the groups of companies to consider for the landscape. The market I was searching can be identified using multiple search term variations.
  • It would be nice to be able to trial the service for free.

Bottom line: I like this product and it is worth keeping an eye on. The pricing plan is restrictive.

Update: RivalSeek’s founder, Richard Brevig, via email has provided this helpful information on pricing and page design:

Later this week I’ll be releasing another [pricing] tier: 100 competitors, 20 search terms, 500 results per search term, and 3 years of traffic history… We just released this beta a month ago, so the pricing will probably jump around a little bit while we figure that out (pricing for current landscapes will be grandfathered)… 

…There is a working demo on the front page. The search field to the right of the animation (which shows different possible searches) is active. You can click it and begin a free search (though it will only provide information on your top 3 competitors you’ve identified)…That whole page is being redesigned.

 

Shout out to Cynthia Murrell (Beyond Search) for her post, New Search System for Comparing Companies.

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