Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) quietly purchased Sparkbuy, a vertical search engine that specializes in helping consumers find the right laptop.
Sparkbuy users click features that are important to them in a new laptop, from RAM and CPU benchmarks to weight and price.
Sparkbuy also looks at whether the computer will play well with Photoshop and other technologies. The engine then spits back results and shuttles users off to Amazon.com and other retailers selling the machines.
"We do search way, way better than the big guys (for the tiny little space that we inhabit)," Sparkbuy said in its FAQ. "Search for 'fast cheap laptop' on Google or Bing and you're going to get laptops where the marketing guy wrote that in the ad copy. Try it with us, and you actually get the best real-time tradeoff between speed and price across the whole market."
Google isn't arguing with this bold claim. A company spokesperson told eWEEK:
"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."
Sparkbuy CEO Dan Shapiro confirmed the buy on the company's Website, noting that Sparkbuy would be shuttered. He added:
"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."
Google will likely help the Sparkbuy team, which is closing its current Website, expand to include smartphones, tablets, TVs and other consumer electronics devices.
Search Engine Land, which spotted the buy news May 23, suggested Sparkbuy employees will help bolster Google's Product Search engine.
Product search is becoming increasingly important as consumers look for more information about merchandise online. Google last week launched its Google Advisor financial services comparison engine, months after buying price comparison engine BeatThatQuote.com for $61 million.