Oodle, an online classified advertising companies, has just released a new version that makes online classifieds hunting a little easier.
The San Mateo, California company (previous coverage) already scrapes other sites for classifieds and aggregates these listings on its own site. Now, it includes a personalized homepage with your recent searches, so every time you come to the site you can see what you were already looking for.
Other new features include a way to see how expensive an item is compared to the average cost of similar items, as well as a forecast of how expensive the item might become. You can tailor searches in multiple sub-categories of the site. For example, you search for both mountain bikes and road bikes in two different towns, for example neighboring Palo Alto, Calif., and Mountain View, Calif. It sends you email updates on searches. Other large online classifieds listings, such as Craiglist, offer less granular search.
Perhaps the most interesting Oodle feature, though not new today, is the ability for a classified advertiser to pay Oodle to have their item featured at the top of Oodle classified search results. Think the paid search results that appear at the top of Google searches, but for Oodle’s classified searches. This contrasts with Craigslist, which forces you to keep re-posting ads in order to have them displayed at the top of Craigslist categories.
Oodle is growing to a respectable size. It indexes a half million new listings daily from 80,000 sources — from ads on newspaper sites to ads on Facebook. It draws more than 2 million unique visitors a month, it says, and is available in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Its white-label service is in place at many media organizations, including Cox Interactive, Media General, The Washington Post, and others.