Why Seven Roads?

Pennocrucium, an ancient roman settlement in what is now Staffordshire, England, was apparently a bustling military town with a market that had goods for sale originating all around the Roman Empire. While it was first thought to be a relatively minor settlement, a convergence of seven ancient Roman roads to the area, combined with the discovery of several military forts, signified the area's considerable importance as a major hub within the United Kingdom.

Our goal is to be that symbolic hub, traversing those seven roads for you, finding the best products at the best prices, and saving you time and money. It is not our intention of being a marketplace, and we certainly don't want to repeatedly shove ads down your throat. And, with new innovative tools in development, we also anticipate being in the position to help other websites widen their revenue stream.

One of our representations of the seven Roman roads is the seven major product lines we intend to support, the first being books. The second obvious representation is that we strive to find a minimum of seven sources for each product. For example, we currently query ten different sources for books each time you do a search on our website.

A Brief History of SevenRoads.com

The concept of SevenRoads.com actually began several years ago. The first version was published on November 5, 1998, which compared the prices of books from four separate online bookstores. The RDL National Search Engine, which hosted the then-titled Bookstore Comparison Application, was a relatively small search engine that received only 30,000 visitors per day at its peak, but was considered the 11th ranked search engine in terms of relevancy and ease of use. Sadly, in late 1999, the search engine pulled its plug due to decreased advertising revenues and a viscious Denial-of-Service attack from an unknown company using the then-free version of AltaVista web crawling software. At over 8,000 hits per hour, RDL National's ISP cut off its service, blaming the search engine for its use of "bad software" that utilized too many system resources. After two months of communication, the ISP finally agreed, based on the system logs, that it truly was a DoS attack. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the RDL National Search Engine, and consequently the Bookstore Comparison Application was moth-balled.

On September 27, 2001, the application was republished. Not just an update, it is a total rewrite; the old version only supported lookup by ISBN number, while the latest evolution allows multiple methods of lookup, even used simultaneously. The web scrapers were rewritten and the filters had to be regenerated. The entire look and feel changed, and the backend supports new methods and technologies that are currently under development.

On December 5, 2002, Seven Roads began taking real-time XML feeds directly from Amazon, thereby increasing the speed and reliability of obtaining information on searches. All other venders are still queried using older web-scraping technologies, but continue to provide more accurate real-time data than any other so-called comparison sites!

We hope you find the new SevenRoads.com very useful!