21 December 2014

Google launches UK car insurance price comparison service

14 September 2012  |  6915 views  |  2 add to basket

Google has introduced a UK price comparison service for car insurance, adding to the search giant's credit card and bank account offerings.

Google bought comparison site Beatthatquote.com for £37.7 million last March before launching a trial service called UK Compare Mortgages but this was suspended by the end of the year.

Earlier this year tools to let Brits compare card and bank account deals were introduced and now car insurance has been quietly added to the list, drawing on data from around 120 providers.

Google told Which? that the firm has sought to address privacy concerns, with users automatically opted out of receiving marketing from Google as well as third party partners.

The search giant is using its considerable muscle to take on traditional comparison sites, employing one of its own sponsored messages to ensure it comes out on top for a 'car insurance' Google search.

Digital marketing agency Greenlight says that on the day it launched, the Google service nabbed a 75% 'visibility' for insurance-related searches, second only behind gocompare.com and ahead of other established players such as confused.com and moneysupermarket.com. Greenlight estimates that Google can get at least 500,000 relevant UK searches per month.

KeywordsINSURANCE

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member | 17 September, 2012, 14:21

Seems like a conflict of interest here?  Google knows exactly how to make anything they do appear top of the SEO rankings, even if they don't blatantly cheat and just insert it at the top of all the results anyway.  Where's a regulator when you need one?

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Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 18 September, 2012, 12:55

I did a quick Google Search for "car insurance". The Top 5 organic results were MoneySuperMarket, Progressive, Confused, Churchill and eSurance. Google's own car insurance comparison search product didn't even feature on the first page of organic search results. Even if it did, it shouldn't be a subject for intervention by the regulator. After all, Google Search belongs to Google and I don't see why the company should be stopped from displaying whatever it wishes to display on its own property as long as it's within the confines of the law. If people don't like what they see on Google SERPs, they can always ditch Google and switch to other search engines - that too, without any switching costs. In any case, the article refers to Google Ads - aka sponsored messages - as the way by which Google can exert its muscle power. Since Google Ads cost money, using them to jockey for top position on a SERP would at worst imply financial - not search - muscle, and certainly shouldn't be subject to regulation.

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