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Google Quietly Adds Car Insurance Comparison to Financial Services

     
4:36 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Following credit cards and bank accounts, Google has quietly launched a price comparison service for car insurance in the UK, one which appears prominently on its search engine result pages when querying the relevant keywords.


The service, which appears below the traditional ad positions and above the first organic results on the search engine results page, provides quotes from around 120 car insurers in the UK. It came after Google acquired BeatThatQuote back in March 2011 for 37.7m. [itproportal.com...]
4:50 pm on Sept 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how that is going down with all the advertisers on those search terms. Google comparison service is right there, in your face.

Based on your search query, we think you are trying to find car insurance. Clicking in this box will take you to our service that can provide you with car insurance quotes from car insurance providers. Our service is free to you but to operate this service, we are compensated by these providers.http://www.google.co.uk
4:55 pm on Sept 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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And Google quietly adds car registrations, make and model of car, and more personal data to that it already holds about its users.
5:53 pm on Sept 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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At some point competing with its clients must begin to be an issue with folk who really matter

Its one thing swatting aside one man bands, but are the Big boys happy financing the Gigantic eating mouth thats Google,

ITV doesn't do price comparison, nor channel5, nor channel4 there may be a reason for that
6:33 pm on Sept 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Wow. Where will this stop? They have gathered all of this data over the years about different industries and now they are using this data to compete with them.
7:51 pm on Sept 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Wooaa! That's going to make it much harder for gocompare, moneysupermarket, comparethemeerkat etc. They bought beatthatquote last year (never heard of them!) and are using that for their quotes.
Beat that quote do other financial services quotes (eg loans, credit cards) so I guess they will move into those areas too!

Just to say, they are not actually using stuff scraped from other sites, but are offering their own fully fledged price comparison service.
3:01 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Wow. Where will this stop?

Hard to say. The squeeze is on at more than this level.

In Australia, car insurance has just been introduced by one of the only two major supermarket chains. You can buy your groceries, petrol and now you insurance in the same place. So you have polarisation at both promotional and brand level coming on strong which will ultimately reduce the number of players left to serve results into the SERP's.

I'd think UK/Europe has something similar. Not sure about US/Canada.

The fight is also on for Google to interfere with the disintermediation process' since it is not in it's revenue interests to see consolidation of brands for advertising revenue purposes. It means less revenue.

Where will it all stop ? Hmmm.... perhaps when market canibalisation takes place. But the market will adapt somehow.

Question : .....With these Google comparison tools, can someone tell me how Google can make money from this.
7:24 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I'm just being slow here, but didn't a search for 'car insurance' used to show a load of ads for the usual suspects? And now Google's replaced all these ads with their own ad?

Maybe I'm just being dumb, but will those car insurance ads ever get shown on Google's results again? I guess they will still appear on other sites, but surely that's got to be a bit of a slap in the face.
7:26 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Question : .....With these Google comparison tools, can someone tell me how Google can make money from this.

From the hover text on the new ad -
Our service is free to you but to operate this service, we are compensated by these providers.
8:29 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Whitey - in the UK this is a very succesful model used by other companies who have become big brands in themselves. You go to the price comparison site - whether it's comparethemarket, uswitch or whatever, type in your info and you get a list of quotes from the insurance companies. You then click through to the insurer with the offer you choose and when you've signed up the price comparison site gets commission.
Google is offering the very same service through it's beatthatquote website.
Google is not pioneering a new model - it's just effectively taking the top spot for itself.
8:42 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes, just tried it, of course they have decided they are worth the number one slot. At some point the monoplies commission may take a look.

Goodbye MoneySupermarket, same way they killed Multimap with google maps.

And Google quietly adds car registrations, make and model of car, and more personal data to that it already holds about its users.
Bet they are excited about this, linked to a google account, lots more juicy info for them to digest. Only web type people know the dangers of this, the average web punter will be quite happy to tell them all.

Bet they even have the cheek to but a 5 Star recommended type award next to themselves.

[edited by: driller41 at 9:14 am (utc) on Sep 14, 2012]

8:57 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Age, Make and Model of car is a pretty good indicator of income too.
9:00 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I understood that the European Commission was investigating formally, allegations that Google gives preferences to its own services and advertisers in search rankings. Not sure what stage this is at.
9:02 am on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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House insurance next.
8:03 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Actually try bing next, it is refreshingly more like a search engine than google lately.
10:02 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's all just data, Google's mission is to organize all the worlds data so they'll probably do it with every industry from which there is a buck to be made. With all the deep personal info they have, how long till Google is your matchmaker. TheyLve certainly got more info on most people than Match.com or any similar site.
4:46 pm on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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As Google acquires more of these businesses it will start to feature more and more. It's becoming a portal for its own content, and no longer just other people's content.

The key part is that Google is in a very strong position, and that's what will make the advertisers and sponsors sit up.

As far as the SERPs are concerned, it's not actually in the organic SERPs. It's clearly marked, and above the organic but below the ads.

If Google had run it as an ad, it'd be less of an obvious own-property push.
2:46 am on Sept 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Age, Make and Model of car is a pretty good indicator of income too.


Where is this information collected?
7:58 am on Sept 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Where is this information collected?


First thing that happens when you start a quote.

(I also note they have all the details for selecting car, make and model from just the registration number.)
3:15 pm on Sept 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I also note they have all the details for selecting car, make and model from just the registration number.

Insurance companies and brokers all have access to the DVLA database. I imagine that they could spot if you weren't the registered keeper as well.
4:33 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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1. Make money with Google by creating an idea that they need or want and be the best at it.

2. Make money by being in an industry they want to perpetuate ads in

3. Make money by being in an industry that is too chaotic or difficult to control or employ systems thinking to for Google.

Or be the system that ties it all together and sell to Google.

The rest?

Doomed.
8:30 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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>Doomed.

Are they all doomed?

Some are so well known that they will hold their own, imho. It's going to be tougher, of course, and i think it should be a level playing field. The positioning of the offering, in the way it's being offered is not a level playing filed.
12:11 pm on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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+1 engine

the companies in this sector seem to spend most of their advertising money on tv, and appear to have Google independent traffic streams

>Doomed

many moons ago , when the G started cpa adsense, folk online were saying that this was the end of the pure affiliate networks, I was that afraid they might be right too, scary for me :)
6:25 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I find the way in which it is presented interesting. It is distinct from organic search results, and looks more like the ads, but is distinct from them as well. The ads have a coloured background, this has a box around it and both have a little "i" more information icon.

I think this will probably satisfy the EU that it is not favouring their own products in search rankings, because it is not part of the SERPS: they are giving them selves a free ad.

Affiliate sites do need to worry about this. If your model is Google -> your site -> affiliate link, Google has an incentive to dis-intermediate this to Google -> affiliate link. Those with lots of unique content (or have some other way of adding value) are in a much better position.
7:40 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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> I was that afraid they might be right

There's an affiliate on the travel side, which shall remain nameless, which has become 'the standard' for the services they represent. I doubt they need Google, but i'm sure they benefit from their presence in Google.

This insurance expedition by Google is big news for the UK insurance sector.