Google Relaunches Financial Comparisons

Google has relaunched its financial comparison ads on certain search terms, according to The Telegraph.

When you enter search terms including keywords such as credit cards, savings and current accounts, you’ll be shown Google’s own results. We’ve tested it out, and found the following example when searching for “best credit cards” (click for a larger view):

Google credit card comparison

A similar sponsored result comparison box is shown for “best savings account“:

Google savings account comparison

There are likely to be lots of different variations of keywords triggering these ads. Google provides an explanation (if you click on the information icon) to visitors as to why it is showing these ads:

Based on your search query, we think you are trying to find a [product name]. Clicking in this box will show you [product name] providers who can fulfill your request. We may be compensated when the user clicks to contact, fills out an application with, and/or recieves a product from a product provider.

Clicking on the ads takes you through to a table of relevant product deals, such as the one below for savings accounts, from where in some cases you can click through to the provider site to apply for the product:

Google savings account comparison

Google has been testing similar ads for a while, but most recently, in February, they seemed to be moving away from showing direct financial comparisons within its search results, when they scrapped their mortgage comparison tool.

But it appears they may have had a change of heart. Google’s acquisition of comparison site last year always seemed to suggest that they intended to build their own comparison site, and perhaps they’ve finally ironed out all the problems. The small print on these ads actually state that Google is a trading name of, which sounds like it’s the wrong way round to me.

As ever, we’ll have to wait a while to see if Google perseveres with these financial comparison ads, given all the testing we’ve seen them do before.

We’ve mentioned in the past that they risk stepping on the toes of some of their big advertisers (such as MoneySupermarket or GoCompare) with these ads, and in the examples shown above, they’ve chosen to display their own ads in between the paid for, sponsored listings, and the natural, organic search results. In previous tests their results have replaced the traditional sponsored results, so perhaps they’re trying to minimise the impact on their paying customers, whilst impacting those who have managed to get themselves to the top of the natural rankings.

John Paleomylites, product management director at Google (and previously managing director), is quoted as saying:

“Today we are introducing a new look comparison unit with enhanced transparency using expertise and Google technology. The enhanced service is now easier to use for consumers and will provide higher quality traffic for advertisers. We will introduce this improved design layout for searches around credit cards, current and savings accounts in the UK.”

So what do you think? Will Google now stuck with these ads, or are they another experiment that may soon disappear? Would you use Google’s links to the providers, or will you still use comparison sites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Google Relaunches Financial Comparisons

  1. Worrying times for price comparison sites. Still it prompts us to buck our ideas up and differentiate ourselves from Google’s comparison services (e.g. by offering decent content, advice, tips etc to help people choose their financial products).

    Will be interesting to see how this development unfolds over the next few months.

  2. I agree with Harri, Google’s simple presence is likely to be enough to sink the small comparison website. It also means that there is now only one organic search result above the fold of the page.

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