It would appear Google has launched (not sure whether full or soft launched) – the much anticipated comparison engine for car insurance. Given a similar facility is already live for terms on credit cards, mortgages and loans, its not that much of a surprise to see Google really take use of their Beatthatquote acquisition in a sector that Beatthatquote were previously an active part of.
The ads feature very much as the other ads for loans etc feature, sitting just below the paid search results and further dropping the organic search results down yet further. At the time of writing, these were not actively appearing for searches on generic car insurance searches (though by the end of writing this it was), but for terms such as compare car insurance – however given that terms such as credit cards actively return these ‘sponsored results’ one would only imagine its only a matter of time before we see full rollout. Further more, its interesting to see the third paid result sacrificed in favour of the sponsored ad.
Functionally the service operates similarly to other comparison engines such as Go Compare, MoneySupermarket and Compare the Market collating user details such as car make and personal details – before returning a list of available options. Interestingly this does provide Google a load more of retargeting information, as they will now know:
- The fact I am in market
- My personal details – who I am, where I live, how many cars I own etc
- When I may be in market moving forward
Full conversions still appear to take place on third party sites.
In terms of impact this is an interesting development. The insurance sector has a far higher % of aggregators than other markets such as credit cards, and thus the potential of this when fully launched could potentially be far bigger – and the fight for the top two positions (in particular number one) that bit bigger in terms of opportunity, as one would suggest CTR through to lower results could be the biggest impact of this introduction. If this follows the introduction of sponsored results, advertisers would pay on a CPA/CPC basis.
However what Moneysupermarket, GoCompare, USwitch and Compare the Market think of this remains to be seen. One can only imagine they would have known about this for a while, however how it plays out we are still to see