Google is rolling out their car insurance comparison service across the UK. It’s the latest addition to the comparison program that saw Google UK launch credit card and bank accounts comparisons earlier this year, at the top of the organic search listings.
Interestingly, the language identifying the comparison results, marked as Sponsored, has changed since the launch of those previous products.
Early in the summer, the info box that appeared on hovering over the information icon on the listings read in part, “We may be compensated when the user clicks to contact, fills out an application with, and/or receives a product from a product provider.”
Now, the disclaimer reads, “Our service is free to you but to operate this service, we are compensated by some of the providers.”
The difference is subtle, but allows for Google to charge a fee for listing, rather than an affiliate percentage of sales, if they so choose.
On BeatThatQuote.com, the fee structure is still currently described, “Our service is free to you but to operate this service we may receive commissions from the providers or brokers that we work with.”
A Google spokesperson told SEW in June, “The financial arrangements are different in each area (credit cards, flights, hotels, and bank accounts). For example, in some cases the brands shown may make a payment to Google if the user completes a particular action, and in some cases unpaid content may be included."
The comparison tools are fueled by UK price comparison site BeatThatQuote’s financial expertise, since they were acquired by Google in 2011. BeatThatQuote.com was (and still is) the appointed representative for Best Value Financial Services Ltd. John Paleomylites, former Managing Director at BeatThatQuote.com, now works for Google and is listed as the contact person for Google’s car insurance comparison service in the Financial Services Authority firm register.
Google’s search visibility for car insurance comparison grew from 0 to 75 percent in the first two days the new comparison product became available, according to Econsultancy. Until now, the three most visible car insurance advertisers were GoCompare.com, Confused.com, and MoneySupermarket.com. They had 92 percent, 83 percent, and 78 percent share of visibility, respectively, said the report.
Users can compare quotes from over 120 different car insurance providers, who must adhere to Google’s Code of Conduct to participate. Insurance companies can fill out an online application form if they would like to be included in the program.
Google tells us the car insurance comparison tool is a UK-only launch.