Google testing a Finance price comparison service in the UK
Finance • Google • Google Merchant Search • Moneysupermarket
SearchEngineLand had the scoop: Google is experimenting a new service called “Google Merchant Search“. From the Google FAQ:
What is Google Merchant Search? Google Merchant Search is an easy new way for you to find products or services from providers who match your needs.
What products or services are supported through Google Merchant Search? The service is currently only available for secured loans from financial services providers.
How do you choose which providers to show me? Our search results are based on the criteria you provided in your request; we compare your request with our list of participating providers, and show those that are most relevant for you. Participating providers pay Google when someone requests a quote through this system.
How does Google connect me to the provider? You submit your contact details and request a time to speak to the provider. A Google operator will call you at the appointed time, then connect you with the provider. Because we do not share your contact information with the provider, they won’t be able to contact you again about your request unless you decide to give then your contact details.
At it is an experiment, it is difficult to reach a Google server to test the new service. However, SearchBeest has a few screenshots (Google has also published some):
- The integration of the “loan amount” search box directly into the Google sponsored links reminds me of the Windows Live Cashback integration: is it fair for Google / Microsoft to advertise their own services into the sponsored results with added value compared to the “classic” sponsored links paid by advertisers? If I were an advertiser in competition with those enhanced ads from Google, I won’t be really pleased.
- Google usually experiments new services in the US, rarely in markets like the UK. Maybe because loans / mortgages market is big in the UK? Finance price comparison like Moneysupermarket won’t be so pleased with this experiment.
- How different is it / will it be compared to Google Product Search? The FAQ says it is currently only available for loans; but doesn’t explain the expected coverage of this new service. However, it seems monetized through CPA (“Participating providers pay Google when someone requests a quote through this system”) and/or Cost-per-call (“A Google operator will call you at the appointed time, then connect you with the provider“), suggesting in its current form it won’t apply to all goods.
- Yet another example of the integration of shopping-related features into search engines.