Monday, 7 March 2011

Google Buys 'Beat That Quote' For £37.7 Million

Today, UK insurance comparison website Beat That Quote have announced that they have been purchased by Google for GBP 37.7 Million. The screen-shot from the homepage of the website below gives the details in full:

Beat That Quote Google Purchase Announcement

There has not been any announcement as of yet that suggests what Google aims to do with the technology, but this potentially could have a knock-on effect within search results for the highly competitive insurance arena for both PPC and SEO.

We have already seen that Google is not afraid to beat advertisers at their own game with the inclusion of the "comparison ad" box above searches for credit cards in the UK.

The comparison ad box is served by Google and sits at the very top of the page, pushing PPC and SEO results down an extra position. For those that work in this space know, the drop in Click-Through-Rates on these sorts of terms can be quite substantial when you do not appear in those top positions.

The screen-shot below shows the "comparison ad" for "credit cards":

Google Credit Cards Comparison Ad
Google Credit Cards Comparison Ad

I have yet to see case studies that detail the full impact of these comparison ads on the rest of the market-place as Google have continuously played with the positioning and formating. However, if they are likely to repeat this process within the insurance space, then it is likely that we will see some form of complaint being made to the Competition Commission.

I would welcome opinions.