Want to find the best credit card? The right mortgage? Cheapest car or travel insurance? Google Compare provides you with a comparison shopping service to find the best financial product for your needs.
Of course Google is so much more than just a search engine: Gmail, YouTube, Google Apps, Google Analytics, Google Glass, Android, Chrome, Nest… the list is mind boggling.
But even Google’s searching facilities continue to evolve. Take a quick look at all the options Google provides for searching, and in addition to the familiar Google Images, Google Maps, and Google Shopping, you will find Google Money.
I searched Google for the word Airmiles and up popped the Google Credit Cards advertisement offering to Compare flying miles credit card with Google
Clicking through on the Sponsored information link at the top right shows that:
Google assumes my search for Airmiles shows the intention to find a credit card
There is no cost to Google’s searchers to access this information, but Google may be compensated by the credit card providers
“You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
The Google Compare service currently five different services: credit cards, mortgages, car loans, savings accounts, and current accounts, car insurance, travel insurance.
In terms of who is providing the service, the fine print reads:
This is a whole of market service provided by Google, which is a trading name of BeatThatQuote.com Limited.
Google acquired the British company BeatThatQuote.com in March 2011 for £37.7 million.
Want to find the best mortgage? At the time of writing, Google compares mortgages from 81 mortgage providers, and allows users to specify the specific mortgage requirement: remortgage, first time purchase, buy to let, and the like.
Do you want a discounted, fixed, tracker, or offset mortgage? Google can help you find the right one.
More interested in car insurance?
Google is going head on with Moneysupermarket.com and other comparison services
You can go through the entire application for your car insurance online, and get proposals from Google’s pane of insurers:
So, how good is Google Compare?
The development of comparison engines like Google Compare raises a number of concerns surrounding transparency, trust and consumer privacy. I have written previously questioning how ethical it is for Google to use it’s own advertising platform to promote it’s own services over the services of it’s competitors.
Google makes clear that it is only providing comparison data for a limited number of providers, and at first glance it appears that a user has to provide similar information to what is required by other comparison engines.
It does offer a service to refer searchers to independent advisors, and makes clear what should happen in terms of process and privacy:
I’ve written about Google’s comparison services previously over the years, for example here is an article from 2011, and a discussion about how Google comparison services launch in the USA before they come to the UK.
But Google’s comparison services seems to rumble along without any great consumer visibility. It isn’t something that I’m ever asked about, or that I seem to notice in the search results except sporadically.
In brief, I don’t really have visibility of the service, and no real inclination to use it.