Google Comparison Ads ... How Much Is Too Much?
Google in their seemingly never-ending quest to conquer every possible monetisable element of the internet, have added yet another featured box to their search results, above those returned organically.
A search for 'credit cards' reveals Google's latest addition, Google Comparison Ads:
Note the second coloured box above the number one natural result, entitled 'Compare Credit Cards'. Not only does this box move more organic results below the fold line (meaning you now see only three organically returned singular website results without scrolling), but the top three results are all comparison sites, who make a good deal of their money from comparing credit cards.
What Google has essentially done is leveraged their dominance in the search market to increase their own growth in other monetisable areas; they've given themselves the number one spot instantaneously, ultimately lessening the traffic likely to be recieved by lower placed page one results.
This isn't the first time Google have utilised this approach to push an additional platform (look at YouTube or Google Maps for example) and it won't be the last either - see my previous post on
It will be interesting to see how popular Google's comparison service becomes, as the subsequent popularity of this service will be a fairly good indication of consumers' level of trust in Google, and how this trust in their search results translates into other market areas.
I shall be keeping my eye on how Google's comparison service progresses; searches for 'car insurance' and 'mortgages' don't return similar results yet, but I've got no doubt they will within the next few weeks. In fact, I've just searched for 'Google comparison ads' and found this:
So Google's mortgage comparison service is in fact already available in the US, so it's only a matter of time before we have similarly returned results in the UK.