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Chris Rowett, Head of PPC

The author

Chris Rowett

Head of PPC

From the 23rd of March, Google will no longer show its comparison engine for financial services.

The product, which appears for highly commercial terms around credit cards, insurance and mortgages, will start to wind down over the coming month, providing advertisers currently using it with a transition period.

Since its inception in the UK in 2012, Google Compare has struggled to gain traction. Google’s Compare team stated: “Despite people turning to Google for financial services information, the Google Compare service itself hasn’t driven the success we hoped for.”

The team went on to say: “We’ve decided that focusing more intently on AdWords and future innovations will enable us to provide fresh, comprehensive answers to Google users, and to provide our financial services partners with the best return on investment.”

It’s clear that Google has made this decision in the knowledge that using the space previously occupied by its comparison engine for standard Adwords adverts will drive better revenue and a better ROI for advertisers. With the recent update allowing up to four adverts to appear above the organic results (on desktop and tablet searches), replacing the comparison engine could drive high volumes of clicks from an additional two adverts, generating much higher revenues than Google Compare.

This means that the impact on users will be relatively minimal, while advertisers will benefit from the additional advert space, providing more space for brands to potentially challenge dominant aggregators.

The announcement is quite timely; after Google stopped showing ads on the right side, many people suspected that its comparison engine could take pride of place, similar to where the knowledge graph or shopping feeds sit. With the withdrawal of Google Compare it will be interesting to see what happens to the whitespace at the side of SERPs.

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