Why Did Google Buy BeatThatQuote For £37.7m?

Like many, we were flabbergasted to learn that Google had spent nearly £38 million on a little known London-based price comparison website called BeatThatQuote.com.

It does make sense for Google to penetrate the very lucrative CPL/CPA (Cost per lead or acquisition) market, which is one step beyond the traditional CPC (Clicks) and CPM (Impressions) segments.

This is Google's equivalent of Star Trek's next frontier and to be honest, it is something that was expected to come for a long time.

That said shelling more than $50 million on a website that barely registers on Alexa let alone Comscore or Quantcast appears very odd especially as it already has the technical knowledge to build something similar overnight.

BTQ may well proclaim that they are the UK's fastest growing price comparison website, but that was back in 2007 and since then, the likes of Moneysupermarket.com, Gocompared, Confused.com and Comparethemarket (with the ludicrously cute Meerkats) have all but crushed the rest of the competition.

As one commentator puts it, BTQ seems to have hit the lottery with the acquisition as it is "seems like nothing more than a content site, with a price comparison engine built around affiliate links for leads".

Google has already been testing the water in the UK with a comparison ad trial for credit cards (just do a search for Credit Cards on Google.co.uk), one which clearly shows that Google wants to go in the market soon and that it has the technology to do it.