Google quietly adds car insurance comparison to financial services portfolio

Following credit cards and bank accounts, Google has quietly launched a price comparison service for car insurance in the UK, one which appears prominently on its search engine result pages when querying the relevant keywords.

Digital Marketing Agency Greenlight released a report that shows just how much Google’s inroads in the lucrative pay per lead business could prove costly for established players like Moneysupermarket and the like.

The service, which appears below the traditional ad positions and above the first organic results on the search engine results page, provides quotes from around 120 car insurers in the UK. It came after Google acquired BeatThatQuote back in March 2011 for £37.7m.

Greenlight found out that Google had the second highest share of voice in the market for Car Insurance Advertisers in Paid Media on the day the service launched.

It surpassed established players like Directline, Churchill and Moneysupermarket and according to the agency is equivalent to a paid-for visibility of around 500,000 relevant UK searches per month.

Google’s disruptive apparition in the car insurance comparison market could mean very bad news for these companies' shareholders. Especially as this may well prove to be one of the first few steps before a full blown attempt by the search engine to corner and eliminate the affiliate market.