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Google Goes For Lucrative Pay Per Lead Market With Comparison Ads

Google is apparently trying to tap into the lucrative commission-based market by offering what it calls the Adwords Comparison Ads and is likely to start the pilot project in the UK itself.

When a search is done on credit cards, Google has embedded a link in its sponsored link section completely at the top of the page over and above the first results.

Clicking on the link redirects to a "Compare UK Credit Cards" page that performs exactly as a traditional comparison website and offers a number of filters.

You can either compare up to four of the 22 cards on offer in a nifty table that provides you with ample information and apply at any time - note that all the cards on offer are "sponsored". This obviously means that Google will be getting a commission out of every customer sent to any of the companies.

Google says that Comparison Ads will allow offers to be targeted at a more granular level thereby leading to more valuable, qualified leads (i.e. a better return on investment) as it is entirely results based.

Danny Sullivan from Searchengineland underlines the very important fact that Google don't pass on the real phone number of the customer but a "temporary bridging" number instead.

The move from cost per click to cost per lead is a logical step and comes as Google tries to improve its profitability. The Comparison Ads tool also allow the users to interact more effectively with the ads.

It will be interesting to see how competitors, many of whom rely on Google to generate new leads, will react. Shares of, one of the biggest players in the market, have risen by more than five percent since this morning.

Our Comments

We don't like the fact that the ads is linked with our account and that Google will share the information entered on the comparison ads page with the card issuer in this case. Furthermore, it does open a host of possibilities for Google, which is likely to become an online Walmart. Why stop with credit cards! What about mortgages, unsecured loans, pet insurances etc etc.

Related Links

Introducing AdWords Comparison Ads (opens in new tab)


Google Testing Comparison Ads In UK (opens in new tab)


Google now lets you compare credit cards… if you’re lucky (Updated) (opens in new tab)


Google moves into price comparison market with trial credit card service (opens in new tab)


Google AdWords adds credit card to Comparison Ad test (opens in new tab)


Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.