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Is Google Planning UK Mortgage Comparison Service?

Even in times of recession, the mortgage industry in the UK is still worth a lot of money; back in 2006, £110 billion pounds were lent by mortgage lenders and with UK leading Europe when it comes with embracing online services, it is only natural that Google uses the UK as a testing ground.

Yesterday, news emerged about the acquisition of a little known UK-based price comparison website, Beatthatquote, by Google for a whopping $60 million. Last year, one of our April fool articles was about Google offering cashback to customers who purchased products and services listed on Google Shopping and we ended the article by saying that it might be tied to Google Comparison ad, which was has been trialled since the beginning of 2010.

Now we've uncovered some circumstantial evidence that leads us to believe that Google may be planning a Mortgage comparison service; the current URL for Google's UK credit cards comparison website ends with UKcredit, replace it by UKcurrent, UKsaving, UKinsurance and you get this, a bog standard Google 404 error. However, swap it for UKmortgage and you get something slightly different.

It might just be that Google engineers unintentionally "forgot" to set this particular 404 error page to the default one; on the other side, it could well be the landing page for a soon-to-come Mortgage comparison service; one which could change the financial landscape in the UK.

Désiré Athow
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.