Advisors fearing that Google would make a leap into the life and health insurance sectors are breathing a sigh of relief today after the internet giant took the decision to close its Google Compare arm.
Launched back in March 2015, Google Compare allowed consumers to make comparisons on credit cards, mortgages and car insurance in the USA and the UK. Its aim was to make financial services simple and accessible, with Google picking up commissions based on referrals, and, in some cases, direct product sales.
Rumours instantly began swirling that the comparison website would make its way north of the border too: and that its services would be expanded to include both life insurance and health insurance. Speaking in March last year, Simon Tomlinson, CEO of BlueSun, commented that Google’s arrival in the sector “would be a threat to advisors”.
However, now an email acquired by Search Engine Land has ended these concerns with Google informing partners that its Compare products – including credit cards, insurance and mortgages – would start an immediate wind-down.
“Despite people turning to Google for financial services information, the Google Compare service itself hasn’t driven the success we hoped for,” the email stated. “We greatly appreciate your partnership and understand that this decision will be disappointing to some. But after a lot of careful consideration, 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.”
Google has not yet commented on the planned shutdown, but the service will officially close on March 23.