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Google piloting UK mortgage comparison site

Online giant Google is understood to be piloting a mortgage comparison website in the UK.

In May it launched an online advice service in the US called Google Adviser and Mortgage Strategy understands that it is piloting a similar service in the UK called Compare UK Mortgages.

The site works in the same way as other comparison sites and appears at the top of the search engine when key words such as mortgage and compare mortgage are searched for.

It has sponsored links from a number of lenders such as Woolwich, ING Direct, Lloyds TSB, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.

To gauge feedback on the site participants can take part in a feedback survey, which among other questions asks them how they have historically searched for a mortgage and whether they have used a mortgage broker.

Justin Rees, director of marketing and partnerships at LeadPoint UK, says: “Only time will tell how successful this service will be and what other products will be arriving in the UK.

“It will also be interesting to see how many of the direct marketers that spend millions of pounds each year generating financial services leads through Google react to this latest development.”

But he says it could be a good thing for the lead generation market overall.

He adds: “Usually when Google enters a new market it requires all the incumbents to step up in order to compete so hopefully this innovation will be good for consumers and the adviser community as the current lead generation companies will have to work even harder to improve their services.

“The UK has a strong tradition of intermediary-based advice and long may this remain so.”

In March this year Google  paid almost £40m for BeatThatQuote.com.

Google says it is unable to comment at the moment.  

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Comments
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  • Michael Cropper 3rd August 2011 at 11:48 am

    Has anyone seen any statistics on how this has impacted the mortgage industry? Would be interesting to see some facts that show if (or if not) the new product from Google has taken traffic away from the market leaders.

  • David Winder 18th July 2011 at 10:03 am

    I’ve just had a look at this thing and its rubbish, customers are going to get so much misleading information, based on the 90% LTV search i just did that they will either waste their time or just go somewhere else for information, nothing to worry about here at all if you provide a quality service.

  • chris Gardner 14th July 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I have no issue with this at all except that Google need to disclose the fact that they are only comparing sponsored product – its highly misleading as it stands at present.

  • Kevin Jones 14th July 2011 at 2:57 pm

    This is shocking by Google and it is certainly moving towards a monopoly. Type in “mortgage broker” into Google and you get Google top with just a list of lenders. They are trying to cut the broker out of the equation.

    The technology for this has been provided by Beat That Quote who own Finance Leads Online and were recently bought by Google. MoneySuperMarket stand to loose the most out of this as their profitable traffic (SEO not PPC) will drop.

    This is the tip of the iceberg though and it won’t be long before they move into credit cards, life, debt, travel and any other vertical they think will earn them money.

  • Matthew Williams 14th July 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Totally agree with you Shaun! So good you said it twice!

  • Shaun Davis 14th July 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I personally think that this is a massive conflict of interests by Google that crosses across many industries. Yes, they are the provider of search but they have become an essential part of online search and should have sanctions of fairness and equality.

    If we want to go top of any listings we already have to pay. If we want to go top of the natural listings then we invest money in SEO.

    I do not think that it is fair that Google places services above all of the listings that have cost us money.

    Google is using the money we invest to monopolise our industry. Google is too big and in my opinion it is ventures like this that overstep the mark.

    I would love it if advertisers boycotted Google, even if it were only for a day… thats never going to happen. Therefore the fair trades commission should step in and at least force google act in a fairer manner.

    If everything goes to plan, we wont even get a lead unless its via google. Then when they buyout trigold or mortgage brain they will have a massive stranglehold over the entire UK broker based advice. Next, google bank will be at the top of the search engines

    If we want to go top of any listings we already have to pay. If we want to go top of the natural listings then we invest money in SEO.

    I do not think that it is fair that google places services above all of the listings that have cost us money.

    Google is using the money we invest to manopolise our industry. Google is too big and in my opinion it is ventures like this that overstep the mark.

    I would love it if advertisers bouycotted Google, even if it were only for a day… thats never going to happen. Therefore the fair trades commission should step in and at least force google act in a fairer manner.

    If everything goes to plan, we wont even get a lead unless its via google. Then when they buyout trigold or mortgage brain they will have a massive stranglehold over the entire UK broker based advice. Next, google bank will be at the top of the search engines

  • Ancient Wisdom...is a mortgage broker in N3 14th July 2011 at 1:26 pm

    ..happy to pay Google for leads and lead generation – thats how they make money, from ad revenue, not arranging mortgages. Compared to some of the awful leads I have had from the generators – expensive and my own experiences, awful.

  • Maurice Edgington 14th July 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Google can squash any type of on-line business if it wants to. However they have no intention of preventing mortgage sites where it belongs to a broker because their algorithms favour content such as we arrange your mortgage rather than just mortgage info. Worry if you are a lead generator but not if you actually arrange the mortgage.

  • Avenue & Co Private Finance 14th July 2011 at 12:57 pm

    …it only compares sponsored links. If all the UK lenders sponsor, then it covers not even the whole market as there are many products that are intermediary only. In addition, its back to the same argument – many of my clients prefer to use a broker for convenience, expertise and saving time.

    The amount of times in the recent weeks that I have re-amended offers for clients on new lower rates, when they didnt even know is unreal and very time consuming.

    Anyone who tries to get through Abbey right now will have used up their whole 1 hr lunch break on hold.

    We are not worried just yet….

  • Avenue & Co Private Finance 14th July 2011 at 12:56 pm

    …it only compares sponsored links. If all the UK lenders sponsor, then it covers not even the whole market as there are many products that are intermediary only. In addition, its back to the same argument – many of my clients prefer to use a broker for convenience, expertise and saving time.

    The amount of times in the recent weeks that I have re-amended offers for clients on new lower rates, when they didnt even know is unreal and very time consuming.

    Anyone who tries to get through Abbey right now will have used up their whole 1 hr lunch break on hold.

    We are not worried just yet….