Google Compare: taking two steps back to jump ahead?
The sudden announcement that Google Compare is being discontinued is already fuelling the ink industry, which will continue until it comes back… because it will.
It will not be the first time Google cancels a project before returning with a different version of the proposition. The people at Coverhound, with whom Google have partnered since last year, also agree. At Google, nothing is wasted, so we expect them to return with a different proposition.
They are present already across the entire value chain of the UBI market; from car maker – monitoring device maker (aka: a smartphone) – integrator – data analytics provider, to insurer (Google is licensed to sell insurance in 49 states — all except Rhode Island) and of course distributor.
Their next venture in motor insurance will depend on their long-term play and who they choose to go up against.
Google’s experience in Europe has shown that positioning Google Compare in the search result page ahead or alongside its insurance customers will not only bring the wrath of the fair competition guardians but also from its most lucrative of advertisers.
While Google Compare could have catalysed innovation in the auto insurance industry, which would have been good for the driver, the retraction doesn’t signify the comparison market or direct insurance line are shrinking.
Ultimately, Google can make more money per click on auto-insurance related terms through AdWords than it can on commission from Google Compare sales.
If Google chooses to stick to supplying the insurance sector, then maps and of course data analytics (understand: behaviour) seems the way forward.