Today's Google search innovation is a new loan comparison widget masquerading as an AdWords ad. Barry Schwartz discovered the tool while running a search on Google.co.uk for "secured loans."
The query triggered the Google Merchant Search loan widget (in the top spot, no less), with a drop-down menu that lets users choose their loan amount, as well as the potential APR from four banks.
After clicking on the "compare" button, Schwartz was taken to a separate page that featured a number of banks, their credit rating, the typical monthly payment, loan fees and APR range. Users can
click "Get Quote" to submit their contact info to each bank they're interested in.
Now the Merchant Search widget could include advertisers on a CPA model (after all, once a user submits their
contact info, that's likely a hot lead), but as Loren Baker (editor of Search Engine Journal) notes [ http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-uk-extending-financial-services-comparison-trial-death-to-uk-quotes-sites/7385/
] , it may actually foretell the demise
of the plethora of loan comparison sites in the U.K.
Read the whole story at Search Engine Land »