Soon, we will see say goodbye to Google’s lead generation product, better known as Google Compare. The feature will begin sunsetting this week.
The Google Compare Team sent out emails to partners to spread the news of the planned shut down of Google Compare. The product will start winding down on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, and will have a planned total shut down in both the US and UK one month later, on March 23.
The email to Compare partners:
From: Google Compare Team
Subject: An Update on Google Compare
Beginning on February 23, 2016, we will start ramping down the Google Compare product, which is currently live in both the US and UK. We plan to terminate the service as of March 23, 2016. As you know, Google Compare (formerly Google Advisor in the U.S.) has been a specialized, standalone service that enables consumers to get quotes from a number of providers for financial products such as car and travel insurance, credit cards and mortgages.
Despite people turning to Google for financial services information, the Google Compare service itself hasn’t driven the success we hoped for. 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.
We’re grateful for all the feedback that you have provided over the course of this product’s development, and we are looking forward to partnering with you to achieve greater success in the future.
We will work with you during this transition and beyond. Please reach out to your Google representative if you have any questions and to discuss the next steps.
The Google Compare Team
Google has confirmed the email’s authenticity.
The Google Compare product was the only product remaining feature that remained standing after the fall of the Advisor program in the US. The other products that didn’t make the cut included the savings accounts, CDs and mortgages, which had all been discontinued. Compare for Auto Insurance launched just last March, along with Compare for Mortgage quotes in November. These two relaunches both had limited roll outs.
According to a Google spokesperson, while searches on these queries were high, the product never gained the desired traction Google was hoping for, and realized that revenue for the product was minimal. The reason behind this minimal revenue was partially due to the limited availability of the products in just the US and UK.
Another issue that the Compare product had faced in the U was when it came under scrutiny in 2014 by the Financial Conduct Authority, which is the UK financial services industry regulator. The issue that came up centered around when comparison sites had complained that Google was competing unfairly by placing their own products at the top of the search results. But it seems that legal concerns didn’t play a role in the decision to close Compare
Once Compare has officially closed down, what will be next? Google says that they will focus primarily on AdWords and transitioning partners to standard ad products, although they could still focus on the space and look to other, new product avenues.