Google may relaunch comparison shopping: Google Compare partner

Google will retool its soon-to-be shut Google Compare, and start offering end-to-end services for comparing and obtaining auto insurance,  credit cards and mortgages, a company partner predicts.

CoverHound CEO Keith Moore said problems with Google Compare’s auto insurance comparison service revolved around its operating model, in which users compare companies’ quotes on Google Compare sites, then are directed to companies’ websites to buy coverage. Some insurance providers weren’t set up to serve customers via mobile devices, Moore said.

“[Google] did a great job of mobile on their end but they couldn’t necessarily guarantee that the mobile experience would remain consistent for everybody on the platform,” Moore said.

The Google Compare sites for applying for credit cards and mortgages also redirect consumers to partner companies’ websites.

Google said this week it would close Google Compare on March 23, after only one year of operation. In an email to partners, obtained by Search Engine Land, the firm said Google Compare had not “driven the success we hoped for.” A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that “revenue was minimal” from Google Compare. Google would not comment on Moore’s prediction, saying the company didn’t respond to rumors and speculations.

CoverHound, a San Francisco company that runs a platform for comparing auto insurance quotes and buying coverage, had worked with Google Compare by ensuring quotes appeared from insurers that wanted to participate but couldn’t integrate with Google’s platform.

CoverHound provides end-to-end customer service; insurance buyers don’t go through partner companies’ websites, but stay with CoverHound for the purchase. Moore believes Google will relaunch comparison shopping for auto insurance, credit cards and mortgages using the same model. “They’ve gotten a lot of great data over the past year. I think they’re just going to retool and figure out what the next steps are,” Moore said.

Moore points to 117% premium growth at CoverHound this year to date over last year as evidence of  a strong market for online car insurance comparison shopping.


Photo: Google logo (AFP PHOTO/KAREN BLEIER/Getty Images)


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