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Last week Google announced the launch of its new Merchant Search service. This allows users to compare the products and services of participating companies in the mode of popular price comparison websites.
Price comparison websites are big business in the UK and all the major industry players advertise heavily on Google. Research commissioned by Resolution Foundation shows that 45% of UK adults used a comparison site to help them make a financial decision in the last year and that the price-comparison market is estimated to be growing at 30% a year.
According to Edward Cowell, Director of digital marketing agency Guava; “Google Merchant Search will truly put the cat amongst pigeons for some of Google’s biggest search advertisers, the financial services comparison websites.”
The launch of the new service comes at a critical time for Google and its financial services advertisers as Edward Cowell highlights:
“Most big financial services websites are just coming to terms with a marked increase in their paid search advertising budgets due to the recent changes in Google’s trademark bidding policies, so Merchant Search could be rubbing salt into the wound.”
Uprisings are not unheard of in the search arena, which has historically witnessed Ebay boycotting Google Adwords by withdrawing its adverts when Google attempted to encroach on PayPal’s territory.
The industry waits with baited breath to see how the price comparisons companies react to the launch of Merchant Search.
Guava is a fresh thinking, digital marketing agency specialising in Search Marketing and Web Development in the UK. Part of the pan-European Guava group with over 200 employees, the UK division is headed up by UK CEO, Graeme Radford.
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