Updated: See below
Last October Google launched a new form of ad that lets users compare prices on products.
Essentially Google Product Search but for financial services and with more options for choosing your perfect product, it only worked with US mortgages.
Now Comparison Ads are being tested again, this time in the UK for credit cards. Once again though, you’ll only get to try it if you get lucky when you search for credit card related keywords.
Users searching for credit cards see an ad (if they’re lucky) prompting them to click through to to a chart comparing prices from a number of providers. After entering a few basic facts like age and household income they can choose the best price.
While there are a lot of price comparison services out there already, Google’s take on the idea will certainly be worth a look. When Comparison Ads were launched Google touted them as simpler, clearer and more respectful of users privacy than its competitors. Money is made by Google charging advertisers if users click on the ‘More information’ button or call the special phone number listed.
Although Google undoubtedly needs to test new services before it rolls them out fully (especially when they relate to its core business – advertising) it’s a little frustrating that whether or not you get to try out the service is entirely down to chance.
If the tests are a success Google will most likely roll the service out further – possibly for a wider variety of products. We’d like to see it become a part of the Product Search service. For now, those of you in the UK looking for a new credit card will just have to cross your fingers if you want to give it a go. The rest of us will just have to wait…
UPDATE: A commenter has given us a direct link to the Google Credit Card Comparison page. If you’re in the UK and want to try out Google’s take on the idea just click here: http://google.com/comparisonads/ukcredit