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Epiphany Search

It was announced on the 7March that Google bought the British site and quote engine BeatThatQuote for a mere £37.7 million. With that purchase, Google has now bought its way slowly into the comparison market with major players as competitors like Go Compare, Compare the Market and With Bing positioning itself as the ‘decision’ search engine, it was only a matter of time before Google reveals its intention to compete and make a move. It is however worth mentioning that Google penalised BeatThatQuote and removed it from search the same day as it was not adhering to its SEO guidelines. Managing Director of BeatThatQuote John Paleomylites expressed the company’s excitement about becoming a part of Google. “We are confident that by combining's expertise in UK financial products with Google's technology, we'll accelerate innovation in this field, benefiting consumers and the companies offering these products,'' said Paleomylites.

Google has already taken the first tentative steps in the comparison market by launching the Comparison ads service in the US back in October 2009. The service was then launched in the UK in February 2010. The service allowed mortgage and credit card advertisers to have their products compared against each other, and will be expanding to other products in the future. The service would benefit the advertisers in generating qualified and targeted leads; advertisers only pay when they receive a lead and generate a quote. The comparison market is, at the moment, full of clutter and very confusing. Maybe Google can make sense of it all and provide one simple alternative, instead of ending up with a dozen of screens and tabs open trying to find the right product. But the question stands: Is Google becoming a little too powerful? With all the areas that the search engine is tapping into, it will prove difficult to stay neutral and not favour its own products! Perhaps Google will purchase more established comparison sites in other sectors, like travel, in the future. Let’s see what happens next.