Google tests merchant search

Google is testing a new service in a bid to compete with search aggregators and price comparison sites such as Moneysupermarket.com.

Google is currently beta testing Google Merchant Search in the UK for secured loans from financial services providers. The service allows users to enter their details into a Google search to find personalised results.

A Google spokesman says the company is always testing new kinds of services. “We want to see what services our users find useful and relevant,” he adds, but declines to comment further.

Gavin Sinden, digital strategy director at EquiMedia, says that in financial services and travel, price comparison sites are “all dominant”.

He adds: “People go on to Google and type in secured loan, up pops a comparison site which they visit and get 50-60 results. Google only gets paid for that one click.”

The launch of Merchant Services indicates that Google is looking to fight back and take a share of the profits it has lost in through its Pay Per Click (PPC) model in financial and travel services sectors.

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