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Google enters mortgage business what’s next?

(Updated post: See below) I’m always looking at various markets and places to earn good money online and what better niche than mortgages (perhaps refinancing is still better), but imagine my surprise when I started searching various mortgage related terms only to be greeted by Google comparison ads like these:

I searched these terms on another computer that’s on a different network and didn’t see the above results which tells me Google is probably just testing them right now. But either way the signal is clear – Google is effectively cashing in on the lucrative mortgage lead generation business but claiming the top search result and cutting deep into the businesses and websites that are built up around these keywords. Yes they’ve entered the market via sponsored results, but look at how much these don’t look like ads. I guarantee the CTR on these Google mortgage ad search terms are much higher than typical ads.

As far as I can tell the only space they’re doing this in right now is related to mortgages. Look at this url:

It redirects to:

I don’t own any websites that compete in this space but this certainly makes it a less attractive market to go after. My prediction is that Google is going to continue doing more of this where the information being searched for isn’t overly complex. i.e. it’s pretty clear what someone is looking for when they search “mortgage calculator” so why not just give it to them courtesy of Google?

The lesson I see here is that the more unique and difficult to replicate your content is the lower the chance that Google will horn in on your business.

What do you think about this? Anyone else seeing the same results I am?

Update: Well, serves me right for trying to break SEO news when I’m not an SEO blogger: Turns out this was already announced back in October 09. Thanks Jonathan!

I believe my lesson still stands though: If your content is unique and difficult to easily replicate by Google then there is little chance they’ll horn in on your business

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8 comments… add one

  1. Hey Chris –

    I actually have a post in draft form from several months ago… discussing the same thing!

    Do a search for an help with a stopped up drain – you will get listings of local plumbers, along with reviews of their business (Wonder how Angies list feels) and several other key things that USED to be on websites.

    Google (And others) takes ALL the info we freely provide, and uses it to build tools that used to be handled on websites.

    Way of the world I guess…

    1. Yah I heard of them doing that for review websites, but I didn’t see them outright building the content for search queries and serving that up directly.

      Just another way they’re leveraging their power for more profit (not that I fault them for wanting to make money or anything…)

  2. Google is not in the Mortgage business anymore than they are in the “Slipper” business. http://www.google.com/products?q=slippers&aq=f
    They might be getting into comparison shopping more and more, but comparing different mortgage listings is no different than putting eCom sites side by side with prices on the same products. Very far from the Mortgage business.

    1. Hey Brent,

      They’re selling the leads and making money while doing it so how is that not in the mortgage business? Perhaps I could say they are making money off the mortgage business and it may sound different? (I think they’re the same thing).

      In either case, turns out they started doing this back in Oct 09 I just missed it.

  3. Google is no doubt expanding on anything they can get their hands on.
    .-= paul | entertainment tonight´s last blog ..Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 3 3rd Nomination Night =-.

  4. Thank you for blogging about internet marketing. I might incorporate this into my next work. Thanks once again!

  5. there are mortgage calculators online that are free but i wonder if they are up to date “”~

  6. Google is expanding, I’m not amazed. The company Google has extraordinarly huge quantities of money, they can afford expanding in almost every domain like they are doing. In fact, Google controls the internet, you need something ? – you ask Google for it, so if you ask Google for something, they will give you the results they want, so if you will search mortgage, they will give you their mortgage calculator. With every domain Google gets in, Google earns lots of money and reinvest it in another domain, and earn again from that domain, and reinvest in other domain, and re-earn and so on. That’s the mathematic win Google applies. Thanks for sharing the news about mortgage and Google. Best regards, Maria.


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