Google yesterday launched comparison ads in the UK for credit card related searches. This follows the first UK test in 2008 for secured loans and in 2009 for US mortgage queries.
Comparison ads are aimed to give the user results that apply personally to them. If a user wants a credit card, with a 0% balance transfer and has a good credit rating, they can see and directly compare advertisers who meet those requirements. These ads are sold to advertisers on a cost per lead basis (the first indication that Google could be moving to a CPA model) rather than the usual cost per click. When a user clicks to contact the credit card provider, they enter their details into a contact form. The advertiser receives indication that a lead has been generated, but at this point receives no personal information. Google provide the bridge between Google and the customer, then the customer can decide whether to give their information.
This model to protect customers personal information has it’s limitations. It is not then simply a case of the advertiser being able to contact the customer, if they are out for example, the advertiser then still has no more information regarding this lead and cannot easily follow up with a conversion.
Are Google moving to a CPA model? This certainly fills that void for finance advertisers if this feature were to be launched full time in the UK. However if the usual teething problems of running a beta test are occurring, this will not be a move made in the near future.
Image from the Google article which you visit by clicking here.