Appraising Google’s Mortgage Comparison Tool

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Appraising Google’s Mortgage Comparison Tool

In late November of this year, Google launched Google Compare for Mortgages, an extension of its comparison tool for auto insurance launched earlier this year. Google Compare is actually a licensed mortgage broker in the state of California, but its service is entirely online. The service offers what Google calls a “real-time, apples-to-apples” comparison of rate quotes from lenders. Here’s how your CU can stay ahead of the curve by preparing for the expansion of Compare before it hits your state.

Paid Advertising: Google doesn’t launch a handy-dandy mortgage comparison tool for consumers without a profitable agenda. According to the tech giant, “Participation in Google Compare is based on a flexible cost-per-lead (CPL) model, however payment isn’t a factor in ranking or eligibility.” Somehow, “cost-per-lead” and “payment isn’t a factor” don’t seem to mesh quite right. Since Google will benefit financially off any action taken through Compare, it’s hard not to envision a system of paying for position. That said, there are other ways to get involved in the service.

Zillow & LendingTree: Google didn’t build a massive library of loan rates and quotes overnight. Or technically it did, but certainly not alone. To power its mortgage comparison tool, Google partnered with the mortgage search/comparison engines Zillow and LendingTree. These companies are the brokers of our age, and credit unions can benefit from supplying up-to-date information on rates and quotes to these online services. If Google Compare gains in popularity, showing up on Zillow will mean your CU has a spot in Google’s engine.

SEO Trickery: If Google Compare for Mortgages grows in popularity, it could create an SEO gold mine. By including “mortgage comparison” into your AdWords SEO, Google searches for Compare may end up displaying your ads. As our friends at The Financial Brand have pointed out, financial marketers are already doing this with “mortgage calculator” to take advantage of Google’s mortgage calculator service.

Credit unions should not ignore the potential of Google Compare. Consider the company’s talent for becoming a mainstream facet of daily life: In 2012, 1% of schools in the U.S. utilized Chromebooks in the classroom-- in 2015, that number is 53%, slashing Apple’s market share from 52% to 24%. It even goes back to when the service was launched in 1997, when the dominant search engine was the now-defunct AltaVista. Google is a powerful entity, and an even more powerful ally.

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