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Written by rosalind renshaw

Google is experimenting with another foray into the mainstream UK housing market, but this time with the launch of a mortgage comparison website.

This now appears on the very top of the page when you google keywords such as ‘compare mortgages UK’, ‘mortgages UK’ and even just ‘mortgages’.

The site, which bears all the hallmarks of a trial, says it offers ‘fast, simple and clear comparison’ and invites users to say whether they are looking for a purchase mortgage or a remortgage. You then press a ‘compare’ button, without leaving the Google page.

It then switches through to the comparison page, but this currently only lists ‘sponsored’ results’ from a handful of lenders:  Woolwich, ING Direct, Lloyds TSB, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The website, Compare UK Mortgages, follows Google’s acquisition of Beat That Quote, the UK comparison website for mortgages and other financial products, in March for £37.7m.

Analysts said then that Google only bought it to can it, in order to go after the whole industry amid rumours that Google’s IT specialists were working on a mortgage comparison website based on the software used by Beat That Quote.

At the time, Google said that with Beat That Quote’s expertise “and our technology, we will be able to provide new and innovative ways for consumers to find the right financial products and save money”.

Google is still clearly doing its homework and is using its mortgage comparison trial to run a feedback survey, asking users how they have searched for a mortgage before.

Google has a similar mortgage comparison service in the States.

In the UK, however, as agents know, property has not been altogether good news for the internet giant. It tried to launch the ultimate property search feature, using Google Maps.

Despite the fact that it was free to estate agents to use for their listings, unlike Rightmove, it failed to gain any traction and was aborted in February after just seven month – with red faces all round.

Whether the new mortgage comparison site, using the normal Google search rather than mapping, provides a re-entry into the wider housing market, such as For Sale listings, remains to be seen.

Compare mortgage deals | Google.com

Comments

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    I would like to correct my previous post where i forgot to insert "NOT"

    Google are comparing NOT from the whole market - it only lists products that are sponsored. The things you can get away with when you are not regulated by the FSA!

    • 19 July 2011 11:30 AM
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    Google are comparing from the whole market - it only lists products that are sponsored. The things you can get away with when you are not regulated by the FSA!

    • 19 July 2011 11:28 AM
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    Yes Adam,

    poor Joe Public.

    Once the big players remove the competition they can charge what they like.

    • 15 July 2011 13:35 PM
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    We are entering a world of big players - Google, Tesco's & Wetherspoon Pubs. Not much chance for the small guys anymore unless they are offering a personal service at a realistic price.

    • 15 July 2011 13:25 PM
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    was sarcasm Zog

    • 15 July 2011 12:19 PM
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    What next?

    Supermarket delivery comps?
    Get your grocery bill compared, book direct through google.

    They have too much information at their fingertips, this puts them in a position to attack any industry they feel might be worthwhile.

    • 15 July 2011 12:04 PM
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    It may look slick but should Google be replacing businesses that already do this sort of comparison thing - really affecting their USPs - is this not abuse of their position? Hmm...something slightly unnerving about this.

    • 15 July 2011 10:36 AM
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    Yeah, looks really slick.

    • 15 July 2011 09:50 AM
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