I wrote about the idea of Google offering a direct to consumer mortgage comparison service over a year ago. Loads of media coverage on this.
9 years ago Microsoft beat similar drums, word around the industry was that Microsoft was going to automate the lending process putting all of us out of business. Ballmer got on a big call to announce it, and then, well, nothing. The effort bombed.
Actually, something good happened for me. Our team at American Home Mortgage/MortgageSelect circa 2001 was able to score a long term deal for the traffic that continued to flow from the abandoned/failed HomeAdvisor effort. Even more valuable than the traffic deal to us was the opportunity for all to learn more about the best approach at the time to internet loan originations.
Certainly there will be an entirely different future ahead for Google's service, but the focus should still be on what can be gained and learned. Zillow, now Google's efforts will improve the vertical. 9 years later, it is still only very small fraction of consumers who actually use the companies they find on the internet, to fund their home loans.