Thursday, October 29, 2009

Google Backed Mortgages

LeadCritic posted earlier today on the Comparison Ads announcement.

What I find interesting is this quote from the Google post:
AdWords uses a host of targeting and relevancy signals to determine the best ads for each query. However, sometimes a user's query doesn't provide enough information for us to confidently predict what they want. Take, for example, users who search for "mortgage." Do they want a new home loan or a refinance? Do they want a fixed rate or an adjustable rate loan? Comparison Ads improves the ad experience on by letting users specify exactly what they are looking for and helping them quickly compare relevant offers side by side.

Conventional wisdom has it that product-generic "head" keyword searches for terms like "mortgages", or "DVD Players" for that matter, indicate individuals who are early (if at all) in a buying process.

Conventional wisdom also has it that product specific "tail" keyword searches for terms like "30 year fixed rate refinance Texas", or "Samsung bdp-3600 dvd player" indicates a buyer who is more likely ready to transact. Thus, these keywords are usually more costly on a per-click basis within Adwords.

Search engine users Search, Find, Learn and then Search more specifically as they become more educated and intentional.

Comparison Ads will attempt to earn Google better $ than it currently does on these low-value generic keywords.

Google, with its own gigantic brand, and some new attention to privacy concerns, will launch a Product Ads offer on the Mortgage vertical which is no more sophisticated than a rate table. Will this accelerate this search, find, learn, search process, help users and earn Google more money than it has been?

ie. Can Google do it in a way that is materially better than what their Adwords advertisers are already doing?

Is it worth the hassle of state licensing, of policing lenders who offer unrealistic "bait and switch" pricing?

And the real question: Is it better to get a response phone call from a loan officer at 10:34pm (as I just did -- despite my note to "Call Tomorrow") when you know that Google was responsible for this call, and not LendingTree, LowerMyBills, BankRate and the rest of the Gang?

Yes, its probably better.

If so, perhaps they will soon stand behind the DVD Player I want to order online, the online college classes I want to sign-up for, the home security system I'm shopping for. I'd rather buy from Google. (ditto Bing, Ask...)

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