by Peter Jacobs
Google announced yesterday that it had acquired beatthatquote the price comparison site for loans, mortgages and all things financial and then bounced it out of the search results.
The announcement that beat that quote had indeed been bought by Google for £37.7m was news in itself because this looked like a clear indication of moving further into the price comparison arena for financial related products themselves. Google already has pricing adverts if you search for “credit cards” so commentators suggested this would just be another step in this direction.
Other search engine optimisation experts outed beat that quote from some of their shadey looking link buying practices and suggested yesterday that this google property now did not adhere to its own strict guidelines.
Fast forward on less than 24 hours and we see that the site is almost completely gone from the search rankings altogether. If you search for the brand name “beat that quote” their own site is not there. They are also not ranking for any of the terms they were yesterday. Normally when such penalties are made like this they are “hand edits” rather than automated algorithm changes but generally sites that take this penalty continue to rank for their brand. Not today.
This looks like a clear indication perhaps for the other price comparison sites in that Google is after them. After all, they couldn’t ban one of the leading comparison websites when their own property was ranking high when using the same tactics. Could they ?! The good thing for this site though for the longer term is all the links they are picking up not just from the sale but now from this ban. Surely if it were a pure algorithm change they would come out of this penalty fairly quickly because of all the new “non keyword” links they are now picking up across the globe.
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