UK Car Insurance: Go Compare holds its lead in Google advertising listings

Go Compare has held on to its lead in Google advertising listings for car insurance despite Google's share of search visibility for car insurance in Paid Media having increased on the previous quarter, and rival comparison sites having likewise grown their share of voice, reveals the latest research from Greenlight.

The agency's ' Insurance Sector Report - Issue 16', uncovers the most popular search terms consumers used when they looked online for home, travel and car insurance in January. League tables chart the most visible sites in Natural Search and Paid Media for insurance overall and by subsector.

According to Greenlight, there were a total of 1.1 million searches for insurance-related products down on October's 1.8 million.

Searches pertaining to car insurance were the most popular and accounted for 64% (754,151) of all insurance-related searches.

The search term 'car insurance' was queried 368,000 times, accounting for 31% of all searches.

Competition in the car insurance space hots up as comparison sites battle to be the most visible, online

Greenlight's car insurance league table ranking the twenty most visible advertisers in Paid Media, shows leading comparison sites aggressively battled to grow their share of voice in January. There were casualties too.

Google, which launched its car insurance comparison service just five months ago, was the fourth most visible advertiser, attaining an 89% share of voice an increase from 75% the previous quarter, when it sat in eighth place.

However, the search giant was not alone in this regard. Insurance aggregator GoCompare, which reportedly might be up for grabs and could potentially be snapped up by one of other rivals including Google, held on to its lead in Paid Media, achieving a 95% share of visibility, up from 93% in October.

MoneySupermarket, which the previous quarter ranked in eleventh place, grew its share of voice in Paid Media dramatically - from 58% to 91%. This placed it firmly in second place, behind Go Compare.

Compare the Market followed in third place, its share of visibility increasing from 81% in October to 90% in January.

These moves came at the expense of some leading insurance players for example Sheila's Wheels. In October, it was the second most visible car insurance advertiser in Paid Media, attaining a 91% share of visibility. In January however, it had dropped eighteen places.

Some might speculate that Google's entry into car insurance comparison in the UK has been one cause for this flurry of activity.  However, the EU gender ruling which came into effect late December 2012, could, in part, have played a role. It required providers to make changes to pricing of car insurance policies and to introduce gender-neutral rates. As consumers might now be less inclined to auto-renew and instead go looking online for the best deals, providers - comparison sites in particular, will very likely be vying for visibility. Being seen every which way, online, is crucial to winning their clicks.

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