Originally announced via an email directed to all partners, Google has confirmed that Google Compare began shutting down on 23 February, and will be completely removed from both the US and UK search engines on 23 March.
The lead generation program was used for comparing credit cards, car insurance, travel insurance and more, and only recently underwent a rebuild in an attempt to increase usage and profitability.
Google said in its email:
Despite people turning to Google for financial services information, the Google Compare service itself hasn’t driven the success we hoped for. We greatly appreciate your partnership and understand that this decision will be disappointing to some. But after a lot of careful consideration, we’ve decided that focusing more intently on AdWords and future innovations will enable us to provide fresh, comprehensive answers to Google users, and to provide our financial services partners with the best return on investment.
A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that the service didn’t perform as well as the search engine had hoped, and that it had not generated enough revenue to justify its usage in the ad space.
Though the service faced some controversy in the UK, when the Financial Conduct Authority suggested that Google was unfairly competing through taking the top position in the SERPs, Google stated that these concerns had no impact on the decision to shut the service down.
Google has announced that employees working on the service will be reallocated new positions within the company.