Google buys website then bans it from its search results

Posted on March 12, 2011

 

Search giant Google has splashed the cash yet again, this time for UK price comparison BeatThatQuote.com. However, within a day of the purchase, it penalised the site for violating its rules about linking.

BeatThatQuote.com dukes it out with rivals Confused.com and Comparethemarket.com for a slice of the price comparison market for financial products. As a sideline, it sells its tech to other websites wishing to offer a similar service.

The site’s Managing Director, John Paleomylites, welcomed Google’s £37.7m bid, as it will

“offer more transparency and better pricing information than existing online offerings”.

He added:

“We are confident that by combining BeatThatQuote.com’s expertise in UK financial products with Google’s technology, we’ll accelerate innovation in this field, benefiting consumers and the companies offering these products.”

Search engine optimisation experts will be keeping a close eye on developments as this move will allow Google to extend its influence in ‘vertical’ search markets; recently, it has expanded its search results into shopping results and price comparisons. European Union anti-trust investigators are currently looking into a complaint made by another UK based price comparison service, Foundem, that the search engine is

“exploiting its dominance of search in ways that stifle innovation, suppress competition, and erode consumer choice”

In a move that will amuse everyone working in SEO, Google proceeded to punish the site for breaking its rule regarding linking. It found that it had entered into an agreement with charity Oxfam to concoct CompareForGood.com, which featured many links to BeatThatQuote. Many of the links consisted of 301 directs, and recently Google has come down hard on affiliate sites using them in this manner.

BeatThatQuote will be omitted from Google’s search results for thirty days. However, by the time the ban is up, it is anticipated to rise through the rankings following its purchase.

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