Why Comparison Sites Dominate the SERP (Search Engine Result Page )

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Price comparison websites remain dominant in the UK search rankings for financial products, thus resulting in other ‘traditional’ brands fighting back. According to the StickyEyes Consumer Finance Intelligence report, comparison sites have a 62% share of paid and organic visibility. A hefty 21% decline from last year’s statistics.

Factors influencing the comparison sites domination

It is reported that comparison sites made strides while the traditional financial companies were seemingly beating a dead horse. Searchlabotary.com identified 3 major factors for this dominance.

  1. Satisfaction of the high intent volume searches

Comparison sites succeed in view of the fact that their results are goal-oriented. For example, when a user searches for ‘storage comparison in Bournemouth’, this user is not looking for a single supplier but rather to compare storage across the entire market to get the best price. Comparison sites are specially designed to meet this intent. Google picks up the intent thus resulting in the first page returning results with comparison sites like whatstorage? or Sparefoot. However, when the intent is less clear such as a user searching for ‘storage’, it is still assumed that the user wants to see prices. The SERP will return a mixture of results.

Nevertheless, comparison sites will still dominate on the first page, suggesting they are the best at satisfying the searcher’s intent, thus being rewarded by Google with a strong presence in the search results.

     2. Investing in campaigns to build brand awareness and trust

Investing heavily in offline campaigns can build brand awareness and establish trust in target markets. According to Google Keyword Planner, between January 2016 and January 2017, Compare the Market gained 1,500 000 hits, GoCompare taking the second place with 1,000,000 hits and British Gas on third place with 823,000 hits. These sites achieved this growth by investing in campaigns thus building brand awareness and trust.

     2. Building high-quality backing profiles over time

Building a powerful external link profile is also beneficial. According to the Search Laboratory website, British Gas- most searched for UK energy supplier with over 200 years of history and brand awareness- has been out-linked by uSwitch, a comparison site which was founded in 2000.

Comparison sites have come to dominate because:

  1. The common denominator in the success of comparison sites is the ability to satisfy the user’s intent.
  2. They are strong brands with a lot of search demand and Google wants to recognize and
    reward that.
  3. They have very powerful external link profiles powering their rankings.

 


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