LendingTree Will Buy Google Compare Clicks

  • JJ Hornblass
  • March 8, 2016
  • 0

Screenshot google compareSEATTLE — LendingTree will “buy the clicks” previously pointing to Google Compare, now that the search giant is shuttering the service, a top LendingTree official said.

Nikul Patel, the chief operating officer and chief product officer of LendingTree, said last week at Bank Innovation 2016 here that the purchasing of the search traffic — presumably after Google Compare finalizes its closure on March 23 — will mitigate the loss LendingTree is suffering from Compare’s failure by resulting in more money-generating activities at www.lendingtree.com.

Surprisingly, LendingTree provided the technology behind Google Compare, Patel revealed. He did not say why Google, a programming powerhouse, chose to not develop Compare on its own. LendingTree was providing the technology as an element of a partnership agreement with Google.

“If they succeeded, we would have benefited,” he said. “Now we are buying the clicks from them, so [Compare’s failure] doesn’t have effect on us.”

Last month, Google, in explaining the decision to shut the service, announced that “the Google Compare service itself hasn’t driven the success we hoped for.” However, Patel said that despite Google Compare’s demise, financial services is on a steady march to eliminate intermediaries.

“Fintech is 10 to 12 years behind travel industry, and there are very few travel agents left,” he said.

LendingTree [NASDAQ: TREE] has topped $1 billion in market capitalization.



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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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