SEATTLE — 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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