Google to Clone LendingTree?

Does brand matter? That seems to be a question Google wants to challenge. Eric Schmidt offers quotes like “brands are how you sort out the cesspool”. Google’s search algorithms this year have put more weight on domain authority (which is often associated with brands).

But while Google is telling everyone else to build a brand, Google might be looking to compete head on with brands in many large verticals. According to the NYT:

“LendingTree recently learned that Google imminently plans to launch a loan aggregation service in late August or early September of this year that would compete with LendingTree,” the complaint says. “Lending Tree has also learned that Mortech intends to make its pricing engine services available for use with Google’s new service and will send information related to mortgage loan offers to be displayed to consumer on Google’s Web site.”

The complaint further says that LendingTree has obtained screen shots of a trial version of Google’s service that further indicate that it plans to “provide customers with conditional loan offers in addition to lenders’ contact information.”

Google made a similar test in the UK last year. This is just more reason to develop longtail content and try to build distribution channels outside of search. It seems if you are too successful with search Google may do some self-serving to compete directly against you.

More: continued here

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