Google announced they are rolling out a mortgage information search product. The new service will show in mobile searches.
Google Mortgage Information Search for Mobile
Google’s new service is a collaboration with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The CFPB is a United States government organization that regulates the consumer financial products and services.
The new mortgage search tool is available in mobile.
According to the CFPBs About Us page:
“We protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law. We arm people
with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions.”
Google is partnering with the U.S. government to provide information that is meant to benefit consumers.
Google Mortgage Information Search
The tool has a tabbed interface. It currently only shows in mobile devices. General mortgage related keywords trigger the new mortgage search engine results page.
The new search feature can be seen as a way to funnel users from high level mortgage related search queries to more specific information, but not necessarily to more specific websites.
Screenshot of Tabbed Interface of Google’s Mortgage Information Search
Four Ads Above Mortgage Tools
In a search for mortgage, I had to scroll past four ads before I could get to Google’s new mortgage tools.
Screenshot of a Google search ad above the mortgage information tools:
The search results are beneath Google’s mortgage search tools. But you have to scroll past multiple mortgage related Google features before you get to two search results that in my case was from the same domain.
Then that’s followed by FAQs that have no links to the website of origin.
Did Google “Borrow” Content Without Attribution?
One of the FAQs has content that appears to have been sourced from BankRate.com. But there is no link to the source of the information or any other attribution.
It’s possible that BankRate is not the original source of that content. But a search for a snippet of that phrase shows BankRate as the likeliest source.
One Section from Google’s Mortgage Search FAQ:
Screenshot from a BankRate.com Page:
The content from Google’s FAQ exactly matches the content on BankRate.com. But there is no link or attribution from Google to BankRate.com.
The page is visible here.
How does Google’s Mortgage Search Work?
Google’s new mortgage information search provides multiple choices for finding more information about mortgages.
The information is designed to funnel consumers from every point of their mortgage research journey.
According to Google:
“For those looking for insights on how to get started or preparing to close, we collaborated with the CFPB to surface the key steps
involved in getting a mortgage under the process section. No matter what phase of the journey you’re on, you can select a step to find a
list of relevant documents and helpful tips from the CFPB. “
What is Google Mortgage Information Search?
The mortgage information search offers the following tools:
- Mortgage calculator
- Mortgage rate tool
- Step by step mortgage tool
- Videos with How-to and 101 level information
Mortgage Calculator Keyword
The mortgage calculator keyword phrase drives traffic to Google’s information search tool.
While Google previously had featured their own calculator, this change may represent a greater disruption in the mortgage calculator search engine results pages (SERPs).
The new mortgage information feature pushes organic listings further down the page.
Mortgage Related Videos
The mortgage related videos seem to be focused on how-to and beginner level information. Those seeking to gain traffic via videos may do well to focus on that kind of video.
Disruption in Mobile Mortgage SERPs
This may cause disruption in the mobile SERPs for mortgage related keywords. This does not currently affect the desktop SERPs.
The disruption appears to be on general high level type keywords.
A search for Mortgage Rates will trigger the tool. A search Mortgage Rates Massachusetts will also trigger the tool.
But more granular searches like Mortgage Rates Northampton Massachusetts or Mortgage Rates Charlotte North Carolina do not trigger Google’s mortgage information search tool.
So it looks like local related and granular keywords will not trigger the tool.
Those seeking to pick up mortgage related traffic may want to consider pivoting to more granular keyword phrases.
What’s Next from Google?
Does this tool signal the future of Google search?
It’s possible that something like this might pop up in other finance and Your Money or Your Life related topics, where a complicated topic needs a more comprehensive approach.
Read Google’s announcement here:
CFPB About Us Page