GoCompare Banned from Google

Go Compare and the GoCompare.com site have been banned from Google. As we reported on the 2nd January, GoCompare were appearing in the top spot for car insurance. It looks like Google may have found out about their Paid Links.

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GoCompare suffers big Google penalty?
January 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm
Mr. Greyhat » Blog Archive » GoCompare gets hit by a huge google penalty.
January 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm
Gocompare.com get’s its ass handed to it by the Big “G” | Hi-Tech-It Technology Blog
February 24, 2008 at 3:43 am
What happened to GoCompare? – Their Banning, Penalty & Re-inclusion into Google
April 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm
GoCompare link spamming again | Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation Blog UK
August 17, 2009 at 9:28 am


Rob Lewis January 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Very interesting. How can you tell they’ve been banned? A search for “gocompare” doesn’t show anything, at least not on page 1, but with “gocompare.com” they do show up.

Are you referring to searches for “car insurance” and the like?



ABC January 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Looks like GC are back in Google – now ranking 51st for “Car Insurance”

seoguru January 29, 2008 at 12:49 pm

It looks like a +50 penalty guys – they are 52nd for ‘go compare’ (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=go+compare&hl=en&start=50&sa=N) and 51st for ‘car insurance’ (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=car+insurance&hl=en&start=50&sa=N)

ABC January 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Yes agree, they seem to have incurred a -50 penalty from Google.

Harry January 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Many positions are now in the 40′s, so I doubt its a 50 point penalty.

Will have to let time pass before we work out what happens here.

I can’t see how these guys get penalised when other dont, if it is it will political rather than the fact there worse than anyone else.

An insurance seo guy January 29, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Well I be blowed, did Google act on the payperpost and Watching America links?

Strange now that confused.com are #1 but with a description – “We are sorry but confused.com is currently unavailable Please try again later.” – clicking on the link takes you through to confused.com as normal. Google seem to be playing around with the rankings at the moment.

ABC January 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Appears the search results for “car insurance” has been fluctuating alot.

An insurance seo guy – as you say confused @ #1 and GC #65 now.

The Confused page was indexed by Google when the site was unavailable hence the description.

Creased January 29, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I don’t think confused.com will be too happy at their result! Can anyone else see the error message in their listing? Big G must have recached yesterday during some down-time. I don’t reckon it’ll last long. Nice for them to be number 1 again tho.

Creased January 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

P.S. Interestingly Confused.com’s listing is fine for ‘cheap car insurance’ and ‘compare car insurance’ results.

clive January 30, 2008 at 10:47 am

The question is how long will it take them to recover, come on Kevin it only took MSM 10 days http://www.insiders-view.co.uk/moneysupermarket-banned-by-google-for-spamming/0045

That’s ya target…

Ernest January 30, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Indeed – Kevin, not much noise coming from yourself on this one? What’s the situation?

George January 30, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I’ve seen them return to #1 for a few DCs. Can anyone confirm?

ABC January 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Still seeing them ranking in 65th.

George January 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm

They appeared for [car insurance] under Google.co.uk and pages from the UK

Ernest January 30, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Definitely mid-update. Problem is, is that punishment enough for spamming the Google index with paid for links? Compare the amount of money to be made, against the cost and 24 hours downtime once in a while. Me thinks that’s not a strong enough deterrent.

Don@AffiliateWatcher February 1, 2008 at 8:37 pm

GoCompare hasn’t been banned from Google SERPS, penalized yes, but not banned. A big difference between banned and penalized.

TrafficPower.com…now there’s a site that’s been banned.

Julian February 8, 2008 at 12:57 am

Greenlight Marketing’s link network – has it been banned? http://www.notsonatural.co.uk

catts mutts February 8, 2008 at 2:56 am

for the best car insurance results, what should the top 20 look like then?

i’d say,

1-3 conf / msm / GC

4-10 DL / Churchill / morethan / elephant / tesco / esure / admiral

11-13 CTM / Tesco Comp / U-swi

14+ budget / swiftcover / NU / Endsleigh / kwikfit

Ernest February 8, 2008 at 10:38 pm

@catts mutts

Unfortunately you can’t strictly put a top ten together which is best for everyone or even a large proportion of searchers. You don’t know what risk profile they are, what is important for their cover and so on.

Putting a top ten together would be pre-empting the work which a comparison site does but they have the benefit of doing it for each individual customer based on 30+ entries and not one phrase.

More to the point, of the 14 or so brands you’ve mentioned there, it only comes to about 6 or so companies.

Ernest February 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Just as notable as their removal/penalty from Google’s search listings, GoCompare are still not back in there – 2 weeks on.

They only appear to be showing up on a ‘web’ search for their domain. They’re not there for the ‘UK’ search, that’s even before they think about hitting the term ‘car insurance’ again.

Robin Goad February 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Here is the Hitwise analysis of this story – the site certainly suffered after it was ‘blacklisted’:


catts mutts February 21, 2008 at 12:38 am

ernest, i disagree and don’t quite understand your logic. maybe you can’t put a top 10 together for everyone, but you can get one that suits the masses.

people who search for car insurance are either looking for a way of getting a quote or are looking for their own insurance company for whatever reason. that’s why i think a top ten for car insurance should be made up of a mix of the best companies providing quotes (comparison sites) and the insurers with the largest policy bases.

the fact that lots of brands are underwritten by the same insurer is neither here nor there for joe public. you can’t tell me that most people with a direct line policy know or care that uki also insure those with churchill etc.

Ernest February 21, 2008 at 11:52 am

@Cutts Matt

Are you coming from an SEO background or an insurance background? I suspect SEO.

It’s simply not possible to put the top ten insurance companies in a list and expect that to cover nearly everyone in the market. The risks and variations for each insurance product are so diverse and the premiums vary so much.

With one particular broker I’ve tested recently, simply changing the person’s industry field made a difference to the quote of anything up to £70. Multiply that by 30 more variables (cross reference for differentiation across multiple providers) and you’ve got a picture of how complex it can get …hence the multi-million sector of aggregators. If a top ten list actually worked, they wouldn’t be in business!!

Add brand loyalty to that (the fact that customers actually seek out 3-4 names as an “authority” before they decide) and you’re left with a fairly narrow service.

Do you see where I’m coming from?

Tech Blog February 24, 2008 at 3:36 am

hahaha twats. isnt that site owned by some major car insurer anyway, yet it acts like it’s impartial, hahah nice Google!

Aggie February 25, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Get your facts straight. Gocompare are not owned by a major car insurer. They have historically had a marketing loan from esure, which reportedly will only turn into shares if it cannot be repaid.

Ernest March 19, 2008 at 7:22 pm

@Tech Blog, you’ve been absolutely owned by Aggie?!!! Strictly speaking you’re right of course Aggie. But a £30m bankrolling is a hell of a reliance on anyone! Still it gives HBOS a hand on another part of the market.

Where do you hail from Aggie? Your post came across with a fair amount of passion or frustration. Are you affiliated to either GC or Esure? No noises coming from GC for the last few months – used to get a decent contribution from Hayley and Kevin :(

George March 23, 2008 at 11:52 am

Has anyone noticed an influx of links to the GoCompare powerseeker page? I think there’s something fishy going on here:

George March 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Tons more links on their way to the GoCompare powerseeker page:

Andy March 27, 2008 at 1:47 am

Does it take just one proven report to google to get blacklisted (-50 results)?

George March 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

Defintely not. There’s a fairly complicated algorithm at work based on many factors including IMHO:
- History of spam reports
- Whether the site has been flagged as suspicious
- How many other reports have been filed against that domain
- Whether the site contains adult content
- [Insert variable here]

Only then is a site reviewed for the Big G Handjob. This can take between 2 days and infinity. Unless you can have a word with Matt or GoogleGuy.

Scott July 20, 2008 at 1:05 am

Stumbled across this blog and thought I’d check google.co.uk results and see GoCompare on page 2. A pretty big climb I suppose since last post on this subject (March)

What’s this about a ban?

And this post http://www.insiders-view.co.uk/moneysupermarket-banned-by-google-for-spamming/0045


Me no see no bans on either of these, or moneyexpert, asdafinance, etc. ad nauseum!

Here’s my “idiotic” guess, people complain to G, G manually checks the site(s), G thinks “hey, they seem reputable” (as opposed to the cheap/spammy looking sites of the wannabes) and lets them slide.

David December 7, 2008 at 10:34 pm

A lot of these price comparison sites have little real content on them and are up there via links, it does not surprise me that most are paid for!

Louis Jones April 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm

GoCompare Penalised by Google… Again

I haven’t had much of a look into this but I dont think this will be a full 3 month penalization like back in Jan. Will dig a bit deeper and have a good look at the backlink history and review in detail. Yet I think it is due to incorrect transition of the new site.

Roy Bohan October 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Go compare on page two google for car insurance?

George October 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Gocompare are indeed now on page 2. But this article was written on Jan 29th so it’s probably acceptable it’s a little out of date.
Perhaps we should close comments on old posts?

Tommy February 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I wish someone would shoot that make believe opera singer who murders that go compare advert, he puts me and others right off the company.

Consumerist October 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I agree

Compare Payday loans today November 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm

You have shared the most hidden information that was completely unknown for us. It’ quite surprising that GoCompare were appearing in the top spot for car insurance.

dazza July 11, 2011 at 8:13 am

great site thanks for the info

acting auditions November 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Its crazy how a big company like GC and get droped like this. However as they have loads of money, they always seemt to come top of the page for car insurance in the ‘ad words section. Its quite funny when you think about it, Google drops them, then they paid Google loads of money in ad words.

Alex Jones December 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

They have an obnoxious TV ad with a fat dude braking your eardrums,
what a lousy ad!!! Good Google make them disappear!!!

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