Website owners often complain that Google is pushing organic results down the search results pages by putting its own services at the top. Google's response is something like, "You're the corkscrew, and we're the Swiss Army Knife."
One of our readers, by the way, had this to say in response, "Got it backwards google... knowledge graph is totally the corkscrew... fits awkwardly and you only need it once every 3 years or so and half the time it breaks the cork."
But now Google is even going so far as to put its own services in ads that appear above websites on searches for those sites' actual brand names. That's just messed up. Here you can see this in action with Google's car insurance comparison tool appearing as "sponsored" over MoneySuperMarket. As illustrated in this Search Engine Roundtable article, this occurs on a an actual search for "moneysupermarket".
— Ahmed Khalifa (@ahmed_khalifa) March 12, 2014
Google is also doing this on results for confused.com.
Google launched the car insurance comparison tool in the UK in 2012, and then in France last year. Clearly they're going above and beyond just trying to help users compare quotes, and into directly competing with specific brands that users are actually looking for.
Remember when Google was a search engine?
Image via Twitter