Google me! The day the banks competition disappeared?

Something strange happened today, I was browsing the web and seeing who was putting up new blogs and financial news when I noticed the pages looked kind of bare? What was missing?

It took a few moments but then it hit me, pay per click advertising was missing, but not from everything, so certain categories like books or bicycles still had pay per click ads on them, a search for ‘mortgage brokers’ was the same, lots of ads. However, when searches were done for bank names such as AIB, BOI, PTsb, NIB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland or others produced no ads? How is this? I know firms that intentionally pay to show up when people search for competing companies (we just rely on organic searching for the most part)

So what happened? Frankly, I don’t know, but here is a look at what is showing up. My first suspicion is that maybe Google have a new form of advertising, the ‘anti-ad’ where you can pay to ensure nobody else shows up, but then I figured they might just be doing some house keeping, or that pay per click is not popular, in any case I’m as clueless now as I was when I first realised this.

aib google search

AIB only showed up their sites, the one ad to the side is their own one advertising car finance

anglo google search

Anglo was the same, everything was from their site, the ad to the side was their own sponsored ad which is for Term Deposits.

bank of scotland google

Bank of Scotland – no other sites and no ads.

bank of ireland boi google

Bank of Ireland are the same.

ebs google results

EBS don’t have anything either.

halifax google result

Halifax had a map as the first result (because its a place) and the rest was about the bank, but again, no ads……

IIB google results

IIB (soon to be KBC) had nothing other than the natural search answers, Institue of Insurance Brokers has the same acronym ‘IIB’ so they were there, but otherwise no ads to be found.

NIB google search

NIB had nothing other than an organic result for Black Sabbath, but again, no ads.

ptsb google

PTsb have no ads…. the pattern is showing loud and clear at this stage!

ulsterbank google search

And lastly is Ulsterbank, no ads showing anywhere.

So what happened? Why are there no pay per click ads showing up? They were there before? And I know of companies that specifically target competitor names (although not in breach of google rules by pretending to be them), for example – google ‘mortgage brokers’ and our firm is the first organic result, but our competitors love us so much that they intentionally show up at the same place. So is this a symptom of the credit crunch? Is it  a change in the google way of doing things?

I don’t know that this means anything in particular but it sure is kind of weird.

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