When it comes to collecting and organizing information, Google is well on its way to establishing its hegemony through the registration of 6 billion daily unique searches and indexing of over 50 billion web pages (2013). What remains to be seen is how this information is being made universally accessible and at what price. One of the industries that has particular advantage of access to the world’s information is insurance.
So far, Google has managed to capitalize on this information through keyword advertising through AdWords. A glance at the keyword advertising data shows that insurance and other financial services are the top spenders, with a combined annual spend of $4 billion according to Google AdWords and Wordstream statistics. The absolute greatest vertical in Google’s AdWords revenue is auto insurance, where State Farm, Progressive and GEICO alone accounted for $110 million in keyword advertising revenue.
In a recently published report in cooperation with BCG India, Google concludes that insurance is among the top five product categories in which the web is the dominant purchasing channel in addition to travel, digital media, ticket purchases and books magazines. Common for the first four product categories is that the traditional sales channels have long been redundant as a result of digital disruption. The same report predicts that 75 percent of all insurance purchases will be online by 2020. If these predictions are accurate, it will give Google a dominant position as the primary sales channel for the insurance industry.