It looks like insurance aggregator Gocompare.com may once again have been hit with a Google penalty, as it is currently not ranking on the search engine’s organic results for its own brand name.

A search on Google UK for ‘Gocompare‘ returns only third party sites on the first page, and you have to go all the way down to page six of the search engine to find the official site.

This is similar for a search on ‘car insurance‘, the term it was penalised on last year; you have to go all the way to page five to find the site’s entry for this phrase.

I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere, but this carries all the signs of a Google penalty. Last January, both Gocompare and Kwik Fit were penalised for boosting their rankings with paid links and reviews.

Charity search engine Everyclick.com also suffered from a Google penalty at the end of last year, possibly for duplicate content, though the cause was never clear.

If this is a penalty, the cause is unclear so far, though there is speculation on this blog that Gocompare was attempting some link building tactics that may have contravened Google’s rules.

Whatever the reasons, the consequences of such a sudden drop in the rankings in such a competitive market as insurance are serious, as Gocompare will know from last year. It’s Google traffic dropped by 87% after the penalty, to the benefit of rival Confused.com.