According to this blog GoCompare.com has suffered a big penalty in Google. The site is still being indexed but doesn’t rank for it’s own name or title tag anymore although it does rank highly for it’s url which is a characteristic I’ve seen in a lot of penalised domains.
As we reported a few weeks back GoCompare used to rank number 1 for the term car insurance, an industry that has a lot of competition and where sites have traditionally bought a lot of links.
I can’t find any evidence of GoCompare.com selling links so in my opinion they must have been hit with a penalty (assuming this is a penalty rather than a glitch) for link buying rather than selling. Of course Google has fluctuations every day so this might resolve itself in due course.
Buying links is against Google’s guidelines but it is a practice carried out by a lot of major websites in the UK.
If Google is willing to hit a brand this big (they have TV adverts in the UK continually) then there are going to be some massive changes coming up.