Posted by: housingdabble | October 30, 2009

Google Property Search Developments

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the moves made by Google in the American and Australian property markets regarding their Google Property Search. If you aren’t aware of what Google are up to then you can read more here.

It seems pretty likely that at some point soon they are going to launch this in the UK and my view is that it will have a significant impact in the online property marketing arena. A few things that I am looking at as indicators for how soon it will come to the UK are:- Google

a) The level of success in the pilot countries

b) How hard they are working to develop the offering

c) Google’s level of interest/profile in the UK property sector 

So to quickly analyse :-

In terms of success in the pilot countries, so far there are few reports on the success or otherwise of the project. Some say that it is has had little impact on the major portals, largely because they differentiate themselves by offering a richer experience than just search and are also well established. However, Google has been referring around 80% of the Realtor.com traffic, so by enabling search within their own offering the threat is an obvious one.

Time spent on the offering is an area which has seen a significant development this week. They have released information on a few new features, the most interesting one being that property listings can now be viewed on any Google Map by clicking on the “more” button, a position previously reserved for photos and other overlays. The significance of this is that previously a viewer had to specifically start the search via property search criteria, whereas now they can see the feature on any map search – making it much more accessible.

google-real-estate

In terms of their level of interest in the UK market, there are two developments that have caught my eye. The first was when they were announced as sponsoring the Annual What House? awards and Ben Wood, head of property at Google, said: “Google look forward to further strengthening our relationships with the UK house building industry.” They have also been announced as speakers at the Estate Agency of the Year Awards where Ben Wood will be speaking about how they can help estate agents.

So combining these three aspects and remembering that when Google decide to enter a market, they normally dominate it… worldwide, I would not be at all surprised to see Google property search launching in the UK in the not too distant future.


Responses

  1. Google to provide search for small businesses Google is to make its custom search engine available formall businesses without ads. Commercial Property

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by housingdabble: Google Property Search is on it’s way to the UK – http://bit.ly/30h7xu

  3. Very insightful – I’m inclined to agree. It would be a much needed shake-up given RM’s dominance. I look forward to hearing what is said by their head of property tomorrow.

    • me too!

      Come and have a chat if you get the chance

      Ben


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