There’s always something to howl about

Real Estate Listings on Google Maps – she is no more.

Just a passing announcement that Google today officially ended Real Estate listings on Google Maps and Place Pages for individual property listings as well. For those playing the home game, here is the relevant information.

So what does this mean? Not much in my opinion. The reason Google dropped these ventures is that they simply were not generating traffic to the map searches. So, the corresponding ripple effect now that they are ceasing to exist will be equally small.

My take is that if a tree falls in the forest and it is a really small tree (traffic wise at least), then there won’t be a very loud noise. 😉



11 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Estate Feeds and My REALTY, Tom Hunter. Tom Hunter said: Real Estate Listings on Google Maps – she is no more.: Just a passing announcement that Google today officially … […]

  2. Jeff January 26th, 2011 10:17 pm

    I actually think they are dropping it because they were not making enough revenue from that channel. One of our national Sites put all our rentals on there and it generated a lot of traffic. So I am not sure that the traffic was the issue.

  3. Eric Blackwell January 27th, 2011 1:52 am

    Hey Jeff –

    I should have been more precise. Yes, revenue is the reason. Google tests ways of generating revenue on their site all of the time (as should we all…)and this method came up lacking.

    Bottom line though is that I do not think that their exit from that game will change much.

    Hope things are good in Hawaii. 😉



  4. John Kalinowski January 27th, 2011 12:46 pm

    I wonder if there’s an ulterior motive? I can still imagine Google buying someone like Zillow and creating their own national MLS. I would call it the GLS, or Google Multiple Listing Service! Maybe their negotiations involved agreeing to drop the Google Base product? Things that make you go hmmmmm….

  5. Jeff January 27th, 2011 12:52 pm

    Hi Eric,

    Things are great in Hawaii. You should come out some time 🙂

    I agree it is not a big game changer for the average agent. The big broker may feel the loss a little if they were syndicating their listings properly.

    I think the big winners are Zillow, Trulia and type of sites.

  6. Thomas A B Johnson January 27th, 2011 11:42 pm

    If an agent were to properly Zestifarm his market peeing on the trees, this is a small plus. We all know that the Google algorithm favors the Google in house sites. Removal of Google as a competitor at the long tali end of search might be a plus for the hounds on the ground. How much? I have no idea.

    The idea that Google sees no growth in the real estate sector is sobering and at the same time renews my resolve to play at the long tail end.

  7. Eric Blackwell January 28th, 2011 2:53 am

    @Thomas – I agree with part of what you said. There might be a little increase. I would not however take Google’s change of strategy as an abandonment of the real estate sector at all.

    As Jeff was pretty careful to point out (and I was not), it is a revenue based decision for them, They make millions off of Pay per Click ads in the real estate sector. And I am guessing that they TOTALLY expect that trend to continue.

    What this decision of theirs rtepresents is a business decision IMO based on the bottom line. Were their efforts on map based, REALTOR fed listings based pages worth the effort.

    As Jeff, (I think correctly) pointed out, other national level syndicators and lead / traffic generators stand to gain a little sumthin from this.

    And large brokerages (and at least one franchise real estate site that I can think of) mught stand to pick up a little traffic as well…but the difference is relatively slight.

    My thought at the end of the day it isn’t going to matter a whole lot or be a BIG deal, because if it did…then Google would still be in there vying for the eyeballs.



  8. Wayne Long January 28th, 2011 4:18 am

    My first thought was along the lines of John in wondering if they had made a deal with someone like Zillow or Trulia.

    In the end I agree with you guys about revenue. The quality of competing sites continues to improve and I just don’t think Google wanted to put their resources into that side of things when they can reap more revenue elsewhere.

    As Eric correctly points out we should all evaluate where our time and resources are best invested…..

  9. Michael Sosnowski January 28th, 2011 7:51 am

    To begin, I am against all listing aggregation sites, so my view might be slanted. I am glad Google is out of this area (for now at least). One less competitor to fight in my own local online real estate space.

  10. Mark Lancaster January 28th, 2011 8:26 pm

    This sucks in particular for RE application developers like me out there. I just finished making an application where part of the marketing section publishes to Google Base and hence Google Maps. Oh well, there’s other methods of getting listings out there!

  11. Eric Blackwell January 29th, 2011 4:23 am

    @Michael – understood. I am against bots in general as well. I do see them as the competition that they are. One of them going away does not change much and essentially benefits the rest to some degree,

    @Mark – I understand your pain too. And it is a natural consequence of this… So long as the other methods of getting listings don’t involve scraping, I am with you. 😉