Last year we reported on Google starting to show property listings in Google Maps. At the time, we noted that although it was a nice addition to Google Maps, it was unlikely to worry the main property portals:
Overall, I can see this potentially being a good starting point for buyers and renters looking for properties, but the likes of Rightmove and the other property portals probably aren’t overly concerned at this stage, as they have far more functionality when it comes to the filtering of properties, as well as many other househunting tools. Google’s Real Estate Search is also presented in a typically Google layout, being functional if not massively appealing.
Six months on and Google has decided to drop the property listings from Google Maps worldwide from February 10th. It seems that there aren’t many users using the property listings, and as we predicted, property portals are doing a far better job of providing house-hunters with property listings and search tools.
This must be pretty pleasing news for the portals – property was one of several verticals that Google had the potential to transform, but has been unable to transfer its masses of traffic into users of the service. Google Maps will no doubt continue to play a big part in property listings, only on portal sites rather than Google itself. As we said before, Google Street View is still a great tool to have a nose around any potential new neighbourhood.
It also shows that not everything Google tries is destined to succeed just because of its size and the resources it has. It must have appeared to be an easy vertical to enter, yet has proved more tricky than expected. That should provide comfort for those in other industries that Google threatens to revolutionise.
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