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Google Buffs Up Its Real Estate Listings

When Google does anything, you have to pay attention. Slowly, the Internet search behemoth is making its home-sale listings easier to use. You'll find them on Google Maps, where you can simply enter a search phrase such as "Homes For Sale Silver Spring, Md." and call up a map with listings highlighted.

I did such a search, narrowing it down to homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000, and was puzzled by some of the listings Google chose to highlight most prominently. They were scattered around the broad area that uses Silver Spring as a mailing address. And the ninth one on the list was actually located in the District, far away from Silver Spring.

A blog posting by Heather Hopkins, analyst for Hitwise, a company that measures Web traffic, showed that Google was not among the top 10 real estate Web sites in the week ending July 4., the National Association of Realtors' site, had the biggest number of visits by far, with 7.6 percent of all real estate site visits. Zillow came in second, with 3.7 percent. Then came Yahoo real estate and Zip Realty, each with about 2.9 percent, and Trulia and, each with 2 percent. Rounding out the top 10 were RE/MAX Real Estate, Homegain, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and, each with less than 2 percent of all visits to real estate sites.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  July 8, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Buying , Selling , The market  
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As Dana Carvey as John McLaughlin used to say, "Wrong!"

That's not what the post said, did you read anything but the table of Real Estate sites?

The Hitwise numbers are for sites that self-identify as "Real Estate", aka "real estate vertical" sites. "Big Google", the search engine is considered a "general" search engine and is not counted in that table. Only "GoogleBase" the dedicated place for people to put listings on Google is counted.

If "Big Google" were counted as a "Real Estate" site, it would dwarf, and likely would beat the whole vertical category combined.

The post also points out that Google sends 1 in 4 visits to real estate sites, including those in the Hitwise top ten.

That has not been our experience. Partly because of the way we use Google's own technology to "speak its language", about half of our client's traffic to their real estate sites is from Google.

John Rowles
Managing Director
MainRhode LLC
Google-Powered Real Estate Search for Brokers

Posted by: johnnyrock70 | July 8, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Sure, "big Google" sends traffic to those sites. It's a search engine. But I'm talking about Google maps as a destination where people learn about listings directly on the site.

Posted by: Erazzi | July 8, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Google Real Estate on your iPhone? Try Blue Atlas Broker Version 3.

Posted by: blueatlasbroker | July 9, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

It's no better than Trulia as neither show all the homes for sale. There are two listings in my condo building and neither showed up on Google Maps.

I like the automatic map adjustments, but it won't replace my current home search site.

Posted by: cynthiapang | July 9, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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