In recent years, the search engine giant has progressively increased its market share in various heavily feed-based verticals, including hotel bookings, flights, and more recently recruitment.
“We are leaving Rightmove” this is a phrase that has been uttered by many estate agents in the country. In light of all that is going Rightmove has failed to understand the needs of their customers.
Why would Google disrupt this industry
For me the question of whether Google will enter the property market is a question when not if. With other offerings such as Google Flights, Hotels and Jobs. Estate agents should prepare themselves for Google Properties.
Last year, Google quietly became the biggest job board. Google has the power to do this they have the power to put their content over others even if it means making some businesses redundant.
It is no surprise that Google’s first real estate offering failed. In fact, Google so much as admitted this in a statement they released saying:
We recognize that there might be better, more effective ways to help people find local real estate information than the current feature makes possible. We’ll continue to explore this area, but in the meantime, Google offers other options to home-seekers – Brian McClendon, VP, Google Earth and Maps
This statement was made all the way back in 2011, so the question is has Google Maps improved since then and could a Google real estate feature be reintroduced again?
This is tricky, it would be quite simple for Google to implement, for example Google my business pages have without a doubt killed directories. So a Google real estate platform could just as easily kill property portals.
Property industry has got lazy
Many in the property industry have focused all their marketing time and money to the property portals. Which leaves many estate agent website that are not optimised and have bad user experience. Many agents all use the same website builders so identical estate agent site with different color schemes and logos are not a regular occurrence.
A new property offering would force agent to focus on improving their sites and also allow Google to make money from PPC ads.
How it would affect you?
Imagine starting tomorrow, you can easily look on Google maps on your phone to see houses for sale or rent in your area and through Google maps you can send an enquiry. With such an easy user experience you probably won’t bother to look on Rightmove.
This is a feature that could shake up the whole property industry, it would push the sector to focus more on SEO and web presence.
Property portals would lose their value, if data from these platforms can be fed into Google listings like the above. It would make going on a specific platform redundant.
Real estate revolves entirely around locations, and Google will serve users with the results it deems most relevant to either their geolocation or to geo-targeting keywords such as ‘flats to rent London’.
Free Website Audit
Regardless of whether Google does enter the real estate sector again, I think it is always imperative to focus on your own web presence, and keep your website on step ahead of your competitors.
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