Google to withdraw real estate listings

Search engine giant Google has just announced that its Google Maps real estate search will be scrapped from 10 February.

"In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we’ve decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps", the company said in a statement. 

The news has some industry commentators reeling. “I can’t really explain enough how shocked I am that Google is ditching the real estate listings that currently show in Google Maps,” says smallbusinesssem.com’s Matt McGee, while vendoralley.com describes the announcement as “freaking huge news.”

“It was clear from the start that the Google Real Estate model was challenged,” says propertyportalwatch.com publisher Simon Baker. “While sourcing listings was always going to be easy for them as agents and portals around the world are more than happy to syndicate their listings for free traffic, the challenges were always going to be in driving of traffic and monetisation.” 

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