Google Waves White Flag In Real Estate Fight

Google Maps feature to be retired

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The people behind sites like Realtor.com, Redfin, and Trulia can breathe a sigh of relief and perhaps throw a party.  They seem to have defeated Google, which announced this afternoon that it’s retiring the real estate feature within Google Maps.

Google Maps first began to offer a real estate search feature in mid-2008.  The feature was later upgraded several times and introduced in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the UK, signaling that Google was serious about helping people find homes (and exploring another revenue stream).

Google had a leg up on many real estate sites in terms of visibility, too, considering that lots of people already used the company’s search engine and Gmail.

But Brian McClendon, VP of Google Earth and Maps, wrote today on the LatLong Blog, "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 on February 10, 2011."

In terms of providing advance notice, that represents a pretty hasty retreat. 

At this time, Google hasn’t announced any new moves in the field, either, hinting that it could be quite a while (or never) before it comes up with a better idea and tries again.

Google Waves White Flag In Real Estate Fight
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  • India

    LOL! This just cracks me up. Google is good at nothing. If they don’t buy it, it is a total failure. They could’ve done really well with real estate, but they just don’t want to allocate the resources into it. They rely too much on their silly algo. and not in man power. Google Offers is next. That’d be by August 2011.

  • http://favhouse.com Martin Gicheru

    Am also one of the guys heaving a sigh of relief. Woulda put my hopes of ever making money from my new property classifieds site favhouse.com
    These guys outta let some of us be, what are search engines for if they have everything?

  • Jack

    Google has made a significant error is getting out of Real Estate… bringing all the tools together to provide real useful informaion to consumers should be in line with the core values of Goodgle.. Now we don’t have the information and can’t make good decisions… this is a big loss for Google and all of us who want an open free access to informaion.. Shame on Google for abandoning this core value..


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