Google Adds Real Estate Pull-Down Filter To Maps

Google has offered the capacity to search real estate listings for a long time. For example, when entering queries such as “homes for sale in San Francisco,” a “one box” result used to show pull-down menus for “location” and “listing type.” Activating these boxes would then lead into a specialized “Google Base” screen that allowed for further refinement. I found those screens as recently as earlier this week but today couldn’t duplicate them. However, earlier this week Google exposed a “real estate” filter, among others, on Maps.

Real estate search

A search in my old San Francisco zip 94118 shows these listings when the “real estate” filter is invoked:

Real Estate 94118

There’s a somewhat more helpful “text view” of this same data:

text view

Google, in the text view, also offers some refinements: by price, bedrooms, and bathrooms. These appear to be successive, meaning that they build upon one another.


The data are apparently coming via Google Base through a range of sources. But they’re not comprehensive, which is important in the real estate context. However, if Google were to do deals with the various sources of MLS data around the US, it could build a fairly comprehensive listings database. That might make it more competitive with vertical search engines and real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate,, and so on. By comparison to most of those sites, Google’s real estate search and overall experience in this category is rather “skeletal” at the moment.

When entrepreneurs are pitching a new startup idea or prototype to venture capital, the perfunctory question often arises: “Why wouldn’t Google do this?” In the vertical context it’s typically the case that Google won’t go to the lengths of others to build a specific vertical experience (there are some exceptions). The imperative for Google is to scale its applications globally — and that is often at odds with developing rich content and community around a particular subject area.

It is possible, however, with several tweaks and improvements, that real estate search on Google could get much better and become much more competitive over time.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Search Engines: Maps & Local Search Engines | Search Engines: Real Estate


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide