Google Builds Out A National Real Estate Search Engine

While the National Association of REALTORS® is planning to launch its own national property database sometime next year, Google seems to have just stolen the NAR’s thunder. How? By rolling out individual “place pages” for every property that’s listed in Google Maps. Like this one for a home in Seattle:

Google Maps: Real Estate Place Pages

The real estate listing place pages include property information, photos, map placement, Street View imagery and functionality, nearby public transit details, and even AdWords ads. Google has added links for “Directions” and “Search nearby,” as well as a “Send” link that opens an outgoing email with the place page link embedded inside. The property details in the example above are sourced from two separate Prudential Real Estate web sites, and from NWSource.com, which is the Seattle Times’ web site. It’s all presented just as you’d see on any standard MLS web site, though it lacks some of the deep information (such as square footage of individual rooms) available in a typical MLS listing.

There’s no announcement of this new feature yet on the Google LatLong blog, but it was announced today on the official Google Australia blog. That post says the real estate place pages may also include things like videos and inspection times. Left unsaid is that the place page format gives Google the space and flexibility to add new types of information in the future.

Google Maps has, of course, shown individual property information for some time. But it was relegated to the old, small, somewhat user-unfriendly info pop-up windows. The new place pages offer more information, are more user-friendly, and have short, clean links (like http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=18428966863334951733) that home buyers can easily pass around.

It’s the latest in a string of upgrades that Google has made to how it presents real estate information in Google Maps. For more, see Land Grab: Google Expands Real Estate Listings from July and Google Maps Makes Real Estate Search More Visible from last month. Add them all together, along with other updates that are sure to come, and it’s obvious Google is on its way to building what amounts to a national MLS-like database of property listings.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Place Pages | Search Engines: Real Estate | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.a1securitycameras.com mazter

    Matt, thanks for the article. I do not know if you have used Google’s real estate listing but as far as I have used, I believe Google is fetching data from different sources which half of the time gives you wrong / inadequate information about estate. Other then the real estates sales, Google also lists apartments and condos. When I was looking for an apartment (about a year ago) I used Google’s rental property search which lead me from bad apartments to worse apartments. Properties without any picture, wrong prices, WRONG LOCATIONS and so on. After checking Google’s listing, I printed out a list of properties and hit the road. Once I got to the neighborhood, there was no apartment complex as listed on Google. So overall, as usual Google is trying to expand everything online but not success rate is low for most of the new fronts.

  • http://www.ionadas.com bpcombs

    What is interesting to me is that these listings dominate the SERPs within Google Maps, but don’t seem to be spilling over to Google Universal Search:

    http://www.ionadas.com/450/google-real-estate-listings/

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