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Google To Launch UK Property Finder
inbound




msg:4035880
 2:44 am on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

The FT are reporting that Google are in talks with estate agents in the UK, and intend to launch a UK Property Finder (similar to the Australian one they already run apparently)

[ft.com...]

Should UK Property sites be worried? (thankfully I'm not in that business)

 

tedster




msg:4035928
 4:25 am on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Here's the thread from June about the Australian roll-out:

[webmasterworld.com...]

briggidere




msg:4035941
 5:04 am on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been using the real estate overlay here in Australia to look for a place to buy. It's quite handy being able to view property details and have a look down the street on street view. I am still using the other main real estate sites, but if Google was as comprehensive I'd imagine using it rather than them.

I'd be worried if I was in the business.

RichTC




msg:4036093
 11:52 am on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Greed

Question is, if google move into this, whats next? - can't say as i like the idea myself.

Its like "we have massive PPC revenues with our core search product and now we have the market monopolised we will start picking off parts for direct offerings" first it was Books, now its Property, then it will be something else.

Whilst they will secure market share as a free product, the real test will be when they need to see it start producing revenues.

Rightmove et al, SHOULD be very worried, this will eat directly into their business revenues and that of newspaper publishers - FACT

Rich

internetheaven




msg:4036313
 5:03 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is easy to counter-act.

Rightmove etc. just need to dedicate a small India outsourced call centre to cold calling all houses that get listed on the Google site saying: "we saw your listing on Google and would like to sell you a magazine about selling your house!" (as the address will be given, the phone number will be easy to find).

After about 100 of those calls the seller will demand their listing be removed from Google. After enough complaints, estate agents will begin pulling out.

Google and spam go hand in hand so they can even send junk mail and the sellers won't think twice about blaming Google.

trillianjedi




msg:4036316
 5:06 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Question is, if google move into this, whats next?

Can't blame them for picking up cash that's lying around on the floor. Seems like a no-brainer move to me - high value transactions will be the low hanging fruit and they'll just move upwards.

If I had the traffic that Google have, I'd be looking for alternative ways to monetise it than just ads.

Leosghost




msg:4036533
 10:38 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

@internetheaven
:))

steve40




msg:4037938
 11:15 pm on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Interesting not seen this so far

Google to move into property sales in UK early next year as follow on from Australia

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

The interesting thing to me is could Google move into many other areas after property , making it's money from advertising so is this the tip of the Iceberg for the future , Cars, Hotels, Etc. Etc.

[edited by: tedster at 2:26 am (utc) on Dec. 6, 2009]

Simsi




msg:4038956
 7:45 pm on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's just a little reminder of a) why one shouldn't rely heavily on a single entity for traffic, and b) that Google is a business and businesses are there to make money. I'm sure many of us would like to have a search engine like Google and similarly Google would love to have a share of some of our markets. That's business :)

internetheaven




msg:4039088
 9:51 pm on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

b) that Google is a business and businesses are there to make money. I'm sure many of us would like to have a search engine like Google and similarly Google would love to have a share of some of our markets. That's business :)

Pardon my ignorance of these things, but:

Communism: Where the government controls everything such as businesses, personal information and watches everything you do and you can only earn money through them and they can close down your business without any cause or justification.

Capitalism: Where Google owns everything such as businesses, personal information and watches everything you do and you can only earn money through them and as they control most search engine traffic they can destroy your business by removing you from their results without any cause or justification.

When someone gets powerful enough to enter, dominate and control every single market area then we should not be applauding their "business prowess". It's the equivalent of having the biggest army with the most technologically advanced weapons and a bottomless pit of a budget and using that to take over another poorer, smaller, less advanced country to use their resources for your own ... we would never, never let that happen in real life ...

Having the money to squash your competitors is ethically wrong. It's not "business". Microsoft always comes under scrutiny and lawsuits. Google is encouraged to take over more than them. How does this all make sense to anyone outside of the US?

Note: The definition of "sarcasm" can be found in any good dictionary.

[edited by: internetheaven at 9:54 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2009]

dertyfern




msg:4039089
 9:53 pm on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh, it gets worse: [webmasterworld.com...]

Simsi




msg:4039120
 10:41 pm on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

When someone gets powerful enough to enter, dominate and control every single market area then we should not be applauding their "business prowess".

Applauding wasn't exactly what I had in mind. Just saying that as a business you have to protect yourself and be aware that other businesses don't often have your best interests at heart. It's all well and good saying the way another business acts is ethically wrong and they shouldn't be doing something but when that business is steadily eating up your market because you weren't prepared, bottom line is you're losing money.

So my point was, irrespective of the rights and wrongs of monopoly, capitalism, communism or even criminal activity, it's a business owner's responsibilty to position themselves so that the actions of a single (and in this case large) company can't kill the business. Get that sorted first, then take up the fight.

In this particular instance, one would imagine companies in the UK similar to Rightmove and Primelocation are in the firing line. But if you look at how Rightmove (for example) market themselves, they advertise in the estate agents, newspapers and other media as well as on the web. So if they were to lose Google traffic, it wouldn't (shouldn't) take the business with it. Sensible marketing (they'll probably go under now I said that!) and any webmaster whose business would disappear without Google referrals should be aware that this is the risk of relying on a single 3rd party for crucial traffic/revenue.

Same if you're an affiliate. If you get the bulk of your money from one supplier, you're walking a tightrope.

internetheaven




msg:4039670
 9:07 pm on Dec 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Same if you're an affiliate. If you get the bulk of your money from one supplier, you're walking a tightrope.

I think the difference of opinion, from my perspective, is that I see Google as a business that has been allowed to monopolise the web. Others seem to see Google AS the web. Google didn't create the internet. Google didn't create the billions of websites it lists.

Allowing one company to "own" the web (by share of searchers) is totally different to Microsoft trying to make sure their software is on every computer. The internet is a public space that Google makes money from. Now they dictate the web because they have enough money to do so. That's plain dangerous.

Hissingsid




msg:4040590
 10:37 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are many markets where being in the top 10 or as in our case top 3 on Google is absolutely vital to success. In some of those markets there are say 30 to 100 serious competitors all trying to get into the top 10. Clearly they can't all do it and many don't have a clue how to start trying. In these markets "price comparison sites" have become established.

It seems to me that a price comparison site is simply a list of those sites that want to compete in that market that can't get into the top 10 or top 3 or whatever is required to generate enough traffic to be worthwhile. The price comparison site spends big on getting into the top 10 and on TV advertising and PR. They generate traffic for the lame folks who can't do it for themselves and take a cut of the profits. I can't understand why Google allows this to happen. For example why don't they take over the on-line UK motor insurance market. If someone searches for "cheap car insurance" they are taken to a form where they fill in their driving experience, car details etc and press a button and then Google gives them real results of actual prices. The companies providing those prices pay Google commission.

It is only a matter of time before this happens and there is carnage in the Meerkat mansion and mayhem in the Money Supermarket. I wouldn't invest in any business that makes money simply by getting between Google and other web site owners. They are doomed, doomed as Private Frazer would say.

Cheers

Sid

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