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My clients spend thousands of hours creating unique content for their websites to get a first page listing for terms such as [large city] Real Estate. Its is very disheartening to see now Google directing traffic to their own product right on top of the natural listings. I think Google is heading down the wrong road with this addition to the SERPS.
[edited by: tedster at 9:53 pm (utc) on Mar. 22, 2006]
[edit reason] keeping search terms generic [/edit]
I think Google is heading way down the wrong path with the addition of an input box at the top of the Serps when you type in certain real estate terms like "Miami Real Estate". This is going to lead to thousands of real estate agents bulk uploading data from their local MLS which will create loads of duplicate content and make the user very frustrated.
If agents or brokers upload listings other than their own, chaces are that they are violating the TOS that governs their right to use IDX or VOW data feeds.
I ran this by the CEO of ne of the largest MLSs in the country and if agents, brokers or IDX/VOW service providers upload listings other than their own, they will lose their MLS priviledges.
What will happen is that brokers, especially the larger ones, will provide all company listings and agents will be in even greater competition with their owncompany for the leads generated from the listing that the agent secured.
And I must admit, I think it is really bad of Google to put that box below paid ads and above organic, with no warning to the general public about the fact that you are about to use a Google service. And, I've seen it in action in more than BIG CITY real estate searches.
Then there's the dup content issue that will run rampant...
Guess the money mongers at G have just found another avenue to place Google ads and make more $$$. Funny, but it is almost like it's a pure Google Adsense site (GoogleBase that is). Isn't that against their own TOS?
[edited by: engine at 1:21 pm (utc) on Aug. 1, 2006]