Online Business…what's new!
The 2010 venture in property searches by Google has been halted. Street View, which enabled potential buyers to see photos of individual properties, a feature used alongside Google Maps, was made available the UK, the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
However, the world’s most used search engine cites low usage as the reason for the withdrawal of the service, along with the admission that excellent property search tools already exist with the real estate industry. Google Earth Vice President Brian McClendon did however say that Google would continue to explore the field.
Unsurprising, online property service companies were jubilant upon hearing the news. UK company Rightmove’s shares climbed 3% at the announcement of Google’s withdrawal. At the end of 2009 they experienced a slump at expectations of Google’s property search plans but estate agents have reportedly stayed faithful to Rightmove and other online property portals, as have the vast majority of consumers it now appears.
Over in the US, the main question asked was always how Google would be able generate revenue from home searches and how they would deal with the burden of keeping accurate records of so many properties. In a country as large as the States the job is no easy feat and a simple listing was just not enough to entice potential buyers to a property.
Anyone taking an interest in Google’s endeavours will note that this is of course the second slice of abandonment by internet giant Google with the space of a year. Remember Google Wave??