Rightmove profits from Google property disaster

Rightmove profits from Google property disaster

19:13 PM, 30th January 2011, About 13 years ago

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Property portal Rightmove is tightening up dominance of the UK online property market as search giant Google flees the market.

Rightmove has announced record page hits for three Mondays in a row – with more than 30 million pages delivered on January 24.

Rightmove is listed eighth in the top 10 of UK web sites – just ahead of BBC News in ninth place. The portal has a 64% market share and delivers more than 80% of pages viewed by the top property search engines.

Meanwhile Google has pulled the plug on Google Maps Property Search worldwide in the face of intense competition from specialist property portals.

The free listing service was opened to letting agents and estate agents in June after test runs in Australia and the USA.

Google has now announced the service will close on February 10 while admitting several other web sites were providing a better service.

Industry insiders suggest Google could not find a way to monetise the service and was suffering from low traffic.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “Rightmove began utilising Google Maps on our website almost exactly a year ago and in launching the service we underlined that we did not view Google’s real estate venture as being in direct competition with our core business.

“During the six month period that Google have formally operated in the UK property market the home-moving public have visited Rightmove in record numbers and we have seen no negative impact on our business from Google’s market entry.”

Key to Google’s demise in the UK was Rightmove’s decision not to share property listings with the search engine.

Rightmove shares have climbed to a new high following Google’s announcement.

The shares were trading up 35p (4.35%) at £8.39.

When Google announced entry in to the property market, Rightmove shares dropped below £5.

Zoopla, another leading Uk property portal, felt Google would fail in the market as well.

Alex Chesterman, Zoopla CEO and founder, said: “This has been an interesting experiment for Google with an outcome that has not entirely surprised us.

“Google is clearly the world-class leader at search, its real estate offering on maps did not provide users with the type of rich product experience of sites like ours. “

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