News Limited Now Using Google Real Estate Instead of Realestate.com.au?

Goldcoast.com.au part of the News Limited websitesAlthough the Gold Coast is not a capital city it is still the 6th largest city in Australia. The Gold Coast Bulletin is a daily News Ltd Newspaper that services the city. The weekend real estate section is the cash cow for the Bulletin and every saturday it dwarfs the rest of the paper combined. At its peak it can be close to an inch thick. This real estate section is cobranded Realestate.com.au in print just like many other News Ltd papers around the country.

Unlike Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne we do not have a network of a regional or community based newspapers who focus on real estate providing pressure on the Gold Coast Bulletin. The southern end of the Gold Coast does have an independent in there providing competition but in the central and Northern parts of the Gold Coast the community newspapers are owned and operated by the Gold Coast Bulletin themselves. As you can imagine they provide virtually no market pressure to their parent company.

The Gold Coast Bulletin use to operate the website www.gcbulletin.com.au but in recent times they acquired the premium domain www.goldcoast.com.au which they have setup as portal. News features heavily on the site as you would imagine but there is also a substantial amount of other content such as locality guides, tourist information, accommodation bookings and much much more. The www.goldcoast.com.au website is clearly labelled “Copyright 2009 News Limited” and branded with the News Digital Media logo.

The portal also features a suburb profile on every Gold Coast suburb complete with suburb description, demographic information and property statistics. Included on the pages is a Google Real Map displaying properties for sale on Google Real Estate. There is absolutley no mention of the RealEstate.com.au connection at all on these pages. In fact links on the page to “All Properties For Sale” are linked to SuburbView.

The lack of Realestate.com.au branding on the site is really confusing considering their alliance and the fact that News Limited is a major shareholder in REA. Google Real Estate Maps on a News Limited website is a perfect example of how Google is making inroads into the industry because the top two portals are stuck in their old ways of doing business.

The web designers naturally wanted to add rich content for their website showing off property for sale in each suburb of the Gold Coast and realestate.com.au (or domain.com.au for that matter) dont offer any tools, widgets or api’s for websites to integrate their data, even sister websites in the same stable. But Google does so rather than have nothing they chose to use Google!

Gold Coast subscribers to Realestate.com.au who dont have their properties on Google Real Estate should be more than dissappointed.

Red faces all round I bet!

This again highlights the necessity for the top 2 portals to stop being so myopic and provide widgets and api’s for other websites to use which is something that we talked about a lot over the years here at Business 2.  Real Estate Agents, community websites and other local businesses would appreciate the opportunity to integrate property information into their website using these sort of tools. As far as I can see everyone is a winner in this sort of relationship which is why it is has been so popular with a range of websites including US real estate portals like Trulia and Zillow.  Apparently some News Ltd web designers would appreciate the opportunity as well!

Google Real Estate, News Ltd, Realestate.com.au

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About Glenn Batten

Glenn Batten is the General Manager at First National Real Estate Nerang and Principal at the First National Real Estate Upper Coomera office and has over 20 years real estate experience and a passion for technology. Glenn has been writing from an agents perspective on industry issues and covering a range of topics on Business2 since 2007.

9 Responses to News Limited Now Using Google Real Estate Instead of Realestate.com.au?

  1. Nick March 23, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    My guess is convenience. Rather than ask RE.com.au to get a copy of their data (yeah like that is ever going to happen – even inside News Ltd) they saw that they could just plonk Google Maps there with one line of code.

  2. Glenn Batten March 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    And that’s where the problem is …. why should News Limited have to deal with the “enemy” because dealing with REA is just too difficult? This is exactly the reason why Google and their openness of data will always be a problem. As more and more sites start integrating Google Real Estate into their sites “because they can” just like News Ltd have then it will slowly eat away from Realestate.com.au bit by bit.

  3. Robert Simeon March 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Both Fairfax and News – ironically still believe that online is just a fad and in time will disappear. Google will implode and the world will go back to cutting down trees for those rivers of gold better known as newspapers to start flowing once again.

    Great article Glenn – I think REA would read B2 everyday to find out what is happening in the real world. As Maxwell Smart would say “missed by that much!

  4. Nathan Krisanski March 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Great artivle Glenn. Open data is the key. REA and domain think they own data, but the sooner they realise that can’t do that anymore and focus on making it easier for the consumer (agents and vendors), the better off they will be.
    It is of course a huge cultural change. can they do it? we wait with bated breath…

  5. Wayno March 24, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    Hi Guys,
    Why don’t we all as agents put that google wigit (thingy) on our web sites or can’t we at the moment ?. The more the the better and when we get it to number one then we can all make the decision that we all know that we are going to make in the near future.

  6. Nick March 24, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    Wayno, agents shouldnt use that map because it sends visitors away from their own properties and portals shouldnt use it for the same reason.

    If you however have a site like goldcoast.com.au which could benefit from some extra information then it works very nicely.

  7. Glenn Batten March 24, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Wayno..

    Nick response is certainly right in general.. An agent would not want to display “all properties” in the area on their own website because hit would be sending traffic to their competitors in town.

    HOWEVER

    it is possible for agents to insert a google map with just their own listings but you need to check a few things first. Make sure your provider does not offer a mapping facility already as that may be easier and already use Google as its foundation.. Make sure all your listings return back to your website. If you upload to other portals and they also upload to Google as well then its possible the properties will link to them. Most of the portals will stop uploading to Google if you just ask them. Do a search for your properties on Google Real Estate such as http://bit.ly/9fAPjb … Click on the “link” option in the top right and create code to embed on your website.

    The important thing as Nick has highlighted is that you don’t send visitors to listings that are not yours or send them away from your site.

  8. Craig Adams March 24, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Nathan,

    Agree with you mate. Just a little correction and an understanding of how REA, Domain and for that matter Google structure their various target audiences from a marketing and content perspective.

    They all have very separate and defined Consumer and Customer teams which means that one team focuses on the people looking at the site everyday (Consumer) and the other team focuses on the agents and anyone else who has content or pays to be on the site (Customer).

    It’s maybe a small point but one that heaps of agents just don’t understand.

  9. Glenn Batten March 29, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Someone was listening as the pages have been updated and Google Real Estate now no longer features on the News Limited website. The map is now replaced with just a standard Google map with no real estate listings. 🙂

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