July 08, 2009

Oh My!

Google Maps | property | real estate | search | Australia
Google's offering is open to all comers, potentially giving renters and buyers a much bigger choice.

But this development is likely to be viewed by existing publishers as a grab for their business at a time when margins are under pressure and paid listings are being affected by the prevailing economic climate.

The service is launching with listings provided by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia and homehound.com.au, the free property listing service owned by Michael Hannan's Independent Print Media Group.

The two leading Australian online advertising portals are realestate.com.au, which is 60 per cent owned by News Corp, and domain.com.au, which is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

John Brand, general manager, key categories, at Fairfax Media said domain.com.au would not at this stage be taking up the Google offer to contribute listings to the new service.

"We are quite confident that we provide a better service than Google is offering," he said in a telephone interview. "We are a specialist property portal and we think this will stand us in good stead going forward."

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