Google to take down real estate listings
Massive search engine, Google, will take down real estate listings from Google Maps on Feb. 10. Brian McClendon, vice president Google Earth and Maps, broke the story on the company's LatLong blog Wednesday and said the real estate listing feature is simply not popular enough to justify its existence. Google first announced the tool in July 2009. Surfers using Google Maps gained the ability to find properties for rent or sale when searching locations. "We’ve learned a lot and been excited to see real estate companies use Google Maps in innovative ways to help people find places to live," McClendon wrote, "such as Coldwell Banker’s use of Google Maps and YouTube, or Realtor.com’s Android app that lets you draw a shape on a map to find all properties you’re interested in." "Yet we recognize that there might be better, more effective ways to help people find local real estate information than the current feature makes possible," he added. "We’ll continue to explore this area." Four months after Google launched its real estate listing services, HousingWire broke that the Web firm planned to launch a mortgage pricing tool, the fate of which remains unclear. Competition also pulled too much traffic from the tool, McClendon added. Indeed, Web-based real estate information company Zillow is reporting record-breaking traffic, by logging more than 13 million unique users in the traditionally slow real estate month of December. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.