Google Base Sightings in Google Real Estate Results
Over the past 24 hours American & English users of Google have been reporting sightings of a Google Base search box which appears above the main web results when performing specific Google searches.
One example is the search on Google for “homes for sale” in which a lot of Google users are being served the Google Base “Refine your search for homes for sale” box. The move is a mix of local and niche search by Google, which is hosting the search result content in the reality feeds indexed and updated using the Google Base system.
A good bit of the blogs covering this news point to GoodROI.com which may have broke the story:
Since they are already showing three paid listings on top of the organic search results it is interesting they would take away even more page real estate to add a search box for real estate listings in Google Base. If they keep this up it will not matter if you rank #1 since no organic search results will be above the fold. Google Base is still free so it wouldn’t be adding revenue. The tests I did returned pages that are already in their standard search index. I don’t really see a good reason for this, unless Google is laying down the groundwork for more specialized searching (after all you can only expect so much relevance when you have a single user input box)
In addition, other search bloggers have also piped up:
Barry Schwartz : “Just an other reminder there are many ways to reach the number one spot in Google, outside of the main organic results.”
Scubajarhead on Webmaster World: “This is going to turn into a nightmare especially for the real estate searches. Thousands of real estate agents are just going to bulk upload data from the MLS and just cause a load of duplicate content.
My clients spend thousands of hours creating unique content for their websites to get a first page listing for terms such as [large city] Real Estate. Its is very disheartening to see now Google directing traffic to their own product right on top of the natural listings. I think Google is heading down the wrong road with this addition to the SERPS. ”
Members of Threadwatch also remind us that Reality is only one of the niche market search groups featuring Google Base content with Google Music, Froogle, and Travel / Desination searches all featuring Base driven info.