Google enters agency market
Google has U-turned on its claim to have no plans to break into the UK estate agency market by allowing agents, landlords and homeowners to market their properties through its mapping service.
Google Maps Property Search, which launches officially this morning [June 16], will upload all submitted property details to Google Maps for free, as is already the case in Australia and the US.
The launch comes just a month after the Property Professional Show at which James Bacon, Google UK's head of property, insisted that the search engine giant had no plans to launch a UK agency service in the foreseeable future.
The denial followed speculation in The Financial Times in December, suggesting that the portal would be launching a free-to-list service this year following a launch of the service in Australia in 2008.
At the time, Ben Wood, former property head for Google UK, said: "The news is somewhat premature as we don't have a definitive commitment to bring this product to the UK nor a timescale for doing so."
Your step-by-step guide to using Google Maps:
1: Visit maps.google.co.uk/propertytools
2: Sign up to submit properties. You can use an existing Google account, or create a new one.
3: Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the Google Base registration process.
4: Click on "Data feeds" and select "New Data Feed".
5: Select Item Type, and choose "Housing". Also give your feed a name so you can identify it later.
6: Read the feed submission guidelines, and export the required file from your own property database.
You can submit in either tab-delimited or XML format (format instructions for Housing data feed at http://base.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en_GB&answer=171470)
7: Upload and register your feed into your Google Base Account. You can do this manually, or can schedule an automated submission at regular intervals.
8: Your properties should begin appearing in Google Property Search within the next few days.
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