So, if you’re paying attention, you know that Listhub will stop sending listings to Trulia and Zillow in the coming weeks. Wow. A shot across the bow? No, a shot at the bow is more like it.
This blog post is not about what this says about Move, Rupert Murdock, or their strategy. Don’t worry.
The interesting question is – what will brokerages that want their listings on Trulia and Zillow do?
(Disclaimer: Boston Logic offers listing syndication. So, we have a particular view on the subject.)
Zillow has already started going straight to the MLSs for the data. I think this is a fine stopgap, but really brokers should take the opportunity to own their data, and to send the portals better data! MLSs send what they have, but many MLSs limit photo sizes, the length of descriptions, and other information. Sending better information makes your listing look better and stand out!
Alternatively, if the brokerage is sending the data to ZT, then they can limit the data. Meaning that if you want the whole listing, you need to visit the brokerage’s site.
While you’re at it – and it’s important to note that both Trulia and Zillow have accepted the same feed format for years. You might want to negotiate that ZT put a link back to your site, in a prominent way, on the page. Just a thought.
What happens when Trulia has a page about a home, an address, but doesn’t know that the home is for sale. It’ll be interesting to see how Google and Bing handle this. If you want to know about a home that’s for sale, it’s probably a good idea to have the listing details on that listing. That’s what any home searcher would want.
So, the question is, will Google rank a site with the actual listing data above the Zillow or Trulia page about the home, which may not include information as basic as the asking price?
For years, Google’s search algorithm has strived to push the most current information to the top of the search results screen. Balancing the accuracy, age, and comprehensiveness of information to suss out which page should rank highest is the challenge of modern search algorithms. They have lots of ways to try and do this.
The question is: what will Google do?
Zillow and Trulia can account much of their revenue directly back to their search engine traffic. If homeowners didn’t search and find ZT on Google much of the time, a large part of their traffic would disappear. Then, the leads would fall and revenue soon after.
I’ll be watching closely to see what happens.