In a somewhat surprising but not unexpected announcement last week Google made it official that they were effectively out of the real estate listing business. As of February 10th the search giant will no longer be posting property listings on Google Maps, ending a two-year initiative to create an online real estate presence.

The company stated that low use, a proliferation of excellent property-search tools already in use on the web and an overall infrastructure challenge as the primary reasons for the decision.

Google has offered the service since 2005. Agents and companies could upload their listings to Google for free and the company would also pull property information from other sites around the web, unless blocked from doing so.

In November 2009, Google added Place Pages to the service, thereby attempting to create a one-source place for all the information Google had about a property including a street-view.

This change has many implications in the online business of real estate, but for us locally it is our experience that most home buyers typically begin their searches with simple phases typed into a search engine – for example Portland Maine Real Estate. In this situation Google will still be providing the best and most significant results of websites for people to consider.

It is this type of online marketing where we have, and will continue to, place a high emphasis.

Local real estate websites still include the most current and up-to-date listing information, with their direct access to the Maine MLS.