Back in 2009 Google launched the ability for property seekers to search for real estate via Google Maps. Today they’ve officially announced that from February 10, 2011 this service will be discontinued. From their press release:
In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we’ve decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps on February 10, 2011.
This is a huge win for the Australian subscription based portals like Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au who were threatened by Google and their model. While for the smaller free subscription based portals like Homehound, Watersidepropertysales, TheHomepage and all the franchise networks, it is one less source of free traffic to their websites.
Looking at it from an Industry wide position, I guess it reflects how competitive and innovative the real estate technology sector is.