The Globrix post has appeared to stir a healthy discussion and thanks for the comments. To this end, I would like to introduce a few further issues into the mix.
Just how intelligent is the Globrix search?
There is a helpful section in their webmasters guide that is the beginnings of what we would hope to be real assistance for estate agents in optimising their pages for the Globrix search.
Given many agents may not have the time to consider and act upon the advice provided, the question remains, what is Globrix searching? In a nutshell, it would appear to search a set parameter of keywords within estate agent sites.
On the whole, this is impressive, but it still relies upon agents having content that marries up with the search criteria. Perhaps I am stating the obvious, but by using such search criteria I sense two immediate issues, namely (a) agent's site content may not match search criteria and will therefore produce inconsistent results, and (b) agents may rewrite content to force incorrect properties into first line searches.
How will the smaller agent optimise and push its way into the listings?
Globrix is good for affiliate partners such as Property Owl as we can feed all our estate agent clients into Glorbix by way of ftp. Given our pages are well optimised and we have clear instructions from Glorbix regarding how they crawl and what they search, our agents should do well. Indeed, agents may find it easier to sign up to affiliate partners such as us and let us handle their site structure and optimisation.
Indeed, this is where we can compliment such a system. Many agents will not have the time and/or technical background to play around with meta tags and the like and would be better off looking to us to assist them.
The default search appears to be set for price ‘low to high’ so in theory the cheaper properties should be displayed first and therefore perhaps the smaller agents will at least get a look in.
Will it deliver quality traffic?
It is hard to say at this stage and perhaps one for comments.
What impact on agents?
Many agents have of course built their sites around Rightmove, Primelocation etc. and to this end Globrix is displaying search results from Rightmove and the like. The question follows that if Globrix can delivery quality traffic, all the agent needs to do is rebuild their website and remove their listing from Rightmove (but see below). Indeed, what if they big three start to block Globrix from searching such sites?
This does put pressure on agents to monitor and advance their analytical efforts so they can see where the traffic is coming from. Of course, if it is as good as it says on the tin, then a minor investment to the likes of Property Owl can in the long run save the agent a small fortune!
Great for estate agents potentially, but what about users?
Whilst being a good system, the user still has to be weaned off using the bigger players. Yes, deep pocket marketing can dent this, but brand loyalty is hard to penetrate. I guess if they are that successful and agents do stop paying rightmove et al, then the Rightmove brand will suffer for having less properties. This is of course a long term and very expensive strategy. I suspect they will need to shout louder.
Will they be satisfied with just site ad revenue?
I will leave for comments, but even with the levels of Rightmove traffic, will the site ad revenue alone satisfy the board and shareholders alike?
The industry overall?
Whatever happens, such development is stimulating estate agents to address their webs sites, delivery of online property content, search optimisation and general SEM. We know what we have built will only help the agents further, so better times for agents perhaps.