Hitwise: Zillow Now #2

In the monthly Hitwise real estate report the company pegs Zillow as the number two real estate site in the US:

And here are the top search queries in the real estate category per Hitwise:

Realtor.com is unlikely to hold on to its top position in my view, as a relatively complacent incumbent, much like MapQuest lost its crown to Google in Maps. The question is when will Zillow become number 1? As an aside, Yahoo! Real Estate (number 3) is increasingly a mix of third party content, including from Zillow.

It’s totally amazing how the newspapers have let this market slip from their fingers in a slow-motion process that has lasted more than a decade.

8 Responses to “Hitwise: Zillow Now #2”

  1. Nicholas Says:

    One of the challenges the newspapers face is that they are not serving the national market, just a handful of local markets, so they have a scale issue. They needed to either create a consortium that invested in building/buying a zillow/trulia or one of them needed to build/buy a zillow/trulia and then partner with the others for the markets they don’t serve. This would be somewhat like what Tribune did with Metromix, partnering with Gannett after a few years.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    You identify a paradox of online local that usually but doesn’t always apply. We can find examples of sites that are not national but doing well in particular markets. Yelp in a way started out like this in the SF Bay Area.

    Re your suggestion, this is what Classified Ventures is/was supposed to be. Also the newspapers own HomeGain, which was a top 5 site at one time and now has fallen complete out of the top 20 apparently.

  3. Nicholas Says:

    Agreed that it doesn’t have to apply if the newspapers don’t let it. Yelp started off in SF and then expanded nationally with a focused strategy. Newspapers theoretically could do the same, but it seems that in general they focus almost exclusively on their own markets. Kudzu is another example of a Newspaper initiative that was allowed to run on its own and then eventually grew beyond Atlanta to non-Cox markets.

    The newspapers used to dominate local almost by default, but now even if they owned Zillow, they’d only have a 3.5% market share. The top 10 on the list above combine for only 28% share.

  4. Terry Howard Says:

    Are we at all surprised? In the early days of the internet newspapers were the ideal people to innovate and bring to market online document and image search, online classifieds, online reviews, online opinions, online real estate and online advertising. They were the experts and holders of the content in all these areas and failed repeatedly to recognize the right path. People in garages and living rooms filled the void and now they face oblivion. The big question is, can they find a way to monetize and make profitable their last arena, journalism (true research based in the field reporting), before someone else manages to put the pieces together on a profitable peer reviewed crowd sourced reporting model?

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    Terry… I think there was some recent research that showed that news pages were more difficult to monetize online. Unfortunately I can’t recall where I saw it.

  6. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the press Greg! We’re definitely excited about this news. I am glad you posed the question “when will Zillow become number 1.” That would be fantastic.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you, pretty please, for a link in this article.

    Thanks for the positive note, and have a great day!

    Business Development, Zillow

  7. Greg Sterling Says:


    Have the link: http://bit.ly/cSJcCN

  8. Matt Says:

    Haha, I miscommunicated on that one. Thanks. I was actually meaning would it be possible to include a link to Zillow in your article.

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