Zillow.com is now powering for-sale listings on Yahoo Real Estate and selling ads that feature real estate agents and brokers on both sites, the companies said as they flipped the switch on a partnership announced in July.

Zillow said it’s providing 4 million for-sale listings to Yahoo Real Estate, which continues to maintain its own separate databases of foreclosure properties, newly constructed homes and rentals.

The partnership allows real estate agents to place local ads on Yahoo Real Estate — a capability previously offered by Zillow, but not Yahoo Real Estate — and increases the number of listings and photographs buyers see on Yahoo Real Estate, the companies said.

The partnership effectively doubles the exposure agents and brokers who purchase advertising from Zillow.com receive, CEO Spencer Rascoff said when the companies joined forces to create what they touted today as "the largest real estate network on the Web."

Realtor.com operator Move Inc. announced a similar partnership with AOL Real Estate last month.

Later this year, Move says it will use its recently acquired ListHub network to syndicate listings to AOL Real Estate and provide proprietary technology to power the site’s homes-for-sale search. Move and AOL will coordinate ad sales to real estate agents, brokers and other advertisers.

According to a comScore traffic report provided by Zillow, Zillow.com had 7.66 million unique visitors in December, and Yahoo Real Estate 7.63 million. Because a small percentage of those visitors went to both sites, the combined total of unique visitors to the Yahoo-Zillow network — 14.4 million — was slightly lower than the sum of traffic to the two sites (15.29 million). (Zillow reported its own internal numbers show that Zillow.com had 15.7 million monthly unique users last month.)

The same comScore report showed 12.1 million unique visitors to the Move Network in December — including 10.4 million to Realtor.com — and 3.29 million unique visitors to AOL Real Estate. The combined traffic to the Move Network and AOL Real Estate was 15.39 million, but the comScore report did not include an adjustment to account for how much of that traffic was common to both sites.

In recent months, Yahoo Real Estate and Realtor.com have been jockeying for the top position on a list of most popular websites maintained by another metrics firm, Experian Hitwise. Yahoo Real Estate displaced Realtor.com from the No. 1 position on the monthly Hitwise top 20 list in August, for the first time in that list’s three-year history.

But analysts say that in deciding where their advertising dollars are best spent, real estate agents and brokers must consider more than just site traffic. They also need to consider the quality of that traffic, or "traffic engagement," and their return on investment from traffic at various sites, as some visitors may be serious buyers or sellers browsing listings while others may simply be seeking information and not in the market to buy or sell.

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