Zillow powering home searches at AOL Real Estate in wake of Move’s departure

Zillow's network of 4 sites also includes Yahoo Homes, FrontDoor.com

Screen shot of Zillow's homepage with AOL Real Estate branding seen by recent visitors to AOL Real Estate.Screen shot of Zillow's homepage with AOL Real Estate branding seen by recent visitors to AOL Real Estate.

Zillow has taken over powering AOL Real Estate’s home search from realtor.com operator Move Inc., growing its real estate network to four sites.

Move announced Monday that its two-year relationship with AOL Real Estate would end today. This morning, the search bar on AOL Real Estate’s home page declared that the site was “Powered by Zillow.”

Already the leader in Web market share, the addition of AOL Real Estate’s Web traffic will further boost Zillow’s lead over its competitors Trulia and realtor.com, who maintain their own networks. Zillow’s real estate network also includes Zillow.com, the nation’s most popular real estate search site; Yahoo Homes; and HGTV’s FrontDoor.com.

Zillow’s relationship with AOL Real Estate is different than the one it established with Yahoo Homes in 2011, Zillow spokeswoman Cynthia Nowak said. In that deal, Zillow syndicates its for-sale and for-rent listings to Yahoo Homes, and sells ads featuring real estate agents and brokers on the site.

When visitors to AOL Real Estate search for homes, results are framed on a version of zillow.com co-branded with the “AOL Real Estate” logo at the top. AOL Real Estate users also see ads that agents have purchased from Zillow.

In addition, visitors to Zillow’s home page who have previously visited AOL Real Estate now see AOL Real Estate’s branding and a separate search box striped in a banner across the top of the page. They’ll see that banner on Zillow’s home page for as long as they keep their browser open. When they start a new session in the browser (without visiting AOL Real Estate), the banner will no longer show up on Zillow’s site.

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How much of a boost in traffic Zillow gets from AOL Real Estate remains to be seen. In January, AOL Real Estate was the ninth-most visited real estate site from desktop computers in the U.S. with 6.6 million visits, representing a 1.36 percent market share, according to Experian Marketing Services.

However, traffic to AOL Real Estate has fluctuated significantly from month to month. In May, June, September and November, the site didn’t crack Experian’s top 20.

Trulia’s network includes the Primedia-operated sites Apartment Guide and Rent.com, the seventh- and ninth-most visited real estate sites in November, respectively, according to Experian data.

Realtor.com powers for-sale and for-rent listings on MSN Real Estate, the sixth-most visited real estate site in November. MSN Real Estate serves up framed search results from realtor.com sourced directly from more than 800 multiple listing services across the U.S.

Move had provided a different set of listings data to AOL Real Estate through its syndication platform, ListHub, since August 2011, and coordinated sales of advertising to real estate brokers and agents on both sites. ListHub aggregates data from brokerages and more than 425 MLSs.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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