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Google moves further into real estate

Search giant adds new features

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Ten-ton-gorilla Google is stomping further and further into the real estate arena, now offering real estate-specific pulldown menus leading to expanded search categories and maps in its Google Base product. If you type "San Francisco real estate" into Google's homepage search box, a new choice appears at the top of the organic search results: "Refine your search for San Francisco real estate," with boxes for location and listing type. When you make your choices and click "Search housing," the next screen is Google Base, with a San Francisco map and a number of search categories, including listing type, property type, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Google Base is a Web site where property listings and other information can be uploaded and displayed online for free. In March, it became possible to search Google Base via Google, giving rise to speculation that Google intends to develop Base as an MLS. While by no means as elaborate as sites such as, the new Base...