— the official listing portal of the National Association of Realtors — has been battling with Yahoo Real Estate for the top position in monthly real estate website rankings by Web metrics firm Experian Hitwise, trading places seven times in the last year.

Yahoo Real Estate came out on top again in July, capturing 7.43 percent of visits in the real estate category, compared with 7.15 percent  for, Hitwise said.

Zillow ranked third, with 5.84 percent of visits, followed by Trulia (5.33 percent), MSN Real Estate (2.84 percent), (2.55 percent), (2.14 percent), AOL Real Estate (1.91 percent), Apartment Guide (1.62 percent) and (1.26 percent).

For real estate brokers and agents seeking to reach clients through ads on the sites, the dominance of the top 10 real estate sites is further underscored by alliances that Zillow and operator Move Inc. have forged with other top 10 sites. Between them, Move and Zillow can now sell advertisements on five sites that attract one in four visits in the real estate category.

Under the terms of an advertising alliance with Yahoo Real Estate, Zillow manages a common set of for-sale listings and sells targeted ads to real estate agents and brokers that appear on both sites.

The latest numbers from Hitwise show that together, Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate captured 13.3 percent of visits in the real estate category in July.

Listing searches on MSN Real Estate are displayed as framed results from, including featured home listings that are paid advertisements. Move also powers the site’s new home and rental searches.

This week Move also began powering searches of listings AOL Real Estate receives from Move subsidiary ListHub, which syndicates listings from multiple listings services that have information on about 85 percent of homes for sale. Move is coordinating sales of ads to real estate brokers and agents on both sites.

MSN Real Estate and AOL Real Estate have both climbed in the Hitwise rankings this year. AOL Real Estate soared from 18th in January to fifth place in April and June, before falling back into eighth place in July. MSN Real Estate began the year in ninth and climbed into fifth in May, a position it reclaimed in July.

Together,, MSN Real Estate and AOL Real Estate captured 11.9 percent of visits in the real estate category in July, according to Hitwise.

View larger image. Source: Experian Hitwise

Hitwise reported that sites on its top 10 list captured 38 percent of traffic among all real estate category websites.

That compares with the 10 percent combined market share of the next 10 most popular sites: MyNew Place (1.21 percent), ZipRealty (1.21 percent), HomeAway (1.07 percent), Re/Max Real Estate (1.04 percent), (1.03 percent), (0.97 percent), HomeFinder (0.95 perent), (0.93 percent), LoopNet (0.92 percent) and Redfin (0.86 percent).

The top real estate search terms tracked by Hitwise in July also reflect the fact that the brand names used by major search portals have become household names.

Zillow — which also made its debut as a publicly traded company last month — was the No. 1 real estate search term or phrase in July, followed by "," "trulia," "," "remax," "realtor," "century 21," "coldwell banker," "apartments for rent" and "homes for sale."

Fast-moving sites included The Real Deal New York, up 16 places to 210; Enterprise Works, up 892 places to 1,547; McDonald Group GMAC Real Estate, up 935 places to 2,000; Data Tree, up 352 places to 519;, up 301 places to 1,079; Outer Beaches Realty, up 88 places to 280; Governors Club, up 105 places to 688; Cusato Cottages, up 340 places to 967; Lake Place, up 83 places to 207; and Retrove, up 115 places to 661. 

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