New land grab is real, not virtual

Tech Culture

One of the hottest interactive battlefields between Yahoo and Google involves a land grab. But rather than the virtual kind of the late '90s, this one involves .

Yahoo may have raised the stakes significantly by doing a deal with Zillow, the popular site that just came out this year but is already changing the game in property search and research. The partnership makes perfect sense for Yahoo as it tries to strengthen its presence in local markets while pursuing a strategy as the social-networking portal of choice, having already acquired such sites as Flickr and Delicious.

Even if the housing boom has quieted, the real estate market is business that begs for an interactive revolution. At present, most buyers and sellers still rely on such antiquated vehicles as newspaper classifieds and biweekly catalogs to find each other. The information found in such static pulp can hardly compare with the virtual galleries, neighborhood crime statistics and property sales histories offered on the Web, not to mention interactive maps that actually show how to find addresses.

This is one of the many reasons, by the way, that . But the way things are going, at least in real estate, Yahoo may not need any help from old media at all.

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