Friday, January 22, 2010

Rightmove fire a salvo at Google

Terrific stuff from the FT who write about a leaked memo circulated by the top brass at Rightmove.

They (Rightmove) are in a tricky position.

Do they just ignore all the speculation about Google entering the real estate market - and get accused of burying their heads in the sand.

Or, do they come out fighting - and get accused of defensiveness and "feeding the flames".

They're going to be damned whatever they do but I do think that the memo they sent out could have been better crafted.  Read it, (link here) and judge for yourself. 

My take is that they sound scared and bewildered - I'm reading Watership Down to my kids at the moment and I had a "rabbits in the headlights" feeling when scrolling through what Rightmove sent out.  The second paragraph was particularly poor:

The reality – we think! – is that at some point Google will launch a real-estate feature in the UK. We can’t be sure about when they will launch but we can hazard a guess that what they will launch will be along the same lines as their real estate features in Australia and the US, launched in July. So, what do we know about the brave new world of online property advertising in Australia and the US?

Bewilderment and sarcasm aren't the tone to set things off with.

The FT say that they await Googles response.  My guess is that there won't be one - they'll just continue testing, evaluating and meeting the major players in private.

They're a juggernaut and the momentum they are gathering won't be deflected by tactical volleys like this.

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