It’s simply all about Google!

It’s simply all about Google!

Google in Australia is the online monster, better known as Australia’s online library with approximately ten million visitors logging on each month. Last Saturday, in The Sydney Morning Herald, Julian Lee wrote a fascinating article about the “Google Monster” which I recommend you read (if you haven’t already). Nine out of every ten searches on the Internet are made through the Google Monster – which has catapulted this business to Australia’s number one media company. As Julian Lee wrote “Google’s revenue is estimated to be $700 million and fast heading towards $1 billion as more advertisers divert their budgets into a medium that delivers them measurability and sales leads.”

Last month the Google Monster entered the Australian property market when it released its real estate directory Google Maps. What this illustrated to me is just how little Mosman real estate agents know and understand about online given that Google measures all websites based on algorithms – whereby the greater the individual pages from a website, the higher the Google ranking on search enquiries. We try to add around 50 to 100 pages on Google each and every week and real estate agencies with an online plan, are doing very well in the current conditions.

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Tim Mooney Photography

www.timmooneyphotography.com

This week, we ventured into left field (no pun intended) as one expat subscriber was explaining to his son, the importance of Australia winning The Ashes at The Oval. As quick as a flash we sent Tim to capture a photograph of The Sydney Cricket Ground – where we all share so many childhood memories. So if you want a particular photo from Tim, send your request via our blog and if he does not have it, we will pay him to take it and this will appear in future editions –must be Eastern seaboard* (*everything has conditions).

Back to that Google Monster where I remain amazed that Richardson & Wrench Mosman & Neutral Bay (RWM) is the only Mosman agency that directs Google Maps enquiries back to its own website. This explains why our agency is positioned at number one for all search enquiries on Google (Mosman real estate) searches. We have a few thousand pages already on Google which is why we appear at the top of all searches relevant to our market demographic.

Someone is telling “porky pies”. The Weekend Australian ran a story last Saturday saying that Ruddy Fantastic is reportedly planning an absurd tax on family homes valued at over $2,000,000. Political ventriloquist, Wayne Swan, was quick to deny this. Whatever the case, a concerning leak, given that Federal government has to fast track its pay back of the stimulus packages – interest payments alone are estimated at $10 billion a year. In this comprehensive Australian tax review (currently under way by Treasury) it appears that the two worst taxes affecting our property markets – Stamp Duty and Land Tax (both State taxes) would be unlikely to change given that State governments are broke. The only alternate increase would be GST and such a decision would not be popular. With the benefit of hindsight, the stimulus packages were excessive and even though our economy has recovered, Federal and State governments are steeped in their own recessions.

Obviously, Kevin Rudd did not read the Sinclair Davidson (Professor at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing and a senior fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.) “Rudd’s stimulus has nothing to do with the economy” which appeared on www.crikey.com.au

Sinclair Davidson wrote “Pessimistic bias is the tendency to over-estimate the economic severity of economic problems. The idea that the Global Financial Crisis is similar to the Great Depression is simply nonsense (I said this a month ago). Australian unemployment in the 1930’s peaked at over 25%. Unemployment is now seen at levels not seen since the early 2000s. The “collapse” in forecast revenue that so spooked the government, returned us to levels not seen since 2006.” Sinclair Davidson then wrote “The government argued that the stimulus package was intended to save jobs. That may well be an admirable goal. But why then stimulate the construction industry? Were the unemployed bankers and brokers and lawyers expected to get jobs building school halls?” Interesting points which no doubt will be debated on our blog (each comment generates another RWM page on Google.)

Before Ruddy Fantastic starts increasing taxes he should read this report compiled by the Australian Housing and Research Institute (AHURI) – Does Higher Housing Wealth Increase Consumer Spending? The key point from its findings was that – A $100,000 increase in housing wealth is associated with an increase in consumption expenditure of approximately $1,000 to $1,500 per annum in Australia. The Federal government can ill afford to infect the property markets with badly thought out tax. Instead, it should look at the tax debacle created by Fort Crumble (NSW government) when it introduced (then embarrassingly dismissed) Vendor Exit Tax!

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But then again I keep revisiting Peter Costello’s musings which appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on April 29,2009 ” Buy now and pay much more later” . A compelling argument where the stimulus payback may well be worse for Australia than our very quick time in recession.

So let me turn your attention back to the Google Monster – which was not even a concept back in the recession of the early nineties. The Internet has played an enormous part as an accelerated driving force to economic recovery.A majority of decision makers simply don’t understand it and we now find ourselves indebted to their lack of understanding and knowledge for that matter.

In their defence – businesses and governments are now just starting to understand the powers of this monster, and it is not just Google that is reaping the benefits.

Cheers ^_-^

For this week’s recorded Mosman real estate, Cremorne real estate, Neutral Bay real estate and Cammeray real estate sales www.rwm.com.au/news/

10 Responses to “It’s simply all about Google!”

  • Rudd’s stimulus has nothing to do with the economy
    Sinclair Davidson writes:
    The “go hard, go early, go households” advice given to government last year is starting to look a little sick. Serious doubts are being raised about the stimulus spending spree of last year and early this year.
    The Australian economy has proven to be remarkably resilient — this is no accident and has nothing to do with us being “the lucky country”.
    Australians enjoy a strong robust economy because of a generation of hard-fought and hard-won economic reform.
    Last year the government was very keen not to be seen to be “doing nothing”. Anyone who had the temerity to criticise the stimulus packages was pilloried as advocating a “do nothing strategy”.
    Unfortunately this argument proved to be very powerful. But as I told the Senate Inquiry into the stimulus package on February 9 this year, “The government is not ‘doing nothing'”.
    By that stage the Reserve Bank had lowered interest rates and to the extent that unemployment had increased, welfare payments would have been increasing too. So monetary policy had responded and the so-called “automatic stabilisers” had responded too.
    We shouldn’t also forget that the exchange rate had depreciated. The forex rate acts as a shock absorber to the economy. That is one of the functions of a floating exchange rate — the Hawke Government’s greatest and most important reform.
    This all raises the question of why the government and its advisors over-reacted to the international crisis. One easy explanation is that Treasury, in particular, is still shell-shocked from the experience of the early 1990s. That is the last time that Australia actually experienced a recession. Bryan Caplan of George Mason University has argued that decision makers have systematic biases in their thinking.
    These biases are at work in the current government’s approach to economic policy.
    Pessimistic bias is the tendency to over-estimate the severity of economic problems. The idea that the Global Financial Crisis is similar to the Great Depression is simply nonsense. Australian unemployment in the 1930s peaked at over 25%. Unemployment is now at levels not seen since the early 2000s. The “collapse” in forecast revenue, that so spooked the government, returned us to levels not seen since 2006. This bias re-enforced the anti-market bias that already affected the government and we saw arguments from the Prime Minister about the evils and failures of market mechanisms. Ultimately this then fed into one of the oldest of economic biases — make work schemes.
    The problem with the government’s stimulus package is that it creates a series of make-work schemes. Make work, any work is never a good economic policy. The cash hand-outs largely transformed private debt into public debt — whether or not it did actually boost retail sales is an open question. But it is the other spending that will create difficulties going forward. To be sure, having better sheds or another gym or school halls is great for the kids, but what is the additional economic benefit from having these things? This type of expenditure is better managed, financed and undertaken at the local level and not by the federal government.
    The government argued that the stimulus package was intended to save jobs. That may well be an admirable goal. But why then stimulate the construction industry? Were the unemployed bankers and brokers and lawyers expected to get jobs building school halls? If the government wanted to protect jobs in the expected downturn, they should have bought out the State payroll tax. This may well have saved some, but not all, jobs lost over the past six months or so. That would have been “doing something” but it might not have been “seen to be doing something”.
    Of course the government will claim that it was their policies that have resulted in the Australian economy doing so well. Yet, the US had a huge stimulus package and then entered into recession, while the French have hardly had a stimulus package and also entered, and have now exited, recession. The reality of the economic situation is far more messy than official sound bites would have us believe.

    Sinclair Davidson is professor at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing and a senior fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

    Source: http://www.crikey.com.au

  • Patricia says:

    Robert,

    In the weekly ‘Mosman & Neutral Bay Watch’ (including Cammeray and Cremorne), it would be useful for the result/status of every property scheduled for auction to be displayed, even if ‘withdrawn prior to auction’.

    One of your competitors auctioned several properties Wednesday night. Homes in Pretoria Ave and Beaconsfield Rd were scheduled for auction yet both escaped mention in your weekly sales recap. Presumably they did not sell, so were they passed in? If so, at what price (and was it a Vendor Bid)? Or were they withdrawn?

    Submitted for consideration with the greatest respect, of course!

  • Patricia says:

    Correction – Your competitor’s auction event was Tuesday night, 18 August, not ‘Wednesday night’ per my previous post.

  • Patricia,

    Good question – I can only assume that they were withdrawn. I extrapolate the data from Australian Property Monitors (APM) so you can in all probability expect to see them re-appear with an asking price in the near future. Unless they have been sold and the vendor or purchaser have enforced a confidentiality agreement which is often the case.

    Answered for consideration with the greatest respect, of course! 🙂

  • Robert its so refreshing to have you back on reporting !!! some of the other agents seem to not understand which agency has the web fully covered !!! I feel it would be great to have someone monitior the weekly sales of all agencies with sold/ withdrawn/private treatly / web sale to see who is top of the POP !!!

  • Thanks Pete – there are plenty of interesting things happening at the moment as you have read and the real estate landscape is changing rapidly. As you know we have been prepared for quite sometime now so it will be interesting to see who else makes the transition to e-business.

    I thought you would enjoy the part about the Google Monster which is simply fascinating to watch and use their amazing online platforms. I thought you would have been one of the first to request an aerial photo to test me out.

  • Mark says:

    Robert,

    Fully agree with your google comments. We run Google Analytics and around 86% of people get to our website via Google. The rest are also rans. Its interesting when you post on popular websites like this one you page ranking jumps overnight. Avagoodweekend.

  • Mark – you are totally correct with this. For example it took Google just 40 minutes to pick up todays edition which is most impressive. It is important to get higher rankings to post a live URL – the it really kicks in. Linking is very important and beneficial as it creates a page for your business which then obviously increases your ranking – algorithms.

  • Ed says:

    In case you’re interested – when searching for ‘Mosman real estate’ on Google.com.au and Google.com from Asia, the following page listings appear:

    Google.com.au:
    Ads x 3
    1. realestate.com.au
    2. realestate.com.au [rival agency page]
    3. domain.com.au
    4. rwm.com.au
    5. [rival agency]
    etc

    Google.com:
    Ads x 1
    1. realestate.com.au
    2. realestate.com.au [rival agency page]
    3. domain.com.au
    4. rwm.com.au
    5. [rival agency]
    etc

    I agree about not under-estimating the role of page links in google rankings (although I am by no means an expert). I see that RWM doesn’t use Google ads, at least not on that search term or targeted in my geographic area.

    I’d like to see the real house price table updated to 2009, particularly for Ireland and UK!

  • Ed,

    Thanks for that the reference both times at 2 take you to the REA page not the agents website. We will never have to take out Google AdWords as we have been able to grow our position organically by using our search engine optimisation (SEO). Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au spend millions of dollars each year on Google and this may change shortly now that Google has launched Google Maps so Realestate and Domain have banned Google for displaying their pages on Google Maps – they are “not happy Jan!”

    My plan was to be the first real estate agency to appear on those searches and we have achieved that 🙂

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