Never to leave a segment of newspapers’ profits untouched, Google has plans to launch interactive local ads in its new version of Google Earth, according to Forbes Publisher Rich Karlgaard (registration required). Google has apparently been scraping real estate data that would allow Google Earth users to see any home’s purchase price, property taxes and more.
Google is also planning on selling Google Earth ads that will provide a sharp, emphasized image of the building along with a link to the store’s Web site. Hopefully, no one will be dumping the trash in the back when the satellite snaps the pic. I’d love to see a three-dimensional view of the Dumpster with the leftover fried rice inside.
Still, this all beggars the question: What services to real esate advertisers will local news sites be willing and able to offer that Google can’t? Will a text listing on a newspaper site be competitive against a beautiful three-dimensional image and an interactive map of the area?
What happens when Google perhaps starts integrating local crime statistics and school information into their map databases to give buyers a better sense of the area in which they are considering purchasing a home?