LONDON, UK: Rightmove is reputed to be the UK's largest property portal with more users, more advertisers and more properties than any other UK property website. It is also the ninth most popular website in the UK, generating more than 12 times more page views than its nearest competitor. To maintain its position, the company decided to enhance its website's mapping functionality with Google Maps.
The company's advertisers are property professionals such as estate agents, letting (rental) agents, new homes developers and overseas agents who offer properties abroad for UK-based home hunters.
Rightmove's business model depends on driving the UK's home-moving public to its website and offering the best user experience possible in order to ensure that they explore the site more deeply and return to it repeatedly. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the company was keen to incorporate better mapping functionality on its website. Rightmove was also looking for innovative ways in which it could use mapping technology to improve the user experience further, beyond basic mapping functionality.
Having investigated a number of different offerings, Rightmove decided to implement Google Maps API Premier mapping technology. Google Maps is already so widespread across the web, they felt that users would be far more familiar with using it. Having found the Google Maps API very easy to work with during implementation, Rightmove's development team soon started investigating what else it could do with the technology to improve the site. The result was a prototype design for the innovative feature, Draw-a-Search.
Draw-a-Search enables property seekers to draw their own boundaries when searching for a property, rather than using area definitions dictated by an estate agent or property website. For example, instead of being asked to define a search area by either postcode, area name or radius, Draw-a-Search works within a Google Map on the Rightmove site to let users draw their own specific areas and search for properties within those areas. Users can also save and share the areas they draw and edit them at a later date as desired.
One million searches a week on Rightmove now use Draw-a-Search 200 000 new areas being drawn every week. Rightmove site registrations increased by 15%
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