Over the last few months we have seen the rise of the "Network" in the UK - in particular the Propertyfinder Network and more recently The Digital Property Group (TDPG) from DMGT.
A network is a group of sites that, in total, reach a broader UV base than a single site. In fact, in the materials i was sent by The Digital Property Group, they claimed that "the gap between TDPG and Rightmove stands at just 355k unique users".
So what makes up the Propertyfinder Network and The Digital Property Group. The Propertyfinder Network is made up of the sites owned by Propertyfinder - propertyfinder.com, ukpropertyshop.co.uk and hotproperty.co.uk. The Digital Property Group is made up of the property sites owned by DMGT - findaproperty.com, primelocation.com, findmeanewhome.com and homesandproperty.co.uk.
As a network, both TDPG and Propertyfinder are much closer to rightmove.co.uk than any of their component sites.
|Total Unique Visitors (000)|
|The Digital Property Group||2,045|
However the real question is, are these "networks" a real threat to rightmove.co.uk or are they just another marketing spin on the numbers to make the gap between rightmove.co.uk and the rest look smaller than it really is?
Firstly, for a network to truly work, the agent must be able to purchase a single subscription and upload a listing that appears on ALL sites within the network. Now both TDPG and Propertyfinder almost get it right. The exception to this network rule is findmeanewhome.com for TDPG and ukpropertyshop.co.uk for the Propertyfinder network. Both of these sites link back to another site (findaproperty.com and propertyfinder.com) rather than keep the user on the site to see properties.
Secondly, while a network may have lots of Unique Visitors (UV's), it doesnt mean that it is effective. UV's measure how many people visited a site or network but they don't measure how long the visitors spent there or how many pages of information they viewed.
As can be seen from the table below, while rightmove.co.uk had 17% more unique visitors than TDPG, visitors to the site spent 154% more minutes on the site and viewed 245% more pages.
|Total Unique Visitors (000)||Total Minutes (MM)||Total Pages Viewed (MM)||Total Visits (000)|
|The Digital Property Group||2,045||36||60||5,188|
Therefore, while the gap between The Digital Property Group and rightmove.co.uk might be "just" 355k unique visitors, there is still a vast gap in terms of effectiveness as measured by time on site and therefore more pages viewed.