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Zoopla and Digital merger: let the fight begin

With the OFT having finally announced their decision to allow a merger between Zoopla and the Digital group of portals, the latest website traffic figures make interesting reading.

According to independent website monitoring firm Nielsen, the number of visitors to Zoopla grew faster than any of the other main UK property portals in March, putting Zoopla in second place behind Rightmove.

The figures reveal that Rightmove continued to lead the market with 3.62m unique visitors in March, up 4.4% year-on-year. Zoopla had 2.3m unique visitors, up 26.7% from one year ago. FindaProperty came in third at 2.16m unique visitors and Primelocation fourth with just over 900,000.

Of course, it’s too simplistic to put Zoopla’s unique visitor stats with those of Primelocation and FindaProperty, and decide that Rightmove would trail in second place once the merger goes ahead. Unique visitors are also by no means the only measure, and nor is Nielsen the only website auditor. According to Hitwise, Rightmove’s traffic is four times that of its nearest rival.

Property Portal Watch guru Simon Baker puts Rightmove’s page impressions at an astonishing 8.3 times the number of page impressions achieved by its nearest rival (and Baker says this is FindaProperty, not Zoopla).

Rightmove itself claims a huge market share of around 84% and is one of the UK’s top ten websites.

However, it is quite a thought that should Zoopla continue to grow at its current rate, would it have caught up with Rightmove all by itself at some point?

The question is hypothetical and we shall never know. But the sheer scale of the challenge facing the newly merged portal should not be underestimated.

 

Source: EAToday Tuesday 18 April 2012