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Revolution PR's "Property Search Index" Reveals UK Commercial Real Estate Marketís Fortunes Through Online Activity

The improving fortunes of the UK commercial property market and the first signs of an uplift in market sentiment have been traced in a study of the volume of property related searches carried out online by users on Google.

London, United Kingdom, December 06, 2009 --( The research has been undertaken by Revolution Public Relations, the commercial property PR specialist, for its “Property Search Index Report” which reveals a noticeable increase in the volume of commercial property related searches over the past four months. It has also revealed an interesting insight into the changing patterns of search engine usage in relation to commercial property over the past five years.

The study examines the level of online searches undertaken on a week-by-week basis for a selection of the most popular and most commonly used commercial property search terms recorded by Google. The popularity of the individual search terms is published by Google and the weekly total is expressed as a percentage of the peak volume of these searches over a twelve month period. These volumes have been analysed and used to calculate a monthly index figure that reveals overall search trends and patterns; providing an indication of market sentiment. The Property Search Index overall has risen from a score of 153 in August to 165 in November this year. The average index score over the previous twelve month period stands at 160.

Andrew Barber of Revolution Public Relations says: “We identified thirty of the most popular keywords and phrases used on Google in the UK that relate to commercial property and when we studied the volume of searches conducted using these search terms, an interesting pattern emerged. We had expected a reduction over the summer months but in most cases the volumes remained constant and even increased in some instances. This upward trend has continued through the autumn.

“Following steady monthly rises in September and October, searches relating to retail property saw a sharp increase in November. The volumes of searches are well above the average for the previous twelve months with searches for some terms, such as ‘shop for sale’, recently reaching their highest levels since 2004; significantly higher than the volumes witnessed prior to the current recession.”

Search terms specific to the investment sector also increased in August, September and October and remained stable in November. The figures for the office and industrial sectors both increased in November but remain below the average for the previous twelve months.

The study also revealed how, over the last five years, the volumes of some search terms has steadily fallen – even during the property boom. This suggests that search engines usage has become more sophisticated with users more aware of the need to use specific (often geographic) phrases rather than generic search terms.

Andrew adds: “The study of keywords and phrases is of great importance to those concerned with the return on investment made by online marketing and publicity. What the study clearly illustrates is how relatively small changes to website content and structure could dramatically improve the volume of visitors it receives. An example of this is the vast difference in the popularity of ‘shops for sale’ and ‘shops to let’ - two, seemingly, very similar search phrases.”

A copy of the Property Search Index Report can be found at


Notes for editors:
The figures used in the calculation of the Property Search Index are published by Google and illustrate the volume of web searches conducted in the UK. The weekly volume of a particular search term is ranked in relation to its highest figure for the preceding twelve months (i.e. a percentage of the peak level measured during a twelve month period). Revolution Public Relations compiles the scores for 30 individual search terms, on a monthly basis, to produce an index score to assess the level of online interest in the commercial property market.
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Revolution Public Relations Ltd
Andrew Barber

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