Real estate website has formed a partnership with 11 newspaper publishing companies representing 282 newspapers across the U.S. that calls for the newspapers to feature their local classified advertising (for-sale listings and open house information) on the Zillow platform.

Local advertisers who place print and online listings with these newspapers will have the option to include those listings and open house ads on Zillow as well. It will certainly help them increase their reach, as Zillow boasts 4 million site visitors a month. According to Zillow, 70 percent of those individuals are in the process of buying or selling a home or plan to do so within the next year or two. While Zillow users will now have access to a much broader collection of listings as a result of this partnership, advertisers will also now be able to further enhance their online presence through real estate content and information on homes, neighborhoods and value trends courtesy of Zillow's technology.

The newspaper companies included in this partnership include Hearst Newspapers, Journal Register Company, The E.W. Scripps Company and The Day Publishing Company. Individual newspapers the companies publish include The San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, The Tampa Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Zillow and the newspapers expect to launch their collaboration during the first half of 2008. Additional companies are also expected to sign on before the official launch date.

Zillow has certainly made a lot of news lately and the announcement of this rather aggressive move is no exception. It continues to launch new products and services to attract a very active user base and this expansive partnership should only help draw even more users to the site. In such a short time--the site only launched in early 2006--Zillow has really gained a lot of credibility in the real estate marketplace as a reliable information source. Having the support of these major newspaper companies will further extend that credibility.

And, instead of competing against the newspapers for visitors' eyes, Zillow is creating a solid, unified source of real estate data for visitors across the country. The partnership will also help the newspapers in their efforts to remain on the cutting edge of technology. By relying more heavily on the Zillow platform, they will be assured that their real estate content and services will be as easy to access and use as possible, which should translate into an increase in web traffic and improved advertising sales results for all involved.