Modelry - A Random Walk through Internet Real Estate: The New SEO for Real Estate

The New SEO for Real Estate

The New SEO for Real Estate

2011 has marked an important year.  Google which controls 65% of search queries started optimizing its search engine to try to mimic "what the consumer wants."  These algorithm changes have been called Panda.  I have written about Panda before on my blog.  Here and here are a couple of links to previous articles talking about how Panda is affecting web sites across the Internet and changing how web sites and bloggers view content.

When Google started in 1998, it was all about linking and linking strategies - backlinks and internal links.  Google's initial algorithm which analyzed links resulted in many highly templated sites, link farms, and content farms dominating the search results, when the content on the pages was not what the consumer was searching for, or valuable in the least.

Fast forward to 2011.  Linking strategies are still really really important, but the search engines are getting smarter and trying to mimic human tastes and search.  Also, FaceBook is now the most visited site in the United States.  So what does this mean for SEO for Real Estate or the New SEO for Real Estate?

Below is the SEO Pyramid created by Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz here in Seattle.  The SEO Pyramid is a great simple summary of the basics needed by every real estate professional trying to understand the New SEO for Real Estate. 


SEO Pyramid


 So what matters for SEO for Real Estate?  According to Rand, it is a pyramid ordered as follows:

  1. Phenomenal content with a high quality user experience.  In the past, a site could have great SEO ranking or domain authority without providing a great user experience.  This is changing quickly and the search engines are penalizing sites that have a high BOUNCE RATE.  Bounce rate is the rate by which the consumer searches, goes to a web site, and then returns to the search engine.  Since the consumer returned to the search engine, the search engines assume that the consumer did not find what he or she was looking for.  Consumer experience and content quality are becoming more and more important.  There is no way to game this going forward. 
  2. Keyword research & targeting: Keyword research continues to be important.  Everyone should be using the keyword targeting tools provided by Google Adwords or Bing to refine and target their keyword strategies.
  3. Link building: Historically, most SEO experts have focused on link building strategies, i.e. link to me and I will link to you or creating interesting content that one can use as "link bait" to increase the number of backlinks to your site.  Link Building is still critical to success, but content is king now.
  4. Social, social, social: Social sharing is at the top of the SEO pyramid now.  The number of consumers that are sharing your links or your content and proactively commenting and liking your has quickly become the best signal to the search engines of high quality content and relevance to the consumer.  This is really important to understand and embrace for the New SEO for Real Estate.  Most of the search engines are incorporating results from FaceBook and Twitter into search results.  Google with its Google Plus is proactively judging site relevance by the number of "+1's" on your web site each month.  Check out your "+1's" within your Google Webmaster Tools. 

So what does all this mean for the New SEO for Real Estate?  It's pretty simple:

  • Write great and useful content for consumers and real estate professionals on ActiveRain
  • Use keyword targeting tools like Adwords before you write your blog
  • Make friends and get LOTS of blog subscribers on ActiveRain to get more exposure for your content.  That will increase the likelihood of your content being syndicated to social networks and being linked to by others. 
  • Share your content on ActiveRain on FaceBook, Google +, LinkedIn and Twitter.

ActiveRain and the ActiveRain RainMaker are great tools to help real estate professionals understand and take advantage of the changes in SEO and the Internet to grow their businesses.




Nikesh Parekh

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Comment balloon 18 commentsNikesh Parekh • August 15 2011 01:23AM


Hi Niki, this is great information to share, thanks for posting.

Posted by Hrisco & Associates, Roanoke Homes for Sale - Roanoke Neighborhoods (Hrisco & Associates ) over 8 years ago

Thanks for breaking down the new pyramid into understandable parts. Bookmarked.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 8 years ago

great blog on a frequently misunderstood subject...I hear more incorrect information about SEO on a daily basis!!

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( over 8 years ago
Great information! I am hearing that AR has added the +1 button, in addition to the FB like along with a tweet and linked in button. Very cool. My only problem is that I cannot see the +1 it because I am reading on an IPad this morning? Just curious.
Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 8 years ago

Nikesh - I was playing with the new buttons and noticed that the Facebook one grabbed a picture from down the side of Kathy's blog that was not relevant to the post. When you post a link direct you have the option of which picture to use

I don't know if this can be fixed but it would be great if it could just use the first picture from a post or at leas give you the option of picking or not using one.


Posted by Barrie Clulow (My Time Is My Own) over 8 years ago

Hi Barrie,

Unfortunately, FaceBook can randomly grab the image.   We have all the metatags in place as described by FaceBook.  FaceBook can cache images somewhat randomly.  The best way is to like the post from the blog post itself where there are less images for Facebook to grab.

Check out my profile:  where it is working properly


Christine, I have the same issue with my iPad.  We will take a look at it.  I am not sure if this is an Apple vs. Google thing, just making it harder for developers :)

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Nikesh - I believe I was on the post but just to be sure I tried it just now from another post and nothing happens does that mean we only get one like for AR or is Facebook running slow and just not showing it yet

Posted by Barrie Clulow (My Time Is My Own) over 8 years ago

Hi Barrie,

Are you logged into your FaceBook account?  ActiveRain seems to be working fine for me in terms of liking posts on FaceBook. 

Call or email us at Member Services and we can try to help.


Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Can you explain how having lots of blog subscribers creates "a deep linking strategy for content"? I feel like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle in understanding.


Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 8 years ago

Niki - it must have been a glitz somewhere it works now but the post I tried earlier still has not shown up on facebook but shows I liked it on AR

Posted by Barrie Clulow (My Time Is My Own) over 8 years ago

Hi Leslie,

My point on the linking strategy is this: The more blog subscribers you have on ActiveRain, the more people that see your blog, the more people that will likely comment on your blog, share, or re-post your content. 


Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Niki: guess I'm still a little confused. When someone comments on my wp site, that can create a backlink to my site. When someone comments on my AR outside blog, I can see how a backlink is created and my domain name can capture some juice. But when someone...a member or consumer....comments on my AR blog, that doesn't create a backlink to a site I own or goes to AR?




Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 8 years ago

Niki:  From what I understand AR comments are No Follow.  I also undertand the person commenting on your blog (if it were do follow) would benefit the most from the backlink - not the author.

I don't claim to be an SEO expert by any means since I am a full time agent who has a little web presence but I am not following you right now in comment #11.  

I do agree they would benefit from a reblog or a share but not from a comment (unless it has your keywords in it.)

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 8 years ago

I would agree with Renee's comment above.  I'm a little confused at this point....???

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 8 years ago

Leslie, Rene, Justin, you are correct.  Having lots of blog subscribers and readers for your blog will increase the likelihood of your post being shared on the social networks and getting linked to by other web sites.   Comments with good content that reinforce your keywords also help with the search engines.  But, the links in the blog do not help you with your own SEO.  Sorry for the mistake.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Niki, thanks for keeping us all current with the changes in SEO and what we need to do to keep up.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 8 years ago

Niki = Thanks for all of the great info - I am trying to dig for a better understanding of all of this..

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) about 8 years ago

I need to come back and really read through this.  Thank you for putting the informaiton out there for us!

Posted by Stefan West, Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee CA Real Estate (West Realty) almost 8 years ago