ActiveRain is owned by Market Leader- Trulia is buying Market Leader. What does this mean for your SEO?
This post is not about making the best of what has been happening. This is not about looking at this through rosy glasses. This is not about looking at this with optimism and looking on the bright side. If you want that version, then you can read Nikesh's post on the featured posts board.
This is about SEO and the reality of the power of Brand to the detriment of the individual agent and broker. So if you are not in the mood for frankness, boldness and telling it like I see it....
Missy Caulk asked the question in the comment stream of Nikesh's post-
Question? So will all of the blog posts here now somehow cause Trulia to go higher in the SERPS? Just curious because the real estate war seems to be between Zillow and Trulia and when Zillow offered free WP sites to agents it pushed Zillow to the top in SERPS?
So will all the posts here now give Trulia a backlink to help propel it to the top?
While all the posts will not really have a backlink back to Trulia because you and I would have to physically put in the link which I am not going to do- Missy is on the right track as far as the powerhouse in SEO that the acquisition will become for Trulia. The truth is that ActiveRain will have links back to Trulia but they already do in many regards because agents put stupid Trulia widgets on their side bars on their ActiveRain blogs which are giving the link back to Trulia. Agents are the reason for their own demise in SEO as they continue to cave into the big 4.
First, let me say, don't take my comments out of context please. I am all about free markets. I am not saying things need to be fair. There is a difference between making things fair and having a free market which is naturally fair. This is not a free market. The only place in the world that even comes close to having a free market is Hong Kong right now. So we are not even going to go there in this post.
If you are an independent agent or broker and do SEO for leads on your own websites then you know darn well that when Google did their algo shift last year it propelled the "big 4" up to most of the top 4 spots for anything with "homes for sale" after the geo specific term. Trulia is one of the "big 4". This is because of their shift to "brand". So now the "big 4" don't even have to optimize for "homes for sale" or "real estate" because they have been branded for SEO as equated to those terms.
When you pay money to Trulia for leads, you are helping them get more SEO. It is like sleeping with your enemy. First of all, if you are listing broker or a listing agent- you have been forced into sharecropping with Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. We are the ones who go through the work to get a listing, we are the ones who do the marketing before we get the listings, we are the ones who take all the liability when taking a listing and then the big 4 siphon off our listings and create the business model of selling back the leads from our own assets.
So then you do SEO on your sites so that your own listings that you worked to get will bring in the leads from your efforts. Just one year ago if you came to me to help you with your SEO and I saw any of the big 4 on page one of the SERPS, I would tell you that you can be in those spots. It was easy to dominate for your local geo specific terms. But the big 4 along with many other big brands complained that this was not fair since they paid the big bucks in PPC etc, then you see Google shift the algorithm and take out patents on branding.
Well, then we shifted to niche SEO keywords that would still generate leads for the independent agent and broker, the niche words that are under the radar of the big 4.
There is a keyword that was under the radar that did not have "homes for sale" or "real estate" in it that we totally dominated 9 out of 10 spaces on page one of the SERPS for. We have dominated that page for years. Suddenly just the other day, guess who had suddenly appeared on page one in the #10 spot for that keyword phrase? Trulia- for a keyword that was NOT even in their title of their page, they did not optimize the page for, but Google pulled them in because of the power of the branding algo to any synonym or any term that they can wiggle around to mean a synonym in or out of context.
This was my response to Missy's comment:
Of course it will!!! While every post can not have a link back to trulia without us putting it there, the activerain space itself is going to give more links to trulia. But they will say, Hi Missy- I am calling from Trulia- just surrender to us and you will never have to worry about working on SEO again. Just pay for your leads from your own listings that we now have more of to sell to you.
From the SEO perspective of independent brokers, Trulia buying Market Leader who owns ActiveRain is not a good deal.