Fire the search engine optimizer - get active on Facebook

Real Estate Technology with ReachFactor - Content Marketing for Real Estate

I recently came across an SEOMoz study that looked to see what impact, if any social media has on search engine rank. The results surprised me. The number of Facebook comments/likes/shares you get seem to directly impact your Google rank.

The study looked at results from 10,000 Google searches and compared the top 30 results to see what they had in common vs. the low ranking sites. The common denominator? Over 60 percent of the high ranking sites had Facebook comments/likes/shares!


Facebook marketing


We wanted to see whether there was any evidence of this effect within our own client base. So we looked across 2000 clients and pulled out those who had a similar number of listings and client reviews. We then compared the search engine ranking for those who used Facebook vs. those who didn't.

We found great evidence to corroborate the SEOMoz study. Let me show you a prime example:


Auto Facebook posts and updates

Here are snippets of wall posts from the Facebook page of our client Lori Fleming. You notice our application automatically shares into Facebook a status update about every new listing – announced when it first hits the market, then also when the price changes. She also shares updates immediately when she gets a new review from a client.

But notice how she socializes the news (see the picture below). The agent ‘liked’ her own listing update. This ‘like’ broadcast the news to her 145 Facebook fans. It gave them a quick ‘heads up’ that there was a recent price change.

Facebook marketing posts by ReachFactor

Notice then that Zak, one of her fans, commented on the same post. When Zak does this, it broadcasts his comment, along with the agent’s original post to all of the agent’s fans AND Zak’s Facebook friends. Zak just sent a broadcast about this agent to his 130 friends. The two likes on the past client reviews (from the earlier picture above) just promoted Lori's service history to a few hundred more people.

What seems to be happening is that these ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ are really links saying “hey, I like this information and think it’s important. Go check it out.” This is a social indicator that's now factoring into Google's algorithm.

What kind of content gets likes/shares/comments?
To get social interactivity you want to promote things that are heartfelt, touching and warm - or are about timely, bargain-hunter information. Listings and past client reviews are perfect content sources. You just need to be diligent about sharing your content properly.

For example, if you are making status updates about a listing be sure to put up individual property pages inside Facebook. When you create your wall posts you want to give fans the ability to see what you've posted about without clicking out of Facebook. People in Facebook don't want to click out. The goal is comments, likes & shares - we don't want to lose them.

Facebook property pages inside Facebook

So what has this activity done for our customer's search engine ranking? See below:

Search phrase Google Rank Position
top sunset utah real estate agent #1, #2, #4, #9
top sunset utah realtor #1, #2, #5, #6
sunset utah real estate reviews #1, #6
sunset utah realtor reviews #9, #10
lori fleming realtor reviews #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #7, #8
recommend sunset utah realtor #3, #4, #8
recommend sunset utah real estate agent #1, #2, #7, #10
utah real estate agent reviews #6, #7

The agents who didn't use Facebook had just a few appearances in Google, mostly just for their own personal name.

If you've struggled with search engine optimization or worry about the lack of leads from the Web, get going with Facebook immediately. It's really not that difficult to stimulate likes/comments/shares.  Just do it right!

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cindy Logan 05/13/2011 11:44 AM
  2. Jay McHugh 05/18/2011 08:24 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
lead generation
search engine optimization
google rank
social media marketing
facebook marketing

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Suresh Srinivasan
ReachFactor - Content Marketing for Real Estate - Danville, CA

Need help creating your Facebook business page? Download this step-by-step guide How to Create a Facebook Business Page -- hope it helps! 

May 18, 2011 03:54 AM #28
Stefan West
West Realty - Murrieta, CA
Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee CA Real Estate

Good information as I am about to advertise my fan page to my client base.  I wanted to get all of my Facebook and Twitter and hobby blog set up.  Once I have that stuff done, I am going to give it a whirl and hope it doesn't blow up.

PS - You look like Jon Stewart btw lol.


May 18, 2011 03:59 AM #29
Allen Gingrich

I'm a web designer by trade, so of course I know the value of harnessing Facebook for advertising. But does anyone else find it annoying when your "friends" spam your page with company-related information and updates? Facebook's old slogan was "A place for friends," not "A place for marketing."

I find Twitter to be far more appropriate for advertising your business. Still, a great article!

May 18, 2011 05:02 AM #30
Suresh Srinivasan
ReachFactor - Content Marketing for Real Estate - Danville, CA

Thanks for the comment, Allen. The way the social graph seems to work is that 'news' from friends that you never interact with tends to get de-emphasized in your news feed. Sometimes their posts don't show at all.

As a business owner, the key is to post relevant things that people interact with. That's a signal to Facebook that the bond between you/them is tight, and of course a positive indicator to Google as noted in the original post.

May 18, 2011 05:29 AM #31
Virginia Gardner
Roy Wheeler Realty Co. - Charlottesville, VA
Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia

This is excellent information, and I really appreciate it.

May 18, 2011 06:49 AM #32
Appleton Wisconsin Mortgage - Appleton, WI

Thanks for the information.  I have started using more of the social networking tools and think they can help.  I like your explanation.

May 18, 2011 06:54 AM #33
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Wow! Interesting but unfortunate.  It just makes google results that much more irrelevant IMO.  If you haven't picked it up already the new book by Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble, about the impact of personalized search by G, FB, etc. is a MUST read. 


May 18, 2011 07:30 AM #34
Sheri Butler and Matt Stapleton
Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. - Bellevue, WA

Suresh, Thank You for posting this information, We will take advantage of it on our facebook business page.



May 18, 2011 07:40 AM #35
Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate
ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS SRES - Charlotte, NC
Certified Residential Specialist

You are SO RIGHT Barbara-Jo!!!

May 18, 2011 07:50 AM #36
Mark Nehs
Mortgage Loan Officer Waukesha Wisconsin - Pewaukee, WI

No doubt about it Facebook = Google Juice

May 18, 2011 08:43 AM #37
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Interesting how social metrics are playing a bigger and bigger part in search results. Thanks for these insights!

May 18, 2011 09:15 AM #38
Josh Law
Coldwell Banker Funkhouser Realtors - Staunton, VA

Thanks for the tips! I'm a brand new real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Funkhouser Realtors in Harrisonburg, VA. Any tips/suggestions on how to promote myself and gain clients? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Josh Law

Coldwell Banker Funkhouser Realtors

May 18, 2011 10:36 AM #39
Chris Wechner
CW Health Inc - Waterford, MI

Obviously, you did a great job, Suresh.

I entirely agree with your post and your responding comments.  I, too, have been noticing that when I leave comments on more active blog posts, those have a higher chance of having a backlink registered...and that link seems to be taken more seriously, according to the Yahoo Site Explorer.

I didn't know about Facebook "Likes" having that effect, but it seems to be coming from the saming "Googlyzing" angle.

I wonder whether these are "baked" or that these comments seem to bring (a) more content and (b) more triggers for Google to update its perception of what your page/post has to offer.

May 18, 2011 10:42 AM #40
Rob Kittle
Kittle Real Estate - Fort Collins, CO
"We Specialize, You Benefit!" -Kittle Real Estate

Very productive Facebook! I should learn how to maximize social media. Thanks for the information!

May 18, 2011 01:34 PM #41
MeLisa Minter, Realtor
RE/MAX Space Center - Taylor Lake Village, TX
Taylor Lake Village Real Estate Broker

The power of Facebook never ceases to amaze me!  Once I got my older sister involved, it's like we can all talk everyday without even having to pick up the phone.  As far as getting business and leads, I always try to feature my listings on my personal page, but need to transpose them over to my business page.

May 18, 2011 02:31 PM #42
Dana Casey
Bridge Realty Inc. - Forest Lake, MN
Twin Cities

Suresh - nice post, interesting technology - visited the site and there is more to it than basic FB posting.  I would like to hear how to promote the business site to FB friends without alienating them as personal friends.  I discussed my highly effective facebook strategy in this recent blog post and would like to develop a way to intertwine the two (your product with my existing FB strategy).



May 29, 2011 08:15 PM #43
Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni

FB is so invasive on your computer that I have almost stopped using it. 

May rethink that decision or not.

What about their loss on that lawsuit

Facebook admitted on Sept. 26 that the cookies track users’ Internet activity after they log off, according to yesterday’s complaint.


Dec 07, 2011 07:01 AM #44
Cody Burnett
Connect Realty - Bentonville, AR
Real Estate Pro

technology is changing at such a rapid's hard to keep up!  Good info

Feb 04, 2014 04:21 AM #45
Suresh Srinivasan
ReachFactor - Content Marketing for Real Estate - Danville, CA

Indeed Cody! And since this blog post was written there have been tons of other changes, newcomers, new algorithms, etc.

Feb 04, 2014 04:33 AM #46
The Niche Agent
The Niche Agent
Your Niche Is Our Niche

Want to make $360,000 a year from facebook? 

Virginia Munden did... Check out the interview I did with her on The Niche Agent as she shares some of her insights into the online social media marketing and relationship building world of real estate.

Jun 02, 2014 09:09 AM #47
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