Ranking well in the SERPs is difficult enough to do organically, especially against brands more recognizable than your own. But what about when those larger sites in your vertical are actually getting you to do the work for them?
Many unknowing agents in the real estate field may already be helping Trulia and Zillow to outrank their own smaller, independent sites without even knowing it.
Many of you are... and don't even know it. The reason that everyone here is on Active Rain is because of the power of the network and how friendly this site is with Google. But many of you are telling Google to send your clients to Zillow or Trulia instead. Allow me to explain.
I signed up as a Rain Maker Dec 30th and have been busy reading posts. You have the ability to put stuff into a website sidebar, and so I have been seeing these widgets for Zillow and Trulia all over the place.
I will assume that most people know what a link is, but what you may not know is that links have a LOT of power. On this picture, you will see a couple of links... but there are more links than you think on that widget. These 2 widgets are combining to send 6 different linkbacks to Zillow.
Let's talk Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for a moment. Each time you link to another website, you are telling Google "Hey, this website is a great authority on this topic!" So in this agent's instance, he is telling Google that Zillow is a great authority on Pineville homes for sale and Alexandria homes for sale (as well as home mortgages). So do you think that this agent wants to rank for Alexandria and Pineville homes for sale? Of course he does... but he won't, because by putting these widgets on his site, he is telling Google that Zillow knows more about these areas than he does.
This is a very basic analysis of what is going on. If you like the Geek stuff and want a more in-depth understanding, check out the article by Real Geeks called "How You're Helping Zillow And Trulia Outrank You"
It doesn't just hurt the agent who is providing the link. It hurts all of us. Google takes a look at the overall inbound links or backlinks that a site has and ranks it by assigning it a "Page Rank". This page rank plays a major factor in how a website ranks in the search engine results pages. That means that these links for Pineville homes and Alexandria homes also helps Zillow Dallas outrank me for search terms like Dallas homes. Two separate parts of the country, but just as much damage.
There are a lot of agents out there who are unwittingly helping Zillow and Trulia outrank you because of these stupid little widgets that probably add minimal, if any, value for your clients. Share this with others. Reblog it. Share it to Facebook and Twitter and Google + and LinkedIn. Anywhere that real estate agents are in your network, share it with them.
GET RID OF THE WIDGETS. QUIT SENDING YOUR CLIENTS (AND MINE) TO ZILLOW AND TRULIA!!
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