Indexable IDX pages... we hear it all the time. But do they really work? Is it important to have an indexable IDX (just like everyone else in your area that has one?)
It all comes down to content and how much of it is original. With SEO there's always an exception to the rule; usually it's one that you can't wrap your head around - that guy that has a terrible looking website, no back links yet is ahead of you on the SERPS (search engine results page). We all have to deal with those weird anomalies but overall do community pages on your website with listings rank in the search engines?
Let's see how Google thinks of this:
Let's say that there are 1000 agents in one major city, 500 of them have websites, 100 have the same company for a website (such as a market leader site) - Each of these has community pages with listings for each neighborhood or community. This means that each page is almost identical in the eyes of Google, save contact information and any other information along the side bar. Do you think Google is going to rank one site above another?
Now what if you have content on the page?
Let's say you put about 300 words of content on that page, even if you are the only one out of those 100 to do it, do you think it's going to rank now? It all depends on what your competition looks like. To Google, you still have more than 50% of the page identical to your competition. Is that enough for Google to rank you?
NOW - Let's do a blog post for that community instead.
You title the blog post the same as you would the community page (provided you can customize the title and description to a community IDX page; many times you cannot). Google now sees 100 pages of identical content with the same listings as everyone else, same title, and then, all of a sudden, there's a blog post for that community WITH A LINK to the IDX page (for readers and customers) but 100% of the page is custom, original content. Which one do you think Google is going to rank? The one with 50% custom content or the one with 100% unique, custom content? You are still providing a prominent link to the page with all the listings on it for your readers, but because the listings are not actually on the page (post) Google finds more value in that page over the IDX page - thus will rank it better AND YOU WILL BE FOUND.
Is it about a well-built website with content on all community pages - OR IS IT ABOUT LEADS? What's the point in having a well-laid out website that's not being found? It's the old adage, stepping over dollars to save pennies.
This is why blogging works so well. It's ok to have information on community pages that also have IDX listings - but that's really only for clients once they get there. You have to get them to the site first and blog posts that are 100% custom and original is the way to do that!
What's New in SEO for 2013?