Blog Posts VS. Community IDX Pages - Which is Better SEO?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

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:

IDX pages getting leads?

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!

Read more:
What's New in SEO for 2013?

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ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. The Temple Team 02/13/2013 12:32 PM
  2. Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR 02/13/2013 10:45 PM
  3. Stacey Mayer 06/11/2013 06:58 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Tammy ... Thanks for this information about value of content when doing online marketing and posting of local and other articles.  I don't know much about SEO other than it is important.

Feb 14, 2013 01:40 AM #63
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer


Michael, great, thanks so much for commenting.

Bobbie, thank you so much have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Lori, thank you so much hope you get some goodies from both blogs.

Jerry, blogging certainly works you are a prime example.

Melissa, great! Make sure your blogging with the purpose

Steve, thanks!

Gail, Good deal! That’s what works!

Christine, thanks!! J Happy Valentines Day

Praful, I would. The blogging is what is 100% original and gets attention. Then give the people what they want; the listings

Great Kent! Thanks for stopping by!

Jill, I hear ya!

Jan, YES! Go for it

Mikey, yes it is!

Gary, absolutely!

Jim, Thanks!! I appreciate it!

Dagny, thank you! Have a Happy Valentines Day

Gordon! HEY there… Sounds good!

Mark, thank you!

Lynn, awesome! Great time management

Lee, Thank you so much! I hope this is helpful.,

Dwight, thank you for commenting

Bruce, ugh… I personally hate the uncustomization of ML… but if you get leads from it, then I guess it’s worth it. I just don’t like them…  :-P

Pat and Steve, yes they do and Google loves it

Michael Blue, Absolutely. Great way to put it

Andrew, yes! It works. Thank you!

Dorte, thank you!

Ron, yes it is! J

Jeremy, If there is enough custom content then yes. If everyone has the exact same then no. IF you can customize the search to include certain features.. say doing a post on homes with pools and you only list those, then you have a better chance at being found.


Feb 14, 2013 01:47 AM #64
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer


Jan, not a problem at all! I love Real Geeks by the way and think that they, above anyone, do it the best personally. I do know that it’s just what I have seen. I blog for a Real geeks site and the blog posts consistently show up more on the first page than the community pages that are perfectly optimized as you say. But it could also be that one needs to promote those pages more, not just let them sit there doing nothing. That can certainly have a difference. I think once the people are on the site, those pages are great to give them more information, as long as you GET them there.. via other ways.. one can be a great blog post. Thanks for chiming in! J Anytime!

Bob, Great! Thanks!

Harrison, yes it is important! HA.. Thanks so much!

Feb 14, 2013 01:51 AM #65
Jeremy Marquez
J Marqeting - Sacramento, CA
Virtual ISA at J Marqeting #iCallYouClose

Tammy, your awesome!

Feb 14, 2013 01:59 AM #66
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Tammy great stuff.  Thanks for a fantastic post.  I get lost sometimes trying to figure out this SEO stuff and the IDX and how it all fits together.

Feb 14, 2013 02:52 AM #67
Tom Esposito
Alpharetta Home Solutions - Alpharetta, GA

Interesting information, but SEO is confusing.  Bottom line is to blog and link the blog to your website for the best SEO results. 

Feb 14, 2013 04:19 AM #68
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

What great info, Tammy. My husband and I were just discussing this very topic this morning and you have resolved it for us. Thanks and Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 14, 2013 04:44 AM #69
Steven Nickens
Elite Pacific Properties Maui - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Tammy great article and feed back. I am looking at converting to IDX, but keep it real and fresh.

Feb 14, 2013 06:15 AM #70
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

REALLY good points on an important topic.....SEO is a great reason to be on AR and I can see that many agents have benefotted by this and by the advice of people such as yourself!!

Feb 14, 2013 06:30 AM #71
Jan Chilton
Myrtle Beach, SC
Real Estate Marketing

Tammy, I thought about this after I posted that, and I did leave out one thing... I DO have the clients blog and link to the community pages.  I also link to them from some of the other pages. But what shows in the searches is the page itself, not the blog...which only serves to promote the page from the links in it.

And too, the way Real Geeks has created the blog (if that's the one you are talking about) it's actually just set up as part of the website. So that is a bit different from a blog set up on Blogger or AR, or Wordpress. I didn't mean to make it sound like I don't tell them to blog...far from it. I don't do it for them...but I show them how, and preach to them that they have to do it to rank.

And maybe it's the phrase you're looking up. If you blogged using a phrase that was not very competitive for a community, it might show up above the others that had similar, but not the exact phrase.

Having an indexable (and well optimized) IDX can make a site go straight to the top if it's the first one in the area to get it. But if there's 10 others with the same MLS listings, you're doesn't help much. It's all in the content, the onsite optimization, and how you promote the pages afterwards. And if you're coming in late behind several others, it might hurt more than it helps.

Interestingly, I did that REW site exactly like I do a Real Geeks site, and it ranked just as well. I had to have them pay for a lot of special tweaks though.  


Feb 14, 2013 07:29 AM #72
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK


As always, logical and to the point about SEO written in a plain speaking, down to earth way that even I can understand.  

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine Day!

Feb 14, 2013 09:57 AM #73
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Tammy, thank you for a very educational post.  The comments and your responses to the comments were also educational and thought provoking.  I simply need to start implementing some of your suggestions or make a budget to pay for someone else to do it. 


Feb 14, 2013 11:19 AM #74
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Tammy - Interesting, and it makes sense. I'll have to look at making the links to elsewhere.
Feb 14, 2013 01:44 PM #75
Tyler Soulliere
Windsor Realtor - Windsor, ON

Tammy, always enjoy reading your blog, your information is always great and useful. Thanks again!

Feb 14, 2013 10:01 PM #76
Ruth Lerner
William Raveis Real Estate - Brookline, MA

Thanks, Tammy.  I am in the process of building IDX pages for long-tail specific searches and my plan is to write a blog post relating and linking to each of these pages.  My question is do I write the blog post on AR or my own blog?  Thank you.

Feb 17, 2013 08:53 AM #77
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Tammy, I love how you explain in real English.  Thank you.

Feb 17, 2013 10:53 PM #78
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Ruth - Either one really. If you have an established blog then your blog would be best. if you are just getting started, then AR would be the best.

Thanks for all the great comments!! :)

Feb 17, 2013 11:32 PM #79
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Tammy you made the point that with so many sites looking the same it is important for agents to add unique content in order to attract the search engine.

Feb 20, 2013 01:54 PM #80
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Tammy, great advice and it does set us apart from the rest.

Mar 05, 2013 03:16 PM #81
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Great point, Tammy, and it is still very valuable information. We should write for our public readers and make it easy for them to find our posts.

Apr 07, 2015 04:58 PM #82
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