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From Behind the Curtain: SEO, Microdata, and the New ActiveRain Profiles

Services for Real Estate Pros

We are very excited here at ActiveRain about these new profile pages, and we hope that you will share our enthusiasm now that the profiles are live on ActiveRain.  As you explore the new profile pages, you may notice several changes that you might not agree with.  One of the first things that you will likely notice is that a lot of the formatting that you had on the old profile is no longer visible.  Don't panic!  We have retained all of the old formatting and information in a draft blog post that you will find waiting for you in your blog roll.  We deeply apologize if any information was lost on your actual profile page during the data migration, but all of the old formatting and text is available in that draft blog post.  Please feel free to copy and paste whatever information you would like to have in your new profile.

There are several reasons that we have chosen this new format for the profile pages and although reason #1 is because we think it's a beautiful, clean design, reasons #2 through #10 are for SEO.  These new profile pages on ActiveRain are state of the art with regards to SEO.  They adhere to many standards and best practices that many other sites haven't yet adopted.  

(Things are going to get a little technical here, but bear with me!)  

At the forefront of these SEO improvements are the inclusion of special HTML tags (or microdata) that tell Google exactly what is contained on the page.  In the past, Google would scan a page and take its best guess as to what the page contained.  Now, with the advent of microdata markups, we are able to tell Google exactly what is contained on the page, which ultimately makes Google more confident in sending traffic to your page.  The use of these html microdata elements is the reason that you can no longer edit the header titles on the profile page and add certain formatting to the text blocks.  By standardizing the profile content and layout, we are able to apply the correct microdata tags to all of the information that you insert into your profile.  If we did not have this standardization, many pieces of data on your page would be mislabeled and as a result Google would actually devalue the page in search results.  Some flexibility has been sacrificed on these pages in order to keep you, an ActiveRain user, on the forefront of technological innovation.  

The countless (oh, there's more than just microdata!) SEO optimizations that we have included on these profile pages will help drive more people to your page which will ultimately allow you to generate more business with your ActiveRain account.  If you are curious about more of the SEO optimizations, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment or send me a message and I will be more than happy to explain some more of the measures we have taken in order to improve how your pages rank on Google.

Anne Edwards Johnson
All City Real Estate - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor | HookemhomesATX (512)917-5260

I like it too BUT I can't get the date/calendar to work when posting testimonials. How do you add video to the profile? 

Aug 24, 2013 06:25 AM
Ben Yost - 303-587-4297
First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval - Denver, CO
FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De

Good Stuff!

Aug 24, 2013 06:37 AM
Julie Bentley
Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL - St Johns, FL
Saint Johns, FL REALTOR

Thanks for the explanation and for taking care of those of us in the Rain! I will happily embrace changes that improve SEO!


Aug 24, 2013 08:01 AM
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Thanks for the update Chris.  I love that we are marching forward ahead of the competition. 

Aug 24, 2013 08:15 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Thanks Chris, I figured it out. Just so you know, I tried it on a couple of old listings and in order to make it work I had to uncheck the "Post is a listing" box and then re-check it to make the validated address field show up.

Also, I've seen in a couple different places that you can have either 7 or 8 service areas displayed. Actually, you can have 9 total: your primary area and 8 secondary areas. I don't think that was quite clear before, but it may have been me! :-D

Aug 24, 2013 08:19 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

Looks GOOD! I went and worked on mine some. I'll add some Featured Listings tomorrow. THANKS!

Aug 24, 2013 12:33 PM
Sharon & Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette, IN - Lafayette, IN
West Lafayette homes for sale

I appreciate the post and the explanation, now its time to get started working on the new profile!

Aug 24, 2013 02:01 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Thanks! The more technical the better and it helps see the method to the change and why you are keeping the transmitters tuned up and towers humming, broadcasting to get us found above the rest of the pack that is not so SEO up to date. Clear channel, louder, longer, going farther all the time means our information is found which means more real estate property listings, more sales. (Repeat)

Aug 24, 2013 09:51 PM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach
Thanks for explainnig the changes. That is helpful. I went into my account and my title had the work "null" where an apostrophe used to be and it was difficult to make the change from a mobile device because it forced me to take a tour of the new profile. I'm sure that the kinks will get worked out, but I hope no one saw my profile in between the change and my edits. It would have been nice to hear that this would be happening so we could log in and see if other errors/mispellings would suddenly be front and center on our pages.
Aug 24, 2013 10:06 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Thanks for saving the old profile in draft. I was bummed at first that my profile was gone but thankfully I was able to recreate it from the draft.

While I'm certainly no SEO expert, How does standardization and seo optimization help our individual profiles vs helping the entire network?

Personally I prefer my profile to stand out from the crowd rather than being standardized.

Aug 25, 2013 01:25 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTORĀ®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very cool!  All I can say is Amen!  Happy to work with AR on these changes as we benefit in the long run.

Aug 25, 2013 02:25 AM
Robert Hammerstein -
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Yes I thank you also for saving my old data in draft. I have been working on our profile now for a few hours and noticed some bugs when using IE10 but not in Firefox or other browsers. FYI on IE10 tried to use compatibility modes on and off. Sometimes worked sometimes not.... a little quirkly... Good update though overall. Oh and thanks to all the staff for keeping us up to date with everything as always.

Aug 25, 2013 03:35 AM
Wayne L. Brown
Franklin Advantage Inc. - Alpine, CA


Maybe I missed something, but now when I view my profile, it appears to be all shaded out, and looks funny.

Am I missing something?

Thanks for your help.

Aug 25, 2013 03:38 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD
http://www.medicalandspaconsulting.com - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I am looking forward to reviewing the changes!!! Keep up the good work for we Rainers!!

Aug 25, 2013 05:29 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

SEO has been harder lately.  I am really looking forward to updating my page to see how it effects traffic.

Aug 26, 2013 04:12 AM
Fred Sed
Fred Sed Group ~ Your Premier Southern California Realtors - Irvine, CA
Your Southern Cali Realtor, Why? Because Fred Se

Great to see Chris! Always love having an SEO advantage and AR has always been at the forefront at helping to deliver that to us.

Aug 26, 2013 02:42 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi, Chris...I saw your comment on Dick Greenberg's last post. Where are you from on the Western Slope. I've been here since 1989.

Oct 01, 2013 08:34 AM
Chris Anderson
Seattle, WA
Product Manager

Hi Debbie,

I was born in Grand Junction but then I went to K-12 in Norwood, CO.  I remember playing Cedaredge every year in football! 

Oct 01, 2013 08:50 AM
Joe Pham
Market Leader Inc.xx - Kirkland, WA
Product Manager

Blog Comment Email Notification Validation.   Please reply if you get this email.

Oct 22, 2013 03:18 AM
Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Thanks for the update and explanation.  I really don't have any complaints.  I know that you ActiveRain guys are just trying to make the site better for us.

Oct 22, 2013 07:55 AM