Trulia Just Upped Their SEO Game (and so can you!)

By
Services for Real Estate Pros

content siloSo today I noticed that Trulia changed it's link structure and Realtors who are interested in SEO should most definitely take note of the change.

If you go to http://www.trulia.com/CO/fort_collins you will find yourself redirected to http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Fort_Collins,CO

This change is so new, Google doesn't have it indexed yet. Well, at least for Fort Collins and a few others I checked. I didn't check every city in the U.S. though, so your results may vary. (Comment below please.)

 

From an SEO Standpoint, This Makes Perfect Sense

I have always been a proponent of parent-child pages. I've always thought it was a great idea to "silo" your content in this way. In WordPress, when you create a page, you have the option of choosing a "parent" page.

So, for example, I like the idea of having a page all about Arizona Real Estate.

So I would have gurueffect.com/arizona-real-estate/ as a URL.

Next, I would create a page called "Scottsdale Homes for Sale" and I would choose "Arizona Real Estate" as my parent page, which would give me this link structure:

gurueffect.com/arizona-real-estate/scottsdale-homes-for-sale

When we do this, we are stuffing keywords in our URL, but not in a repetitive silly fashion that could harm us. Google understands that "homes for sale" and "real estate" are related terms. Google can be pretty smart that way. Using parent and child pages is a great way to organize your content.

 

But what Trulia did here is particularly interesting. It's very slick.

 

They used to have a parent-child relationship in their pages, just like I described. In other words, there was (and still is a page) here: http://www.trulia.com/CO/

However, in the new structure, there is no page at:

http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/

 

In other words, they dropped the parent-child relationship, for some good old fashioned keyword stuffing, and I think it's slick as all heck.

When people search, they often search for things like: Homes for Sale in Fort Collins or Homes for Sale Fort Collins CO.

Now let's take a look at that brand new link structure again:

http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Fort_Collins,CO

They shifted the CO to the end, just like a searcher would do. A searcher doesn't type "CO Fort Collins", so Trulia was smart and moved the CO to a more natural position.

I'm curious why they didn't call the for_sale part of the URL to homes_for_sale, but either way, Google gets the point. Now, when you type "homes for sale fort collins" or "homes for sale in fort collins" or "homes for sale fort collins, co" -- they've got it covered in their new URL...in the same order you typed it.

I can't stress how important it is to nest your content. Whether you do it like Trulia, or do it the way I do- you will get much better results than if all of your pages are on the same "level" in your URL structure. I'm going to be watching Trulia's rankings, and if their method is better than mine, I'll switch.

Let me provide a non-real estate related example. This is a brand new website and I offered some friendly advice to my friend Jessica, who built this website. Check out her page structure:

https://affordableazdivorce.com/arizona-divorce/with-children.html

She is a certified legal document preparer here in Arizona. She knows that people search for information on an "Arizona divorce with children", among other things.

So she created an overview page on Arizona Divorce, and then created a child page called "Arizona Divorce With Children."

However, she didn't want to keyword stuff, so she changed the "slug" or permalink from /arizona-divorce-with-children/ to simply: /with-children/

Do you see what she did there?

When you look at the URL:

https://affordableazdivorce.com/arizona-divorce/with-children.html

You can see, with your eyes, that the URL says the keyword phrase "Arizona Divorce With Children" very clearly. Smart, right? Whether you are searching for Arizona divorce, or Arizona Divorce With Children, she has you very neatly covered. She's not ranking yet, because the site is literally only a few days old. I predict success for her though.

Bottom line: Be sure to silo your website content for maximum benefit. This technique has been used successfully for years, yet few people do it.

Important: If you do change your link structure to something more keyword friendly, be sure to redirect your old links, so you keep any rankings you've already earned. If you are using WordPress for this, there are a number of plugins, including Simple 301 Redirects.

 

Posted by

seo guru

Comments (49)

Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Michael: As always, you deliver quality SEO information we can all benefit from. Thanks so much!

Sep 12, 2014 11:17 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Brilliant post! I keep forgetting this small but important SEO basic which you or your wife had shown me before. Hope others see the true benefits here!

Sep 13, 2014 01:51 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

How will this impact blog posts to Trulia?  I've taken a few re-meshed blogs from to Trulia in the past few days to test the waters.  Should I not be doing that, or is it a good thing?

By sharing all this excellent information you've created a lot of questions!~

Sep 13, 2014 02:00 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

It seems to me that this structure could be helpful in generating seller leads. Since they do sometimes try to see what is going on in the neighborhood when they thinking about going on the market.

Sep 13, 2014 02:11 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Sounds like trulia was doing it backwards. Compose urls like normal people would type in searches.

Sep 13, 2014 03:32 AM
SEO Expert: Michael George
Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate and Law Firm SEO

Thanks for the comments and compliments. It's not as technical as it seems, I promise (for those that said that.) Especially if you are using WordPress. You would just create one overview page on a certain topic. Then, you'd create a second page (not post) and in the editor, choose the overview page as the parent...which is an option when you are editing.

 

Kate McQueen, SRS - I don't understand the question; I'm sorry! You've taken blogs from ActiveRain or another Trulia platform? And what does re-mesh mean? Does that mean you took them from one place and moved them to another place? I'm sorry I don't understand!

Joan Whitebook - are you using WordPress?

Sep 13, 2014 04:19 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Yes -- I am using word press.

 

Sep 13, 2014 04:26 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Thanks for responding!  I meant that I've taken a few AR blogs and changed them a bit, then posted them to the Trulia blog.

I've wondered if doing this is a bad thing or a good thing for SEO?

Sep 13, 2014 04:47 AM
Becky Kolb
The Kolb Team - Sun Lakes AZ Specialists - Sun Lakes, AZ
Keller Williams Integrity First Realty

Michael you are always on top of things! Good information and as always I am counting on you to keep us on track

Sep 13, 2014 08:58 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

What I learned

Thank you for the Ah-ha moment!  AZ SEO Expert: Phoenix SEO Consultant 

Sep 13, 2014 11:35 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Michael, thanks for helping us stay on top of things!

Sep 13, 2014 01:10 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Clearly this is a topic to ponder - I just started following you so that I can continue to learn and improve - thanks so much!

Sep 14, 2014 12:16 AM
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist

This is a very interesting topic and I especially like your advice because with a little time we can fine tune our sites.

Sep 14, 2014 12:54 AM
RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate
Oh my. What a way to do some easy see and think through the structure from that perspective rather than a file folder largest to smallest method. I'm considering doing my own site, tired of the free brand provided site and this gives me something to consider with the new structure.
Sep 14, 2014 01:06 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Great information, had to read it twice, and am ready to put into action.

 

Sep 14, 2014 01:10 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

This is good food for thought. I may have to restructure some pages.

Sep 14, 2014 01:15 PM
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Have to bookmark this one and spend more time with it.... thanks to Kathy I didn't miss it...

Sep 14, 2014 09:47 PM
SEO Expert: Michael George
Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate and Law Firm SEO

Becky Kolb , Richard & Beth WittMichael HottmanKathy Streib, Joan Whitebook-

 

For those of you that want step by step instructions on how to do this, my friend (who is brand new to ActiveRain) just wrote a terrific post on how this is done in WordPress, step-by-step. You can find it here: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4509669/seo-your-urls--just-like-the--big-3-

 

 

Oct 10, 2014 05:19 AM
SEO Expert: Michael George
Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate and Law Firm SEO

Amanda and Jared Christiansen, YOUR Fort Wayne Realtors, Joe Pryor Praful Thakkar  Anyone can set this up in minutes, I promise. http://activerain.com/blogsview/4509669/seo-your-urls--just-like-the--big-3-

Oct 10, 2014 05:21 AM
Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

AZ SEO Expert: Phoenix SEO Consultant -I don't have a WordPress site. But I should be getting one or possibly two and have two domain names directed to these sites. Have to bookmark this site. Thanks for sharing.

Dec 08, 2014 09:17 AM

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