How To: Search the Q&A Section

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with https://HugginsHomes.com 01234617

Are you a new user wondering if a question has been asked before?  Are you a veteran who wants to update an answer from a few days back?  Are you a student who wants to know every answer ever given to your assigned question?  Look no further because Ryan has you covered!

 

Why do we ask questions on Active Rain?  Most commonly we are seeking the advice of our peers, we have questions about a product or technology, or we are students directed to ask a question.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could search Active Rain's Q&A section to see if a question has been asked recently?  Wouldn't it be AWESOME for our student friends to be able to not only ask their question, but to see the answers to all the questions asked before?  Talk about getting a large sample size for class! 

 

I'm here to tell you that not only is this possible, but it's even easier than you'd think!  For this blog, I will use three user studies:

  1. The agent who wants to know about CRM technology
  2. The agent who wants to know about Top Producer CRM specifically and
  3. The student who wants to know all about water rights

 

You may be thinking "Hey Ryan, how are you going to get 500 words on 'Use the search bar in the upper right hand corner'", well it isn't as easy as that!  Let's take a look at the three searches done through that bar.

 

The CRM Top Producer Water Rights

 

Let us look at the results, shall we:

  • CRM: 3,500 results, some ads, some links to product reviews, and some questions.  Not bad, but you only get TWO questions on page one.  Helpful overall, but if you are focusing on questions, not so much.
  • Top Producer: 13,600 results, some ads, some product reviews, the top producer profile, a contest, a couple blogs and what looks like maybe one or two questions.  Helpful overall, but if you are focusing on questions, not so much.
  • Water rights: 31,100 results, no ads, mostly blogs about listings, one maybe two questions and a profile of a user with water rights in their profile name.  Useless for the student, but for one search result.

 

Ok, by now you are probably wondering "Ryan, how can you improve upon this?"  The answer my friends is by use of "Advanced Google Search Techniques."  Don't let the name fool you, these are so "advanced" that anyone can do them!

 

One of Google's techniques is called the "Site filter."  This returns only those search results that start with a specific web address.  First we need to know the address we want to filter by.  To get that, just go to the Q&A Home Page and you'll see the address below.

 

To use this for the Q&A section, goto Google.com and type into the Google search bar "site:activerain.com/questions" followed by a space and the term you wish to look for.

If we do this for the three target searches, we'll get the below results

CRM Top Producer Water Rights

 

Now let's examine these results:

  • CRM: 454 results with one ad from a company likely purchasing a Google Adword for CRM.  Lots of good questions here!
  • Top Producer: 322 results.  I put "Top Producer" in quotes to focus Google on the entire phrase, not questions with either word in them.  That's another "Advanced" technique.  One adword ad and a lot of questions and answers!
  • Water Rights: 49 results were returned.  Some adwords here for attorneys specializing in water rights and every response a student could possibly want about water rights!  You'll notice that I highlighted a "Search Tools" and "Any Time".  Search Tools is a filter that is available for all Google Searches.  Clicking on that allows you to filter results to a specific time window, which can be useful if you are searching for recent questions on a topic.  Another "Advanced" technique, free of charge!

 

Now yo may be wondering "Since Google powers the Active Rain search bar, can't we just type in the site filter into there?"  The answer is yes you can.  However, when I tested it I received drastically different results!  Below is what a screenshot of the search for CRM done through the Active Rain search bar with the site filter.

 

Yes, if you look at it you'll see it returned a whole 82 results compared to the 454 results that searching in Google directly returned!  That's a HUGE difference if you ask me!

 

I hope you find this blog useful.  Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think and if you've had any success using this technique.

 

Ryan

Comments (56)

Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

(805) 905-4000 Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA Real Estate Agent with www.HugginsHomes.com of Thousand Oaks, CA.

 

Aug 05, 2016 08:17 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Thanks Will.

Aug 06, 2016 03:22 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Ryan, thanks for the wealth of information. I definitely had to click on bookmarked to reread and take notes. Thank you.

Aug 07, 2016 10:33 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

It was my pleasure Jane Chaulklin-Schott 

Aug 08, 2016 04:39 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I wish the Rain added more filters, so you can sort by subject and time when it was posted. 

Aug 10, 2016 03:39 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Well written post Ryan! 

Congratulations on the feature! Well deserved. 

Aug 10, 2016 03:40 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Thank you very much Inna Ivchenko!

Aug 10, 2016 03:49 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I think, it is time for you Ryan to get an Ambassador badge:) 

Aug 10, 2016 03:55 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

LOL!!  If I got that Inna Ivchenko I might have to behave myself.

Aug 10, 2016 01:02 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Excelelnt blog post Ryan and I thank you for all the time your put into this.

Aug 12, 2016 12:29 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

My pleasure Debbie Reynolds and thank you for the compliment!

Aug 13, 2016 06:35 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA ,

Glad to see this post featured! You really spelled it out for us..thank you for the time involved in this post to educate us!

Nov 25, 2017 05:56 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Ryan. I came back to read this after seeing it in Carol's Saturday features. Great stuff to help with more targeted searching on AR. I bookmarked it this time!

Jeff

Nov 25, 2017 07:51 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Thank you Dorie Dillard and Jeff Dowler!  I had no idea it was in the Saturday features.  I was wondering how it got found again.

Nov 25, 2017 09:20 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Excellent post, Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA .  As you know, I am one of "the regulars" on the Q and A board.   That Board provides a lot of useful advice.  Knowing how to search it is a great skill/tool to have in your knowledge base. 

Nov 27, 2017 08:17 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA

Thank you Fred!

Nov 28, 2017 09:37 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

There is a vast reservoir of information on AR. Thank you for sharing in depth the ways to access that information in a meaningful way.

Nov 28, 2017 05:30 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA

My pleasure John!

Nov 28, 2017 09:37 AM
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

This really cleared up some questions I had about searching posts and questions that are in ActiveRain. Thanks for sharing this incredibly useful information. 

Nov 28, 2017 12:32 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA

My pleasure Corey!

Nov 28, 2017 02:19 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I forgot all about this stuff. Good tutorial - even though you've posted it in Q&A no one will see it again!

Apr 01, 2018 06:26 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Thanks Lyn Sims!  You'd be surprised, it gets reblogged every once in a while and was even featured in a Second Chance Saturday post recently.

Apr 01, 2018 09:27 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Ryan.  Glad to see this topic appear on the question board today.

May 05, 2018 05:02 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA

Thanks Fred, me too!

May 05, 2018 05:08 PM