Using Your Active Rain Blog to Drive Traffic to your Website - Is It Kosher?

By
Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

Recently, I've noticed a few ActiveRain bloggers who use their posts here wholly as an attempt to drive traffic to their personal websites.  Their content here is a teaser with a link to a complete version of the story on another site.

Until now, there were only a couple of people doing it, but I'm starting to notice a trend here. 

Doing things that drive traffic to your website?  Not a bad idea at all.  But the teaser with a link just doesn't work for me as a reader - at least not when I'm reading posts on ActiveRain. 

My personal feelings?  It's a little manipulative.  And like many people, I am not comfortable when the manipulation requires me to click a link - any link!  Who knows what Russian hackers have visited the site before I did? 

When can it work?  If you have a market report and a link will provide access to inventory information - and even that's annoying when it takes me to a site that wants me to sign in.  I use links in the post that take the reader to the MRIS listing information. 

I use links in the post that take the reader to specific MRIS listing information.  And at the bottom of many market reports or neighborhood information posts, I will have a call to action that includes a link to the IDX or appropriate neighborhood page on my website.  But the purpose is to give the reader information on my ActiveRain blog. 

But the purpose of my blog on ActiveRain is to give the reader information on my ActiveRain blog. 

If they want more and go to my IDX, signing in is voluntary, and I don't get Daisy Duck visiting my website very often. 

Part of the fun of blogging in this site is to "meet" other real estate professionals around the country.  We read their stuff and they read ours, and the comments fly back and forth.  Friendships form and it's fun!  The overuse of teaser posts makes it hard for me to bond. 

Just my two cents!

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Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 01/03/2017 12:24 PM
Topic:
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Rainmaker
932,441
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Patricia Kennedy - Great Feature! Congratulations!  I personally don't like being redirected for the purpose of being redirected.

That being said.....

I use the "wikipedia" approach when providing links. I have very rich content on my website. I had to add categories for my blog articles with a search bar so that the info could be found easily. I provide links for reference and for IDX.  If you want to know more about Sedona or me or the real estate market as well as info on the areas or events - you will probably find a link!

I keep my profile updated and my website pages updated. Trying to stay on top of Google algorithms is just plain crazy to me so I don't!  If I get rankings organically because of the content, I am fine with that. 

My intent is for providing information, not driving the viewer to the website for the sake of traffic!  Let's face it! That does not get you leads or improve your reputation. 

Jan 04, 2017 08:34 AM #94
Rainmaker
98,369
Brivity Platform
Brivity - Bellingham, WA
Manage. Market. Communicate. Convert. Get leads

The internet can be a very tough place to trust, espeically with a lot of fake news websites these days. Luckily we have a safe and trustworthy community here at ActiveRain :). Informative and keep on blogging!

Jan 04, 2017 10:25 AM #95
Rainmaker
445,297
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Hi Patricia, I agree with you that it is usually best to tell the full story in your AR post, and not re-direct to another site for the "rest of the story." 

I've also heard that there may not be so much of a "duplicate content" penalty by the search engines these days so, why cut one's effort short?!

John

Jan 04, 2017 11:01 AM #96
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John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

I don't welcome click bait on any platform, and ActiveRain is no exception.  There are ways to drive traffic to a site without clickbait.  I've unfollowed several people that have a habit of great headlines/titles, with nothing more than clickbait in the body of their blog

Jan 04, 2017 12:32 PM #97
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I blog for business--that's always been my purpose for being here. I have over 2,0000 backlinks from AR to my website. These links do push my site up in the rankings. After all, Google loves ActiveRain and recognizes it as a reliable real estate source.

However, my posts here are written to be stand alone content, not merely links to another site. By doing this I rank in several spots on Google for content.

Below is a screen shot of the search term, What's My Franklin TN Home Worth? I opened an incognito window to perform the search so my browser wouldn't skew the rankings. As you can see, I rank in 2 spots for my website and 3 additional spots for ActiveRain which means I hold spots 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on page one of Google for this search term; 5 of the 10 organic spots.

That's why we want to provide content here. Writing a few sentences and then linking to the original post doesn't achieve all the things we desire.

Jan 04, 2017 02:00 PM #98
Rainer
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John Shipka
3Di FOCUS - Plainfield, IL
Social Media for Real Estate Professionals

Right on Patricia! Slimy tactics are never appreciated!

Jan 04, 2017 02:03 PM #99
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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I like your two cents, Patricia. I completely agree with you, too. 

Jan 04, 2017 02:55 PM #100
Rainer
130,996
Chelsea Robinson
Rodeo Realty - Encino, CA
Chelsea Robinson

Just for a little devil's advocate here... but I do see the value. My suspicion is that people are doing the bait and switch in order to garner better SEO from Google.  I don't personally do the bait and switch...choosing instead to reblog my entire blog here from my site, and add my website link on the bottom.  Even if the content is for the public but I have a member's only blog - it all gets reblogged here.  The reason why I do that is so that Google Trackers will see my website mentioned on another big page that receives a lot of traffic - like Active Rain - and recognize it to give me greater natural SEO.  Now I'm not a SEO expert, and I'm not sure what that does to a person's SEO if they've done the bait/switch, but I have to imagine that the traffic actually going to the site helps even more... even if it seems unethical in a lot of ways.

Don't kill the messenger! I'm not saying it's right or wrong... just pointing out the (possible) reasoning behind it!

Jan 04, 2017 04:02 PM #101
Rainmaker
453,478
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I haven't noticed that! Thanks for bringing it up.  I would be annoyed as well if I had to click a link to finish the blog..going to the personal website.

Jan 04, 2017 04:50 PM #102
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jeff, I'm seeing it on both the Q&A section and in a lot of first-time posts, which often just include the the post title and a link.  Then there are the ones that want you to sign in to read whatever is in the link.

Jan 04, 2017 08:58 PM #103
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Lynn, there are times when a link makes sense, but a link for link sake sort of turns me off.

Jan 04, 2017 09:03 PM #104
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Ken, one of the problems with they type of linking I'm talking about here is that you get far fewer comments and almost no features if you use your blog as a teaser that sends the reader to a fabulous post on your website.  That because I'm guessing that most of us do the same thing I do - move on.

Jan 04, 2017 09:07 PM #105
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Anita, the type of linking I'm talking about has content that is more geared to other ActiveRain bloggers.  And you're right that at times a link is totally appropriate.  I do it sometimes.

Jan 04, 2017 09:10 PM #106
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Richie, retirement?  I don't know any agents who have retired!  They go 'til they drop!

Jan 04, 2017 09:12 PM #107
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

BethAnn, this is a first world problem.

Jan 04, 2017 09:12 PM #108
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
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Donald, yes, exactly!  When you have to click the link just to finish a half-written post, I resist.  

Jan 04, 2017 09:14 PM #109
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Will, it's mostly newer folks.  

Jan 04, 2017 09:14 PM #110
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

MaryKay, I have links to sites that give more information on a lot of the local places I write about.

Jan 04, 2017 09:16 PM #111
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Alek, we're lucky that enough people still read at all!  And I agree that we don't want barriers. 

Jan 04, 2017 09:17 PM #112
Rainmaker
237,552
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

A very thought provoking post!  Thank you.

Jul 30, 2017 05:57 AM #113
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