Warning: Don't Fix What Isn't Broken. A Website Sob Story

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Home Jane Realty BRE# 01439865
https://activerain.com/droplet/4YW2

I think I have come to the realization that I have probably done more damage than good to my website over the past couple of years.

Warning

 My website used to bring me 99% of my business, mostly through my IDX, which for a time was powerful enough to put me on page one of Google for many of the listings in my MLS. 

I would get enquiry after enquiry about "your listing", because the general public assume that when they land on an agent's site, it is obvously their listing. I was also sick of getting calls from agents threatening to sue me because I was "advertising" their listing on my site. Not to mention the numerous calls from principals asking me to remove pictures of their home from my site, which obviously I had no responsibility of control.

I wish those days were back. It meant I was being seen.

So what happened? I decided to fix what was not broken. I wanted my site to be more "intelligent" by adding breadcrumbs, and if I was adding those then I needed to have a site hierarchy. What do I mean by that? Previously I just slapped pages up there without a parent, so there was no logical trail for the breadcrumbs to follow, and they would have been pointless. Did that actually matter? No. I never needed the breadcrumbs. Google was following me very well and visitors to my site were always complimenting me on how great it was and how easy it was to find things.

After I changed the structure of the site, even with the proper redirection of pages in place, my site visitors and ranking dropped like a brick. I am still on page one for a couple of niche keywords, but try finding me for a listing. I am buried somewhere in oblivion. 

I do know that others have seen a decline in their IDX presence, but nothing like mine. And some who have the same IDX are still doing well.

SEO is a fickle friend, and trying to keep up with Google's algorithms could drive you to the madhouse. 

I am trying to live with what I have for now and hope that the love returns. Let's see how long that lasts.

 

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Rainmaker
931,304
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals for Luxury Home Buying
  1. Sorry to hear about this Jane but it can be resolved. Here are some pointers which some may not like or disagree with.
  2. You do NOT need any so called SEO expert to get back on track, you can do it yourself. I am proof or just ask Kathleen Daniels daniels what she thinks of me.
  3. Do not try to redo, undo anything done. Just start from today building on the same domain.
  4. Gary Vaynerchuk says, none of us are too young to start now, so start now.
  5. IDX is not the "best" place to get your SEO from, your content is far more important.
  6. Rome was not built in a day and not re-built either.
  7. Do not feel it's too late or irreparable.
  8. Your internet business can come back, I have not looked at your site yet but I will and may offer some ideas.

I could go on but you get the idea. I still get most of my business from my website. Can I get more, yes, do I work on it all the time, yes although not all day every day. Can any agent get good online biz, you bethcha, you just fell off the rails, let's get you back on!!!!

P.S I took a quick peak, Diverse Solutions has lost it's power as an IDX company and SEO, nothing you did wrong, they are falling behind the times.

Jan 21, 2017 12:51 PM #60
Rainmaker
2,597,732
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

I am a raving fan of Corinne Guest, Managing Broker - she has been a wonderful guide to help me get back on track.  It is not my intention to blacken any ones door - yet I do need to add by way of full disclosure - I have hired many so-called, self-professed SEO experts - found right here in the AR community. I found many of them to be less than helpful or knowledgeable. 

With two exceptions, I do believe that most really do believe they are all that - all knowing - all things SEO. In other words, they are not intentionally trying to bamboozle people. 

However, I later find out that their claim and belief just did not test out. 

I began to fear some folks are using this platform to get business to grow their business and they are truly learning as they go ... and we pay the price for it. 

Even if we do make "mistakes" while working on our own sites Jane Peters - we can recover. It takes time and it takes work ... but you already know that. 

And, for IDX, that is one reason I switched to IDX Broker.  I had DS Solutions years ago. When we leverage a third party provider for IDX we are dependent upon them keeping the service they provide top of the line and not just raking in subscription fees month over month.  

You will rise above all of this.  I am sorry it happened to you. I've been there. And it sucks!

Jan 21, 2017 01:43 PM #61
Rainmaker
889,666
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So sorry to hear this. I have had a smiliar issue when I switched to a new Wordpress site.  I dropped like a brick, too.  Same domain, just need to tweak my site.  Good luck and fingers crossed for you!

Jan 21, 2017 06:00 PM #62
Rainmaker
1,748,038
Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Gosh, I know exactly how to get to Barrington and know the lay of the land in Barrington so well, I wish I could spend a day with Corinne Guest, Managing Broker  - she seems to be the Guru of IT knowledge. 

Clueless in Flower Mound, TX

Jan 22, 2017 01:59 AM #63
Rainmaker
518,915
Peggy James
EXIT Realty Associates - Woodbridge, VA
Woodbridge Virginia Area Real Estate Specialist

Jane-I hear you, however don't you think it also has to do with the fact that consumers are using mobile devices more than they did say  in 2008,2009,2010 ( the good old days online!)

I have been saying thisto my sister. I firmly believe  that all we need is a one page landing page with local IDX (20 mile radius), Video Playlist, local blog,social meida links to Instagram and Facebook, Message Me Link and a Home Valuation Link as well as  Featured Listings ( no additional breadcrumbs)

I firmly believe less is more and stay hyper local and one will reap the rewards

Your thoughts?

 

 

 

Jan 22, 2017 08:43 AM #64
Ambassador
4,069,439
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Hi Jane, so sorry to hear this. 

I think the recent changes may have dropped your site in ranking  - though you should see it back on top soon.

Good luck.

 

Jan 22, 2017 12:04 PM #65
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Pat Starnes Thank you. So do I.

Corinne Guest, Managing Broker Thank you for your advice. I do agree with my IDX having fallen by the wayside, but there are others who have it who are still doing well. And you are, of course, right that blogging properly is what brings in the business. I do appreciate you taking the time.

 

Jan 22, 2017 03:13 PM #66
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Kathleen Daniels Very wise words. Thank you. I am thinking of making a switch to another IDX. I came from IDX Broker when it was still hokey, but I know it is a much better product now. I appreciate you input also. Thank you.

Jan Green Thank you. I hope you crawl back up the ladder with me. 

Jan 22, 2017 03:15 PM #67
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Patricia Feager Funny. Make the trip and treat Corinne to a nice dinner.

Peggy James I completely agree. Mobile is huge. That's why, in my opinion, it is important to have a good IDX. In my market people are driving around and inputting addresses. I used to come up on page one for a ton of them, but no longer. Consumers are not really sitting on their mobiles reading our blogs they are searching for properties. My site is set up mainly for search and optimized for mobile. Oh well, I am still investigating the best course of action.

 

Jan 22, 2017 03:20 PM #68
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Praful Thakkar One can only hope.

Jan 22, 2017 03:20 PM #69
Rainer
407,684
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jane,

So tempting to fiddle with what works. I guess, you paid your tuition on this one.

Jan 22, 2017 06:38 PM #70
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Dorte, I really did.

Jan 23, 2017 12:34 PM #71
Ambassador
3,723,811
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I hear you and feel your pain. I subscribe to the theory to not mess with it unless I absolutely have to, Jane.

Jan 23, 2017 05:33 PM #72
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Debbie Reynolds would that I were that wise :(

Jan 25, 2017 04:43 PM #73
Ambassador
1,299,310
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Jane, having also learned the hard way, some things are best left alone. Having created my own Wordpress site many moons ago and understanding parenting and whatnot, it has had a great "history" and I am on page one of Google, too. Instead of changing it up to put IDX on there, I created a whole new website, with the help of Agent Advantage, whom Ron and Alexandra Seigel suggested and they did all of the work to get that whole thing up and running. It's a beautiful site, but my old "free" wordpress still ranks higher, just because of its long history. Things will pop up to "update", etc. and I figure leave well enough alone. 

I am now going to be a new follower of you thanks to the profile interview you had over the phone with Margaret Goss! 

Jan 29, 2017 11:38 AM #74
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 Oh, would that I could leave well alone. And thank you for the follow.

Feb 01, 2017 01:03 PM #75
Rainer
257,779
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

You did your own web design or had someone do it for you?  I agree, Google can be quite fickle.  Be good at something, RE or SEO,  it's hard to wear both hats well.

Feb 17, 2017 06:25 AM #76
Rainmaker
1,131,975
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Mick Michaud Someone else designed it. And yes, it is a Catch 22. Need to be good at SEO to keep the RE going.

Feb 17, 2017 12:24 PM #77
Ambassador
1,703,355
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Jane Peters  I missed this post . Never fix what is not broken - I hope it works for you

Feb 19, 2017 04:36 PM #78
Rainmaker
1,976,114
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

It can be so frustrating. I do what I can but I really have a hard time understanding seo. I remember when my AR posts got a lot of google attention, but not so much anymore. I don't seem to be found by people online as often as I used to.

Feb 20, 2017 12:57 PM #79
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