Back on December 23, I wrote an article here on GeekEstate Blog about a WordPress plugin that Diverse Solutions was developing that would allow IDX listings to be fully indexed by search engines.
Earlier this week, the plugin came out of beta testing and has been released for general availability.
Here is part of the Diverse Solutions press release (full release):
Diverse Solutions announced today that they have released a new IDX product called dsIDXpress. The product allows agents and brokers using WordPress to get property listings on their own website and own domain to be indexed by the major search engines. dsIDXpress is different than traditional IDX solutions in that it has both the standard consumer search capabilities as well as the ability to insert specific listings or groups of listings into any page or blog post with their Live Listings(sm) shortcodes. The plugin also automatically builds in search-engine-friendly city, community, and zip code pages that show available properties in the respective areas. Furthermore, listing detail pages are available for every property in the MLS. Overall, dsIDXpress is being touted as a low cost alternative to functionality that was previously only available in high- end custom websites.
Diverse also has a web site dedicated to the plugin — dsidxpress.com
Pricing is currently set at $99.95 for set up and $29.95/month per domain (some MLS’s may have additional fees).
Since installing the various beta versions of the plugin (and still not using it anywhere close to its fullest capability), I am continuing to see heavy indexing of plugin generated pages.
As you can see in the Google Analytics chart below for Phoenix Real Estate Guy (TPREG), there has been a distinct increase in traffic since installing the plugin:
The plugin was installed on Dec 18 and on Dec 26 I added several sidebar links that generate IDX pages as well as a zip code “directory”. Shortly after that, a noticeable increase in traffic occurred. The traffic bump the week prior to Jan 1 is partly due to a post about local New Year’s Eve events, but there is no question that people are Googling addresses, MLS numbers and “longtail” search terms and landing on the site. Here is a real-time shot of some Sitemeter stats showing where currently on-line visitors landed:
This particular mix of visitors landing on normal blog pages and dsIDXPress generated pages holds true pretty much every time I take a peek at the real-time visits.
Of note, these results may not fold true for every user. I’m not an SEO expert, but I do know that TPREG enjoys a fair amount of “Google juice” and authority. I was also the first user of the plugin in Phoenix, so there may be a “first adopter” advantage. There is a legitimate question the release of this plugin poses — what will happen when multiple people in the same market are using it? (See a good discussion of this on Jeff Corbet’s xBroker blog, and the Diverse Solutions blog).
Personally, I feel the real power of this plugin is NOT in getting every listing in your MLS indexed (that won’t happen anyway. I doubt there is a single real estate web site out there with the “juice” or authority for that to happen). The real power comes with building content around indexed IDX pages. I’m in love with the idea of writing a blog post about a particular neighborhood, or type of property, and “embedding” indexable listings into the post. This way, when a user comes by 6 months (or 6 years) after the post is published, they will be presented with live listings at the time of their visit, not from the time the post was written.
That is freaking cool. . .