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Q & A with Morgan Carey (Real Estate Webmasters) about Indexable IDX

Today’s feature: An interview with Real Estate Webmasters CEO Morgan Carey about the SEO benefits of indexable IDX.  He reveals hard data on the resulting increased traffic, and the ability of individual agents to compete in the elusive quest for search results.

There’s been a lot of chatter about some of the newer listing scrapers and IDX wordpress plugins and what they can do, and what the value is or isn’t of having a spiderable IDX products.

I’m interested in this topic because I got a spiderable IDX in May of 2009 from Real Estate Webmasters. So far the numbers look good, but I want to know what the potential is, and whether people’s concerns about the topic have any validity. So, for my own research (and yours), I’ve decided to do a case study on my blog that looks at the effects of having a spiderable IDX on my site, and on sites that have higher authority than mine. I’d like to see where my traffic will be in a year or two!

Also, after reading all the posts at Active Rain and Geek Estate Blog, I decided to speak with Morgan Carey of Real Estate Webmasters to see if he could answer some of the most common question/concerns regarding spiderable IDX.

Question: If I have an indexable IDX, will I get a duplicate content penalty if others also have an indexable IDX?
Answer: No, that’s a myth. From Google itself: “Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks: There’s no such thing as a ‘duplicate content penalty.’ At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that. Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.” Furthermore, although it is true that everyone is starting with the same “data set” – not everyone will implement it as effectively or in the same manner. Diversification and creativity makes having this kind of data hugely valuable if leveraged correctly.

Question: Will a spiderable IDX help my site compete with the big guns (Redfin, Trulia, Zillow etc.)?
Answer: Yes of course. It’s weird – folks seem to be thinking now that the “cat is out of the bag” about spiderable IDX (we have been doing it for over 6 years btw, it’s hardly new) that there is “no point” in having spiderable IDX because companies like Trulia or Zillow also have spiderable listings (many powered directly by MLS feeds),so don’t even try to compete. The fact of the matter is – there is a very small amount of these super powerful aggregators out there, and there are 10 spots on the first page of a search engine. Even if you couldn’t outdo these sites, why not be in the fray? #4 for any keyword on the first page is really not a bad place to be. That being said – although these sites from a “domain” perspective are very powerful – they must distribute this power to their most popular / desirable targets and cannot possibly dominate or even focus on all listings in all areas. Many times just by having a spiderable IDX and a decent site, our customers easily outrank the big guns on address and MLS # related searches. One thing is for sure – without spiderable IDX – you aren’t even on the field, let alone in the game.

Question: I have a high authority site, great rankings – if I add spiderable IDX how will this change my stats?
Answer: Well, check out Jay Thompson’s case study, or take Gary Ashton‘s site. Gary got a spiderable IDX at the beginning of January, this year. You’ll notice the massive jump in the number of pageviews on his site:

Gary Ashton’s Page Views
Gary Ashton's Page Views

His traffic’s also increased over the previous month by about 45%, while his bounce rate has dropped by 36%. Users are spending about 2 1/2 times as long on the site, and they’re exploring an average of 8 pages on the site, whereas before when he had an iframed solution, people were only visiting about 2 pages on the site.

Question: I have spiderable IDX and I only have a few hundred pages indexed – why not all of them?
Answer: Chances are you do not have the authority (domain) required to keep that many pages indexed. A solution is to improve your overall pagerank, and also work on your internal linking and architecture as much as possible to leverage the pagerank you do have. Still not the end of the world though – that’s probably 350 more pages driving traffic to your site than you would have had without it. Chin up – keep building links and working on your site structure, and your pagecount will reward you with a ton of long tail traffic over time.

Question: There are many websites (with as much or more pagerank as me) in my area that have spiderable IDX. How can I compete?
Answer: Again, build your authority / pagerank is step one – whoever has the most juice (domain) has the best chance. However, there is something to be said for differentiation & augmentation. If you can come up with creative ways to rewrite your information using algorithms (titles, meta data etc.) so as to provide a “different look” (layout) and additional information on the page, then your chances are far better to generate additional long tail traffic than those simply using “out of the box” spiderable IDX. Also try to find unique ways of getting your users involved – does your MLS allow after-listing comments? Why not have users contribute comments about their favorite listings, thereby adding valuable visitor-generated, “unique” content to the page?

Here’s a question brought up by Jeff Corbett: Does the SEO value evaporate, since everyone will effectively have the same content?
Answer: I would say that everyone needs to make sure that outside their IDX data, their site has unique, quality content, period. This will help differentiate your site from the rest of the pack. As for the listings themselves, as I mentioned above, you can modify your titles and meta data to make your listings different from everyone else’s. Focus on the basics of good SEO, and the listings will only help your site in the rankings–as well as improve user experience. BTW – unless you are in a market like Austin, TX where everyone seems to be on the ball (example http://www.jimolenbush.com), then chances are you only have to compete with 1, maybe 2 sites – again, although it’s not exactly a secret, it’s also not like anyone is taking advantage. How long exactly do you want to wait before everyone but you does have spiderable IDX and there is actually some competition? Life rewards originators.

Question: Is there anything people should be aware of before they decide to get a spiderable IDX?
Answer: Realtors should stay away from IDX vendors with RSS feeds – these people are violating the NAR’s guidelines with respect to their obligation as vendors to protect IDX data from scraping or misappropriation. If the MLS board was informed (and educated as to why) RSS should not be allowed, chances are they would pull the feed. Furthermore, any solutions (such as the DS IDX wordpress plugin Jay Thompson references in his post) – should be avoided as well. My feeling is that because these plugins put complete control into the hands of untrained webmasters with no regard for regulations or compliance, the various boards will very soon pull the feeds (and perhaps the vendor agreements) of those not adhering to the quality standards expected of IDX vendors. The boards already have enough problems with members reporting members on items that are not even real issues. Imagine what will happen to a board’s compliance staff once these IDX’s (now in the control of untrained webmasters / Realtors) start gaining popularity. The MLS board is going to have so many legitimate complaints, they will virtually become buried. They obviously don’t want that, which is why they have “approved” vendors and a compliance process in the first place. Any spiderable IDX company however that does have a compliance department, and is responsible and “accountable” with regards to the MLS boards’ terms of use should be fine.

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  • Thanks for posting Tony – I wanted to take a moment to invite others that may have questions regarding spiderable IDX to chime in here – clearly a topic folks are interested in, but one that with all the technical complexities can be quite overwhelming for your day to day (non programmer) types.

    • MLS subscriber

      You guys have taken this thread way off track. Yeah, I realize the last post was 9 months ago, but go easy on me… my wife was pregnant. 🙂 Can anyone tell me which IDX vendors are responsible enough to work with website designers to create a customized search solution that is 100% MLS board compliant?

      • MLS subscriber: I design custom real estates sites that I have hosted by a developer who provides fully compliant indexable MLS listings. The developer’s search interface isn’t as pretty or as customizable as Real Estate Webmasters, but the cost is quite low in comparison to REW and all the same SEO benefits are included. Contact suzstephens[at]comcast.net for more info.

      • Try talking to displet (http://displet.com/)

      • Anonymous

        Yeah check out galtlinedesign. They can build anything !

        Real Estate IDX

  • I have the DS IDX WordPress plugin you mentioned in your last response, and am now somewhat concerned. Can you please explain why it's an issue.

  • Morgan, I think Diverse Solutions has been providing an RSS feeds for at least a year. Can you identify any situations where those feeds have lead to actual complaints?

    • One very likely issue that will come up when you put an RSS feed out for IDX – anyone can do anything, literally anything with that data. Scrapers can reuse it, publish it, copy it, etc. By definition, it makes the IDX data completely open to everyone on earth to manipulate.

      • mlbroadcast

        Tony. The ability to scrape MLS data probably exists in a number of ways. I am also interested in hearing an answer to Todd's question. Have there been instances of complaints regarding the use of RSS feeds in IDX?

        • Tony

          Yes i understand the ability for scraping exists – but with an RSS feed, it's no longer scraping is it? It's just taking the feed and doing whatever you want, which is not scraping. see where this is going? you can't even know who is doing it, and where they publish it.

          • Tony-
            RSS feeds are governed by terms of use. Sure, abuse is possible w/ a RSS feed just like it's possible to scrape a site. But just because someone has an RSS feed does not mean anyone else can do anything (legally) they want with it.

          • Drew – “Legally” has nothing to do with scapers – by their very nature they are willing to commit illegal acts with copy written materials. A vendors obligation is to protect the data within “reasonable measures” from scrapers. Obviously noone is concerned here with folks that follow the rules – if every did that, there would be no issue and MLS boards wouldn't need vendors, they would just make their data feeds public along with a TOS stating who could use them and under what conditions.

          • jameswheelock

            Tony,

            I don't want to get into a discussion about definitions, but using data from another site without permission by RSS feed is no less scraping than writing code to pull it directly from source code.

            I think what you are getting at is that RSS feeds make it much easier to scrap than normal and that is true. However, the RSS feeds being available is a huge benefit to consumers. I have many people comment on how nice it is that my IDX has that feature.

            Now as to it being more difficult to track a scraper using the RSS feed over writing code to pull it from source that is just not true. In fact I would say that there are ways to make it easier to tract a scraper using a RSS feed.

    • Actual complaints? No – I am not a member of any MLS board nor am I staff at DS so I would not be privy to such complaints – that being said, that fact does not disqualify me from understanding IDX rules / regs and pointing out that they are in fact a violation even if noone has had their hand slapped yet (again, I am not saying they have or haven't because I don't know) – Justin from DS has already stated below that several boards (likely the more web savvy ones) disallowed RSS feeds altogether – wonder why they would do that?

  • Great idea for a post it’s been quite the topic lately and I agree with most of what Morgan says here. His answers are very similar to what I would have said. The obvious problem I have is with that last answer. If find it humorous when a competitor tries to bash us by giving false information as if they have some insight into our company. All it does is make them look like a fool when the truth comes out.

    Let me start off by saying Diverse Solutions takes compliance very seriously. We have been working directly with the MLSs across the nation in regards to compliance on all of our products since day one. To say that we do not maintain compliance in our products and that various boards will pull our feeds is a complete fallacy and just a cheap way for you to try and discredit us. It may work on the phone for you when clients only get to hear one side of the story but it won’t work here.

    RSS feeds were introduced for feed readers for use by consumers as an alternative to receiving new property updates view email. There is a limited amount of information on each property due to compliance and consumer strategy. There are also only a set number of results that we give at any one time. Both of these are set conservatively by us but changed on a case by case basis per the MLSs request. In fact there are even a couple MLSs that didn’t like the RSS feeds and in turn we do not offer them in those areas. However, recently we have seen in some cases were agents have gotten creative and used them to put updated listings into blog posts. We do not advocate this nor do we promote this. I have also seen an agent set the same type of thing up but instead of using an RSS feed they used email updates. Does that mean we should disallow email updates? No. At a certain point the agent does have to be responsible and be accountable to the MLS.

    As far as dsIDXpress is concerned you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Compliance is the #1 rule in IDX. The way we designed our IDX wordpress plugin is so that the agent never is in control of the data. The data comes from our server already compliant in the appropriate format with all the disclaimers needed. That way they can put it anywhere they want and not have any worries. We have worked hand in hand with many MLSs that have more complex rules so that dsIDXpress is complaint and we have their blessing.

    Note: If any Diverse Solutions customer has any questions about compliance give us a call.

    • Tony

      Justin
      I understand your point and that you try hard to stay in compliance. While i think there are still issues there, i”m far more concerned about the next level of people who can take your RSS feed – and by definition – do whatever they want with it. You have no control over what people do with your feeds. I'm not talking realtors, i'm talking anybody on earth who knows how to manipulate a feed.

      There is no possible way for you to control that. Am I missing something?

      • That's a great point Tony – you are completely correct, Diverse has absolutely no control over what folks who have access to the RSS feeds they provide (which is everyone including scrapers and data miners) – so although Justin claims (and I believe him) that Diverse tries to maintain compliance in their search solution itself, they are not maintaining compiance in their RSS feeds, nor are they able to control or enforce compliance in anyone using their open RSS feeds. It is the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE VENDOR to protect the data – and putting it out there in an open RSS feed to be scraped is not responsible, nor compliant. You already admitted you are aware of your own customers scraping the data for their blog posts and stated that you did not approve of it. So you know about it, you know it's a problem, why then do you not take measures to stop it?

        Here is a quote from NAR btw Cliff Niersbach of NAR (who is quoting IDX policy)

        “Participants (and vendors) must protect IDX information from misappropriation by employing reasonable efforts to monitor and prevent 'scraping' or other unauthorized accessing, reproduction, or other use of the MLS database.”

        Diverse Solution violates this by publishing in an easily findable format RSS feeds, knowing full well that “their customers” and others can easily scrape and repurpose this data. Justin your defense about RSS readers being introduced for readers (and that being their original intent of publishing RSS feeds) is laughable – you know damn well what RSS feeds are used for these days, and it ain't joe public getting property updates, it's webmasters and scrapers using RSS to publish content to their sites in any (non compliant) way they see fit.

      • justinlajoie

        @ Tony – We limit the RSS feeds to the first 25-50 results and rate limit the total number sent throughout the day if they have multiple RSS feeds as each feed is unique. It would be impossible to index all of an MLS this way. As it is a novice programmer can scrape an HTML site like yours just as easy as an RSS feed. The rule of thumb is. If you can see it then someone can scrape it. It’s just how long is it going to take and how hard is it going to be to scrape.

    • Incidentally Justin, I just posted a request for sample data and installed your plugin – as I said, I made my statement based on what I was told users could do with your data, but I do owe it to you to verify it first hand. Should you decide to approve my sample data request, I will investigate and if I owe you an apology (or have made any false statements) – I am certainly happy to do so.

      • Go for it. It's free to try.

        • Thanks, I have installed and activated it – I'll post my findings later tonight (Drew Myers would you like me to post it somewhere else so as to not clog a productive discussion with a vendor specific item? – let me know)

          • Morgan-
            I appreciate you digging into this to verify the facts. You're welcome to post your findings here.

  • jameswheelock

    I have posted here before and not sure as to why I am being censored.

    • James-
      Sorry, your comment got stuck in the disqus SPAM queue for some reason — but I just approved it. I assure you, you are not being censored by any human behind the scenes on Geek Estate 🙂

      • jameswheelock

        Good to know and thank you.

      • jameswheelock

        @Drew – I think I must have had another one of my comments thrown into the spam queue as it has been some time and it has not posted. I had a question I would really like to hear peoples take on.

        • Weird – sorry about that. I just approved it and whitelisted you as a commenter. Hopefully it doesn't happen again.

    • Bob

      You must have thought you were on Morgan's forum

  • mlbroadcast

    I hope this doesn't evolve into a competition squabble, however, the point/counterpoint of the issue is very important to real estate professionals using IDX technology solutions. If in doubt, check with your MLS provider as to compliance on the part of your IDX solution provider.

  • Morgan-
    While I have a huge amount of respect for the work you've done with IDX, it should be stated that Geek Estate is not the place for any sort of “competitor bashing” – particularly based in incorrect information. Your product should speak for itself without having to go to these levels.

    I'm disappointed to see you employ these tactics to grow your business.

    • Tony

      Drew, you're right, this is not the place to bash competitors, but I don't think that was what Morgan was trying to do in his interview.

      I don't know his motivation, but this interview post idea was for me, not for him. It was all about the tech side, which is exactly what readers here want to know about.

      Anyway, sorry for causing some offense. Though, I have to admit, it sort of shows how the discussion is all the more important.

      Maybe I should interview Justin about the RSS feed as a follow up post? Or maybe he would prefer someone else do it now 🙂

      • jameswheelock

        @Justin and Tony – I would be more than happy to interview Justin or Robert about the Diverse Solutions product.

      • Bob Wilson

        Tony, give me a break. You are a client of Morgan's. Its not as if you are unbiased. Why dont you ask in your interview the danger of using his IDX and then exercising your right to freedom of speech without having your site shut down like the agent in Davis Ca this week. My gut tells me that if you wanted to be unbiased and posed these questions to all IDX providers, you wouldnt for fear of retribution.

        • Bob you are completely out of line here – the customer that just had their website shut down in Davis CA, had her site shut down for hiring a hacker and stealing REW intellectual property. She (and the hacker) are currently under investigation by the RCMP (file # 10-5102 if you care to verify) who are working with the FBI to pursue criminal charges for cyber crimes.

          I would thank you and anyone else who reads this to stick to the topic and not bring in red herrings that you know nothing about nor have anything to do with the topic at hand. In fact Drew, I would request that you delete that comment – it's completely out of line.

          • Bob Wilson

            I have heard this from you before. Everyone is always out of line except you and no one knows anything but you.

          • Morgan/Bob-
            I'm not going to delete anything yet, but the personal nature of this conversation needs to stop right now. Anything further along those lines will be deleted.

          • Drew, I am surprised and quite disappointed that you allowed the first one – I mean shoot, I made the mistake of mentioning a specific vendor as an example (which I later verified and provided proof of my claim) and I got absolutely chastised – but the shoe being on the other foot seems to be completely condoned here – I certainly don't deserve (nor does Tony) to have this post being taken over by known REW haters taking non topic specific pot shots at me / Tony or anyone else – it's quite disgusting actually, and I am REALLY disappointed that you allow it.

          • Your comment providing further information regarding the point Bob made seems to help you and make Bob look bad, so not sure what the issue is. Note that I just commented out Bob's 2nd comment.

          • That's the thing Drew, by allowing comments like that, it basically forces the target to defend themselves (which they should not have to do) – hence my comment about having the first one approved in the first place. Once again (and for the umpteenth time) – this post is about indexable IDX – my suggestion (request however I should put it) is for everyone reading this post to stay on topic and discuss the merits / negatives of spiderable IDX or don't participate.

          • Bob Wilson

            Quit whining Morgan. You deliberately drew down on a competitor and now cant take the heat because you dont control the medium.

          • Not sure how it happened, but I somehow “liked” Bob's comment even though it is exactly the type of comment that should not be repeated here on Geek Estate. I'm not sure how to unlike it w/ Disqus or I would.

    • Competitor bashing is not my intent at all Drew, I already addressed that above (and if you read the entire interview there was only one mention of any competitor, I meant to use it as an example because it was a “current” item and one that had been referenced as an example post from Jay above) – perhaps I could have just said “beware of vendors that put the control of IDX data in the hands of untrained / non accountable programmers” – and left the mention of DS out of it entirely. Again, this was meant to be a discussion regarding the merits of spiderable IDX, and seemed like a good place to have it (lots of people have LOTS of questions about it) – I would just as soon see less DS talk and more discussion relating to the non vendor items which to be fair, cover 6 of the 7 points.

      • I'm glad that wasn't your intent, but I think it should have been worded differently to make that more clear. My concern was with this statement since it said specifically avoid working with DS:

        “Furthermore, any solutions (such as the DS IDX wordpress plugin Jay Thompson references in his post) – should be avoided as well. My feeling is that because these plugins put complete control into the hands of untrained webmasters with no regard for regulations or compliance, the various boards will very soon pull the feeds (and perhaps the vendor agreements) of those not adhering to the quality standards expected of IDX vendors.”

        • Fair enough (I honestly hadn't given it a second though) if you would not mind (with my permission, and I think Tony's as well) perhaps remove the (such as the DS IDX wordpress plugin Jay Thompson references in his post) –

          I still stand by my statement however, that if a vendor (who it is doesn't matter) simply hands data over to the webmaster (who is not obligated by compliance or at the very least, not educated in the matter) should be avoided.

          I would actually think that Justin would agree with that statement – no?

          • I just put a strikethrough that sentence, but left it in there since much of the comment thread is talking about that sentence. Regardless, I appreciate your willingness to address this. Everyone makes mistakes, even me 🙂

          • Thanks Drew – I appreciate it.

      • Bob Wilson

        So why did you tweet two days ago (your 1st one in two months, btw) that their IDX Press was easily hacked?

        • I didn't tweet Bob, I posted (on my own blog) that screenshot (that was I also posted here) and it was titled “DS Press easily hacked” – that screenshot was only put up to verify what I was asked to here in this blog – it looks as though a service called “friend feed” picked up the screenshot and tweeted it (I did not intentionally post that anywhere but on my blog, and only for the purposes of posting it here)

          • Incidentally, after I linked the screen to here (which was my intention) I unpublished that post. Sorry, don't think you are going to find more fodder for your drama train.

  • Drew

    Justin, I am curious about DS compliance. SoCal MLS informed me that they require that the listing agent DRE license number be listed on the detail pages along with broker/agent info. They made me do it. If true, I notice that you are not in compliance. Perhaps an oversite, maybe I am misinformed or since you are a preferred vendor it is overlooked? I have always wondered about that as other vendors do show the DRE number.

    • We include the DRE# on our dsIDXpress and our dsSearchAgent IDX products for SocalMLS. There are a handle full of people that are using an old product that does not have it and for technical reason can not. But the MLS is aware and is handling this as the agent/broker should be including the DRE on their website if they want to continue using it.

    • jameswheelock

      Compliance questions would be better directed at Robert Larsen. I think that Mr. Larsen should be invited to the conversation to discuss Diverse Solutions compliance issues.

  • a very important question for me is – why did some MLS boards decide not to approve the RSS feed? Can you address this Justin?

  • Incidentally, I would like to offer a defense for the statement that everyone seemed to get so mad at for me making (without verification at least) – I downloaded the plugin and was easily able to make non compliant modifications to the output of the DS product (here is a sample screenshot http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/blogs/uploa… note I added my phone number, my logo super imposed over the phone and another non compliant item)

    So to the user who said:

    “you are unable to alter any of the IDX pages it displays. Further even in the cases were you have some control over what gets displayed it still comes with all disclaimers and you cannot leave off the credit to the brokers.”

    You were completely incorrect – they are easily edited and a user can do whatever they want with those areas including removing any required disclaimers or changing any data you want. Am I still the bad guy here?

    • That URL doesn't work but somehow it became an attachment, click the attached file (not the URL) if you are trying to see the sample.

    • randy

      @morgan I dont know about the rest of you, but the way you're going about this, with a competitor, seems a bit shady.

      • Believe me Randy, if I wanted to intentionally target DS, I would not do it on a site that I do not have editorial control over – this whole thing kinda sort just “happened” (again, for like the millionth time, I wish I had just left it generic instead of mentioning DS because this whole post has been unfortunately derailed)

    • randy

      In addition, doesn't it seem like diverse would just shut off your site if you did something like that. why would they allow you do continue to do anything that violates their agreement with the MLS. your argument seems pretty petty and thin in my own opinion. as a framed IDX customer I could do any number of things to my website that angers the MLS via my vendor. I think it's silly to go around pointing out ways you can piss off an MLS like this. I'm not even sure why we're all arguing about it. I'll say this, and I'm done:

      This seems like a huge non issue, the only one complaining is morgan. Justin said they got MLSs to sign off, enough said.

      • Randy – I agree this should be a non issue, that last comment in an otherwise positive article was blown WAY out of proportion – I didn't agree to do this based on constantly talking about DS – you think I want to give them this much attention?

        The fact of the matter is, I got jumped on from a bunch of folks because of the fact that I included DS in that last line (something I truly regret doing) – but now it's almost like I am pot committed in terms of defending myself – both Justin and James basically said I was full of it and claimed that what I had posted above was false (they basically called me a liar) – now again, although I completely agree that I probably could have left out the DS reference – the fact of the matter is, my statement was completely correct, and now I feel compelled to defend myself – know what I mean?

        Perhaps I should just cool off for a bit because I really don't want to go down this path – if anyone has any SEO related questions with respect to spiderable IDX (which is why I came here) I am happy to answer them, this DS BS I am done with.

    • “- they are easily edited and a user can do whatever they want with those areas”

      Easily edited by someone like yourself with crazy coding skills, or easily edited by the average real estate agent?

      I consider myself above average with regard to web skills and have no idea how to edit the DS plugin pages.

      • Fair enough Jay 🙂 – but seriously, how many agents have the skills you have? (Especially if they are messing with wordpress) most will have to hire a programmer – and believe me when I tell you, for “any” programmer – editing these files is not hard at all.

  • mlbroadcast

    I can verify that as well, we had the same issue with Justin's comment. We may need to look at our comment system, Drew is more familiar with it than I am, so I'll work with him to improve it.

  • Anonymous

    @Morgan – I really enjoy using your forum as I feel a number of contributers that frequent it are well versed in web marketing. I also like a great deal about your product. However, you are hugely incorrect about DSIDXpress and it bothers me and concerns me that you would have slandered a company based on inaccurate information.

    I use the DS IDXpress plugin and would like to say it is far from putting the MLS data into the hands of agents. First of all it is controlled by an API that limits what sites it can go on. Next you are unable to alter any of the IDX pages it displays. Further even in the cases were you have some control over what gets displayed it still comes with all disclaimers and you cannot leave off the credit to the brokers.

    I think you owe Diverse Solutions an apology when it comes to this quote “My feeling is that because these plugins put complete control into the hands of untrained webmasters with no regard for regulations or compliance, the various boards will very soon pull the feeds.” You should have investigated deeper into how the plugin worked and what compliance controls the company had on it before you made a statement as strong as this one.

    To everyone out there thinking about purchasing a spiderable IDX product. Both REW and Diverse Solutions have excellent products and I prefer one of the other for different reasons. I believe for those with limited budgets starting out that the Diverse Solutions product is a better choice as it allows one to get into the game at a much lower cost, however, long term it will cost you more than the REW product because of higher monthly costs. You will also find that REW allows for much more customization, but it will cost you a pretty penny to have it done.

    @Erika Eaton – You should have no concerns with utilizing DSIDXpress, the systems and APIs that DS has in place will prevent you from making any compliance errors and I feel you have no worry about your feed getting pulled.

    • Hey there James, thanks for the comment / reply. First off let me say this, I will investigate the plugin further (my comment was based on what others had stated they can do with the plugin, I will now verify for myself) – and of course you are correct, I should know what I am talking about before I post something – but I am still reasonably confident that the IDX press provides a level of control to the webmaster / Realtor that makes compliance enforcement (by Diverse) impossible. Again, not afraid to admit that I am wrong and apologize / retract the statement if that is the case (I am installing the plugin now)

      Take DS (and any vendors name) out of it for a minute here though, and hopefully you can recognize the issue from a compliant vendors point of view. Allowing the data to be handled by your customer in an uncontrollable way automatically means you are not fulfilling your obligation as a vendor to protect the data and ensure it’s compliance. Justin said “At a certain point the agent does have to be responsible and be accountable to the MLS.” And with regards to IDX compliance he is completely wrong. It’s the VENDOR – not the agent who is responsible for ensure and enforcing compliance – not the agent (how the heck can you expect every agent to be an expert in IDX compliance) – that’s why we have vendors in the first place. That way the board has “the few” not “the many” to police.

  • We have been indexing pages for years and it definitely will increase your long tail. Still think your better off on getting your communities to rank if you do not have a lot of Authority to pass around. More users are searching for the communities than single addresses.

    Good post until Morgan took a shot at DS 🙁

    • Lol fair enough – and thanks for trying to bring it back Jeff. It's definitely true that you don't want to “dilute the juice” with to many spiderable IDX pages if you are like a PR 2 or something (Real PR, not the Toolbar stuff)

      It's a gradual thing, let a few communities out at a time (perhaps just residential and perhaps just between some desired price ranges) until you are able to grow your authority to the level it needs to be to support a larger page volume.

      Of course, targeting communities requires far more umph than targeting addresses so it's kind of a double edged sword – day one you can rank for an addy in most markets, where it can be a couple of months of auth building before you can start showing for communities.

  • And this is the last I will say on this topic

    @Morgan – I know that at this point your are just trying to save face and I understand that. We all wish we hadn't said something at one time or another but you have got to work on your PR skills. While I appreciate you checking out our product and giving your unbiased feedback it doesn't really mater to much to us. Having a competitor hack our wordpress IDX to put a logo and some additional words, take screenshots then tell everyone that it was so easy doesn't really hold that much weight. I can guarantee that if you give us 15 minutes with your idx website that we can either change the CSS and/or inject some HTML somewhere to make it uncompliant too. The fact of the matter is that the consumer just doesn't do that. If we find anyone that does we deal them on a case by case basis. Including shutting off their access. Why are we getting into progamming debate here when very few would understand us and it just doesn't mean anything. It would be just two vendors pounding on their chest like a bunch of idiots. Lets save that for that bar at Inman SF this summer. I'll buy the first drink. As far as our compliance is concerned, let us worry about that we've been doing just fine.

    • Believe me Justin, I wish that someone had come along, read this thing and went – wow spiderable IDX is powerful! Then went and found either of us, instead of someone jumping on the DS reference (I still think it was blown WAY out of proportion) – and work on my PR skills – are you freakin kidding me, I've been wishing a good PR person would fall in my lap for years – I like building and SEO'n stuff – not trying to work my way in (or out) of arguments online – obviously I have a knack for working my way in 😉

      Does ANYONE want to talk about the pros / cons or SEO advantages of spiderable IDX – or should we change the title of this post to “some guy named posted an article and some other guy called out some other guy's product” 🙂

      Kind of like a train wreck though – (not just because it seems to be hard to survive) but also very hard not to watch heh – ah the internet.

      • Brandonpatton

        The fact is that if a Realtor wants to sell houses they need to rely on a good programmers to help them build a page. We (Realtors) that own our own business were hats of many trades when we open up the doors to our clients. I think companies like Zillow and Trulia should not even be legal. As Realtors we need to have programmers stomp these national companies out that are charging Realtors for advertising next to data that is not even as good as a direct MLS feed which a Realtor can pay a developer to run. These companies (Zillow and Trulia) should not be able to beat a local experts. Half their customer support cannot even pronounce the cities in my market but they are on the first page of Google. Lets take them out!
        As for REW or WordPress Plug in, I tried to go the WordPress route and ended up paying for a hosting account for a year to find out that Diverse Solutions will not serve my MLS board. Then I called REW and I am getting ready to work with them. Also, please keep in mind that I would rather pay somebody to get me good results with a proven formula rather that compete against a tried and true method!
        There are a lot of WordPress companies popping up butit all comes back to results!

      • Brandonpatton

        The fact is that if a Realtor wants to sell houses they need to rely on a good programmers to help them build a page. We (Realtors) that own our own business were hats of many trades when we open up the doors to our clients. I think companies like Zillow and Trulia should not even be legal. As Realtors we need to have programmers stomp these national companies out that are charging Realtors for advertising next to data that is not even as good as a direct MLS feed which a Realtor can pay a developer to run. These companies (Zillow and Trulia) should not be able to beat a local experts. Half their customer support cannot even pronounce the cities in my market but they are on the first page of Google. Lets take them out!
        As for REW or WordPress Plug in, I tried to go the WordPress route and ended up paying for a hosting account for a year to find out that Diverse Solutions will not serve my MLS board. Then I called REW and I am getting ready to work with them. Also, please keep in mind that I would rather pay somebody to get me good results with a proven formula rather that compete against a tried and true method!
        There are a lot of WordPress companies popping up butit all comes back to results!

  • Full disclosure: I use BOTH the Diverse Solutions IDX and WordPress plugin on my blog, and my “traditional” website is powered by Morgan’s spectacular REW products.

    Both work extremely well, and both are fully compliant with my MLS rules and regs. I don’t have the mad coding skills of anyone at Diverse or REW, but I’m not about to put some non-compliant solution on any site I control.

    Morgan wrote: “My feeling is that because these plugins put complete control into the hands of untrained webmasters with no regard for regulations or compliance, the various boards will very soon pull the feeds (and perhaps the vendor agreements) of those not adhering to the quality standards expected of IDX vendors.”

    This is simply not correct. The dsIDXPress plugin does NOT put “complete control” into the hands of anyone. It generates *fully* compliant content. I can not change, alter, or edit any of the compliance text generated by the DS plugin, any more than I can edit the compliance portions of the REW spiderable pages on my other site.

    That said, there certainly *could* be a plugin out there in development that isn’t compliant. I know for a fact that there are people out there who put out bid requests on web developer boards asking for people to submit bids to “clone” both my Diverse Solutions powered sites and my REW powered sites. On one of these, the winning bid was $200 and the guy claimed he could “easily replicate” either or both of my home search solutions. THOSE are the kind of people you need to look out for as I seriously doubt some guy half-way across the planet coding for $3.00/hour knows, or give a damn, about IDX compliance.

    I sit on my MLS Tech Committee, as well as the Arizona Association of Realtors Tech Committee, and NAR’s MLS Issues & Policies Committee and I’m the Vice-chair of NAR’s Business Technology & Information Systems Forum. So I feel I’m pretty well versed in MLS issues, IDX compliance and the like. I can assure anyone reading this that the dsIDXpress plugin generates fully compliant pages — at least with my MLS. And I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t with any other MLS they partner with.

  • Thanks for the info about the IDX. Just encountered a few problems and I think it'll work out this time.

  • Here is a quick and dirty (very) look at what happened to my “traditional” site when I switched over to REW’s spiderable IDX (red bars = page views, yellow bars = unique visitors):

    http://www.phoenixrealestateguy.com/images/REW-page-views.jpg

    Note the ridiculous jump in page views in July 09 — when I switched to REW.

    The astute observer will also note a drop in unique visits. But that’s not due to anything REW did or didn’t do. That’s all on me for not converting over all the pages I had on my old site and not being timely about 301 redirecting my old pages to new ones.

    With spiderable IDX, I get MANY more page views, and many more “long tail” search visitors. Time spent on site also jumped dramatically.

    I also get a “boat load” (that’s the technical term) more people registering on the REW site. I think that stems primarily from people spending more time on the site — they are liking what they see, as well as people Googling addresses and communities and landing right on the listings pages — they are finding what they are looking for.

    I’ve seen (as was linked in the article) the same types of increases with the dsIDXpress spiderable pages on the blog too. The blog has more indexed pages than the REW site, but that’s because as Morgan points out, the blog has significantly more “juice” and authority than the REW site (again, that’s got nothing to do with REW).

  • NancyD

    Wow, this is quite some conversation! The interesting thing to me is that Diverse Solutions and REW are the two IDX solutions (and website providers) that one of my clients has boiled down her decision to. We like aspects of both companies. It has been a very difficult decision to make.

    What I don't want either of you gentlemen to forget is that customer service and ease of use are of utmost importance to your clients. Again, you each have a fabulous product… with strengths and weaknesses that “the other guy” makes up for. What one of you lacks is good customer service. That may make all the difference in our decision as to who to go with.

    Just my 2 cents worth… for what it's worth. 😀

    • Nancy – one thing i like about REW is that it's big enough to have a lot of people to help me at anytime. everytime i call, email, or post in the forum, i get a pretty quick response.

      on the other hand, it's a big enough company that sometime i feel like a little tiny fish in a pond full of bigger fish…

      but i still vote for REW 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Now back to spiderable IDX. I am very happy with the results to this point in my usage of spiderable IDX as it has doubled my traffic and given me other ideas from watching what the search engines do with the listing pages.

    I also notice that the number of pages a visitor views is higher. Although it is not nearly as many pages as consumers view in comparison to the framed in portion of my DS IDX. I figure this is likely because the frame in version is a lot more appealing to the eye than anything you can build with simple flash. Despite this I believe that having the IDX pages one views attributed to your domain that you are trying to rank is going to be huge as search engines consider traffic and user activity in ranking pages.

    The one issue I have a concern with when putting out the money to have something that allows indexing of individual listings is the fact that if everyone starts doing it won’t it just burn itself out as a strategy?

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  • Tony

    Justin, can you answer my question from earlier – why did some MLS boards choose not to participate in RSS feeds?

  • rongoodman

    All generally true. A spiderable IDX is a clear advantage.

    RE: “… and they’re exploring an average of 8 pages on the site, whereas before when he had an iframed solution, people were only visiting about 2 pages on the site.”

    This statement is not really accurate or relevant. With an IFramed IDX, Google Analytics will only count the main page containing the IFrame as a single access, and will not count how the IFramed IDX content is viewed within that page. This is primarily because the IFramed IDX urls do not contain the site-specific Analytics code to have those pages counted. A user can actually be looking at dozens or hundreds of pages within the IFramed page per visit, but Analytics will never see or count that usage. Therefore, using this statistic for a comparison between spiderable and non-spiderable IDX site is misleading and not appropriate.

    I agree strongly that compliance issues can arise from allowing individual site owners total control over the IDX content and layout, as some open source IDX solutions do. However, if the vendors really want to protect themselves and their clients, there are ways to control and manage that. One would be to provide a “locked down” basic IDX compliance framework, residing on the vendor's servers and not accessible in any way to the site owner, that enforces vendor and webmaster compliance with MLS rules, while still allowing the webmaster some flexibility in managing the content and layout details within that framework.

    Our Denver MLS is generally very diligent about compliance enforcement, but some agent webmasters, and even a couple of those with an otherwise compliant REW IDX, still manage to break the IDX display rules, like failing to display the IDX logo and listing office name on every IDX listing, including summaries, as required by our rules. Morgan, I would be happy to point out which site and why it is non-compliant if you care to contact me offline.

  • Is anyone else getting a ton of late notifications about comments that were posted 20+ hours ago? Were they stuck in moderation as well?

    • I had to unsubscribe from this thread as every time I hit send receive I get another 20 notifications (duplications) – sorry for late responses if you leave them, will check back manually from time to time.

    • Yep – must be the commenting system is screwed up or has a hicup.

      • Yea, I think Disqus was WAYYY behind in their email notifications. I got about 50 emails today from this thread. I think they are caught up now (I hope)…

  • As fun as it is to sit back and watch REW and DS go at it, I thought I would offer my two cents on the issue for what it’s worth. First of all, any IDX vendor you are going to use has an obligation to ensure compliance for its clients and the MLS members. All of the major vendors are well aware of the rules and restrictions in regards to the display of MLS listings on behalf of the members and follow those rules as interpreted. I certainly would never imply that Justin at DS is intentionally going against any rules; as it comes down simply to the “interpretation” of the rules for each MLS.

    Our company (IDX, Inc.) has not previously provided RSS for anything other than the office’s own listings due to the fact that almost all of the 350+ MLS agreements we currently have in place prohibit this type of distribution method as “interpreted” by us. By definition, RSS is a “parsable” data file, so anyone who is allowing this on anything other than their own listings, is (as Morgan points out) could be seen as a violation of a specific MLS’s rules on the surface and could be subject to fines and penalties by the MLS. Here at IDX we tend to agree (in general) with this interpretation of the rules. Now, before I get accused of saying some vendors are in violation, the way in which this RSS is delivered could be locked down to mitigate the potential of that page from getting parsed, therefore defending against this argument with the MLS. At that point, the issue really becomes and enforcement issue and this (IMHO) is completely subjective based on who you are dealing with at any particular MLS. As long as measures are put in place, whether on the page, in the firewall, or limitation of the RSS delivery to prevent the scraping and redistribution of the data, that would be a defensible argument for any IDX provider.

    I do think, based solely on my own personal experience, as more and more MLS’s start to focus on enforcement, they will (unfortunately) begin to explicitly prohibit RSS feeds on any listing that is not owned by that office. Now, please understand that this is my opinion based on the current trends I see, I actually would prefer to see them specifically allow this type of distribution. In fact, that is the only reason we have not previously built a more extensive RSS feed in our own general IDX search results due to the potential legal liability we see in providing this type of feature.

    Great discussion by all above, I have a great amount of respect for all of the IDX vendors out there and we all have a lot to offer in many unique and creative ways, not the least of which is indexable IDX listings, which was what prompted this entire discussion in the first place!

    Cheers,

    Chad

    • Tony

      Chad – great response. I agree completely. I think RSS will be banned by many of the boards soon enough. NAR should weigh in. If they let it go, great. But I doubt they will.

      either way, thanks for your input.

  • Jon

    re: Email updates — *ironically* the RSS feed for the comments works exceptionally well 🙂 #emailupdatesaredead #longliverss #hatersbesteppin

  • Tony

    Chad – great response. I agree completely. I think RSS will be banned by many of the boards soon enough. NAR should weigh in. If they let it go, great. But I doubt they will.

    either way, thanks for your input.

  • We are in Portland, ME where our board has a tight control of data. Our MLS data is provided by Marketlinx, which offers a very so-so product. It would be great to have access to IDX feeds at the agent level, and then use a product such as that offered by RWM. Any suggestions out there as to what arguments word with a local board entrenched in old-school thinking?

  • Why is this have a strike through?

    Furthermore, any solutions (such as the DS IDX wordpress plugin Jay Thompson references in his post) – should be avoided as well.

    • Bill-
      Please read the comment thread for the conversation that took place as
      a result of that sentence.

      • Thanks – I read it in the email – too long of a day for thinking for myself.

        • I have several clients I have installed the new DS product on their site and within a week we are seeing an increase in traffic and leads.

          One client's broker didn't want to sign the release sort of related to the issues mentioned here because of information released on a website when the owner didn't want it published. They got sued…yada yada.

          This is a very interesting post to read and even though the tone got a little heated, I am glad all the information is out there now to go through.

          Now to read it again tomorrow with a fresh brain so it will make more sense. 🙂

  • Drew – btw, I just found out (I honestly didn't know) you had taken a job with one of my competitors. I thank you for even allowing this post to stand in the first place (I thought you still worked for zillow) – but it certainly explains a lot of the response (that I was kind of surprised by) – Trust me, if I knew you were working for VR and doing work with DS (using the very technology I mentioned was the problem) I would never have agreed to do this Q & A (at least not to having it posted here on your blog).

    • Incidentally congrats to VR on acquiring you, I am sure you will serve them very well.

    • Bob Wilson

      Another low blow Morgan. This was a shill post to begin with.

    • Morgan-
      I assure you my new role at vr has nothing to do with the moderation
      policies here. The moderation policy here has not changed in 3 years
      and I would have moderated this discussion just as I did even if I
      still worked for zillow.

      • I completely believe you Drew – I don't (nor do I think it came across that way) think you selectively moderated. But what I didn't realize (shame on my for not doing my homework) is that this blog is clearly a DS friendly (certainly not neutral) space (in terms of readership, not moderation policy) thus (and clearly this happened) – I was committing participation suicide by even agreeing to do this Q & A in the first place.

        It's nothing against you Drew – I don't think you have wronged me here at all, and I totally have nothing against you (I was fond of you prior to this post, and I still am) – and I am a bit envious in fact – it was not a backhanded shot when I said congrats, I would have hired you in a heartbeat had I known it was an option 🙂

        • Hey Morgan-
          Geek Estate strives to be a neutral place where everyone has a voice. You have an open invite to write on Geek Estate as long as you follow the author guidelines. If you're interested, email me and I'll set up an account for you.

          Also, note this blog is owned by Zillow and not by me.

        • Bob Wilson

          Saying you were committing suicide by participating here because it is DS friendly, is patently unfair since you were the one that drew first blood.

          • mlbroadcast

            This blog is completely vendor neutral and will remain so. We have new policies in place regarding the use of the blog and commenting. Please check it out. http://www.geekestateblog.com/blog-comment-policy/ – We strive to provide the RE community with quality information. Sometimes there will be debate, but it if turns into an all out competitive battle that does nothing to further the conversation, We'll take the appropriate action.

        • robbspearman

          Morgan Carey … I would never do business with you. NEVER. Your comments and posts are unprofessional. I have decided to purchase a DS IDX site based on your behavior Morgan. The comments towards Justin and Drew are uncalled for.

  • Bob Wilson

    I’ll stick to the topic from here on out.

    Morgan is wrong. It is possible to have dupe content with IDX listings. A more authoritative site can easily keep a weaker site from have the same IDX listings displayed. IDX providers have to downplay the dupe content issue in order to sell that benefit to customers in the same market.

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  • Tony

    I'm still hoping to hear why some MLS boards won't allow the RSS of their IDX data. No answer makes me think the boards agree with Morgan on this. Am I wrong?

    • Bob Wilson

      Because it is way too easy to use an rss feed to redistribute listings in ways that are not compliant.

    • ericbramlett

      No answer makes me think the boards agree with Morgan on this. Am I wrong?

      I'll stay out of the RSS feed war here and just focus on the lack of logic in this statement. Silence doesn't prove or disprove anything, other than the fact that the silent entity doesn't want to respond.

      If you have a moment, read up on http://www.didglennbeckrapeandmurderayounggirlin1990.com

  • atlantarealestate

    I can show you guys a REW powered site in Atlanta right now that is attempting to index the ENTIRE MLS in this area.

    The link to the data is almost hidden in the tiny text at the bottom of the site.

    66,461 addresses displayed across 887 pages.

    How is this “compliant?” They are only showing the addresses. Then, the link is to a registration.

    But this allows those 66k addresses to get indexed bringing traffic to that site.

    Total bull. Talk about displaying only what you want, how you want.

    • Atlanta – Good catch, and in fact you are correct, if a sitemap (which is not a violation of compliance btw) is displaying any actual FMLS data (such as an address in anchor text) then the required disclaimer for FMLS should be displayed – I will report this to our IDX dept and have them address their sitemap – Can you email me the URL of the site in question? morgan @ realestatewebmasters.com

      Thanks

      • atlantarealestate

        On the way.

        Tnx,

        Rob

  • gilbertperalta

    I guess I will come to Morgan's rescue here. I am not a customer of any company discussed here. I am still using the worse IDX ever, a non-indexable POS. I am currently in the market for an indexable IDX and a wordpress plug-in. I googled “indexable idx” and this conversation is ranked #2. Morgan was simply pointing out that DS has a product that apparently (based on his screen shot) can be hacked and non-complient. The last thing I want is to work with a company who may get in trouble and then BAM, I lose all my pages with the plug-in. It sounds like that isn't going to happen, as DS assured me they are complient.

    Always be honest and speak your mind Morgan.

    As for me, I'm still not sure which indexable IDX to go with….

  • It is just so tempting to abandon the real estate business (at least temporarily) right now. However I’ll look into your ideas. Thanks

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  • Here is my take on this issue. D/S, REW matters not. Please remember that all clients of both vendors are REALTORS (otherwise they would not have MLS access.) who are bound by the REALTOR Code of Ethics. Morgan's premise that is “if can be hacked, those scummy agents will hack it” is highly offensive to me.

    So the REW pitch is: “Buy our very expensive solution because your fellow REALTORS (with whom you cooperate for your livelihood) are all scumbags who will hire Estonian coders to hack your IDX feed so send us a couple grand so we can prevent it?
    Morgan, please. Your product is the best premium solution available. You are better than this.

    Full disclosure: I am a D/S client who should probably be a REW client if I could afford it.

    • Thomas – this thread has been dead for a while but I got an email notification, so I figure I'll respond because you said some things here that need to be addressed.

      First off all, our “pitch” is buy our websites and IDX products because they are awesome and will help you generate business. Your statement about our sales pitch is quite frankly ridiculous.

      As for “if it can be hacked, those scummy agents will hack it” being offensive to you. I didn't say anything about “Realtors” being scummy – I was more focusing on the fact that RSS in IDX solutions opens up the data to folks who are NOT Realtors nor bound to any COE – but since you brought it up, I hate to inform you that folks willing to cut corners, or extremely motivated to break the rules to their advantage DO exist – in fact we get thousands of inquiries per year from Realtors, who (knowing the rules full well) will make requests like “hey if we buy an IDX from you, can you make it so we hide the listing broker? I know it's required, but I don't want it – while we are at it, can we make it look like all the listings in the IDX are mine?”

      Seriously – if you are one of the good guys, that's great – but don't hang me out there for posting a fact (which is commonly known) – and that is “some” Realtors are not ethical and WILL take advantage of any opportunity they can (You could replace the word “Realtors” with “people” and the same would be true – it shouldn't be something I get dumped on for, just because I point it out.

  • Thomas – this thread has been dead for a while but I got an email notification, so I figure I'll respond because you said some things here that need to be addressed.

    First off all, our “pitch” is buy our websites and IDX products because they are awesome and will help you generate business. Your statement about our sales pitch is quite frankly ridiculous.

    As for “if it can be hacked, those scummy agents will hack it” being offensive to you. I didn't say anything about “Realtors” being scummy – I was more focusing on the fact that RSS in IDX solutions opens up the data to folks who are NOT Realtors nor bound to any COE – but since you brought it up, I hate to inform you that folks willing to cut corners, or extremely motivated to break the rules to their advantage DO exist – in fact we get thousands of inquiries per year from Realtors, who (knowing the rules full well) will make requests like “hey if we buy an IDX from you, can you make it so we hide the listing broker? I know it's required, but I don't want it – while we are at it, can we make it look like all the listings in the IDX are mine?”

    Seriously – if you are one of the good guys, that's great – but don't hang me out there for posting a fact (which is commonly known) – and that is “some” Realtors are not ethical and WILL take advantage of any opportunity they can (You could replace the word “Realtors” with “people” and the same would be true – it shouldn't be something I get dumped on for, just because I point it out.

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  • I have spent an hour reading these posts and am curious as to the cost of each the IDX plugin from D/S and the spiderable IDX from REM? Can anyone share information on this?

  • What type of page rank do you need in order to keeps that many pages pages indexed? I understand that this is an subjective question, but I assume you need a decent amount of authority to keep those things indexed

  • Austin Texas Real Estate

    I have been looking at a index paged source for a few weeks now. Just cam across this thread and althougbh its an older post htought maybe I could get some insite to an IDX provider who can provide this type of searcable idx resource.  Thanks for any input

  • Richmondforeclosedhomes

    This is an excellent post.  I’m trying to improve my site’s rankings and have run into the “big guns” but found that, locally, sometimes you can compete for some of that coveted first page Google love if you are optimizing for local based keyword phrases.  Zillow has a gazillion backlinks so we (as individual realtors) will never be able to compete with them, but on a local level, we can show up with them in the search results based on well thought out keywords.  I was concerned about duplicate content issues with the IDX so posting this information has been very valuable.  It’s good to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  Thanks!
    richmond foreclosures

  • Tom

    whereas before when he had an iframed solution, people were only visiting about 2 pages on the site.

    I am fully aware that framed pages will not get you as much traffic from the search engines, but was not aware that they would affect the number of pages viewed once the visitor arrived. Hell unless you know where to look there is no way to tell a framed page from a nonframed page…  but of course they won’t index as well as google knows its not your content on the page.  But the visitior normally does not know that.

  • An interesting topic! In reference to the Gary Ashton’s Page Views graphic, do you still have access to that Google Analytics account? I am interested in the increase in Search Traffic specifically, as well as the jump in Landing Page count before and after the changeover. The page view jump is impressive, but really I’m curious about the search engine data specifically.

    Thanks!

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