You are here: GeekEstate Blog » Keyword Advertising, SEO » Real Estate Trademarks in Meta Tags

Real Estate Trademarks in Meta Tags

MLS® and REALTOR® Trademarks in Meta Tags

Google is certainly all the buzz talk in the SEO world these days and us Real Estate Agents are not immune to the unfortunate penalties and updates our beloved Google has bestowed on us.  With all the Penguin and Panda talk – and of course the penalties that Google has handed out in the last months – they have really shaken up rankings across the US and Canada. But now you have to wonder about Trademarks and how they affect your possible placement on Google and other serps.

I was recently contacted by my local real estate board as the request of CREA – ( the Canadian Real Estate Association) due to the improper use of trademarks on my website. While I have always tried to comply with our rules and regulations I was surprised to see that I was not in compliance.  In this case it was the unauthorized use of “meta tags” yes folks you are not allowed to use our two well searched and ranking terms MLS® or REALTOR® in meta tags even if you use them in the right context. This came as a surprise to me and likely to many of you – yet if you search the internet through you will find that many real estate agents use this term in their meta tags. This caused me to want to do a little more research into things.

I called CREA and begrudgingly found out it was true. My next call was to NAR- the National Association of REALTORS® I had a very detailed conversation with their  legal team which also revealed that NAR shares the same sets of rules. ( although they admit they don’t enforce them)

Now part of SEO practice to rank for certain keywords is to have them in the meta tags as well as the content in your site. So if you want to rank for REALTOR® or MLS® terms you it is recommended to have them in your metas – but wait it is an infringement on the guidelines for the trademark itself – what can you do?

Now most real estate agents are not using the terms correctly in various medias of advertising from Internet to print and everything in between. If you are sinking your hard earned money into site development or designing advertising pieces using the trademarks you might wish to educate yourself on the proper terminology to avoid a possible issue or fine in the future with your governing trademark body. Not to mention having to take down advertising in print or billboards that could be a costly mistake.

About Crystal Tost

Crystal Tost is a Calgary Realtor® specializing in residential Calgary Real Estate since 1997. A self proclaimed tech geek, Crystal loves to keep current with modern technology and implements it into her business to provide her clients with the highest level of real estate service available. Crystal leverages the latest hardware and software to stay ultra mobile and runs a paperless office. It's a modern approach to traditional real estate that offers great rewards to her clients and the environment! Google+

This entry was posted in Keyword Advertising, SEO and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • I thought the major search engines stopped looking at keyword meta tags long ago.

    • Crystal Tost

      I think that there is still some value – no? I did notice a slight change in rankings once I removed the titles.

  • Good post, Crystal. While Jay may be right in that search engines don’t necessarily give SEO clout to meta tags any more, I believe they’re still used a bit as informational/categorization guides.

    There are a large number of real estate websites that violate the MLS and REALTOR trademark guidelines, but only those that are high profile get noticed, so (congratulations?) on being one of those sites. We’ve had to make adjustments of our own, as our site was heavily branded to “Seattle MLS” in the 1990s before these rules even existed.

    There are certainly other ways to rank for these terms, but it’s more difficult than it used to be.

    • Crystal Tost

      Thanks Sam – it is tough to comply when you see that most others are not 🙁

  • Feasibilitypro

    Interesting post Crystal, thanks for sharing this info about trademarks in metatag. I agree with Sam, small site use lots of unethical techniques and never get caught.

    • Crystal Tost

      Yes there will always be those that won’t play by the rules not matter what the rules are. I don’t mind having to comply after all it is how they protect our image and hopefully improve on it as a whole.

  • It’s interesting that the terms Realtor and MLS which are financed and paid for by the Realtors who belong and maintain the MLS systems are not allowed certain benefits of these terms.

  • John Ducey

    Most agents in my area use those terms pretty freely. I don’t think they know it is not allowed. You found out? Does your local board pour over agents meta tags?

2008 - 2017 GEEK ESTATE · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - THEME BY Virtual Results
Hosted by Caffeine Interactive