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Real Estate Websites and Outbound Links

outbound-links-seoDoes your Real Estate Website have outbound links?

The typical authority sites Zillow, Walkscore, and GreatSchools offer some great data and insight for your users. But to use that data, you have to link to the source.

What is the ranking cost – if any? Is it worth it?

According to moz’s onpage seo grading, it is okay to link out. Here is a an excerpt from their on-page grading tool:

moz-on-page-gradermoz quote: Linking externally is generally a good thing

I have approximately 50 real estate websites here in the Northeast. Here is what I found:

  • My pages with outbound links to zillow (for zillow’s zestimate) were not competive
  • My pages with outbound links to Walk Score  had no impact

It seems to be a reasonable conclusion, if your outbound links are to a site in which you are competing for page placement then that content maybe considered duplicate and disregarded.  With respect to SEO, I see no benefit in outbound links other than the content value for your user.

These are my results, what do you think?

About Mark Hankel

Mark is Software Developer, Licensed Real Estate Agent and Technical Consultant in the Boston area. Interests include Software, Real Estate, Triathlons, Reef Tanks and all things Apple. Looking to relocate to New England visit my website New England Premiere for homes and condos in and around Boston

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  • Mark, I have not done the testing you have, but I never link to Zillow or any potential competitor. If they don’t compete with me, I will put a link to their Website.

    However, I am trying to get away from links and get the data on my site. For example, I used to link to the tax information, now I get the tax information one time, store it on my server, and then display it without having to link. I think it gets more attention this way.

    Besides the good advice of don’t make me think for Web Design, I follow a don’t make me click practice too.

    You always have to have some clicks, but I try to reduce the number of clicks people need to go through to get good information.

    Users seem more comfortable scrolling then clicking, so when given the choice I would choose to have them scroll vs. a lot of clicks.

    • Hi Bryn,

      The concept was to gain same credability for a new domain. It is generally a good practice and linking to authority sites may show that the site is a “good neighbor”.

      I do agree with your thoughts and I would actually like to reatract my original statement wrt Walk Score. With no outbound links, I am indexing higher and more consistently.

      I like your Tax Data idea. Good tip.

      • I’m kind of surprised more brokerages haven’t taken the approach of creating property pages for every single property (like z/t) using pubic records data. I think they could win at the seo game if done on a hyper local level (HOA’s, neighborhoods).

        • Wesbert Saint Juste

          Drew, Can you tell me where I can find a guide or an article on ( how to create a property page with data from the public records.) I would like to do this for a few houses I own. Any ideas would help.

          • It’s totally dependent on which county you live in. Go talk to your county assessor and ask if the tax assessment roll is available digitally. Some counties is free or super cheap, and some it’s crazy expensive. More info: http://www.zillow.com/blog/pro/chronicles-of-data-collection-a-gargantuan-task-6071/

            You can buy it in bulk from these companies: http://geekestateblog.com/public-record-data-in-bulk-for-real-estate-websites/

          • Wesbert, for my area because it is public records the county will give it to me at no cost on a CD. I believe they can’t say no or charge because it is public information.

            One point to keep in mind, you will have the names of the owners for each property. Don’t put that online and allow it to be searched.

            I made that mistake and had a judge who deals with criminals contact me and was very upset you could now Google his name and see where he lives. I removed it immediately. The tax records show the name, but they don’t allow Google to index it.

          • Wesbert Saint Juste

            Thank you.

          • Just a quick update for comparison purposes. I just called my tax office, they now sell the data for $250 for anyone of their tables, and I can then FTP it down.

            I guess my CD information and no charge is a bit out dated, at least for my area.

            I am looking forward to adding the tax data to my Website, to make the website better, and to help with more SEO opportunities.

        • Drew, good point, I have lost some SEO rank and I think I need to get these records online again.

    • I agree with you Bryn

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