An SEO Update…

My guess is that there is still a lot of interest from real estate professionals on how to use SEO (search engine optimization) to drive (free!) traffic to your site. With that in mind, I thought I’d keep people updated on the little SEO experiment I started a week ago. As you’ll likely see, the results so far have been somewhat mixed.

First the worst news: Google dropped RCG out of the simple search [Seattle Real Estate] (at least on the first few pages). RCG has been in the top 10 for at least a year, so this is quite surprising! (Over the past year, this term has driven about 3% of the new users to RCG, which might not seem like a lot, but it is the most dominant driver of traffic to the site. No other phrase even comes close.

Better news is that after eliminating some of the pages and focusing on only a few tabs on the top of the page, the results for searching like [agent recommendations] has been much better. (RCG is #1 on Google!)

Also of interest, it took less than a week for RCG to now appear on the front page of some obvious searches like [Seattle Real Estate blog] on both MSN and Yahoo. I think this bodes well for the future as these sites do a better job indexing RCG thanks to the keyword and title changes I made.

For comparison purposes, I’ve decided to see how the site has changed using these days:

  • Pre SEO changes: Nov 12th through the 16th
  • Post SEO changes: Dec 10th through the 14th

Considering the changes in the status on the big search engines on the big search terms, not much as changed in terms of overall traffic:

  • Google. Pre: 1738, Post: 1568
  • MSN. Pre: 41, Post: 42
  • Yahoo. Pre: 28, Post: 25
  • Ask. Pre: 22, Post: 15
  • Technorati. Pre: 21, Post: 34

The overall Google traffic decreased 10%, while there was virtually no change from the other search engines. I included Technorati thinking that would be the “control” that wouldn’t be affected by SEO, but of course, that is the ONLY site that increased substantially! Go Figure!

6 thoughts on “An SEO Update…

  1. Dustin,

    what was the control in terms of how many posts during the test periods… how frequent the posts….. length of posts… topics… etc..

    I feel that this could throw the numbers off. Also do you think there are seasonal changes in web traffic as a whole?

    Either way, keep up the good work.


  2. Giles,

    I didn’t worry too much about the current posting frequency because so few of the hits from the search engines go to current posts. To give you an idea of how unimportant that current content is in terms of Google traffic, here are the top 50 keywords from the previous 5 days:

    • rain city guide
    • real estate cash flow blog
    • rain city real estate
    • rain city
    • real estate blog
    • seattle real estate blog
    • Does Zillow Hit the Mark
    • seattle real estate
    • trulia
    • scott greenlaw
    • financing contingency
    • fsbo success stories
    • free copy of windows vista
    • zillow
    • seattle bubble
    • real logics seattle
    • seattle rain
    • granite countertops seattle
    • seattle real estate news
    • real estate syndication
    • seattle housing bubble
    • seattle real estate market
    • patch ceiling popcorn removal
    • rainy city real estate
    • Rain City Guide
    • popcorn ceiling removal
    • seattle lease option rental home
    • clyde hill kindergarten moving medina
    • rain city real
    • Seabrook
    • raincity
    • link:
    • seattle real estate trends
    • seattle bubble blog
    • ardell kirkland
    • average home appreciation in Seattle
    • seattle blogs
    • washington “Broker Only”
    • realtor beginning
    • Seattle real estate
    • popcorn ceiling
    • seabrook
    • zilllow
    • property legal description contract of sale
    • free windows vista copy
    • merit financial
    • seattle lattitude
    • rain city realestate
    • program with MLS seattle database

    You can see that it is all over the place and has very little to do with recent posts.

  3. Dustin,

    I made the same change to the title code for each page putting the post title ahead of the blog title. I’ve seen some of those post indexed on google with the title change and I’ve seen a large number of pages indexed since making that change.

    I have no proof, but wonder if making those first few words unique for each post instead of always the blog name then post title helped.

    I think having the post title in the permalinks also helps instead of just the page number.

  4. Very cool test, Dustin. FYI: when selecting keywords you can use the Yahoo API- it will select 100% Yahoo relevant keywords (the gold standard of keyword selection) from the page content. That will boost you even further in Ask, Yahoo and MSN very quickly.

    The title move is very interested, I’m thinking about trying it myself.

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