Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD

…is some kind of SEO contest.

The prize looks kind of bogus to me.

“First place winner receives ummmm lets see – Ok a free REW template website ($740 value) Free hosting for a year on the new V 2.0 REW platform ($480) and throw in our $2500 CORE IDX and the $360 yearly fee on top of it – that works out to ummmm – let’s see about $4080 for first place – how’s THAT for a prize :)”

How do you read that prize?

I’m seeing the winner gets to pay at least $480 to them for hosting the “prize” for every year after the “free” year. The winner also gets to pay them another $360 a year ad infinitum for Core IDX services.

Who exactly is the winner in the long run?


It is my understanding that as a result of this post, the prize has been changed to include free hosting indefinitely.


I have a special request to update this post. I generally don’t do that, but at someone’s urgence that I expand the initial topic, I will.

Search Engines are trying very hard to serve a purpose on the internet. That purpose is to seek out and display good and valuable content. That is good for everyone, if allowed to perform its function.

However, some will try to trick the Search Engines into thinking that they have good and valuable content. They think this is a smart thing to do. Some even think it is great to charge people money to help them trick the Search Engines. This is a sin against not the Search Engines, but the general public, who rely on the internet to perform well. When someone searches a topic they are happy to find good and valuable content as the Search Engines intended. They are not happy to find a trickster who fooled the Search Engine into thinking they had good and valuable content.

Gaming the system is not good.

This entry was posted in Industry and tagged by ARDELL. Bookmark the permalink.


ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

271 thoughts on “Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD

  1. Maybe it’s late, but I don’t get it. What’s the point of the contest? To win the prizes? To be “the” site that comes up when someone googles, “greatest real estate agent in the world?”

    Who talks like that?

    I thought SEO worked better if we use natural language.

    I don’t really hear people saying “Jane Smith is the greatest real estate agent in the world,” or, “you know, the greatest real estate agent in the world is Jane Smith.”

    I mean, I know Realtors have big egos but that sure would be a lot to live up to.

    Wouldn’t I (as a buyer or seller) just want the greatest real estate agent in my neighborhood or city?

  2. I looked at some of the comments in the blog post and some people just like to “win”. I think they want to win so much they haven’t figured out that “the prize” is going to cost them, so they should decide if they want to buy that prize or not, after the first year.

  3. Hi Ardell;

    You are totally correct about the prize having some cost in year 2. I (for one) am not competing in this for the website, although if you saw one of them, you might change your mind (grin). It is a REALLY nice gift for winning. I am going to be donating it (if I win) to a REALTOR in need of it…and I will make sure that it is not going to be something that they regret. (read: they won’t be paying hosting unless they are making enough off of the website to MORE than justify that expense.) I will personally guarantee that with my own checkbook if needed.

    Full disclosure: I am not an REW customer (never spent a dime with ’em), but have served as a moderator on their forum for awhile. I can attest to the quality of their work.

    Believe it or not, this is not about promoting REW or anyone else…others in the RE community (Wannanetwork, for example) have thrown in prizes as well. The quest is for understanding on how to gain exposure on the search engines and how to promote a site online.

    @Jillayne- you are 100% correct that this is a “not searched for” term. That IS the point. You learn in a laboratory. A little used term in competition with folks you know and communicate with is a great way to understand the principles of how search works. If the term was “Seattle Real Estate” that the contest was for, it could actually damage someone’s livelihood and that certainly wouldn’t be good. I think the intention was to learn in an “environmentally friendly” way.

    You are also correct about egos..(smile)..Sometimes you have to appeal to that side of the brain to get people to take action…if not for that, luxury cars wouldn’t exist (grin).

    Best to all of you..(an avid reader for years)

    Eric Blackwell

  4. I already have an REW website. I look at this as a good way to learn how to market online for our clients and for our own personal business. I certainly can attest to the idea that this will not cost you money in that the website will MAKE YOU A LOT OF MONEY. Far more than the second years hosting cost.

    Since real estate has become more of an online experience for consumers, this contest can help all who participate learn more about what will and what won’t help them improve their online presence. So yes, after the first year, you would have to pay hosting on a website valued at about $5,000 along with another prize where someone will begin to help you get some solid content on that site. If you think this is a cost then so be it. I myself see it as an opportunity to get for free something that many people cannot afford or would pay for otherwise.

    Incidentally, your post ranks quite well 🙂

  5. Personally, I think the guys over at REW have a GREAT product. I have not personally made the investment in their site design but I do plan to at some point in the future so this contest would ultimately be a good thing to win for someone like me. It would save me the initial outlay to put the site up and I would have to pay ongoing anyway so it’s not a bad deal if you like the product as much as many of the REW site owners I’ve talked to.

    The contest is a little self serving but aren’t ALL contests self serving in some way?

  6. Ron,

    I’m reminded of someone who won a really big prize once, and then couldn’t afford the taxes on it 🙂 I like Eric’s commitment to whomever he gives the prize to. A commitment like that turns the whole thing into a positive, and his feeling the need to do that should say something to the contest sponsors.

  7. Ardell,

    I don’t disagree with that point at all. I do think that it’s an opportunity to learn and in this case, it means that it’s worth looking at some of what you guys do here. 🙂 I drop in and read what’s going on in the great northwest at least once a week myself and whatever you guys do seems to work quite well.

    I’m just looking at the opportunity to improve and this seems like a reasnoably harmless way to do it…

  8. Ryan,

    To the best of my knowledge, we don’t DO anything for SEO purposes except to try to have good, consumer focused, content.

    To me, doing things for SEO placement is like using a fake photo in a dating service. Search Engines are looking for good content. Why manipulate a system that functions to the reader’s purpose by trying to bend it to your own purpose?

  9. Ardell;

    @ Mr. Ali- I live in Louisville..his hometown… could not agree more.

    @ My commitment–I am pleased to provide insurance where I KNOW there will never be a claim filed–grin. That’s hopefully the message that is getting sent…but I understand your point…When I was a kid, I remember watching the Price is Right, and thinking the same thing. 😉



  10. Unless my Dad was pulling our leg, Ali had a home in Wynnefield, PA when he was Cassius Clay. We used to drive by it at night at Christmas. My Dad liked it, but it was one of those with one Green spotlight, one red one and one white one. Seemed pretty boring to us. We liked the gaudy ones better.

    Seems to me I remember it being a big sprawling rambler.

  11. This looks like classis link bait to me… and a publicity stunt. But I fell for it hook line and sinker. A little competition is fun, especially in the seo world.

    I’m personally hoping to win my client that package… but then again, it limits the field of competition because how many people actually need their services?

    -Justin Smith
    Tomato Coach

  12. Ryan,

    Spam is anything done with the alterior motive of increasing SEO for their own site. Are you spamming? Only you know your intent.

    Some spammers are getting so good at it, it’s getting harder to tell whether or not to delete a comment as a spam comment. Not referring to yours, as it is on topic. But one guy runs around making fabulous “off topic” comments, and you scratch your head and ask “Is that spam, or is the guy a psycho?” 🙂

  13. Hey Ardell,
    I do believe that off topic comments with keywords stuffed into the comment section and anchor text is spam…. because it’s obviously just a tactic to increase links etc… it may as well be a robot, which it is in many cases. And I admit, my comment was on the border of being out of line.

    But, if you have something real to add to the conversation, what is wrong with including your keywords in the anchor text for your name (assuming you still identify yourself?) I’m not talking about using something like: “orange county realtor, orange county real estate, newport beach homes for sale”. That is clearly out of line, and disrespectful to the author. But what if you used something like: “Ardell – Seattle Real Estate Expert”

    Seriously… what is wrong with that? You are identifying yourself, and still getting the anchor text benefit.

    Honestly not trying to start an argument here. I respect your position, I’m just trying to understand it. Because what you seem to consider spam, is a part of every day life in the seo industry. Same with linkbait. Maybe you have a bone to pick with SEO people in general, I don’t know… I’m just trying to point out that there is an entire community out there that doesn’t classify spam the way you do.

    I hope this comment doesn’t bite me…

  14. Same as what’s wrong with a big Jesus Cross where your photo or logo belongs. LOL!!!!!

    I don’t expect everyone to agree on “right and wrong”, Justin.

    The SEO industry is in and of itself…spam by definition. When the intent is placement, and fighting the natural course of placement, that is trickery. Agents who use trickery for SEO purposes, might also use it to make money by using trickery on their clients, don’t you think?

    It’s like my post “What does Bait and Switch blogging say about you (as an agent)..

    So hiring an SEO expert is like telling the world “I’m an agent who believes in trickery to my own purpose.” Not a statement an agent should be making to the world.

  15. First of all, thank you for providing some extra exposure for the contest and allow such an open forum as you have.

    I wanted to start off by saying, that this contest (As my Blog posts states) is not an REW initiative, or a link bait scheme (At least not for me) – it was in fact proposed by one of our community members Eric Bramlett, who thought it would be a really fun thing to do, and a great learning experience. The reason I was the one to announce it is because I have the loudest microphone so to speak, so Eric asked me to Blog about it, so it upped the reach a bit, and made for a more challenging competition.

    I think it is a great idea and seems like a lot of fun (I am not competing btw) and more importantly I see merit in the education this kind of exercise provides. I was not asked to provide a prize, I just thought it would be a good idea to have something (Other than increased knowledge and bragging rights) to compete for – every competition needs a prize right?

    As for the prize – I can certainly see from an outsiders perspective how this might appear as a bait and switch – (I thought I was being generous) – to be honest, the web hosting fees we charge are to cover costs, not to make $ – REW makes our money in the fee for service side of web development (Custom design, programming, content writing etc) – Even if there were a profit margin to speak of in hosting, it would take a hell of a lot of monthly hosting fees (Many more customers than we have or will have any time soon) to cover a 35+ person web development staff, building and Rackspace servers (Not cheap) etc – we would go broke very quickly if our model was based on hosting profits.

    Even so, I suppose by the same argument, we don’t stand to loose much from offering 1 hosting account / IDX free service lifetime, so in the spirit of not tainting what I truly believe is a fun contest and a great idea, I will amend my offer so that the platform and IDX hosting costs will be covered by me for as long as the customer would like to use the site.

  16. Hey guys! Glad I found this blog – looks like you guys have a thriving community here. I’ll be up your way in June for SMX – I’m looking forward to visiting Seattle for the first time.

    I just wanted to pop in and confirm that this whole contest is really all in good fun, and for educational purposes. As Blackwell stated above, we’re going after a non-competitive phrase for “bragging rights” and Morgan was kind enough to throw in a VERY nice prize. Even if he wasn’t offering the free hosting, the site + IDX is something that people line up to pay big bucks for.

    With that said….GAME ON! We’d love to have you guys in the competition – everyone should come out a winner.

  17. Hello Ardell,

    Great Blog and popular topic right now. As others have said it’s not about the website that Morgan has graciously offered, but more of a fun contest and learning experience that Eric Bramlett came up with, for a keyword phrase that is definitely for fun only. Well SEO bragging rights too. 😉

    Now the website does add more excitement to this contest, even if Morgan had not offered the additional hosting.

    Anyway you may as well consider yourself in the contest because right now I see this Blog in the #1 spot on Google. 🙂

  18. Ardell,

    You know the winner doesn’t have to accept the prize being offered by Morgan! This contest, started by Eric Bramlett, is supposed to be fun and educational!

    Good luck to all!

  19. Pingback: I love Love LOVE that ARDELL is winning… «

  20. Pingback: Dear Ardell | REMBEX Blog Fiesta

  21. “To the best of my knowledge, we don’t DO anything for SEO purposes except to try to have good, consumer focused, content.”

    Come on Ardell, then what is the Linkation page, the Real Estate Blog links, and the Seattle Neigborhood Blog links all about? Sure it’s consumer focused, but did you always have Chicago consumers there in the Rainy City? Morgan is consumer and content focused too. I just think the pot is calling the kettle black here or your outbound linking would not be nearly as voluminous. Your page name purports to be a site about Seattles Rainy City Real Estate, Morgans is focused on Real Estate Webmasters. Why would G algos find your Seattle real estate guide relevant to The Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World from this one page of mention. I just respectfully don’t think that you “don’t DO anything for SEO purposes except to try to have good, consumer focused, content”. And I am not being negative and I am positive it is all white hat, but I have been around long enough to know that people doing the talking like to be heard and usually step up to the podium and often must take steps (well intentioned and ethical) to get themselves to the podium. I believe you propel yourself to the podium when given the chance too.

    As far as the prize, I find it interesting you now have your eyes on the prize after your initial post.

    Good luck, you are #1 today.


  22. I know we turn down people who want to link with us every day, and many offer to pay for that privelege. I know because sometimes they email me by mistake and I forward the requests to Dustin, but answer myself first.

    They may have very high ranking, and linking to them would clearly benefit our SEO standings, but we still “Just say no” to inappropriate linking.

  23. If it is inappropriate linking that would help, then it is spam.

    What was appropriate at one time is not now. What is now won’t be in the future. But I see nothing wrong with a contest for an unusual term and still believe that we all seek to get on the podium to be heard in our own way. Some will walk to the podium, some run, some may be pushed in a wheelchair, and others will stand on a soapbox at the back of the room.

    I doubt that “by simply writing a post, the person who already had the highest SEO would win”, isn’t that constantly in flux? After all, why is everybody blogging in the first place?

  24. Pingback: Who is the greatest real estate agent in the world ? » Blog Archive » » The Nominees

  25. What I find sort of amusing is all the folks putting “The greatest real estate agent in the world” as their linked user name here.

    RCG has nofollows on comments. All you are doing is adding those keywords to Ardell’s post. Your link isn’t being followed.

    Check the source, you’ll see rel=’external nofollow’ on all comments…

  26. Ardell,

    “The SEO industry is in and of itself…spam by definition”

    …is a terrible, ignorant definition.

    I’m going to reference Wikipedia, which even though might not be THE authoritative source, is known for rebuking SEO’s/spammers for manipulating the site to their own advantage, so should be considering mostly neutral if not even a little against SEO’s/spammers. Interestingly, they rank very well for the terms SEO and Search Engine Optimization…;)

    SEO: “SEO considers how search algorithms work and what people search for. SEO efforts may involve a site’s coding, presentation, and structure, as well as fixing problems that could prevent search engine indexing programs from fully spidering a site. Other, more noticeable efforts may include adding unique content to a site, ensuring that content is easily indexed by search engine robots, and making the site more appealing to users. Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, use methods such as link farms and keyword stuffing that tend to harm search engine user experience.”

    You should see that there’s a noticable difference between SEO and spamming.

    Spamdexing:”Some consider it to be a part of search engine optimization, though there are many search engine optimization methods that improve the quality and appearance of the content of web sites and serve content useful to many users.”

    So, SEO – REALLY – is defined as improving the user experience and helping search engines and users find the content or information they’re looking for. Quite the opposite of what you’re suggesting.

    What you’re saying would be like someone claiming “Realtors are leeches by definition.” Probably true for a subset of the population, but not really an accurate assessment of the group as a whole, no?

    BTW, in order to make this comment exceedingly long, the link dropping for Greatest Real Estate Agents in The World URLs is probably crossing the line over to comment spamming, or very near to crossing that line. Although I should point out to everyone you’ve got nofollowed comment links, to they’re not passing Page Rank or anchor text weight.

    Thanks for entertaining a differing opinion.

  27. Ardell, I think a lot of people still need to read the rules on Morgans Blog. To qualify in this contest these comments must be do-follow and they are currently no-follow, that is why I made the comment above in #27.

    By the way I currently see Justin Smith at #1, but believe me before its over it will get things will change more. 🙂

  28. Mike,

    I choose to be ignorant to SEO tactics…so thanks. I’m just a girl in the world who knows about real estate and writes about real estate.

    It’s the age of be who you are and let the chips fall where they may. Be your best at what you do best and what your clients NEED you to do best…and for me, that’s real estate.

    As to anything else…I’m just a girl in the world. Have fun with the contest though.

    If more agents worried more about learning their “craft” and being an expert at home valuation and all things real estate, instead of SEO and getting people to “find” them…they wouldn’t need to be “found”. Their good and happy clients would spread the word, not a Search Engine.

  29. “I don’t need no stinkin’ rules”

    As soon as I saw something about “Ardell” and “rules”, I thought to myself… “they don’t know Ardell very well”.

    Like Ardell is going to get under the hood of RCG and start doinking with comment nofollow code. I suspect she neither knows, or more importantly cares, how to do that.

    Still, I hope she “wins”!

  30. “I don’t need no stinkin’ rules”

    I love this. Can’t wait to see Ardell “win” but have the egos behind this disqualify her because of their “rules”. What if the the top 5 or 6 results don’t qualify? Do they crown #7 the winner? Too funny.

  31. Ardell,

    “I choose to be ignorant to SEO tactics…so thanks.”

    That’s fine. I’m ignorant about a LOT of things, just like everybody else. That doesn’t preclude us from being experts in something, or even just helpful, good people.

    IOW, don’t mistake my comment as my assessment of YOU; it’s just my response on your comment about SEO.

    “If more agents worried more about learning their “craft

  32. As long as it is be good first, and be found second, I’m OK with that.

    But like my post earlier this week with the crappy photo of the home, better to present the home well first…and then worry about vFlyers.

    As long as the priority is at the consumer level vs. the agent level…OK

    Consumer First, Client Second, Agent, Third, Company Last.

    It’s my motto. Consumer First means do it for the benefit of upgrading the industry and the knowledge of consumers generally.

  33. P.S.

    Just so you know where I’m coming from, I think the HUGE industry of selling things to agents increases the cost to consumers generally with regard to real estate commissions.

    I hope agents will be more selective of self promotion expenses, and then pass some of that savings on to the consumer.

  34. Just want to clarify something about “the rules” – there is nothing in the rules of this contest that state comments on your blog must be do follow, that is not what I said at all. Nofollow / Do follow is something every webmaster has the right to choose and should choose wisely if they are allowing user contributed content in any volume that makes it hard to moderate.

    The actual rule is this: You must write at least paragraph about 1 thing you learned from someone else’s entry. You must provide a link to that entry with a no follow (And you cannot request a link back, this is not about building link networks or reciprocal links)

    Why implement such a rule? Because in having to find, read and report on quality search engine practices you are being forced to learn while you compete – this is the basis of the rule.

    Why nofollow? Do dis-spell some myths and break some habits. Nofollow is for outbound links that you do not trust, or cannot vouch for, it was never intended to help SEO’s conserve page rank, nor do I think that Google wants every webmaster creating pagerank sinks.

    Reference the paragraph above and think about it for a second – you had to go out and find a web page that you #1 have read, and #2 respect enough to link to due to the quality of it’s efforts – this should NOT have a no-follow because it is an earned link. It also provides some great motivation to write / create the best (Most likely to be respected) entry in the contest due to there being an advantage to those who truly put effort into the quality of the content of their entry.

  35. Oops, there is a typo above it should have read “You must write at least paragraph about 1 thing you learned from someone else’s entry. You must provide a link to that entry without a no follow”

  36. > Just so you know where I’m coming from, I think the HUGE industry of selling things to agents increases the cost to consumers generally with regard to real estate commissions.

    Blogging, SEO, online syndication of listings, etc, are great ways to drive costs DOWN, IMO.

    I’m sometimes amazed at what an individual pays for SEO services…in most cases, it’s just not necessary. In highly competitive markets or for larger brokerages, perhaps…but for most individuals: just DIY, or at least be smart about to who and what you pay for SEO.

    Morgan: Glad you clarified that; that’s the way I was interpreting the rule, but it’s good to clear up the confusion.

  37. The rules assume that there is something of value to be learned from these contestants. Effort and quality are relative and subjective. What I have seen so far is pretty basic. Ardell simply wrote a post on an authority site and it out ranks most of them.

    She is schooling them.

  38. Pingback: Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World « Ardell’s Other Seattle/Eastside Real Estate Blog

  39. “how do you read that prize?”

    Back to the original topic of the post. After thinking about it, I do think the prize is kind of silly… think about it. The people that are competing right now already have websites, and if they are in the running, you can assume they probably have some kind of idea of what they are doing… why would they need a package for a new website???

    What I’m seeing now is a bunch of jockeying from people that already have multiple domains. I even saw that someone created a new domain name: I guess someone forgot to tell them that 15 days isn’t a whole lot of time for a brand new domain name to rank well…

    You can count me out.

  40. Justin Smith wrote: “…I guess someone forgot to tell them that 15 days isn’t a whole lot of time for a brand new domain name to rank well…”

    The contest ends May 1st not March 1st! 😉

  41. lol… oops. guess I misread that.

    2.5 mos. still isn’t very much time for a new domain.

    Anyone else notice that the number of results has increased on Google for the search phrase? When we started, there were 570,000 results found. This morning, there are 756,000…

    I find it hard to believe that there have been 86,000 new web pages created in the last couple of days relating to “greatest real estate agent in the world”.

  42. Pingback: Get Ready to Sell with ARDELL - Part 1 | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  43. I find the contest a unique way to test my personal SEO skill against many that have far more experience and probably resources to achieve the #1 spot. I just want to see how well I can compete on a scale like this where every agent will be blogging about how great they are. Like many I don’t need hosting or prizes but seek the intrinsic feeling and value of a job well done…hopefully I understand the rules before belching some text on a webpage 😛

  44. Toby!

    Best of luck to you. Don’t take too long to belch on the webpage though. When it comes to search engines, sometimes “aged” and earliest is more important than better and later.

    Google Winner of Project Blogger and see what I mean. I declared Kevin Tomlinson the Winner of Project Blogger before the contest was over. To the best of my knowledge, he’s still the winner as far as Google is concerned.

  45. No he’s not! LOL. Well, as they say, the Truth Will Out Itself. Still…like someone said, could take a lot longer than this contest has to run for that truth to out itself.

    Could be that I used different keywords, just like this contest with my being 1st if you google THE Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World vs. Greatest Real Estate Agent in the world. One little word can throw everything out of whack.

    But “the rules” don’t interest me. The WHY of rules interests me a lot more than the rule itself.

  46. Justin, I have multiple web sites and recently closed one down because I just don’t have the time. However, there are others that do have the time (and outside help) to continue creating multiple niche sites and getting a nice website as a prize would suit them just fine.

    I’d give up the template to get the custom IDX which would go quite well hand-in-hand with my VOW – actually, as a lead-in to my VOW. You see, in Northern IL our IDX has been opted out of by many brokerages so is quite lacking.

    I could offer the IDX without registering while trying to let them know if they want all of the active listings they have to register for the VOW.

    Anyway, I think it’s a great prize, even if one doesn’t need or want every part of it. I’m on Eric Blackwell’s team, no time to do this on my own (& no chance to win).

    I do have to say that since joining in, at the least I am finding new blogs and sites and networking. It’s been fun.

  47. Getting back to the original post now that the “bait and switch” angle is moot – a potential way to summarize Ardell’s intent with the post could be “what is the motive behind Real Estate Webmasters offering the prize. We said our goal here was to learn, so perhaps some readers hoping to become web savvy marketers will learn something from what I am going to post below.

    The thing I want to say, is that me offering the prize has absolutely nothing to do with any potential SEO benefits I may receive from being referenced as the “generous guy offering a great website for free for life” in blog comments, or web pages discussing the contest – to be perfectly honest Real Estate Webmasters has so much viral momentum that a few low quality links from blog posts would not amount to a hill of beans in terms of our bottom line.

    So what is the motivation? The answer is simple greater reach and even more advancement in our awareness campaign.

    The fact of the matter is, there are still tons of real estate agents out there that don’t know about Real Estate Webmasters, our websites, or any other facet of our company. Having this prize referenced in places we otherwise may never have been mentioned (Like here at RainCityGuide) allows for us to increase overall awareness of our company and social networking portions of our site. More specifically, it causes people to evaluate the “prize” – there are those that may have heard about us, but never took the time to closely examine our template product – now they will.

    It’s just smart marketing 🙂

    Do I want the backlinks? – Well I’ll take them, I’m no fool, but it’s not the point at all
    Do I want the $480 a year for hosting, platform fee? Cmon guys, that wouldn’t even pay the salary of the CSR staff to support it.

    Do I want literally thousands of real estate professionals and potential business partners to become aware of Real Estate Webmasters? YES! This is the point of the prize – sure it costs me the labor to set it up and host it, but can you think of a single advertising campaign that would reach as many potential “targeted” customers for such a low cost? Probably not – if you put some thought and some effort into viral marketing campaigns, you will find that the ends justifies the means.

    PS – if there are still those of you who think – “Yeah right, I still think it’s a bait and switch and you are going to be upsold” – The poster above Judy Orr won here Real Estate Webmasters website years ago in a member referral contest, and we have NEVER attempted to sell her anything. It just comes down to misunderstanding or underestimating the big picture.

    So was this a waste of time for those participating? Not for those that just had a “lightbulb moment” with respect to the potential scope of viral marketing online. Sure some might poo-poo it, some might say “well I already knew that” and that is fine – but for those of you who take this concept and are succesful with it, feel free to keep the viral thing going and mention you learned it at Real Estate Webmasters 🙂

  48. I don’t think that there is a prize. At least not one worth investing any energy over. The contest is a competition between real estate webmasters. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Nice to see so many familiar faces on top.
    Including this blog.
    I predict 500 comments by the time the contest is over ( @ least)

    Mike Dammann

  49. At the moment I have 4 of the top 5 spots in Google. I’m 1,2,4and 5. Haven’t spent much time doing that, and it clearly can change as we go forward. But doesn’t seem like much of a contest if I can get 4 of the top 5 spots without trying.

  50. It has little to do with trying. I put up a thread on Digitalpoint and it went to number 4. It has to do with using authority sites to post on.
    Most webmasters still underestimate the importance of growing authority to their sites and rather focus on getting links with keywords in them.
    No, you are not trying, at least not as hard as most people, but you are also not getting your very own sites ranked, are you? 😉

  51. Ardell, you are a great writer, and that helps a lot with ranking. And I wished more people out there would realize that you sometimes have to go where the business and traffic is rather than wondering when it will come to you.
    If you put this effort on a regular basis onto a blog of your own, there is no doubt it will be a huge SEO success.
    Nice to see you have no tunnel vision.
    Sorry if I came off the wrong way, but I have friends who are trying very hard to win this thing, and hopefully we will all learn a lot from this.

  52. Different Google data centers can show different results, especially when there are a lot of new pages being indexed as there are in this contest.

    I don’t think the intent was to create a new blog. My understanding is “whatever it takes” (within the limits of acceptable SEO practice of course) to get a result to #1.

    I see lots of folks creating new pages, utilizing press releases, Squidoo lenses, AR, linking to their entry from other web sites, asking for link backs, etc etc.

    Contests are fun. The prize is nice. Hopefully folks will learn. I don’t have the time or energy to spend on it. I’d rather sell a home. 😉

  53. Here’s what I am seeing:

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD | Rain City Guide | A …Real Estate Blog to discuss the Seattle real estate market. – 75k – Cached – Similar pages

    Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog…Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World is some kind of SEO contest going on over on this blog. The prize looks kind of bogus to me. … – 70k – Cached – Similar pages

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the WorldReal estate agents try and prove they are the greatest real estate agents in the world showcasing their spammin’ and jammin’ skills. – Similar pages

    The Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World : ARDELL’s Seattle …The Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World is just a silly contest, an SEO one at that. But it makes me stop and think about the Greatest Agents that I … – 22k – Cached – Similar pages

    Tags and Keywords | Real Estate BlogsTagged with: greatest real estate agent in the world. Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World. Permanent Link | Comments (1) | Write a Comment | Send Link … – 76k – Cached – Similar pages
    More results from »

  54. Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD | Rain City Guide | A … – 4 visits – 7:45amReal Estate Blog to discuss the Seattle real estate market. – 75k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World – 7:36amReal estate agents try and prove they are the greatest real estate agents in the world showcasing their spammin’ and jammin’ skills. – Similar pages – Note this

    The Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World : ARDELL’s Seattle … – 2 visits – 7:12amThe Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World is just a silly contest, an SEO one at that. But it makes me stop and think about the Greatest Agents that I … – 22k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    The greatest Real Estate agent in the worldThe greatest Real Estate agent in the world (from General Chat) – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest Real Estate Agent In The WorldFind The Greatest Real Estate Agent in the world Here,find the winner of the Greatest Real Estate agent in the world contest here. – 5k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

  55. Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD | Rain City Guide | A … – 4 visits – 7:45amReal Estate Blog to discuss the Seattle real estate market. – 75k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World – 7:36amReal estate agents try and prove they are the greatest real estate agents in the world showcasing their spammin’ and jammin’ skills. – Similar pages – Note this

    The Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World : ARDELL’s Seattle … – 2 visits – 7:12amThe Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World is just a silly contest, an SEO one at that. But it makes me stop and think about the Greatest Agents that I … – 22k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    The greatest Real Estate agent in the worldThe greatest Real Estate agent in the world (from General Chat) – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest Real Estate Agent In The WorldFind The Greatest Real Estate Agent in the world Here,find the winner of the Greatest Real Estate agent in the world contest here. – 5k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    This is what I see. I also see a lot of Digg, Myspace, Furl and such.
    Blogs, forum threads and such.
    On a sidenote:

    If anything, this contest will teach average spammers (non real estate) a lot.

  56. Fire Town – I’ve got what I consider a pretty good online presence. You’re more than welcome to stop by and let me know what you think! I also contribute to GeekEstateBlog and HomeGain’s blog as well.

    I spend quite a bit of time in and around the “”. Just ask my wife (also an agent and the one that does most of the real sales work while I try to bring in the clients via the internet)

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  58. It’s a long contest….where any of us are right now may not be a good indication of where everything ends up. 🙂

    For what it’s worth, I have this at #1, my entryy at #2 and Jay at #3. I’ve jsut finished my first year of blogging and havew much to learn from you 2 and quite a number of other great real estate bloggers around. I hope that we can keep focused on the learning part. At least that’s a big part of it for me.

  59. Hey, are you guys pimping my blog post? 🙂

    Seems there is trouble in the wind if there are different views when each of us Googles it. Plus it seems to be quite volatile on an hour to hour basis.

  60. ARDELL-

    There are NATURAL difference that occur between datacenters of Google but it sounds like you are looking at your personalized search (which would skew towards where you have been). When you Google, look at the upper right hand corner on your screen. If it says “sign out” then click on it and it will sign you out of the personalized search.

    I know I have not commented much since the beginning here…but have had fun reading! (Glad to see Jay Thompson out there may to go!) And Ardell you cracked me up with “Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!” Too funny.



  61. Eric,

    I just commented over at Cal’s post on AR that referenced you post. He’s using “The” Greatest, and I think that might hurt him. Mine was coming up as “The” too until I fixed that. I don’t think the contest recognizes placement with the The in front, but double check that for Cal.


  62. Greg Boser now comes up first if you put “the”. I don’t think, Eric, that it has to do with where I have been, as I haven’t been to Greg’s post.

    If anyone can clarify regarding what happens when the is in front of greatest in the final results, I’d appreciate it. In hindisight, I’d think “The greatest real estate agent in the world” would have been more appropriate, but I don’t think that is what they did unless they changed it.

  63. It is probably too late to change the key phrase folks are optimizing for, as most that are competing in the contest have already been optimizing without the ‘the’ in the phrase. Heck, we can always have a second competition for the ‘the’ entries! 🙂

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  67. Rerevealed- you state on your blog

    “I use social networking sites and blogging to learn more about other people, their ideas, their business practices”

    This is exactly the type of behavior we are trying to encourage with this “lame” contest. Your comment about code manipulation is kind of off base – Great SEO is NOT about code manipulation at all, it is about building true relationships, gaining respect and authority (Such as Ardell has) and many other things that are more about networking than most people trying to learn SEO realize. Whether you realize it or not, you are already participating and helping others learn, so thank you 🙂

  68. I think blogging in general is about people telling stories. Of course, we all want to be heard, and so SEO is just one of many ways to spread the word. A lot of SEO techniques, are also about improving the user experience. For example, this blog (rain city), uses SEO friendly URLs, but another way of putting that is that this blog uses human readable URLs. I think most people are happy that this blog has been ‘optimized’ to make their links more human and search engine friendly.

  69. Milan,

    I do see many bloggers using numbers in their urls. Like post 4563. Not sure why they do that? Is it just a default mechanism they haven’t bothered to change for user friendly urls?

  70. ARDELL- yes, the Worpress default URL for a post is BlogURL/?p=post number

    It’s a matter of two clicks to change it to a date/name based URL (ala RCG) or customize it to whatever. I use name/post_ID. Simply becasue I often have wordy titles I excluded teh M/D/Y.

    If running on WP, the “All in One SEO” plugin is nice as it allows you to have different post titles and URLs. So I can take those lengthy post titles and condense them into a shorter URL for the post.

  71. ARDELL –

    Greg posted about it here

    I think the gist of it is he doesn’t think it matters, and he finds the shorter post ID url’s easier to link to. Something about it reducing mistakes. (which I don’t get as I copy/paste internal link URLs, as would most people I assume).

    I disagree with him on this. Not only are “SEO friendly” URLs, well, SEO friendly, but I also like being able to see a link and have some idea what it pertains to (without having to interpret the link anchor text).

    But maybe that’s just me.

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  74. Oh God, and there’s voting!

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World | Top 30 Results Tuesday Feb 19thDaily Results February 19th, 2008

    1. Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD | Rain City Guide | A …
    Real Estate Blog to discuss the Seattle real estate market. 103k –

    The above trackback reveals today’s results for the contest. I clicked over and OMG there is voting. Vote for who you think will win. Is there a prize for guessing that right too?

    Should we all run over and vote for ourselves now? Should we email all of our friends and say “please vote for me” because if I win I promise to make the Blogosphere a better place, free of spam, for all mankind and or geekdom?

    Maybe I can put a big button at the bottom of my post that says “VOTE FOR ME HERE” lol. Those buttons are a panic, aren’t they?

  75. Voting seems rather silly. What is the point in that?

    What I find funny / interesting / ironic that you are in 1st, and I’m in 4th and between the two of us we did nothing but post it on our blogs.

    I see people building new pages, teaming up, pleading for links, linking from every other site they have, submitting press releases, and more. All quite interesting, and possibly educational, but isn’t it rather telling that #1 and #4 simply blogged about it?

  76. Hi Jay!
    It’s interesting that you have blogged all over the real estate galaxy (not just the world). I have admired you from afar and know that you constantly build new pages and team up in the blogosphere through commenting. I doubt you need to plead for links at all (and like myself you probably never would). So, since you have spent the last few years building quality and relevance through links you should find it neither funny, interesting, or ironic that you and Ardell rank so well from a simple single post. You know your bread is buttered by incoming links that were well earned and you shouldn’t make others feel “silly” from your comments for seeking to do exactly what you and Ardell have been so successful at doing. It is funny that the ones that have really mastered their trade find it so easy to poo poo other persons efforts to discover what you already know.

    I have been watching you from your very first posts at point2 and know that you did not get where you are without much time, effort, and trial and error and I also know that a simple blog post did not get you where you are for a select keyword phrase.

    Like I told Ardell in an earlier post, the pot is calling the kettle black here.

    I continue to admire your work and learn from it and whoever created the vote site should not have to suffer the indignity of a great internet power house like yourself calling him silly.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂


  77. Cal –

    First, thanks for your kind words. Means a lot to me. I don’t know about “great internet power house”. I’m just an agent with a blogging problem ;).

    I didn’t mean to imply whoever created the voting site was silly. I don’t even know who did it. I do think the *voting* is silly, but certainly not the creator of the site (there is more there than just the voting). I think it’s neat that someone is taking the time to update a “leader board”. (and in hindsight, the voting is just a fun thing and there is certainly no problem with having a little fun.)

    “funny / interesting / ironic” wasn’t well stated. Let’s leave it at just “interesting”. Interesting because what it shows is exactly what you pointed out. That a post on a blog with some “authority” can rank well for some search terms without using any of the usual “SEO methods”. (ie: linkbacks to that specific post, tons of key words, etc.)

    Of course getting a blog to that point of authority is not an insignificant task. It takes time and effort. It doesn’t just happen.

    I hope people do learn from this contest. What I *really* hope they learn is there are no shortcuts, and that it’s not necessary to employ “trickery” to get good search positioning. (note: I’m not saying anyone currently in the contest is employing trickery / black hat or even gray hat techniques).

    I am absolutely no fan of reciprocal linking, and I’ve never employed it on my site or blog. The only time I’ve ever asked for links was during two non-real estate related fund raising efforts. I’ve seen people spend an extraordinary amount of time asking for and maintaining recip link pages. I’ve also seen people get into trouble with them. It’s just not necessary and as the results Ardell and I are getting show, it really isn’t needed to get “authority” and subsequent good rankings.

    Thanks for your comment and for keeping me in check!


  78. Is it just me or is it getting old watching people complain about spam. What is spam and what isn´t? Is there really a need to differenciate?
    What makes it funny is seeing so many of those who complain about spam come up with some of the most creative ways to do just that … spam.
    Seriously, guys. Lighten up and stop throwing stones.

    And yes Morgan, networking is the key. In real life as well as online.

    May the greatest win!

  79. Dustin and I get tons of link requests. They would do better to say “please look at my site as I think it’s content might be of interest to your readers” than “Hi I have an X ranking and would like to trade links. We promise it will be worth your while.”

    The point isn’t that we don’t link to things. We do. The point is that the purpose of the link is for the readership, not for our ranking.

    Linking should not be because we “traded links”. It should be because it was worth linking to and of interest to me or to the readers. Sometimes my links are there because it makes it easier for me to go read those sites, as I prefer that method to RSS feeds. So it is for my personal ease of navigation to my favorite sites/people.

  80. Mike,

    If you don’t know what spam is, you may be doing it. So it clearly is worth knowing about. There were a couple of brothers running around spamming everyone for awhile. They were like streakers running through naked. No reason to be there except to drop a turd.

    Spam is real…and if you don’t know what it is, you should.

  81. Ahh yes, that is the kind of spam I hate, but I am talking about all the little tricks some of the top ranked guys are using. Some of it, if asking Google employees, would be considered spam as well.
    But no, it´s not the annoying drive by type of spam.
    That´s the spam of those who don´t know any better.

    No, I am not planning to spam. But then again, if I see someone do something that is creative and works, why not get some new ideas. Anything in moderation. :);)

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  84. Are you talkin’ ta me!? LOL I’m not doing anything. Though I may when the contest gets to the last few days. If something is happening, I’m not causing it to happen. I’m busy with other stuff at the moment.

  85. My email notification for this post reminded about something that I wanted to say yesterday…Some people have called this contest this or that and griped about it, and, I suppose anyone can make whatever they want out of it. I for one am happy that I threw my hat in the ring because I had the opportunity to personally get to know Ardell – from way down in Atlanta. That in itself is something I might not have otherwise had the good fortune to do. After all, the point here is about blogging, learning, networking and getting to know some of the other people that hover around in the RE blogosphere.
    That also reminds me that I owe you a phone call tomorrow Ardell.

    So for all of the poo pooing that I have seen, I for one have had the good fortune to actually take something productive out of it and I hope everyone else does as well…

  86. Ryan,

    375 straight up it. This way they get they people looking 350 to 375 who are missing them now. But don’t do it until you get better photos in there. In that price range the break points are in $25,000 increments. They can’t compete in the up to $500,000 group unless the new photos reveal something that can’t now be seen, and I’m pretty sure they will given the remodel noted in the remarks. 15 photos…use all 15.

    It was great talking with you. You don’t have to call me unless you want one of my guys to check it out in person. I’ll even go with them for you. If you do, the seller has to call direct.

    Best of luck.

  87. Mike,

    I think Google doesn’t like the shenanigans. I’m not toying with them. I’ll do an end run in the last few days, but I don’t want to anger the Google Gods by toying with it for weeks every day.

  88. Dustin,

    I’m thinking of creating my own keywords and having my own personal contest 🙂 One that interests me, which would be if I do the same things on RCG and my blog, can I get to the top of MSN vs. Google, which is more my objective.

    I haven’t focused on the MSN activity for quite sometime, and need to get back to that, since I’m about done my 6 month stint as Broker of BRIO.

    Now to decide what I would want those keywords to be. It certainly wouldn’t be #1 Agent or Greatest Agent, as they are agent-centric and it would have to be Consumer-Centric.

    Looking forward to spending some time with you at the end of March. If Kev comes, we’ll both come to the Orange County show. I’m thinking April 1 or 2 might be the best time, after you are done that show, to come over to your side of town and spend the night so I don’t interrupt your getting ready for the presentation time.

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  92. Perhaps some MODERATION is called for? I received these same spam comments this morning on my blog…since I hand moderate, I submitted them to akismet…

    Looks like they got to Ardell first.

  93. I don’t know a Suren from a Mike or a knox. Many of the comments are equally nonsensical, so how would I know if Suren and knox are not equally spamming?

    Anyone who doesn’t add to the conversation and is just being mean spirited is generally deleted. But in this contest I can’t tell the spammers from the contestants.

  94. Ardell;

    My point is / was that you rode Greg Swann and Morgan both pretty hard, claiming that moderation ruined the user experience and yet the next day, here comes the spam and lack of moderation seems to ruin the user experience.

    My personal opinion is that moderation (done in moderation -smile) is a good thing when building an online community.?



  95. I assure you I am a real person, as MANY of your comment posters know, and was only thinking exactly as Eric mentioned afterward. Now, I must be a pretty itelligent BOT to do that.

  96. Morgan,

    You just have your panties in a twist, so I expect there’s no opportunity for a real discussion. But just in case there is, I’m referring to someone who runs in and says “You Realtwhores all all going to be working at McDonald’s!” Which does happen from time to time.

    You refuse to GET my point for whatever your reason may be, which is that the comment gets posted without moderation prior to it being posted. The many who come who are not jerks are then better served and are also not questioning the rationale for moderation. When the moderation is visible and not often, vs. in secret, then there is less room for wondering what the criteria may be for said moderation.

    The “credibility” issue is the reader wondering if you (not you personally but generally) are only allowing comment through that agree with your point of view.

    It’s a general discussion many places around the internet and anyone who blogs has had this discussion many times. Why it makes you so irate is what doesn’t make sense. I’ve never seen someone get irate over this blogtopic in the past, and have seen it many times.

    Calm down and stop freaking out and attacking. It doesn’t look good on you.

  97. BTW, Lord knows the prize, if it is coming from you, has been tainted by your behavior. I would think you would me more worried about that than the credibility of moderated comments issue.

  98. Rhonda,

    Do you remember why you discontinued the “your comment is awaiting moderation” setting?

    Here, the conversation flows and it is easier to sometimes respond to someone while they are still “in the room” if we happen to be able to pick up on the comment fairly quickly after it is posted.

  99. I checked that first link and would be happy to repost it here for our readers.

    Ardell said (on BHB)

    “I won’t say we’ll agree to disagree, because I do not disagree with you, as it is your perspective and I have mine. We each are entitled to have our own.

    I will say that you move with your head and I move with my heart. My heart wanted you to budge just an inch. Not to be sorry for your actions, but sorry for the pain those actions may have caused those who misundertood/misunderstand you.

    I offend all the time. I am quite sorry for those who are hurt by things I did not do as they perceived it. That will not change me much as I can only be, as you have aptly put it, Ardell. But I can be sorry that their perception was so ill conceived that it caused them pain. I am sorry for their pain, not my actions. Can you join me there?”

    Is there something bad about that comment, Knox? I thought it was a heartfelt plea for Greg to give an inch in the Marc Davison debacle.

    What is offense in that?

    You guys are starting to remind me of that movie about the cute little animals you aren’t allowed to feed after a certain time that turn into cute little bad boys.

  100. You’re very condescending. Offended? No, amused. You enter other homes, tell them they need to change things and when they don’t you say they have lost credibility.

    Took you a while to find one quote from the two blogs I mentioned that was flattering, but readers can see it in context if they go there.

    Ardell – you have lost credibility.

  101. Knox,

    I clicked on the link that you gave and that is what came up. I didn’t search at all…it went straight to that comment.


    What’s wrong with the post? I thought it was a valid point and obviously so did Morgan, since he adjusted the prize accordingly.

    Is that what this is all about?

  102. Ardell,
    Do you know what a red herring is? You keep saying I don’t “Get it” regarding moderated comments. I am certainly capable and willing to listening to your point of view regarding moderated comments but that is the issue you would like to make this into, as opposed to what my issue with you actually is.

    So if you truly want to “understand” where I am coming from and start over I am completely willing to do so. So please do me the courtesy of reading this comment in it’s entirety.

    This blog post was the first time I had even heard of you – when I came here and read it I thought to myself “wow that isn’t very nice I was trying to contribute a prize that I thought others would appreciate and she is ripping me a new one for it” but I tried to be objective and see it from your point of view, and certainly I can appreciate you not being familiar with REW websites (Or the very high demand for them) might assume the worst and may just be on the looking for your own – so I ammended the prize so that it met with your approval. Instead of a “wow someone who can actually take criticism and instead of getting upset with what could be seen as an attack, instead takes measures to address the issues being discussed” – perhaps you may have spoken to soon here? Perhaps the correct thing to do would have been to append an update to the article itself, or change it altogether as the entire premise was moot, but I am in “your” house currently so will not begin to start telling you what to do, especially because you never asked me to.

    The next time I encountered you, was your comments on my blog.

    Here is IN order what bothered me about your comments:

    #1: Hijacking: For clarity purposes I will define this for you as it applies to REW forums and blogs. Hijacking is when an individual attempts to “hijack” a thread, post or series of comments with a subject completely unrelated to the article being discussed or the subsequent comments that follow. Characterized as “off topic” “low quality / relevance” and “negative / unprofessional” – I still fail to see what my choosing to moderate comments on my blog (Only for non registered members) has to do with the contest or any other part of the discussion.

    #2: Negativity: For the second time out of 2 that I had encountered you, you had nothing constructive to add to the conversation and you seemed to be choosing to focus on a negative to draw attention to yourself. If you make your first comment on someone else’s blog a rude off topic criticism, how do you expect the author to respond? The guest in another persons house analogy is quite apt in blogging – if you walk into someone’s house a stranger (Invited by a friend or not) and start disrespecting their home and guests, you really should expect to get tossed, don’t you think? (Ironically, you were not, and all of your comments came through just as they were written)

    #3: Arrogance: You write as if you are an authority and “seemingly” with the expectation that everyone knows and respects you. I don’t know you, and thus I have nothing to gauge you on except what you write, and this is what you wrote “You just lost credibility with me due to the moderated comment feature…The general public rarely reads comment moderated blogs.”

    No one asked you for your opinion with regards to my commenting policy at REW blogs, and your comment was completely irrelevant to the discussion – even so I still responded explaining why our policy was in place and also clarified for you because you were a new commenter that “If you have an REW Blog account comments are automatically posted with no moderation. Comments are only moderated for “non” members”

    And yes, I did say that your “very authoritative statement was laughable at best” the reason I said this was #1 because you are not an authority #2 because you provided no evidence to support your statement (Which once again was off topic and rude) and #3 because you are just plain wrong. I made reference to the fallacy of red herring at the beginning of this comment, but per the “appeal to authority” fallacy is more apt.

    Anyways – I could be wrong, and will admit freely when I am, so perhaps you would be so kind (As I invited you to previously) to support your claim? Forgive me but we are in a “burden of proof” situation here.

    Perhaps you would like to point me to a Realtor blog (Maybe even your own) where the “general public” makes up the majority of commentors? Or perhaps there is an emperical study of return readership of non member visitation based on the existence of comment moderation (Or lack there of)

    Ok – there is my little rant

    You said in your last comment:

    “I seriously think you guys just don’t get the point about moderated comments. It truly is not this big of a deal, so where’s the real beef coming from?”

    Here is where your red herring lies – This is not about moderated comments Ardell, this is about YOU – you are pretentious, arrogant and rude, you rub people the wrong way with your attitude and negativity. As much as you would like to shift the focus away from your own behavior and inadequecies by changing the subject – the fact remains, you have been nothing but unkind to me (A person you have never taken the time to get to know) for no reason other than the fact that it gets you attention.

    (And just so you don’t have to look it up) “A red herring is a metaphor for a diversion or distraction from an original objective.”

  103. Knox,

    The whole blogosphere knows that some were defending Marc’s right to not be torn a new one while others were defending Greg’s right to tear it.

    Your point?

    You were obviously not on my side of that equation. Oh well. Greg’s post about Dustin today just continues the mess ad nauseum.

    Get over it.

  104. Morgan,

    May I be so bold as to suggest lightly, very lightly, that writing entire blog posts as comments on someone else’s blog is also considered a no-no in The Blogosphere 🙂 And you want to accuse me of hijacking your post with a couple of sentences about comment moderation?

    I hope your “community member” wins. That would be priceless.

    “This is not about moderated comments Ardell, this is about YOU – you are pretentious, arrogant and rude, you rub people the wrong way with your attitude and negativity.”

    Thank you for clarifying that the small comment I made about moderated comments, that appeared to cause you to stomp up and down and scream your lengthy rant, was not the issue at all. It is simply that you do not like me. OK then. Problem solved.

    If you think all of this is serving your company well, then I guess you have accomplished your objective. Mine was merely to enter the contest. I thought it was an open invite. If this is how you treat your contestants, I hope this is your last attempt at having a contest. It clearly has not been fun.

  105. You really don’t give your readers (Or your critics) much credit do you? (I will keep my responses short I promise, your house your rules)

    It is not about your comment regarding moderation – it is about the fact that you have posted 2 very negative posts on your blog about me that were completely uncalled for (But you have now edited one of them) combined with a series of hijacking irrelevant comments detracting from a very relevant discussion on my own blog. You are right – It is simply that I don’t like you – congratulations you “have: actually managed to earn something. 😉

  106. Once again keeping it short:
    There is an open invite to enter the contest
    This is NOT my contest, I merely announced it
    This was NOT an invitation for you to start hijacking threads on my blog or being rude to me, or my readership – you’re right, this has not been fun.

  107. Morgan,

    We simply do not speak the same language, Morgan. Perhaps when you have another contest with keywords like Greatest Real Estate Agent, you should anticipate that the entrants might not be in your field of endeavor.

    I am in the #2 spot, so I can’t be all wrong, can I?

  108. “May I be so bold as to suggest lightly, very lightly, that writing entire blog posts as comments on someone else’s blog is also considered a no-no in The Blogosphere”

    Once again thank you for your authority into blogging, I suppose I got all confused – I did think blogging was about quality content until I came here – then I read 2 posts by the master (Totaling a combined 241 words) and I figured whoa! My blog posts must be way to long and my comments must be way to short – sheesh thanks again Ardell 🙂

  109. Do you still think this about the contest?

    “We simply do not speak the same language, Morgan. Perhaps when you have another contest with keywords like Greatest Real Estate Agent, you should anticipate that the entrants might not be in your field of endeavor.

    I am in the #2 spot, so I can’t be all wrong, can I? ”
    Of course not hun! This is ALL about “my contest” and how great you are for winning it (And teaching me all about blogging along the way) – this has nothing to do with your unprovoked attacks on people you don’t know, or unwillingness to accept responsibility (Or even acknowledge) your behavior.

  110. 🙂 Have a nice night! I’m trying to do a post on Days on Market…oh well, tomorrow’s another day.

    Yes, Morgan, for me it is about a contest. I for one have learned a great deal already, and we have at least a couple of months more of this.

  111. Pingback: Link Building 201: Trolling with Stinkbait | Bramblog

  112. you guys are funny.
    Rules for blogging – heh heh – I thought this was serious for a while there!
    How can you stay so stright-faced through all this joking, you guys are good!
    Wait – this is joking right?
    Because one would have to be esentially insane to participate in a debate about whether it’s more proper to moderate or not moderate comments on a freakin blog!
    But I know you’re both kidding, so I’m laughing instead of pounding my head against my desk.

    If you are serious here you really need to hand in your inturdweb card.
    You can access AOL from the library but other than that I’m gonna have to ask you to refrain from visiting what we like to call the “World Wide Web” (it’s like a bunch of tubes) . See, you bring down the whole curve; your dumb leaks out and gets on the rest of us.
    So…… stoppit.
    No no no, stoppit.
    I saw that – knock it off!
    Ok ok, you can look at the pron, but that’s IT! no more blogging. Bad blogger. No post for you!

  113. Being first and foremost a Realtor and not being a professional SEO myself I have to give kudos to Ardell for making it this far on a single post. Last time I checked she was hanging around the #2 spot. Pretty amazing amongst the stiff competition doing this crazy little game. Keep on keepin on Ardell!

  114. that’s a lot of effort for someone who is already disqualified. Ardell likes to talk more than read. There actually were rules. LOL

  115. Article 15
    REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their businesses, or their business practices. (Amended 1/92)

    Standard of Practice 15-1

    REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly file false or unfounded ethics complaints. (Adopted 1/00)

    Standard of Practice 15-2

    The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors’ businesses and competitors’ business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means. (Adopted 1/07)

  116. I’m assuming that certain comments are not from REALTORS®, at least I hope they aren’t. And it was certainly not directed at your short comment that was not perceived to be false nor misleading.

  117. I can’t tell who is talking to whom in those latest comments. I think that when discussing blogs and blogging and SEO, the topic of conversation really doesn’t pertain to the COE. But that’s just my opinion. I clearly wouldn’t file a complaint because someone tore me a new one over moderated comment policies 🙂

  118. I really liked the below quote from this post:

    Of course, if you go and ask Google, they make it very clear what counts:

    1) Having good quality, regularly updated content
    2) Having a clear structure that makes it easy for people to navigate
    3) Having lots of other sites linking to you (and links from high-quality sites themselves count for a lot more than spam sites – indeed, sites with little content bar a “links

  119. Pingback: Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  120. Pingback: February Roundup of The Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World « Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World

  121. I’ve been thinking a lot about my original post and those who think I created controversy. To me it’s like the line in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where Jessica Rabbit says “I’m not bad; I’m just “drawn” that way”.

    A prize that leads the winner to pay forever to keep it, just seemed more like a drug dealer who gives a bit of coke to a school kid. It’s just how I perceived it, and my style of sayng so out loud and in blog. To me talking behind everyone’s back in email and only posting what you want people to see is not blogging…but that’s me.

    Anyway there’s a really good wrap up post written by Eric Bramlett today

    I just realized today that there are two Eric’s. Eric Bramlett and Eric Blackwell. I’ll have to discover a bit more about who Eric Blackwell is since up to today I thought both Eric’s were one in the same.

    I’ve received a lot of emails about “The Nasty Boys” and they have been referred to in these emails as Morgan Carey’s “posse” who apparently are infamous for these types of attacks. Or so those who email me say. I don’t know them from Adam, so it’s all moot from my perspective.

    I am freely deleting flame comments as this post has nothing to do with our objective here of being a Seattle Real Estate Blog and so I don’t want the others to suffer for my having entered. Much like Greg Swann and BloodHoundBlog, I expect I am the Greg Swann of Rain City Guide. Though Jillayne can certainly stir up a fuss when it suits her 🙂 You have to feel sorry for poor Rhonda now and then with all the mud Jillayne and I track in around here at times.

    Anyway, I guess if I weren’t #2 in the contest, I might delete the whole thing…but I am #2 best I can tell and #1 isn’t a Real Estate Agent at all. So I guess that makes me the

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World

    So far…but there’s a long way to go to May 1.

  122. Hi Ardell-

    This Eric Blackwell. Thanks Joe for clarifying the differences between us Erics–(only our mother could tell us apart-grin). Yes, you are correct that I am not a REALTOR. I am a technologist that works with 120 REALTORS in a RE/MAX franchise in Louisville Kentucky. I also do some private Search Engine consulting. I write on the Bloodhound Blog and moderate on REW’s forum. Pleased to make your acquiantance (again). We traded comments above. This time I hopefully won’t suffer an identity crisis with Bramlett (grin).

    My entry into the competition is actually a team of REALTORS working together all vying to be the greatest real estate agents in the world. Yeah, it’s not the most original idea. But we are having fun and learning as well go.

    I DID invite you to lunch, however in my most recent REW blog post and write up…it actually was a tribute to your efforts in this contest. You can see it here..and I hope you like it.

    I tried to point out that you are the only person who knows whether your entry into the contest was accidental or not, but I admire your PR abilities in terms of generating controversy (a much higher art in my estimation than tracking in mud…). It is a much needed skill set that I often lack.

    While I’d guess I’d be called one of those “Nasty Boys”…(huh?) grin …the truth is I am happily married for 19 years a father of 4 kids…and a quiet technology geek that lives in Southern Indiana and works in Louisville Kentucky. I enjoy writing on the Bloodhound Blog and I live a pretty quiet life.

    Am I friends with Morgan, you bet. Am I friends with Greg, you bet. If that doesn’t preclude me, I’d like to be friends with you as well.

    You are one of the most polarizing figures in online real estate today and I find that fascinating. I will (according to current plans) be in Seattle in early June. So whaddya say to my offer to buy you lunch? (grin)


    Eric (Blackwell, that is)

  123. Just for clarification’s sake, the Greg I was referring to in my comment was Greg Swann, from BHB. (although the offer is open to Greg Boser as well…I think there is entirely too much personality based conflict out there. Lunch is on me at SMX West if you have the time…).

    And yeah…Eric Bramlett’s a broker in Austin, TX.

    Also, I am licensed as a real estate agent. I have just put my license in referral status to work full time at helping the other real estate agents in my office. Just for the record.



  124. Nicely stated Eric. I spoke with Eric on the phone yesterday and one of the topics of conversation was our disappointment with some of the in-fighting that goes on amongst us in the online real estate community. Personally, I wish folks would make a phone call before retaliating to a perceived online offence.

    I’ve tried to stay out of any person’s corner in these squabbles, some of them ridiculous, but find it harder and harder to post a comment anywhere without the perception of being on “their” side. Even now, by posting in your blog Ardell, and not defending someone, I wonder if commenting here can be perceived as taking your side on things! Oh my!

    I had considered entering my wife Colleen into the contest because she is in fact the Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World, but no way would I want mud slung at her. I’ve settled for a Squidoo page on her and perhaps it’ll get enough lensrank to qualify as something.

    Take Eric up on his offer to buy lunch. He’s one of the nicest “Nasty Boys (grin).”

  125. On second thought, knowing that Greg Boser and Morgan will probably be at SMX West, how about all you guys get together for lunch and I’LL buy the lunch! 😉

  126. Early June, Eric? Well my birthday is the 9th and in that event you can all buy me lunch 🙂 Just looked it up. Looks like it’s the 3rd and 4th of June. So let’s let Joe buy lunch 🙂

    I do remember seeing you over at BloodHoundblog, so I guess I thought both Eric’s were you.

    I don’t think you ever get too old to be a “nasty boy”, but for the record that was my term. The term in the emails was “posse” and not used favorably. Not sure where all the posse has shown up before, but they were obviously referencing events outside of this contest and before this contest.

    In any event, yes, the post was my entry, though I had just heard about the contest and threw it out there for the same reason people like to get ActiveRain points…whatever that may be.

    Clearly I couldn’t have a website with my self-proclaimed mortal enemy, so please stay on top!

  127. I guess I could also be considered one of the “Nasty Boys” just because I like Morgan and am also a moderator on his forum. In real life, I’m a mom of 3, granny of 3 (so far) and have been a REALTOR® since 1983. Hmmm, gonna change my lucky number to 3.

    Don’t have the time or gumption to enter this contest on my own so I (at first reluctantly) joined up with TeamEric (Blackwell). I’m learning new things and meeting new people. That’s what I’m taking away from this.

  128. Joe,

    “I’ve tried to stay out of any person’s corner in these squabbles, some of them ridiculous, but find it harder and harder to post a comment anywhere without the perception of being on “their

  129. Judy,

    I don’t think you can qualify as a Nasty Boy. Sorry.

    Doesn’t anyone find it odd that the Wikipedia description of an SEO contest suggests that it is bound to be ridden with controversy. And yet when controversy ensued, some seemed surprised?

  130. Eric, you are one top notch guy. Will you be my friend too? 🙂 It was such a pleasure talking with you yesterday! I agree with so many things you had to say about the top rankers all working together to stay there even in competing markets. There seems to be so much “bad talk” out there and that’s not what solves problems. A better solution is exactly your idea; bring a group of folks together who can all contribute in a constructive way to become #1.

    I’m reminded of a story I read or heard somewhere about folks in Heaven and Hell at a dinner table with only a fork that was too long to get to their mouths. In Hell, they starved because they only thought selfishly about feeding themselves. But in Heaven they were happy and full because instead of feeding themselves, they each fed each other.

    I think we can all help each other to the same goal. Isn’t it true that we learn by teaching? You are a testiment to that.

    Ardell, I still say whether or not you actually knew that writing that post would launch you to the top of this contest, it was a great move. Continued Kudos.

  131. Holly,

    I did write it as my entry. I simply wrote my thoughts down though. Never gave a thought about it being controversial or a tactic of any kind in that regard. I guess I’m just naturally controversial.

    I still say that when I’m in Philly, I’m just another person on the Street and either everyone is controversial or no one is controversial. It didn’t stand out as being different in any way until I moved to the West Coast.

    Is Seinfeld controversial? Is Tony Soprano Controversial?

    I guess what tells all is that my absolute favorite person in the World is Judge Judy!!! I LOVE Judge Judy!!! Sometimes I think of myself as the Judge Judy of Real Estate.

  132. @Holly-Thanks for the kind words. I owe you an email and it is on its way soon. Getting ready for the RE/MAX convention this week. YIKES. (grin)

    @ Jay- Yeah..that kinda add to the confusion doesn’t it? Kudos on your new venture. I really like the Logo. Here’s to a great 2008 for you!

  133. Ardell- Thanks for the compliment, but actually the site you linked to in comment #184 is my contest blog/entry. I also got a good laugh about the Roger Rabbit analogy, and yes it seems that about half of the top 10 Google results are SEO consultants and not Realtors. It’s almost like the SEO guys need to show off their skills, but that’s fine with me, I’ve learned a lot from this contest already.


    Milan Cole
    Contest Blog:
    Main Site:

  134. Are we mortal enemies now Ardell? That really is to bad – although admittedly I was upset that you chose me to be the subject / center of your stinkbait – I can’t help respecting certain aspects of your game / personality (Meant as a sincere compliment) and when cooler heads prevail, I actually would enjoy sitting down for a lunch date especially if Joe is buying, the last time (Although it was Joe buying “for” us and he wasn’t actually there) it was a great meal enjoyed by all – Once again thanks Joe! (Some pics for y’all)

    I am reminded of my earlier internet cowboy days (Believe it or not I have calmed down a lot in my old age) when I encountered Jay Griffin of – he and I were so much alike in terms of personalities we would constantly clash but you know what, I have learned from many years of experience online – you can’t let these kinds of things become larger than they are, and potentially do so much harm that a bridge is completely burned – fast forward to now, Jay and I actually talk quite often and really enjoy each others company – in fact, he stopped by and surprised me at REW corporate headquarters with his wife, and we had a great time and remembered “fondly” way back in the day, when we used to go at each other in the heat of the moment.

    I don’t hate you Ardell, I am just upset that you used my name in a negative way to get attention to your contest entry when in fact you could have done just as much positive link baiting by taking a more positive stance on the whole thing.

    And yes (IF) you actually follow the rules for the contest (And I don’t think you are currently) then you can win the prize if you are interested 🙂

    “Clearly I couldn’t have a website with my self-proclaimed mortal enemy, so please stay on top!”

  135. Milan,

    I think I’m starting to “get” this. The number one spot is not a person at all named Eric who posts. Eric is Legion and he is Many…is that it? So several people are posting as if they are one person? And they all call themselves “Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World”?

    Kind of like Joe and Rudy were posted by “Sellsius” so you never knew if it was Joe who wrote it or Rudy?

    Anyway, I liked the post, Milan. I’m glad you stepped up to take the credit.

  136. Morgan,

    I respectfully request that you reconsider your position by re-reading my post, now that you are in an older and wiser and calmer frame of mind.

    I never mentioned your name. You were NOT the subject of my discontent. In fact I never attacked a person at all, you or anyone else, and so it was not a flame of any kind.

    You on the other hand personally attacked me.

    I attacked an idea, a contest, a prize, but never a person. Re-read the post Morgan.

    I await your response.

  137. Ardell,
    You did not use my name in your post – that I agree with, however the tone of your post was adversarial, and your comments (In this long series) have gone from attacking the idea of a flawed prize to attacking me personally

    In your comments well before I posted or was even aware of this post you wrote:

    “And would you want a site from someone who believes in link bait and spamming for SEO…hmmmmmm”

    This is a personal attack – I am the person providing the prize so the “someone” is me – what you wrote here is actually libelous, I earn a living from being a search engine consultant and you just stated in a public medium that I believe in link bait and spamming for SEO

    I do believe in link bait (Nothing libelous there) but spamming unless you know for a fact that I “believe in spamming” statements like that are not only likely to offend the person they are directed towards (In this case me) they are likely to wind you up in court.

    Now that is not where I am going with this, I am not going to sue you for making an ignorant statement about me – but hope to shed light on what this blog entry has become and the kind of hot water this type of behavior could land you in in the future. You have a very public audience, and there are likely many people who take all of what you post here very seriously, as fact even – thus you hold the power to do serious harm to the reputation and potential livelihood of those you so whimsically cast stones at. This is “not” just a personal blog where everything can be chalked up to “no big deal” – you tout yourself as an authority and have a very large audience – I think it is time you seriously considered the fact that you are accountable for everything you post here.

    I am not going to go through the rest of these comments – everyone has read them, nor am I going to cite your follow up post which was directly targeting me (Even quoting me)

    I just hope (As was the intent of this contest) that you learn what I feel is a very important lesson here Ardell – attacks and controversy will get you a lot of attention, but it is not the kind of attention you want, it’s the kind that exposes your less than stellar qualities and does serious damage to your own personal reputation. I do feel that you owe me an apology, many others have expressed the same sentiment – but if I have to be the bigger man here, so be it – I apologize if I have posted anything that was hurtful or you feel was a personal attack and if you feel anything I have posted here lacks “truth” or has the potential to do harm – by all means delete said comments of mine, and I would request that you do the same.

  138. Morgan,

    I did not attack you in any way, shape or form – you attacked me. In fact you used all caps YOU in fact. Let’s get that straight. I pointed out a fact about the prize and I was SO correct that you modified the prize accordingly.

    You then attacked me with vile insults and continue to do so. I’m working on stats and did not read the entire post but let’s get this straight once and for all.

    You are the attacker; I am the attacked one.

    “my tone” caused you to flip out on me? “tone”? Go back and read the vile things you said about me, Morgan.

  139. Ardell,
    Don’t read the whole thing if you don’t want to, but at least read to the second paragraph

    “In your comments well before I posted or was even aware of this post you wrote:

    “And would you want a site from someone who believes in link bait and spamming for SEO…hmmmmmm

  140. “…you just stated in a public medium that I believe in link bait and spamming for SEO”

    Not link bait and spamming for SEO!?!. Oh, the horror…

  141. OK Morgan, I finished posting my Sunday Night Stats. That’s a lot of work and this contest is getting very annoying. I’ll read your comment now.

  142. And with regards to the “Vile” things I said about you – other than right here at your blog, I have not said anything about you in a public medium – however, I think you might be making a mountain out of a molehill.

    The words I used were “arrogant” “rude” and “pretentious” – All of which are my own personal opinion, and based off of what I have seen and read here at your blog. Jay quickly pointed out, that sharing my opinion of you in response to something nasty was really putting me in a two wrongs don’t make a right scenario, and I agree with him as such, I requested that if you felt my sharing of my opinion of your behavior was in any way going to do harm to you, that you remove my post.

    I don’t think any of those words I used which are amongst literally thousands of words used to repeatedly steer this thread in a positive direction were “vile” or a reason to start acting like I am some libelous heathen or refer to me as your “sworn enemy”

    Maybe because of my respect for Jay, I backed down when I shouldn’t have – I DO think you are rude (This is not attacking you, it’s stating my opinion) I DO think you are arrogant (again stating my opinion) and I DO think you are pretentious:

    Pretentious I think I could make a case for a fact on as opposed to opinion based on it’s definitions

    “1. Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
    2. Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious. See Synonyms at showy.”

    Anyone else reading this thinking “That’s Ardell in a nutshell”?

    Ardell, I have tried many times to get this thread back on track, I tried to offer an olive branch (I even offered to let Joe lane buy us lunch :)) – but no matter how many times I try, you keep coming back with the same adversarial attitude. If there is no reasoning with you, so be it – but please (At least) have the respect to not make myself, or my company / products / services the subject of your next negative blog campaign

  143. Hey Morgan,

    Have you no shame at all? This is a real estate blog, and this dumb contest is clearly not a big deal in my life or in my work. I honestly don’t give a RA what you think of me or who wins this contest or who gets the prize. Let’s put that into perspective.

    Bloggers should write good content to get high in the Search Engines. THAT is my point. And if that means they shouldn’t hire SEO tweakers…oh well. That is not a personal attack of YOU and you continue to repeatedly personally attack me, and go well out of your way to do that.

  144. Ardell,
    I think you need to take some ownership here – the guy has a valid point: You started this thread by being critical of something nice he was doing. (Not quite an attack yet, but implies a negative about the contest sponsor and you did use the word bogus)

    Then further down in the post before Morgan has even seen the post you post what is clearly an attack / digg / pot shot whatever you want to call it

    “And would you want a site from someone who believes in link bait and spamming for SEO…hmmmmmm”

    Now you are not just criticising the post, you are calling into question the integrity of he who offers it – how would this make you feel?

    Then you head over to his blog about the contest and start going off about moderated comments (Completely irrelevant to the blog post, basically comment spam)

    Then when he calls you on it, you come back here and write a second nasty post, this time quoting him directly.

    What gives Ardell?

  145. RCG Fan,

    I think it reminded me of the time that someone knocked on my door and it was a delivery of a birthday present. It cost $400 and the person who sent it to me had paid $100 dollars of that and I had to pay the remaining $300 plus tax and shipping.

    If they had made the keywords Greatest SEO Booster in the World, I don’t think I would have found it to be offensive.

  146. Whoops, clicked the wrong button. Feel free to delete above.

    Rapidly losing a lot of respect for Ardell.

    Ardell – you completely skated around “RCG Fans” points (as you’ve done repeatedly on other comments as well). For someone that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about this contest, you sure are spending a lot of time on it.

    And personally, your looking more and more foolish (along with rude, arrogant and pretentious) with every passing comment.

    And no, I am not one of Mr. Carey’s minions. Before this sad thread of posts on RCG, I didn’t even know who he was.

    I **thought** I knew who Ardell was. But apparently not. And man am I disappointed in what I’m seeing.

  147. Well,

    I’m sad to see this post turn the way it has and I have tried to keep up with what was going on and was not going to chime in. But, no one looks good when this stuff degenerates like this…Can someone please try to bring some semblance of respect back to this thread. LOTS of people are reading this.

    Perhaps a walk along the high road is in order instead of fighting. It’s a contest – for fun – with a prize thrown in. Want to play? Great! Don’t want to play? How about just leaving it alone instead of fighting about it?

    O.K. everyone, let’s take a deep breath..wait…hold it a little longer….O.K.

    Let’s not take something that was created for a little fun and turn it in to a reason to make enemies.

    …and I am no kumbaya kind of guy, but, this is rediculous.

  148. I was reading this months REALTOR magazine page 23 “Real Estate 2.0” and coming to congratulate Ardell on her interview!

    Low and behold, after several attempts by myself and others trying on several occasions to get this thread pointed in a positive direction, I see it just keeps getting directed back to negativity.

    It is imperative that REALTORS “Ensure that your comments about other Real Estate Professionals are truthful, and not misleading”. I don’t think that because someone may or may not be a Real Estate Professional lowers the bar and makes it fair game to treat them in a different manner.

    Ardell, when I get magazines about new technology I Google it and try to learn about it. I guarantee you that there are literally thousands of readers of that article that are going to come along and see this thread and think that there is some behavior in this thread that is somewhat less than professional. Everyone in this thread needs to review their comments and determine whether their comments adhere to the code of ethics we have sworn to uphold. You have already poo pooed a post saying your thread was about moderation, not the Code of Ethics. I think it was somewhat less than professional to skirt that issue and not analyze the comments to see if there were any things said that were less than professional. This gets us back to moderation, I think that you have a professional duty to moderate this blog so that there are no posts that are less than professional in here. That is why mine is moderated! I am positive that is why others that post here moderate theirs.

    If this blog is all about freedom of speech and getting to say whatever you want, so be it, but perhaps the association with the real estate industry and REALTORS should be removed from the domain.

    You have a duty to keep things professional and the comments on these posts just don’t seem to stay on the high road no matter how many commenters try to encourage it.

    I had asked in one of my comments whether Rainy Citys Craig Blackmon might be encouraged to post an opinion on the advisabilty of whether unmoderated forums were wise or not and what the liability to the site owners was. There certainly wasn’t a response to that, just a return to the baiting posts. Why are you baiting these people to defend themselves from doing something that was not wrong and then ripping them to shreds even after they reach out to you to get this thing turned in to a positive direction? Why couldn’t this have been a fun venture? Is winning a dumb contest that important to you?

    Why don’t you moderate this blog and remove everything that looks anywhere near unprofessional, even the slightest tinge of grey? You represent a very large group of professionals and I only see the direction of this thread sullying and tarnishing the public’s perception of them.

    Why do you respond without reading the entire post you are responding to? Why do you respond negatively to an Eric that reaches out with a peace offering and not even know that there are two Eric’s in this world (both very nice by the way).

    Please, please go clean up your blogs – we can call it something other than moderating – perhaps “protecting the image of our profession”!

  149. Cal,

    I removed the link from the post and did a strike out in that first line and updated it at the end to show that the prize was changed. I put that second update in bold lettering as well.

  150. Ardell,
    I was referring to comments that are somewhat less than flattering and not whether hosting was paid for or not.

    If I gave you a free telephone I guess I would be criticised for not including free phone service.

    I still maintain you should seriously consider cleaning out any statements within this domain that are hurtful or mean spirited regardless of who made them. Call it censorship if you like, I call it being professional. It is not as if you were failing to disclose pertinant facts to a client. I would call it projecting a positive image of an industry that already suffers from black eyes from gun slingers.


  151. Cal,

    My preference would be to delete all posts with the keyword reference mainly because it’s been a royal pain in the butt. But that would be against RCG general standards. If anyone wants to email Dustin Luther, I’d be happy to comply with anything he desires. He owns the site. Generally we don’t believe in “do overs”.

    Personally I think there are many interesting comments in the string. An interesting observation I am having is the parallel between this exchange and the BHB Blogwar involving Marc Davison. It was suggested that if Greg had attacked “the idea” vs. the person, the exchange would have been different. But this thread suggests otherwise since when I attacked “the idea/prize” it resulted in attacks to the person that attacked the idea. Interesting parallel I’d say.

  152. Ardell,
    I don’t know Mark Davison, Dustin Luther, nor anything about the BHB Blogwar and really have no interest or curiosity about it.

    I would venture to say that RCG might consider reviewing it’s terms of service in that they too represent the real estate industry and should take all steps to present a positive and professional image through their terms of service guidelines which gets us back to the moderation conundrum.

    I don’t guess I have much more to contribute to this thread, but again congratulations on your write up in REALTOR magazine.

  153. Cal,

    (RCG) “…should take all steps to present a positive and professional image…”

    It is apparent that our philosophy with regard to blogging is miles and miles apart. A blog is supposed to convey Transparency, Authenticity and Credibility.

    I just wrote a post on these differences of opinion on Active Rain.

    There is absolutely NO place in “real” blogging for posturing and “image projection”. It’s more of a “what you see is what you get” medium of information exchange. For better or for worse…that is what it is.

    A flat presentation of a conjured and polished image is for websites and WEB 1.0, not blogging and WEB 2.0

    Perhaps that is a challenge for WEB 1.0 service providers to grasp. That’s OK as long as they want to stay in WEB 1.0.

  154. And a damn fine post that is on AR!

    WYSIWYG – What You See is What You Get.

    Or at least that’s how blogging should be.

    If I built some “fake persona” on my blog, what would people think when they met me in person?

    Have I annoyed some who read my blog? Absolutely.

    Have I lost a potential client? Probably.

    But I bet I’ve gained far more than I’ve lost. And those I “lost” probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway. That we “disconnected” up front is better for both of us than struggling to force things to work. No agent is the be-all-to-end-all for every client.

    Keep it real.

  155. Jay,

    As messy as this thread has become, I do believe the difference betweenn WEB 1.0 and WEB 2.0 is at the heart of the issue to a large extent.

    Webmasters and Bloggers are not on the “same page”. Not yet anyway.

  156. Ironically Ardell’s argument has the same parallels with Steve Rubel’s criticism of SEOs

    P.S. One of the first to criticize Steve was Aaron Wall but not for the same reasons that Ardell got attacked here. I do believe Ardell is a pure blogger. Why do I believe that? She probably gets more traffic than any other Seattle Real Estate site but her site is not ranked for Seattle Real Estate. Not believing in SEO how most SEOs do it is not being pretentious, rude, or arrogant in my opinion. Actually it is probably the whitest hat SEO strategy out there.

    The fight of a believer of pure blogging and an SEO will always be a never ending fight. But I truly respect Ardell’s point of view on this issue.

  157. Mert,

    The crux of the attack was actually a misunderstanding of blog terminology. When I talked of blog “credibility”, which is a common term for blogging and bloggers, it was misconstrued as a personal attack. It was translated as “respect” or lack of respect for a person, that being Morgan.

    I was trying to share, but I could only share what I knew about blogging and not SEO for obvious reasons as you have stated above. This was over on Morgan’s blog and the whole thing was deemed an attack of him on his site. Odd how it all turned so sideways.

    Still people think that is my “excuse” and not what I meant by “credibility”. Is there a source of info on blogging that elaborates on the “credibility” factor that might clear some of this up? When people started saying “What do you mean you lost respect for Morgan” I didn’t know where to go with that and I just got in deeper and deeper 🙂 So I left and never went to any of the other contestant sites.

    I said I was talking to agents and not SEO guys, not realizing tht most of the people involved in the contest and discussion were not agents. So then Morgan called me a liar for saying I was talking to agents…what a mess. I really have nothing to say to SEO guys…just to blogging agents, so no need for me to talk to anyone off of my own posts at this point.

  158. Ardell,

    This is Morgan Carey SOP.

    If he runs into any heat he sends in the REW troops. Nothing new here.

    Then he threatens to sue. Nothing new here either.

    Then he wants you delete all the negative posts. Nothing new again.

    Then all the REW troops get indignant and request you delete all negative posts in the name of professionalism. Still nothing new.

    Intimidation works so well that he consistently uses it. When it fails don’t’ be surprised if an “unnamed

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  160. If I were a consumer and wanted to know how RE industry people think and act would I trust the industry itself to portray an accurate image? This unmoderated blog lets consumers see some of the internal discussions and arguments, which in my opinion, can only build credibility.
    Sure, some are going to be turned off by certain agents personalities, but that is real life.
    What is the point of getting your site to the top of the page if it is essentially the same ad as the site in 53rd position? Consumers are not dupes.

  161. @ Jared,

    Defamation Per SE

    Look it up Jared. Printing the truth is legal, UNLESS it’s about criminal ACCUSATIONS and a couple other irrelevant reasons.

    Pretty unprofessional to talk about a pending criminal investigation BEFORE conviction on a public space.

    I’m called a “nasty boy” – you win. I’m part of the “posse” – No, I can think for myself and make up my own mind – and read statutes.

    Sides? I’ve publicly defended and argued against both, so I’m pretty moderate here.

    You want your party and post things like that you might want to wait ’til the fat lady sings.

    So – can this thread become about the contest? YET?

  162. You don’t know what you stepped in do you? This thread is pathetic. You guys are bringing your anti-morgan campaign here becasue of the eyeballs from the contest.

    You real estate SEO’s (non-agents) are using Ardell and she’s apparently unaware that she’s being prostituted this way.

    Talk about taking advantage of someone’s blog.

    Again, – can this thread become about the contest? YET?

  163. Knox – I am not sure really what you mean by “You don’t know what you stepped in do you?” or who you are referring to.

    Your are incorrect about the “real estate SEO”s” – I am a licensed Real Estate Broker and Jared does NOT offer SEO services of any type. He never has to my knowledge. So I don’t think that your assertion of “Talk about taking advantage of someone’s blog.” carries much weight.

    Jared and I simply came to the defense of Ardell inasmuch as she was under attack on HER blog for voicing HER opinion.

    You are of course entitled to your opinion however I do take exception to your reference to Ardell “being prostituted”. That is a very harmful sexist remark that has dark implications. If she were male you would not have made the innuendo.

    In an effort to yield to your wishes let’s try to put this thread back on tract.

    I personally think this contest is a poor idea for many reasons all of which I am sure you have already read in the PREN forum so I will not be repetitive.


  164. LOL knox, you are a dangerous man. But I like ya and I visit your site for iPhone stuff, great work BTW. Out of context is far reaching and not accurate and its not about opportunity. I was forwarded this link right smack in the middle of making a post in my blog about information I was contacted about this very day and it was all about “GOOGLE” “REW” “SEO” and the like. Although true this blog post isn’t about beating Morgan up two things did stand out to me. A) the change in attitude after being put in check and B) The hint that seems to be more threatening to people than I can imagine which baffles me.

    I don’t blog spam which is why I don’t leave comments often. In fact delete my posts, I don’t chase business outside of service providers and I rarely work for individual clients. Large template houses hire me and my own blog is just a place to post whatever I wish.

  165. @SEOWolf aka Mack aka moderator aka …, I was referring to Jared and Per Se Defamation.

    Jared chiming in about criminal allegations and writing what he did has nothing do with a contest that Morgan “Scarey” is simply providing a prize for.

    Sexist? Yeah, I get that way – and I do use that term with men. Implications? Joke. Was it the P.C. way of saying her space is being used? Doesn’t matter, I’m a Red-State guy.

    PREN types (you), anti-Carey (you) and more are using this blog thread to flame your foe – that’s clear to all within real estate seo and their associates, like Jared.

    Am I a Carey Cronie? Does he pay me? Do I pay him? No No No.

    Do I dislike Jared? Not from what I’ve seen in the past and his comments on my blog, but the veil is sheer.

    Ardell may or may not know about SEO – (I think she does) but I don’t care if she wins (probably deserves to). I’m sure she’s getting the same email sent to her about Morgan that your forum members send me all reminders of why I don’t do real estate seo.

    You take issue with my opinions, fine.

    Jared coming to Ardell’s defense for voicing her opinion is met with disdain for mine, and libel to others.

    When a post begins in the dirt, as this one did it breeds worms. Positive threads are easier to achieve with positive posts (Like what Eric Blackwell tried)… but it’s way too late for this one.

    No need to yield to my wishes to improve this thread, this isn’t my blog. But instead of railing each other, or COMPETITORS, just go with the spirit of the contest, otherwise none of this is relevant.

    Real Estate Brokers and Agents – WELCOME to the real world of real estate on the Internet. FUN! … (gag)

    There’s more to read out there than just blogs everyone, like statutes. If you are REALLY interested in “coming to the defense” of someone you’d be asking Ardell to remove Jared’s rant, IMHO.

    Dang, checking this blog is like passing a car wreck:(

  166. Hey KNOX, yes, out of context a little for sure.

    Rant may be pushing it but honestly I try not to do that. I could use a good ass kicken when I let it get by though.

    Libel, I wont publish what I can’t verify and I wont publish what isn’t based on truth and I’m careful to not draw conclusions for people.

    I do agree KNOX, I should have read this thread more clearly to the full 200+ posts but in defense of my motive, its largely based on frustrations hearing so many people tell me so many things about a company just 90 minutes north of me in BC.

    LOL you know what this reminds me of? rhetoric between Microsoft and Oracle. Neither of which are relevant I guess.

  167. OK guys. We don’t usually like to do this, but I think it is time to clean up this thread a bit. Notice to all…issues involving people that have nothing to do with this contest will be deleted. Issues involving the contest will remain and some comments that contain both will be edited.

  168. OK, Dustin advises that I cannot edit, but I can, though I don’t have to, delete. Out of consideration for the named parties, I did delete two comments referencing an off topic incident. I ask that you refrain from using this blog to mention that topic again.

    Thank you.

  169. Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

    Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.

    As far as possible, without surrender,
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even to the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
    they are vexatious to the spirit.

    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain or bitter,
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs,
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals,
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love,
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be.
    And whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life,
    keep peace in your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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  171. >I earn a living from being a search engine consultant and you just stated in a public medium that I believe in link bait and spamming for SEO

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  173. I’m wondering why some trackbacks have a huge amount of content from the site that is linking here.

    How does one control that?

    Also many sites that are linking here do not have a link showing as a trackback.

    It must have more to do with who is linking than our internal system here on RCG.

  174. Yeah, Ardell, I think it has a lot more to do with the site that is sending the trackback. Sometimes with trackbacks that have especially long titles and/or text, I’ll edit them down afterwards so that they don’t become a distraction.

  175. Dustin,

    I’m still having some weird issues with RCG. I can see your comment in the sidebar, but when I click on it it does not appear as comment #248 and is invisible.

    Likewise, last night when I posted my stats, I had a hard time viewing it with a huge lag time. I thought it was lost until I pulled up RCG from a different computer.

  176. Dustin,

    I can see your coment now. I was wondering if the wordy trackbacks contributed to the 232k shown in google for this post. I was also wondering if the size as noted in the Google results had an impact on its ranking.

    While it doesn’t follow in that 46k can come lower than a 32k, RCG’s is many times higher than other posts and that 232k can’t be about the size of the original post.

    It would seem that the total thread including comments and then measured as 232k may have some bearing on the Google ranking.

  177. My understanding is that the frequent updates on a post (thanks to new comments) actually help out a google ranking… and probably more so than the page size.

  178. Still, since my post was pretty short, it seems the “page size” of 232k includes the comments and may be a means of tracking comments plus original post.

    So don’t go paring down those trackbacks during the competition LOL!

  179. Here’s what the Top Ten results for Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World looks like at the moment.

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in The WORLD | Rain City Guide | A …Real Estate Blog to discuss the Seattle real estate market. – 232k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest real estate agent in the World – Your name here! : Eric …Are you the GREATEST real estate agent in the world? There is a contest underway on the internet to see (according to Google) who the Greatest real estate … – 77k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    Lessons Learned from the Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World …Is there really something worth learning from the Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World contest? – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World – Atlanta Real Estate BlogGreatest real estate agent in the world contest to learn about internet marketing for our clients and our business. – 73k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World : ARDELL’s Seattle Real …Well I wrote a blog post as an entry into the contest about what it takes to actually be the Greatest Real Estate agent in the World. … – 30k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

    “spam fest

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  181. LOL! Thanks Dustin. There was one I would have put well ahead of me, but she quit the business. The good thing about getting older in this business is that your elders retire first.

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  184. Looks like this post is kinda ‘stuck’ at number 2 in the contest! Given your position is behind a team of 10 real estate agents, and for most of the contest this blog entry has been number 1, you’ve put up a fine showing Ardell. 😉

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  188. Pingback: The Winner of the Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World Contest Is | Austin Real Estate

  189. Pingback: Who’s the greatest real estate agent in the world? That’s a title I’m willing to compete for. But the winner of the “Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World” SEO contest is BloodhoundBlog’s Eric Blackwell | BloodhoundBl

  190. It’s been real everyone! Make sure you guys buy your raffle tickets to save Costa Rican wildlife and win the grand prize!
    (Not just the site, but all of the free promotion and links coming with it!)

    Mike Dammann
    Part of Team Eric, the kickass real estate SEO’s.

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