My guess is that there is still a lot of interest from real estate professionals on how to use SEO (search engine optimization) to drive (free!) traffic to your site. With that in mind, I thought I’d keep people updated on the little SEO experiment I started a week ago. As you’ll likely see, the results so far have been somewhat mixed.
First the worst news: Google dropped RCG out of the simple search [Seattle Real Estate] (at least on the first few pages). RCG has been in the top 10 for at least a year, so this is quite surprising! (Over the past year, this term has driven about 3% of the new users to RCG, which might not seem like a lot, but it is the most dominant driver of traffic to the site. No other phrase even comes close.
Better news is that after eliminating some of the pages and focusing on only a few tabs on the top of the page, the results for searching like [agent recommendations] has been much better. (RCG is #1 on Google!)
Also of interest, it took less than a week for RCG to now appear on the front page of some obvious searches like [Seattle Real Estate blog] on both MSN and Yahoo. I think this bodes well for the future as these sites do a better job indexing RCG thanks to the keyword and title changes I made.
For comparison purposes, I’ve decided to see how the site has changed using these days:
Pre SEO changes: Nov 12th through the 16th
Post SEO changes: Dec 10th through the 14th
Considering the changes in the status on the big search engines on the big search terms, not much as changed in terms of overall traffic:
Google. Pre: 1738, Post: 1568
MSN. Pre: 41, Post: 42
Yahoo. Pre: 28, Post: 25
Ask. Pre: 22, Post: 15
Technorati. Pre: 21, Post: 34
The overall Google traffic decreased 10%, while there was virtually no change from the other search engines. I included Technorati thinking that would be the “control” that wouldn’t be affected by SEO, but of course, that is the ONLY site that increased substantially! Go Figure!
Ardell’s list of posts for buyers and for sellers make up an incredible, wild, colorful, useful list of content.
And the worst real estate lists?
I have only one: PubSub. This great concept is in desperate need of some algorithm love. For starters, if they are not going to count blogrolls each day, then they have to be consistent. For example, the Seattle PI Real Estate blog shows up #1 day in and day out because PubSub thinks that all the PI blogs are giving a fresh link to PI Real Estate blog every time they post a new blog entry. In reality, it is simply a function of their blog being on the blogroll of all the PI blogs. In addition, many features (like their URL detail page) have been broken for most of their existence. Lazy-coding issues like this make their tool nearly useless.