Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World

I am studying the results of my own Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World blog posts to determine which of my blogs to focus on in 2008.

Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World blog post written here is at the top, no surprise, so writing on is obviously my most productive place to blog in 2008, as usual.

The second post I wrote on RainCityGuide however doesn’t rank well at all. In fact I can’t even find it. So older posts must matter most. That brings into question the contest setup, as the first to know about it has the advantage and is ranking as #1, likely for that reason. Perhaps setting a start date that is not the same date as the announcement would be in order for future contests. I saw it the first day too, but maybe that is why Eric and I rank so well. Someone who saw it a few days later might have a harder time based on this Google aging factor.

I have to admit that I am surprised that Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World on my own blog at RealTown is ranking higher than the one I posted on Since I post there more than on my own blog recently, that gives me food for thought. Google isn’t even picking the ActiveRain one up as far as I can tell. So spending so much time there may not be as productive as writing on my own blog.

I do Google well for Greatest Real Estate Agent in Seattle, even though I didn’t use those key words. I’m #2 behind Stan Mackey using those keywords.

It’s funny that Kevin’s Active Rain post Googles higher, but just two higher, than mine on a blog I never use. I only see those two when I add Ardell at the end as in Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World ARDELL.

True I’m having difficulty speaking with other participants in the contest, particularly those who are not real estate agents at all. But I am learning things that I need to know to adjust my time among my own blogging efforts. Sometimes we talk to ourselves and get the answers we need for ourselves in the process 🙂

This entry was posted in General 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

30 thoughts on “Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World

  1. Ardell,

    I am glad to hear your results. I too have reduced my Active Rain time/post to provide more time in promoting my blog and brand. I was seeing the same or simiar results around the end of last year and with the changes that are going to or have occured at Active Rain it made for logic.

    While the network is still useful, as a business call/time management for blog time, a slight pull away test was started and is being ran right now. The goal is to confirm the test and last years findings.

    Good luck on your research, I will be very interested in seeing what your results are.

    Please Keep Up The Great Work!

  2. Loved your “Spy vs. Spy” pic. It’s amazing how that name popped into my head when i saw it, given I probably havent’ seen it since the 60s in Mad Magazine.

    I’ll keep my #1 position in WA at ActiveRain, but still often curse the day Dustin asked me to go there with him 🙂 But I clearly have been neglecting my own blog as a result and need to give that more immediate focus.

    I can’t find who you are on the Apella linked blog readily. Can you post your real name so I can check your Active Rain blog please?

  3. Ardell,

    Sure, in Active Rain you can find me by searching under Apella. On Table Talk With Apella there is links to the main web site where people can find more about me on the “About” page. You can also find me on Active Rain in Appraisers and in Michigan under Shane Leady.

    I blog under the company name to promote the brand and help the searches but you can find me on google also when you search under Apella or Table Talk With Apella, it may be a little bit down on the surch results but that is ok because its all part of the bigger plan 🙂

    I can respect what you are saying on the time issue and it is nice to see that others are looking at the same kind of numbers I am trying to test now.

    Thanks for the visit and checking out the post, if you have any input I would love to hear it.

    I also have you listed in an eariler post listing those that have in and out of the rain blogs – see Meme post if you like.

  4. Ardell –

    This is a good analysis – you’re actually thinking like an SEO here *gasp*.

    Here’s my (not uneducated) take on the events you’re describing above:

    1) Blog post age plays a very small roll in its SERP ranking. Links are king when it comes to ranking.

    2) Age of a post/page does matter, but it’s a matter of months, not days.

    3) Your original GREAITW page (and Blackwell’s page) both rank b/c they have lots of links. You inadvertently dropped linkbait, and you started garnering links. It’s as simple as that.

    4) Activerain posts don’t naturally rank very well. Activerain is an area of high abuse (spam) so their PR is spread really thin, and by the time it gets to an individual post, it’s minimal. I have more than a few reasons why I don’t recommend blogging at AR – this is one.

    5) Since they switched their format from to, it’s become a good place (from an SEO perspective) to blog (shhhh.)

    You’re going to see a lot of shaking around of the GREAITW SERPs as the links grow & mature. It’s going to be interesting to watch – I’m glad you’re having fun with it!

  5. Eric,

    If someone is ranked high in Google and as a result easily found, does the fact that people click on that link in Google and go there, or how long they stay there, have any impact on the site staying at the top of the search?

    It would seem that more people reading you is more important than people linking to you. People providing information use links. People getting information don’t. So if the Search Engines are concerned with people finding good info, why is linking the be all end all vs. readership?

    Dustin and I have always gone back and forth as I prefer to rank high on MSN vs. Google. The only way for me to do that is to post more on my blog. So there’s two reasons to make that my goal for 2008. The only way I know of to rank high on MSN is to blog well and often.

    Do you have any insights regarding ranking via an MSN search?

  6. Smart thinking Ardell, if I were in Seattle area and playing to a local market area I would say that MSN would be my main priority. I am sure Microsoft employees are part of your target audience and somehow I bet they use MSN more than G when surfing from work and maybe from home. 🙂

  7. My biggest insight to ranking high on MSN is to not worry about it. 🙂 MSN has 8% of the market share versus Google’s 65% share.

    That being said, if you want to rank on MSN, you need a cleanly coded site (which WordPress is) and you need to update content often (which your blog does.)

    Looking at your blog, the only reason I could see your ranking on MSN fluctuate is b/c you guys don’t always blog about Seattle real estate. For instance, right now, I can’t find any content (besides meta content, and links) that has the keywords “seattle real estate.” If you put a static text box somewhere talking about the blog & the fact that you all work in Seattle real estate, it would help.

    My best advice for SEO in general, though, is to work for Google ranking, and let the rest fall into place. They generally will.

    Google does know when people click on your link from their results page, but they don’t always know what visitors do when they’re there (if you have analytics installed, they do know.) You’re correct that things like bounce rate, time on site, pageviews/visitor, etc are all excellent indicators of the quality of a site. It’s highly speculated in the SEO world whether or not Google factors these into their algorithm. No one has been able to provide compelling or conclusive evidence that these play a role (and before anyone brings up any of the half-cocked “studies” out there – I’ve seen them, they’re poorly executed, and the evidence they provide is neither conclusive nor compelling.)

    There are a couple of reasons why Google doesn’t factor this data. 1) There are plenty of quality sites that don’t use analytics, and they can’t factor those in. 2) Visitor behavior data is very easy to manipulate.

    So…we’re left with links. Links do a fantastic job of determining a site’s quality & relevancy b/c they are basically allowing humans to rank a site. Is it perfect? No. But right now, it really is the best that’s out there, and Google is doing a killer job of making their system better every day.

  8. Eric,

    Thank you. I see a direct relationship to more clients when I rank high on MSN vs. Google. I have a few Google clients who work out of Kirkland, but I have many more Microsoft clients who work out of Redmond – Bellevue.

    My guess is that Microsoft employees may search via MSN more than Google for obvious reasons. Given I work a stone’s throw from Microsoft Campus and am a real estate agent, I think that is an important factor. My business from blogging and the fluctuations in garnering clients from blogging prove that out as well.

    When I’m high in MSN searches, I get more clients. The only way I can accomplish that to date, is via my own blog at RealTown. So that will be my focus for the next 60 days (vs. this contest LOL) and for all of 2008.

    Thank you for your help. Do you see why MSN is important to me?

  9. Absolutely. You’re in a very unique situation. The whole point of online marketing is conversion. If you convert more with MSN rankings, focus on those.

    One point…since there’s little to no sandbox on MSN, it might be a worthwhile project for you to start a blog on a domain you own (vs realtown) and focus your efforts there. If you’re interested in setting that up, shoot me an email – I’ll gladly help you out.

  10. Eric,

    I can’t ever leave RealTown…or let’s say I won’t. I have a fierce loyalty to them as if not for them, I would never have started blogging. Just how it is.

    I feel like I have a Fiduciary Duty to represent them well forever until my dying day or until they go out of business, whichever comes first. Same goes for Rain City Guide and Dustin Luther. Of course my description of “well” is different in that I will tell the Good the Bad and The Ugly, the same way that I tell my clients the cold hard truth.

    I’m not one of those “it’s all about ME” types, though it may appear so to some. I am fiercely loyal to anyone who has helped me to get where I am, wherever that may be. Sure, I like where I am and it serves me well. But looking for a better mousetrap is really not my style.

    I blog to spread info and hopefully give some insider insights. That I get clients is secondary and was an unexpected event. Sure I want to use my current resources to their best advantage, but I’m not the type who switches banks for a little more interest or switches Churches when the palm they hand out on Palm Sunday gets a little skimpy.

    I appreciate your offer and have received many free offers for websites and hosted blogsites etc given my “awards” as a blogger. Not switching and God knows I don’t have time for another blog! 🙂 Juggling the ones I have as best I can is my 2008 focus.

    Real Estate is going to be very hard to stay on top of in 2008, so no time for a new learning curve. Between Real Town and Rain City Guide and Active Rain…I think I have enough exposure.

  11. Ardell thx for your support.

    For those of you who haven’t done so, do your own Blog comparison test and create a RealTown Blog…

    Try it, you’ll like it… 😉 Those (Ilike Ardell) who are using RealTown Blogs know we continue to make improvements (well beyond the SEO stuff).

    I am Mike Barnett, CTO of RealTown/InternetCrusade, and I approve this message… 😉

  12. Hi Mike!

    I think you are going to see a few changes in the way I do things involving my Real Town blog in 2008. I am pleasantly surprised by your visit here, and hope to see you guys at Inman in San Francisco.

    I barely got a glimpse of John and Saul there last year. I had too many friends in the room 🙂 and not enough time to go around.

    Where would I be without Real Talk going back to 1998 when I first joined there…or was it 1996. Anyway, I know where I wouldn’t be…:)

    Great having you stop by. Please give my best to John and Saul.

Leave a Reply