Search Engine Changes Affecting Realtors


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #22 - August 12, 1999

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Towes, Editor

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About the Leaders Post
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The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate
professionals committed to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an
online community of real estate professionals dedicated to
providing excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the
online version, the current issue as well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety.

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Contents
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- Big search engine changes coming!
- Set yourself apart from the competition
- New House and Home Real Estate Page Site in Kansas City
- Print ads more effective than web banners
- Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center Upgraded
- Y2K and Microsoft HOAX
- Tip of the day

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Net Success
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As we all know, to be successful on the internet, good search
engine positioning is essential. It is about to become a whole
lot harder to achieve good rankings in the very near future! As
one web professional put it, "get some sleep - you will need
it!" There are some big changes coming up with the major search
engines, and if you handle your own search engine positioning,
be prepared to be spending a lot more time at it!

There has been a study done recently which estimated that there
are currently over 800 million web pages in existence and the
largest search engines have just over 100 million of those
web pages in their databases. "Appalling!" responded many in
the media. Now the race is on to index ALL of those 800 million
web pages.

Excite@Home will be the first of the major search engines to
coming out with their new search engine later this month. The
other major search engines will no doubt be following, in order
to keep their share prices up if for no other reason.

The new Excite@Home search engine will apparently look at all
800 million web pages and using a combination of software and
dozens of human editors select 250 million of those pages for
inclusion in the search engine. That will be five times larger
than Excite's current database of 50 million pages - five times
more pages to compete with for those cherished top twenty spots
in the index!

The new search engine is reported to be a lot better at
filtering out spam and multiple doorway pages as well as
delivering more relevant results.

The coming changes will keep webmasters busy trying to position
their sites for months to come. If you are a do-it-yourselfer,
be prepared to set aside a lot of time to learn the new
algorithms, or hire a professional who follows all the search
engine changes to modify your site to place well. Just
submitting your site is rarely enough so web submission services
are not the answer.

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With the search engines getting a lot bigger, and more web
sites to compete with, it is more important than ever to set
yourself apart from the competition. Is your web site a lot like
all the other agent sites in your area? You know the type -
agent photo on the front page and "this is who I am and what I
do". Why would anyone choose you over the hundreds of other
sites that begin to look identical to someone browsing the web?

You need a unique web site - one where it is immediately
apparent to a visitor that it is different from all the others.
The House and Home Real Estate Page is a good example of a
unique web site. Just one is produced for each market area, and
it is totally different from any other agent web site. Also,
sites are continuously updated to conform to the changing
criteria required by search engines - so you can sleep! Check it
out at Realtor Web Promotion

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I found this tidbit on the web...

Print Ads More Effective Than Web Banners

NetSmartAmerica surveyed 1,000 websites users across the U.S.
who spend at least one hour online every week. The survey
found that 39% of consumers said they had visited websites
after seeing ads in magazines, and 29% after seeing ads in
newspapers. 27% of surfers said they visited sites after
seeing ads on the Web.

The survey also found that sponsored sections on websites are
far more effective for driving traffic to advertisers than
banner ads. "If you're in the car business, I'd recommend
sponsoring a special car section on a newspaper website, just
like car dealerships sometimes do on radio stations," a NSAm
spokeswoman said. "Our research shows that's an incredibly
effective means of driving traffic." She recommends that
newspaper and magazine websites come up with special seasonal
sections that local retailers can sponsor.

Print classifieds still in trouble web users are turning to
online classifieds more and more often, the survey finds.
Overall, 17% of the respondents said they no longer use print
classifieds. More alarmingly, the survey finds that the more
experienced the Web user, the more likely he is to abandon
print classifieds.
This trend obviously doesn't bode well for print classifieds;
as users become more comfortable with the Internet, they'll
turn to online classifieds in increasing numbers.

The 350-page survey, 'What Makes America Click,'
is available for $5,500.

As we have been recommending in this newsletter right from the
beginning, relying on search engines and internet advertising is
not enough to ensure success! The article above highlights the
importance of advertising your web site in the conventional
media as well.

It is even worthwhile to go so far as to advertise your site as
a "destination" and not just as a "tag" to your other
advertising. At a minimum, your web site address should be
included on every piece of paper that leaves your office, on
your listings, and on all property and personal advertising that
you do.

The survey also confirms the growing trend of using the
internet instead of conventional classified ads. We in the real
estate business are especially aware of the effectiveness of
advertising our listings online. People visit your real estate
website primarily to find property listing information, so make
sure you provide visitors with what they are looking for!

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What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are
gratefully accepted, and if used you will receive credit along
with a link to your web site or (e mail address if you don't have
a web site yet.) Send submissions to -
suggestions may also be left at the Agents Online Real Estate Forums
in the Newsletter Suggestions Forum.


The Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center has been upgraded
again. Now all URLs in postings are automatically clickable!
There are several other enhancements as well - check it out at
http://www.agentsonline.net.

One of the most popular forums there is the Computers and Technology For Real Estate forum. There are
always lots of interesting and informative discussions going on with a minimum
of spam and solicitations to wade through - check it out!

You can promote yourself very well by participating in
the Agents Online Real Estate Discussion Forums,
which are visited by an average of 1000 people a week now who
are looking for real estate information, agents, and property
listings! Participating in the discussion and sharing your
insights is great FREE advertising!

Now, you can be the preferred agent for your market area
listed in the pull down menus at the top of each and every page
at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center!

Anyone searching for an agent or property listings in your area
will click on the city or town and automatically be directed to
your web site! For areas that do not yet have a preferred agent
in the menus, visitors click on "other areas in U.S.A." or
"other areas in Canada" and are transported to the Results-net
Real Estate Directories where they can choose from a number of
agents in the area. At a minimum, make sure you are listed
there! (FREE!)

How can you be the preferred agent listed for your area?

You can be listed by paying the fee of $10 month per city or
town to be listed exclusively in both down menus. (Listings
are to be prepaid for six months in advance.)

or

You can become a moderator of one of the forums - being listed
in the menus is one of the perks! (more on becoming a moderator
later).

To be listed in the Real Estate Agents Menu, you must have a
web site. To be listed also in the Property Listings Menu, you
must have a page set up on your web site that directs visitors to
listings - yours, your company's, or the multiple listings.

If you are interested in being the one and only agent listed
for your area, first check the pull down menus at
http://www.agentsonline.net to see if your city or town is
already listed directly on those menus. If you click on a city
name and are transported directly to an agent's web site, that
area is already taken.

Menu listings on a first come first served basis, but you can
be "bumped" in the future if there is a new House and Home Page
that covers your area, if a moderator covers your area, or if
payment is not received. Until then, the exclusive menu listings
will be yours!

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We still need moderators for a couple of the forums, so if you
are interested let me know at and I
will set it up.

Moderators have the ability to post announcements, edit and
remove messages, send out digests, and are notified by email each
time someone posts to their forum. They are often viewed as a
leader and/or expert, and the moderators name appears on every
page in their forum. Moderators also have the ability to schedule
the digests for their own forums, and the frequency will be
determined by the traffic in the particular forum.

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There is now a colorful new logo suitable for members to place on
their web sites and linking to the Idea Center. The logo is just
6kb, and a transparent gif, so it will work whatever your page
background. Have a look at http://www.agentsonline.net/home.html
where you can see the logo and cut and paste the code for
linking.

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Members of the High Performance Home Page program are reminded to
check their private forum for information, search engine
strategies, and add-ons to their site. The forum is located
within the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center at
http://www.agentsonline.net and can be found at the bottom of the
list of public forums. Once registered at the Idea Center, send
me an email and I will "authorize" you so you can access the
private forum.

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This And That
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Another hoax was making the rounds the past couple of weeks. I
know I received several copies - even saw it reported as if it
were for real in some normally reputable sources.

This was posted in the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center...

Y2K and Microsoft HOAX

I expect we will see more in the coming months.
From Microsoft's site....

Windows 95 and Windows 98 Year 2000 e-mail hoax

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There is a hoax email in circulation on the Internet concerning
the Y2K compliance of Windows 95 and Windows 98. There are
various versions of this mail which resemble the below:

    "Every copy of Windows will fail on January 1st unless you
fix
    it now, to fix it..."      

Click on "My Computer".
Click on "Control Panel".
Click on "Regional Settings".
Click on the "Date" tab. Where it says, "Short Date Sample"
look and see if it shows a "two Digit" year. Of course it does.
That's the default setting for Windows 95, 98 and NT. This date
RIGHT HERE is the date that feeds application software and WILL
NOT rollover in the year 2000. It will roll over to 00.
Click on the button across from "Short Date Style" and select
the option that shows mm/dd/yyyy. Be sure your selection has
four Y's showing, not two.
Click "Apply" and then click on "OK" at the bottom. Easy enough
to fix. However, every single installation of Windows worldwide
is defaulted to fail Y2K rollover.
   "Thanks and have a great day"
Facts about Windows 95, Windows 98 and Y2K...

Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 are compliant and customers
do not have to perform the above steps to obtain compliance.
Windows will store and calculate the date as 4 digits,
independent of the date display selected by the customer.
Dates are stored and processed by Windows in a 4 digit format
regardless of the date display style selected in Regional
settings.
Customers can use the regional settings tab to adjust how the
date is displayed (e.g. mm/dd/yy or mm/dd/yyyy)

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Tip Of The Day
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When one is trying to do something beyond one's known powers it
is useless to seek the approval of friends. Friends are at their
best in moments of defeat. - Henry Miller

Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that
counts. It's what you do with what you have left. - Hubert
Humphrey

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their clients.

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