Check If Your Realtor Website is Penalized


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #68 - January 23, 2003

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 professionals committed
to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an online community of
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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- The Most Expensive Part Of An Effective Web Presence
- Check If Your Web Site Is Penalized
- Package Of 5 Search Engine Friendly Web Sites
- How To Know When To Pay To Be Listed In A Real Estate Directory
- How To Check Where The Spam And Virus Really Came From
- New Real Estate Web Site
- Tip Of The Day

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Net Success
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What is the most expensive part of acquiring or maintaining an
effective web presence? Most agents formulate their decision by
comparing setup costs and monthly fees. This is a totally wrong
approach - they really should be figuring what their promotional
costs are going to be.

Unless the web site is effectively promoted so the public can
find it, your web site in cyberspace will be like a billboard in
outer space - there will be no eyeballs to view it!

Most agents never even consider "how will people find my web
site" until after the fact and as a result pay-per-click fees
charged by companies like Overture (formerly GoTo.com) and
Google's Adwords are skyrocketing out of site with the most
popular keywords going for several dollars a click and many
agents are paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month just
to attract a few visitors each day.

To make matters worse, many of the industry's most popular
providers of web sites for Realtors have been employing spam
techniques in an effort to have the web sites they provide rank
well in the major search engines. Since the techniques used are
not visible, the Realtors affected are often unaware that their
web site and the domain name they are building a brand around is
being penalized and banned from search engines. In some cases
these penalties seem to be permanent.

From what I have seen every single web site produced by some of
the industry's best known web site providers seem to be affected
in some of the most popular search engines. If you happen to be
a customer of one of these providers the only avenue open to you
to promote your web site is often the use of pay-per-click at a
cost many times higher than your monthly fee for the web site
itself.

Inktomi is one of the largest providers of search engine results
in the world - second only to Google. In addition to providing
search engine results to MSN Search, HotBot and many smaller
search engines - they have just been bought by Yahoo who will
likely start using their results later this year.

Inktomi has been very diligent lately in penalizing real estate
web sites and being penalized by Inktomi will definitely hurt
your business! To see if your web site has been included in
Inktomi's search results or is penalized - go to HotBot -
http://www.hotbot.com - and search for yourself by name. Since
there is little competition for your name as a keyword your web
site should be at the top of the list. If you do not see it on
the first page and your web site has been in existence for at
least 4 months - your site is probably penalized.

Wait - it gets worse! The same spam techniques that got your
site penalized by Inktomi will also get your site penalized by
AltaVista and Google. So if you are not penalized in these
engines yet you probably will be eventually.

Usually the only remedy is to trash the domain name and the web
site and start fresh with a new site from a different provider -
remembering to factor in promotional costs and choosing a
provider with a track record for search engine positioning!

Speaking of search engine positioning, using a SEO whose
strategy is to create dozens of doorway pages for your site may
have worked in the past but now will also get you penalized and
banned. If you are using such a service you may want to search
for yourself (by name in HotBot as above) and find out if you are
too late or not. Realtor clients of some of the most popular
services are affected.

So, if you would like to promote yourself effectively on the
internet, remember that if your web site is not designed right
from the get-go to compete in the major search engines for the
keywords most often used by prospects in your area - you will end
up with a huge promotional budget - or a billboard in outer space!

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The House and Home Real Estate Page program has proven
effective since 1997 and provides you with a package of 5 search
engine friendly web sites that are continuously updated to
conform to the changing criteria required by the major search
engines.

So why spend countless hours and thousands of dollars trying to
reinvent the wheel? Why not have the #1 real estate web site
package for your market area?!

Sites are produced for only one Realtor in each market area, so
hurry before someone else beats you to it! The attractive cost
and proven results makes it a winner!
Visit Realtor websites for more
information and a list of available market areas.

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Realtors are inundated with opportunities to list, for a fee,
their web site in real estate directories. How can you tell which
ones are worth being listed in? One way is to check how much
traffic the directory actually receives. Some make pretty wild
claims which usually turn out to be misleading. You can verify
how much traffic a web site actually receives by checking their
ranking using the Alexa Toolbar or by checking online at
http://www.alexa.com

Alexa ranks domains according to how often they are visited.
Compare the results for the site you are interested in against
your own site or other directory sites and get an idea of how
much traffic they actually receive. One site you can compare it
to is the Epowered Professionals
Real Estate Directory - which is free. If a
directory asking you for payment receives less traffic than
http://www.epoweredprofessionals.com - why would you pay them??

One word of caution - Alexa ranks domains as a whole - so a web
site on Geocities for example will show the traffic rank for all
of Geocities.

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Are you getting lots of spam in your email? Nowadays spam and
viruses are sent from seemingly familiar names - even friends.
They usually do not really originate from the name and email
address showing on the spam and virus though - these names and
addresses are picked up from someone elses email address books
and sent to fool you into opening the email.

So before you fire off that angry letter - check and make sure
it really came from who you think it came from!

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Happenings
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You can promote yourself very well by participating in the
Agents Online Real Estate Discussion Forums,
which are visited by hundreds people who are each viewing
several messages a day now looking for real estate information,
agents, and property listings! All are welcome and
participating in the discussion with over 2300 other members and
sharing your insights is great FREE advertising!

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Tip Of The Day
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Watch for big problems; they disguise big opportunities. - Unknown


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dedicated to providing excellent service to their clients.

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