Want our best real estate websites advice? Ditch the IDX. Google doesn’t like it, it’s expensive–and it doesn’t get results.
Saying Google hates IDX on real estate websites isn’t quite fair—because the truth is they don’t recognize it at all on your website. If Google were a mean kid—it wouldn’t even pick-on IDX, because it couldn’t find it. It offers zero value in terms of content and SEO, and you in fact are penalized for using it from Google due to the content black hole it creates on your website.
Why Does Google Hate IDX?
Google doesn’t recognize IDX because it doesn’t actually create any content on your website, it simply temporarily pulls content from the main MLS website (or wherever your specific region’s IDX data feed comes from) and displays it temporarily on your page. Think of it like an internet browser…your internet browser (whether it be Internet Explorer, Chrome, or what have you) doesn’t download all the data it uses onto your computer. If it did, your hard drive would already be full of entirely YouTube videos of kittens. Instead it creates a temporary window that displays the content. IDX does the same thing.
Since your real estate websites IDX feed doesn’t create any content—how much content does your website have? If it does have a few pages of original content—how much of it is new? And how often is information added or updated?
Why Google Likes New, Unique Listings
There are literally thousands of online ‘photocopies’ of MLS listings. If you google a listing address, like “123 Fake Street, Fauxville, QC”, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of results—and pretty much all of them are identical. So—how does Google rank those to see who goes first? It’s a bit of a crap shoot, and the highest-ranking real estate websites sites go first. The problem is—you’re not going to get there using IDX.
To start showing up in search results—for your own listings at least—you need unique, original, SEO-ified content on your real estate websites. To do this you need a website that allows you to upload your own listings, along with a unique description—and then you need an SEO tool like the YOAST plugin for WordPress. Note: ANY copied/duplicate content will penalize you worse than if you had no content at all, so don’t copy-and-paste anything. By uploading your own listings with originally-written descriptions you:
- Get major SEO street cred for your real estate websites by adding unique, SEO-rich content on a regular basis.
- Have an element to add to your listing presentation—after all, you’re creating feature-rich, attractive, high-profile descriptions that far outweigh what you can put on MLS.
- Gain more traffic to your site by appearing high in search results for your listing’s address, and for its street name.
So, What Do I Do?
Our knee-jerk answer is to get one of REwebsites’ websites, because we offer WordPress-based websites with unlimited quantities of listings that you can easily add yourself (it really couldn’t get any easier—if you can use MLS, you can use our websites) and it will only cost you $2500, that’s it. Oh, an because we’re super awesome. But—the honest answer is that any WordPress website, or website Content Management System (CMS) with a credible SEO-analyzing plugin will work. But again, we recommend using us—because while you may be able to create a WordPress website yourself, eventually, it surely isn’t worth the time or headache.
Take away: begin considering ditching your IDX. It is super expensive and doesn’t work. After all—how many leads have you gotten from it this year? That wasn’t rhetorical—count them. If you have even 3 we’ll buy you a beer. Are you getting your $50-a-month worth?
Want to know more? Curious what other Jedi-like secrets we know? ….Think we’re wrong? Give us a call, we’ve got realtor hours—we’re ‘open’ 7 days a week, 10am to 10pm. Or you can click on the LiveChat thingamajig below…