Indexable Home Search Solutions

July 19, 2011

Have you ever been driving down a Minneapolis road, seen a house for sale, written down the address and gone to Google when you got home to search for that property?  Most likely you will find results directly to the details page of that listing however, it may not be from the most accurate source.  The most accurate property data these days comes in what is known as an IDX feed.  These IDX feeds are direct feeds from the MLS and allow real estate agents an easy way to display houses for sale on their websites as a benefit to the end user or consumer.  Since the MLS does not typically allow the redistribution of its data most third party IDX vendors are required to host the IDX data and property searches on their servers and Realtors then frame the property search and its data into their websites. Some IDX vendors also provide one other type of implementation by building the property search solution on a sub-domain of the real estate website that is hosted on that property search providers servers.  This method of implementation tends to work a little bit better with the search engines because the website’s property search is more native to the website itself as well as there are more pages to your website.  With that being said, there is a lot of buzz right now with regards to the benefits of these integrated property searches and them being able to be indexed by Google etc however a property search is so dynamic in nature meaning that the details of a property or home for sale are generated on call and dynamically based on an end user selecting certain search criteria.  Since property information is generated on call, there really is no good way for Google to crawl or index these pages as they technically do not have file paths to follow to get to them.  You will however find that some sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Front Door Homes etc.  have this data that is indexed.  The issue with using these sites is that they typically get their data directly from the brokers and not the MLS’s meaning that their inventory of data and updates to their existing data are not as accurate.  There are certain ways to create these paths for Google however we are seeing more and more that Google is now giving less credit to these pages as they are duplicated over and over.  Duplicate information on your site can actually hurt your SEO efforts.  The best way to get good Google juice is to create your own unique content through other methods such as blogging and creating new unique content.  This is what will build your rank, relevance and authority in Google.