UPDATE: I wrote an updated version of this post, with lots more data here.
Earlier today Janet Meiners posted an awesome post at MarketingPilgrim.com about the top ten most visited real estate web sites. One of the things that surprised me the most was that there was only one national franchise site in the list. I think that this is interesting because it shows something that I have been feeling for awhile. Most of the national real estate franchises are dropping the ball against more savey web 2.0 business that are attracting all the traffic.
Despite that it might be a good idea to get a grasp on who in the group of national franchises are doing better than the others. Therefore I have done a bit of research and put together what I think is a good assessment of the top 5 national franchise real estate web sites. To conduct my analysis, I used four different traffic firms to make averages for each. The list and results for all are below:
Top 5 National Real Estate Franchise Web Sites:
Google Trends for Web Sites
Internet regulator ICANN recently voted to over haul the way it handles web addresses. Starting next year they will allow companies the ability to register their brands as TLDs. Which means we can start to expect www.mickey.disney. You can read more about the decision here.
What I am concerned about is all of the large corps reaping the SEO benefits of these branded URLs. Think about it: www.trucks.ford is going to rank allot higher than a small used car dealer that sells Ford Trucks, even with geographic search terms. It won’t matter how much money he puts into SEO he will never be able to market his product like the corporate competitors! Now of course if you own a local Ford franchise then I suppose that corporate could set up a site for you at smithautos.trucks.ford but that only means that you need corporate affiliation to compete in the same market place. I think this move is a win for large corporations that want to dominate SERPs. And if you think this will be the last of this type of behavior from those that regulate the internet, think again, this is just the beginning!
Search Engine Round Table just pointed out that Google is now displaying a gay rights flag with in the SERPs for the term “gay”. There is much interest in this for various reasons that I am not going to discuss here. In Search Engine Round Table’s original post they stated that the gay pride flag wasn’t coming up in certain states, including South Carolina. Living in SC myself i decided to run the search term and see for myself. Search Engine Round Table was wrong it is coming up in SC, like it probably is else were. My screen shot is below:
So where’s the porn?
Take a look at that screen shot again. The ad in the top right hand corner is for a lovely adult themed gay site (NSFW). Now, don’t get me wrong I have nothing against gays and lesbians. I think they deserve the same rights and privileges as anyone else. However, I think that if you are going to make a corporate decision not to allow adult content in your advertising network then you should stick by it.
Personally I am fine with the gay rights flag. But the porn has to go. I would like a search engine where my niece can do research on diversity and different cultures with out seeing those ads!
A recent article at MarketingPilgrim.com shows that RE/MAX is the most searched for real estate company on Google. The article, which talks about how to best use an internet marketing technique known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), shows that RE/MAX beats all of it’s competitors including CENTURY 21, Prudential, Coldwell Banker, and Keller Williams in search volume.
The data used in the article comes from Google Trends. Google Trends charts how often a particular search term is entered into Google. The data shows that RE/MAX has dominated it’s competitors since at least 2004 which is as far back as Google Trends data exist. The data also shows that RE/MAX has not only dominated its competitors but has also shown significant gains in its search volume over the last four years.
While Google Trends only tracks data from Google, many industry experts agree that it acts as a good indicator for search engine activity as a whole because of Google’s prevailing market dominance.
It seems at least that it is no surprise that RE/MAX is doing so well on the internet given that in the 2007 Swanepoel Trends Report, Stefan Swanepoel, proclaimed RE/MAX to be the leader in cutting edge of technology in the industry.
RE/MAX International has a network of almost 115,000 agents in 65 different countries worldwide.
Ok, so I know that I haven’t written anything here in a long time. I wonder how many times that last sentence is written in blogs? Well, anyways I am writing this entry to update those that care, about a few changes that have been going on. I am now on my second month as the IT Specialist/Web Developer at CENTURY 21 At The Beach. I never thought that I would ever work in Real Estate. However, one of the things that I have learned over the last year is that life is always full of surprises and those that open themselves up to the improbability of the future tend to be happier and more successful. I am not sure how long I will be at CENTURY 21, but I don’t think that Real Estate is an industry I want to make a career in.
I am still doing some web development for clients on the side but for the moment RBM is going pretty slow. I have a few projects that I want to work on. For example I ran across OpenLaszlo this morning and after previewing several of their example projects I am very interested in try to develop something in that platform. I also have been doing a lot of customization of WordPress 2.1.3 for a client and I am considering taking what I have done and packaging it as a separate product for sale.
Up until very recently I have been strictly opposed to Flash as a development platform for many reasons. However, I recently used it on the new site that I developed for my work. And I must admit that it is surprisingly fun to work with. I think that perhaps I will re-explore my issues with flash and maybe use it in the future….I will probably write a blog about it….so stay tuned!
Last night before I went to bed I turned on the TV and saw former President Jimmy Carter talking with Chris Matthews on MSNBC. For an hour the former President sat down and had an honest thought provoking discussion about the Middle East. Never before have I seen a former president speak with such articulaton and knowledge on a topic that he cares so greatly about, as I did last night. While at times his words were a bit to forgiving on the side of Isreal, he reminded me that there are faults on both sides.
His critique of the Christian right’s support of Isreal was both insightful and engaging. It was refreshing to say the least to see an American politician do so well on national TV.
I would advise that you read Carter’s new book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, I know I am!
Earlier today I did an interview with WPDE ABC 15 about the charity auction that I am organizing. The interview will air tonight at 6pm. I am going to try and tape it and post it here.
WPDE ABC 15