The Price of Being 1st.

by David Stewart (other articles by David Stewart)

Some months ago I was sitting in a room in New York with some ex Google engineers listening to them discuss the benefits and pitfalls of the latest round of major algorithm changes from Google. As the discussion invariably shot off on tangents an interesting point was reached.  The discussion was focussed on the problem of duplication of material across a range of pages and the negative impacts from a ranking point of view this would have on small industry sites, most notably from my perspective, real estate office sites.


One of the greatest duplications in online real estate is the listings themselves. The same copy, the same photos, the same floor plans and the same videos are uploaded to all sites including the listing office home page. This creates complications for future rankings and relevance so I decided to change the structure of the real estate website for my next office.

The idea was to outsource the search functionality to a third party site and in doing so benefit from the traffic that was created by the resulting links. The other upshot was that all information that was created on my site would remain purely unique and couldn’t be found on any other sites on the net.

Our new site itself wouldn’t suffer as it would now benefit from the search functionality of an industry portal site that has the luxury of millions of dollars in investment and should therefore be far superior to anything that I might install on my own site.

A lot of time and money was invested on ensuring our new website was fully responsive and included some cool features like linear scrolling, fully customisable backend management system and an ability to evolve its features and page layouts as time passed and needs dictated.

Through all the discussions and developments on my site one glaring problem was missed. The major portals don’t have responsive sites themselves! Sure they have mobile sites, which are lite desktops sites, but they don’t have the capacity to respond to the different devices they are viewed on. Certainly the page I needed to direct traffic to doesn’t have this capacity and no matter which portal I talk to, this functionality does not yet exist.

So I am off again to create one. Nothing comes without hurdles and when you are the first to do something the hurdles are just that bit higher but I am determined to overcome the issues and present an exciting way to quickly and effectively rank real estate pages as the local relevant expert for a defined area.

Fingers crossed!

01st July, 2014

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