Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | May 4, 2011

Search Indexing in Real Estate reaches a Fever Pitch

A Commentary on the Rules of IDX and Franchise Access to the Data Feed:

Search Indexing, Google Ranking, and SEO are on the mind of many National Brokers and Franchisors; and the ramifications are huge – suggesting the Power of Internet Marketing and how National Websites have become dominant. Ron Peltier, the Chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America Inc., remarked: “Century 21, RE/MAX could create National MLS.”

Search Indexing and IDX can cause Anxiety!

According to the ranking executive at the nation’s second-largest real estate brokerage company: “Allowing franchisors to index and display their brokers’ Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings on their own websites could create an “unacceptable concentration of market power” in the hands of just two franchisors — Century 21 and RE/MAX International.”

The essence of Internet Marketing and SEO are drawing fear and reaction worth noting – is the heart of the matter ‘Antitrust Concerns’ or is it that national Franchises have learned what the Trulias, Zillows, Realtor.coms, and Yahoos have been doing for years and are now using their Franchise Scale to do the same without having to resort to Syndication?

I think the horses are out of the barn and it will take much to corral them back; if franchisors are going to be limited in their attempt to offer meaningful “Internet Search” on their platforms because of IDX Rules then why are companies like Realtor.com, Homes.com, and Yahoo.com allowed to use the illusion of Syndication to the same…??? Sure one is Permissive Marketing and the other is Rules-Based Marketing but regardless a level playing field needs to be established.

Pelteir Said that allowing franchisors to aggregate listings data “raises significant monopolization and concentration of market power issues,” and he is correct – but this monopolizing effect has been in the hands of others for many years – is he referring to the other hidden Monopolies? As an SEO Strategist the company I have been keeping my eyes on is Zillow and its partnership with Yahoo – if Zillow’s drive is advertising-based than it is similar to other ventures, but many fear it will become Referral-based and this is when concern becomes elevated.

Another important topics that was raised is: “Realogy called on NAR to change its IDX policy last year, after the association decided that search engine indexing does not amount to “scraping,” or unauthorized duplication of listings data.” – and Realogy is absolutely correct; one has to understand that the Google and Bing Indexing methods follow content – IDX is not about the display of content, it is about Access to the Data; How said Data is enriched and displayed is what has become meaningful to customers; the indexing method by Search Engines follows SEO and Richness of Content – think Redfin.com and Movoto.com.

My Questions are:

1. Will this continued pressure on IDX Aggregation from large National players force many of opt out the IDX Feed?

2. Is it in the best interest of Sellers and Buyers that a fragmented IDX-fed system becomes the norm? and doesn’t that just help Syndication Aggregators like Trulia and Zillow become the de-facto source of all Search and Indexing? Incomplete at best…

3. Should the MLS be the end all be all of all Real Estate Transactions? and have agents been too frightened to choose Marketing Methods that transcend the MLS?

4. Are the current fights within the IDX Rules nurturing the demise of how Real Estate has been conducted? and is this leading to Customer-centric platforms that transcend Realtors in the traditional Sense?

Real Estate has been one of the few bastion of American Enterprise that has defied the Internet and its democratizing ability; this is truly due to the power of the MLS, Multiple Listing Service, and its hold on how Real Estate should be transacted. IDX, Redfin, Google, SEO, YouTube, and many other aspects are defying the old guards of Real Estate… my question is quite simple: What do Cnnsumers really think of these happenings?

Happy Blogging 🙂 – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer

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Responses

  1. very thought provoking! Very!


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