Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | June 5, 2011

What are 301s and should you care about it?

Raising the bar of knowledge in the Real Estate Industry does require tackling technical ideas from time to time, especially when it comes to Websites and the continued switching between vendors. The main chase of Brokers and Agents has been, and continues to be, Real Estate Leads; and like tunnel vision, the industry and Website Vendors focus on it exclusively – a focus I find limiting and uninspired.

Real Estate Websites - A Game of Muscial Chairs!

So, Why this Blog? Let me share some facts:

1. Most Real Estate Offices have had websites for years now, and they are in a game of musical chairs between vendors. A Broker would start with a Website vendor one year then switch to another the next year, to switch yet again the year that follows.

2. The Drive to Switch Website Vendors is understandable – they want more Leads, and Vendor A’s Website is not doing it; so they go to seminars that talk about Vendor B and they hop on that bandwagon. Nothing wrong with this except… (keep reading…)

3. The percentage of Real Estate Websites built on Broker-Owned Servers with full licensing of software, with the capacity for continued programming is less than one thousands of a percent – it is so low no one talks about it. Let me explain: Real Estate Brokers don’t own their Web Services nor do they own the content in their Websites; sometimes they do not even own their own domain.

They are therefore at the mercy of the Website Vendors and have to reinvent the wheel every time there is a big change or something stops working on “their” existing website.

[I Know, I know – you are asking what does this have to do with 301s? – keep reading]

4. There are no two Real Estate Website Vendors that adhere to the same Web Architecture – None. Some use ASP, other Apache and PHP, yet other Frame content – while others thrive on subdomains… to say nothing of Flash, Web Mobility, CMS friendly Content, Similar integration of IDX, URL Breadcrumbs, and or cohesion in Backend Management, etc… (all of these terms may not make sense to you but website vendors know what I am talking about – and they are supposed to.)

This lack of similarity between platforms leads you to giving up on your existing content that was with Vendor A and start from scratch with Vendor B. Therefore all of your Search Engine Index evaporates, and with it all your high ranking pages when you transfer from Vendor A to Vendor B.

Let me explain this in laymen’s terms: Google and Bing crawl websites and index their content (collect pages and rank them.). One important aspect of Internet Placement is the depth of your content and its richness. The way pages are recognized is through their URLs or Web Addresses – when you move from vendor to vendor you lose all of your old Web Addresses because they no longer exist in the new Vendor Platform. It is like starting from scratch.

This loss of Crawling Index is due to incompatibility of Web Addresses – as well as no effort from Vendors to port content from one platform to another. You see it is ok to move between web platforms pending you do it right.

a. Port all of the content from Website Vendor Platform A to vendor Platform B.

b. Make sure that all Indexed URLs (web pages) are matched with their corresponding URL in the destination Platform through a process called 301 Redirects.

c. The code for these 301 Redirected Pages must be located in the root access of your web Server under a page called .htaccess; and no vendors allow access to the root Server fearing that agents and programmers will mess up the website – a problem I understand;but that means they need to step up and offer the solution.

Let me conclude with a sense of disappointment is utter despondence at the whole Real Estate Website Vendor Industry; Real Estate Brokers want good websites to run their offices but they are tired of this game of musical chair. This is why, when you perform a search in the Real Estate field, you are bombarded by the Trulias, Zillows, Homes, and similar aggregator websites – they tend to have stable platforms that reside on their Servers and they manage their content and never loose their indexed content.

We MUST do better!!!

There are two vendors in the Real Estate Industry who do offer this service – but they do so only when Agents and Brokers know to ask for it. The rest of the industry does not even allow it to exist or are open to talking about.

Happy Blogging 🙂 – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Strategist



  1. This is EXACTLY the conversation I just had with a new client with just launched with Onjax. All their domains were using 302 Temporary redirects to the main site instead of the proper 301 redirects. I helped them fix it RIGHT WAY.

  2. Here you go again! You are THE MAN!

  3. So.. who are the vendors out there that actually will particpate with 301s … both giving and receiving?

    • I know that iHouse does so if the list is short, under hundred URLs. I know that MyrSol does so and allows programmers to do it… finally Onjax understands this and will do it on behalf of their clients…

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