When someone guarantees Google placement…

…you can be pretty sure they are trying to sell you a website product and they are hoping to play off of your inexperience.   

Let’s take Rain City Guide for example…  Mary McKnight gives 8 steps to guarantee first page placement in Google.    I’ve done EVERY one of these things (and more) on Rain City Guide and yet front page placement still eludes RCG on the most obvious and critical search term: [seattle real estate]

  1. Use keywords in link text.
    • Check. EVERY page on RCG links back to the main page with the text “Seattle Real Estate” in two paces (header tabs and footer)
  2. Use keywords in your title tag
    • Check.
  3. Use keywords in your heading tags (H1, H2, and H3)
    • Check. Many, many posts have been written with titles (H2) that include the keywords “Seattle”, “real estate”, and even “Seattle real estate”
  4. Monitor and work to increase your PageRank on both your homepage and internal pages
    • Check. I’ve been monitoring and improving PageRank for almost three year
  5. Be sure that each page contains more than 200 words of relevant, indexable content
    • Check.
  6. Update your real estate blog content at least 3-5 times per week
    • Check.
  7. Actively seek new links to your site from other related websites but do not build backlinks too fast
  8. Wait until your domain name ages
    • Check. RCG is one of the oldest real estate blogs around. If the solution means waiting more than 3 years, then is not really a solution at all.

I honestly have nothing against Mary’s advice… It’s all good stuff.   I just don’t believe that you will guarantee yourself first page placement by following it.

Up… Up… Up… ARES Action ends with michaeldm..

…attempting to outbid klaws well into the final hour.   However, it appears (if I understand the term “proxy” right) that klaws bid a huge number early on and no one else ever matched his high bid:

ARES Auction

Interesting to note that in the final two hours the price rose by more than 100K!

Congrats klaws!

Now we know what happens to ARES… Or do we?  A few simple google searches didn’t turn up anything on the winner. Any ideas?

Saul Klein as CEO of Point2… really?

Saul is a top-notch guy in the industry and very well respected, but still… for Point2 to bring him on as the new CEO definitely has me scratching my head.

I’ve talked with Saul a few times at conferences and I really like him. What Saul brings to the table is some of the best contacts in the industry, which should definitely not be underestimated. However what I liked most about Point2 was that they were ahead of the technology curve on industry issues like listing syndication and understanding how to use listing content to generate great SEO. In the three years that I’ve been watching InternetCrusade, I’m yet to see them do something that tells me they want to be on the leading edge.

From the comments on Jay’s post and the fact that he plans to retain his role as head of InternetCrusade, is all the more indicative that Point2 will likely try to use industry connections to get the edge as oppose to cutting-edge technology. Kind of like how InternetCrusades has used the management of NAR’s ePro designation to prop-up and build their RealTown blog platform which (at least in my opinion) would otherwise lack the features needed to attract real estate professionals or consumers.

With that said, I’ve heard some realtors that have an incredible devotion to the InternetCrusade guys because of the great work that they’ve done over the years introducing (softly) Realtors all over the country to internet technologies, which will make it all the more interesting to see what Saul does at Point2.

Nonethless, if you had any doubts, Point2 Agent will be a different company going forward.

And again, huge props go to Jay for his top-notch reporting on the changes at Point2.

Neighborrow provides an interesting twist on…

…getting to know your neighbors online. The idea behind Neighborrow is that you would join a group of people in your neighborhood who have all agreed to share things.

Kristen over at Mashable thinks it is the algorithms that will make-or-break the site, but I’m thinking it is a much more uphill battle than that. They have to overcome both a listings problem (i.e. enough listings) and a user problem (i.e. enough users). And the fact that it appears you have to join a group in order to see (free) listings means that people are not going to just randomly stumble across relevant things in their community.

Nonetheless, the site looks good and it is still in “alpha.” My hope for them is that they have a solid plan for getting a critical mass of users (at least in a few early-adopter markets), because I happen to think relevant listings will make-or-break the site.

FrontDoor.com flips the logic…

…Instead of a real estate listing site seeking out content, a real estate “content” company (FrontDoor.com is the child of Scripps Networks which “owns the News Sentinel, operates HGTV, the Food Network, DIY-Do It Yourself Network, Fine Living and Great American Country and their Internet counterparts”) is looking to add listings to their portfolio:

“Scripps Networks is partnering with Realogy Corp., parent company of Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Era and Sotheby’s International Realty as well as Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a global network of real estate firms, to provide the property listings.”

It begs an interesting question: Are DIY videos a great way to get people to view your listings (and associated ads) or are listings a great way to get people to view your DIY videos (and associated ads)?

I’m a skeptic at this point, but FrontDoor.com, along with some help from Realogy, is going to help us find out if they can get traction around the concept.

Still can’t wrap my head around IAC…

…although I’m sure there is a logic behind the purchase of the brokerage Distinctive Homes and Land by their realestate.com division.

Maybe my problem is that I don’t really get realestate.com. I’m presuming they sell leads to agents (or what would be the purpose of their When AgentsCompete… You Win! product and calls to action of “receive an immediate call” throughout the site). Are they buying a brokerage because they’ll be able to get a bigger slice of the pie if the agents are in-house?

What happens to Adaptive Real Estate Services?

Remember that Edgeio, the web2.0 classified site, bought a major IDX provider about a year ago

Now that Mike let us know that Edgeio is closing its doors, I can’t help but wonder what will become of the hundreds (thousands? tens of thousands?) of broker and agent websites that ARES powers.

In many ways, Rain City Guide

…has taken a life of its own. I still follow EVERYTHING that happens on the site.   I make sure to read every post and comment that gets published.   Nonetheless, it has been wonderful that the site has taken a life of its own, but I find myself detaching a bit as my interests have varied.    Whereas I started getting traction on the site when I was reviewing technology sites (anyone else remember when Trulia was called “Realwide”?), over the past two years, the focus of RCG has returned to it’s original mission which is to provide the best coverage possible of the local real estate market.  Consequently, I almost feel like I’m intruding when I talk about seminars and other things that are clearly not “Seattle” related.  With all that said, the site is still my baby and I care tremendously for the site and I still get a tremendous kick out of bringing on new contributers. While most don’t last too long, the ones that do tent to leave a strong imprint on the RE.net community.