There are countless companies that target real estate agencies and individual agents, offering “complete web site packages” and “custom solutions” that always include “search engine optimization” so you can “maximize your traffic and sell more houses.”
You want to see what they’re offering? I got my hands on one of their marketing sheets, and here’s the section on SEO. Have a look:
That’s 25 “search engines” — using the term loosely! — they submit to. Oh, it’s “just a few” of the places they submit. For real. Let’s ignore the fact that search engine submission is dead and look a little more closely at this list.
I’ve been doing search marketing since 1999/2000, and I haven’t even heard of seven of these. That little search engine called “Yahoo!” isn’t on the list. WiseNut, which is on the list, has closed its doors. Sympatico is a Canadian property that partners with MSN. MSN is already listed, so that’s redundant, and it also begs the question of how much natural search traffic a U.S. real estate agent is going to get from Canada. I’m not about to link to iSleuth, you’ll have to add .com and tell me if you think that’s a search engine or not. Do the same with Galaxy and check the PageRank before adding your site there. IC Search? Ditto. You have a better shot buying that domain than getting your web site listed there….
Anyway, you get the point. I said before that real estate SEO is a disaster and an opportunity. I think this marketing sheet makes good physical evidence to support that.
(A highly-respected, fellow search marketer recently launched a marketing platform for real estate professionals; I’m thinking that might make for a good interview….)