If you read my previous post on “Stop Creating More Real Estate Websites“, you now understand my stance on managing multiple real estate websites. I wanted to continue with the “single site solution” theme and talk about ensuing you get the most search engine credit from your single branded solution.
Another key issue in the single site solution is operating everything on a single domain. This is vital to the success of a real estate agent’s Search Engine Optimization Plan. Yet so often, with each new solution whether it’s a PhotoBlog or Posterous site, real estate agents place them on separate domains. In my opinion, that’s a huge mistake. I think of this like having multiple checking accounts. I couldn’t imagine having to keep up with 10 separate checking accounts. Yet that’s what happens when you manage multiple domains. Your Google credit get’s divided across all of those domains. So instead of having a lot of money in a single account, you’re left with a few Google bucks here and there.
Rank Really Well with One Single Website!
Personally, I would rather have one site on page one of Google then 10 sites on page 4! Focusing on a single domain allows you to route all your “Google bucks” to your single web site! This means that every time you post a new photo, push something to Posterous or write a new blog, it actually helps your main web site. Without a single domain approach, your main website would see no benefit.
Now some people may be asking, how can you have a blog, a Posterous site, your main website and a photoblog all on a single domain? The answer? A single domain with subdomains. Let me give you an example.
If you notice, all of those sites are on a single domain with separate subdomains.
But Doesn’t Google See Subdomains as Different Sites?
Not really, they base things like site structure to see if it’s a totally different site. After all, technically www.dakno.com and all sites with “www” are subdomain sites. Google did make a change to subdomains but that only affected people who were trying to game the system. Here are a few quotes from Matt Cutts.
Historically, it’s been kind of a wash about when to use subdomains vs. subdirectories.
…neither one has an advantage for crawling/indexing first
Basically, Google is good at viewing subdomains the same way it would see a sub folder. Here is a good example. Google uses Site Links to group popular pages within a single site. Take a look at the graphic below.
Whats so important about this graphic? The links Search For Homes and Raleigh Real Estate Blog are both subdomains. Notice how Google simply sees these links as pages within Linda’s site and not as separate sites.
Taking Stock of Your Real Estate Websites
I would encourage you to take a look at the various real estate websites that make up your total online marketing strategy. If your have a scattered cluster of different domains, it may be time to consolidate. But don’t make a change yet. Switching domains without taking the proper steps to preserve your search engine optimization can be costly. I’ll cover that in my next blog post.