Monday, June 05, 2006

The Critical Need for Rich Data: Part 2

Increasing Exposure and Visibility
on a congested Internet

Listings are marketing assets. In the past, a listing has given the listing agent the opportunity to place sign in front of a home and brand him or herself in that local neighborhood. The Internet is providing the same opportunity for real estate agents to brand themselves online through their listings.

Major industry store fronts and the wave of new store fronts and vertical search engines are providing the newest and most effective way to brand yourself through your listings. Currently, it is also the most cost effective way to advertise as most of these site will publish listing content for free.

Vertical Search, blogging systems that facilitate tagging, and microformats are all providing ways for consumers to find more content, more easily. It is becoming more important to publish better content that not only gets consumed, but can be found. By publishing content better, what do we mean?

When you publish listings to your own website, do they exist on their own unique URL or do they exist in an iframe. Search engines can not generally view content in an iframe. If you conduct local real estate searches you will find sites like Homegain, RealEstate.com because they have figured out this very simple fact a very long time ago. You will not find Remax, C21 or Coldwell Banker, because they have not focused on publishing search engine friendly content.

When you publish a listing, do you write detailed content, meta information and page titles that not only describe the listing, but use keywords that consumers use in serch? The document must accurately describe the content.

When you publish photos of your listing, are you embedding meta content so the images can be indexed by search engine image search?

If you have a extraodinary listing, does your listing content, the photos, slide shows and video make people want to talk about it and share it? With blogging, more people are having discussions online. Are they talking about you and your content?

Are your listings syndicatable?

Publish content properly is becoming increasingly important for online visibility. Real estate companies will need to ensure they are using tools that facilitate easy publishing and syndication.

Share

7 comments:

Jackie Hawley said...

When you publish photos of your listing, are you embedding meta content so the images can be indexed by search engine image search?

What exactly do you mean by above? And how do I accomplish this?
thank you
Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
(248)625-8776
jackie@jackiehawley.com
www.mirelocation.com
www.jackiehawley.com

Anonymous said...

Google openly admits that it reads metadata information from image files to help contextualize the image for better searching. However, it is not known what fields and what formats google actually supports. The general feeling is that it supports many of the EXIF and IPTC headers. Again, it is unclear which headers it uses and what kind of weighting it applies to these values. One thing that we do know is that images manipulated with picassa and assigned a caption rank well in google images.

As it turns out, Picasa does not use either the Exif or IPTC formats for its keywords and caption fields. Picasa uses the Photoshop 3.0 8BIM annotations. The first segment after the jpeg magic bytes is called the jfif header. The header can contain many segments including exif and iptc data. Photoshop, since version 3.0 also adds a segment (usually the first segment) to add extra annotations such as keywords and captions.

Here are some good resources in understanding the jpeg headers can be found here:
http://www.obrador.com/essentialjpeg/headerinfo.htm

Some sample code for reading the Photoshop 8BIM header can be found at codeproject:
http://codeproject.com/bitmap/iptc.asp?df=100&forumid=2301&exp=0&fr=51

Colin Bendell
Software Architect
Point2 Technologies
www.point2.com
306.955.1855

Jeff Tomlin said...

Thanks for the question Jackie and thanks for the answer Colin. I'm not sure what language that answer was though :-)

To answer you in English Jackie, we are not doing it yet. Part of my post was to give an internal nudge to some people at Point2 to make it happen. Colin is one of our architects and has done quite a bit of work/reserach on embedding meta data into photos. However internal priortization has not moved the completion of this work onto the 'list'.

You can take from Colin's post that it's not the easiest thing for just everyone to do on their own. We want to do it automatically for you when you add photos to a listing. I don't think we are far from making it happen.

mary said...

When you publish listings to your own website, do they exist on their own unique URL or do they exist in an iframe. Search engines can not generally view content in an iframe. If you conduct local real estate searches you will find sites like Homegain, RealEstate.com because they have figured out this very simple fact a very long time ago. You will not find Remax, C21 or Coldwell Banker, because they have not focused on publishing search engine friendly content.

When you publish a listing, do you write detailed content, meta information and page titles that not only describe the listing, but use keywords that consumers use in serch? The document must accurately describe the content.


Do you work for Point2Agent? And if so can you tell me how to do those things? I own a domain name for my p2a site so I believe I can give them a domain name, but didn't know I could update meta for each listing? And are my listings on p2a iframed anyway?
thanks,
mary luca
www.TriStateTeam.com

Jeff Tomlin said...

Mary, I spoke about this EXACT issue in a Lab at the Inman Connect last week that Point2 sponsored. I do work for Point2 as the Manager of Market Research and Platform Product Manager.

Point2 generates a seperate page for each of your listings and does not use iframing. We do this to address the exact issue you mention.

Your Point2 site automatically generated optimal page titles and meta content by pulling in relevant data about the listing that you have entered into our forms. Now, although you can edit the meta content for all of your website pages, we do not yet have the ability for you to change the titles for the listing pages.

Thanks for the question and comment.

Anonymous said...

This is a great Blog! But internet marketing costs money.
If you want to start for the price of a burger to supplement
your income you need a simple method. No PPC cost, no list!
Just some of your time! You can work at home with a system
that is as good as owning your own ATM Cash Machine!
ATM CASH

Jackie Hawley said...

Hi- I'd forgotten I'd posted here last year. Has any progress been made over the past year on the above issues?
Thanks
Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
Clarkston, MI
www.MIrelocation.com