Agents, Know What You Are Buying!

Posted By Mark Fitzgerald @ Sep 21st 2010 8:27pm In: Development

I want to thank Suzanne Stephens for sending us this blog post. With her permission we have posted this on our site because we believe it is very important that agents understand what they are getting when they simply frame in their property search. Enjoy

Mark Fitzgerald

Executive Director, Myrsol LLC


Do you know the difference between iframed (aka framed) IDX search pages and fully integrated IDX listings, and why integrated listings can help with your search engine optimization? Here's are some graphics that may help explain the difference.

First, you need to understand that Google and the other search engines don't "see" your pages the same way you do: they don't see the same thing you see in a browser window. Instead, they read a page's source code, which you can see by doing View>Source in your browser.

When your site uses ANY i-framed IDX service such as Diverse Solutions or Wolfnet, the search engines see only a link to the IDX provider's web site. I've highlighted what the search engines see in yellow on the page below, which shows the source code for a typical iframed search page. Regardless of whether your MLS includes tens of thousands of listings, this is all the search engines will see -- one page with a link to your IDX provider's site:

Example Of Frame Code Google Would See

If you have a custom IDX service with true integrated listings, the search engines will be able to see all the data for a listing, pulled from a feed from your MLS board, including street address, MLS number, listing description and lots more. Note all the bits of code highlighted in yellow: those are information about this listing that can be indexed by Google. If your MLS database contains tens of thousands of listings, then there are ways to set your site up so that it will include a page with a detailed description for every listing in your MLS database, which could add tens of thousands of search engine optimized pages to your site. This page shows the description of just one Sedona AZ listing. Since Sedona's MLS contains around 2500 listings, this site contains over 2500 of SEO'd pages of listings which can be found by searches on listing addresses, MLS numbers or by a variety of other keyphrases. It takes quite awhile for Google to index a large site like this one, but as the site is indexed, chances are excellent that the site will enjoy a nice increase in organic search traffic.

An additional benefit is that sites with integrated listings load faster because displaying search pages doesn't require calls to the IDX provider's server. Another benefit is that you only need to enter your own listings into your MLS database; you don't need to enter them again on your web site. What's more, a site with true integrated listings will be able to display ALL the listings in your MLS database, while an IDX plugin may be limited in the number of listings that can be displayed.

Example Of Integrated IDX Code That Google would See

Here's what that page looks like when viewed by humans:

I hope that helps you understand this complicated issue.

Suzanne Stephens
Visit Suzanne's Website

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