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525 Thalia Road Virginia Beach : Renovation Zestimation & Google

As I pointed out in a recent blog post on, 525 Thalia Rd in Virginia Beach was listed by a friend of mine, Jeanine Cline, with The Real Estate Group. I was pretty satisfied with myself that in this post I had CLEARLY explained why Zillow’s Zestimate was REALLY inaccurate and low for this home.

The home has just recently been COMPLETELY renovated and automated valuation tools (such as Zestimates) cannot really account for that at all. This left that home with a MUCH lower valuation on Zillow than was anywhere near accurate.  It is one of the seemingly many times when they are REALLY out in left field value wise. And I was proud of myself for putting that fact out there online.

Then I got to thinking. How maany times does this happen each day. How many 525 Thalia Road in Virginia Beach type of scenarios are out there? And how many frustrated phone calls does that generate to a seller? That has got to be tiring for a seller / listing REALTOR to have to explain over and over that Zillow has no clue.

For the Record, here is the ACTUAL LISTING on the listing agents site.

And for those who would say that well this is an opportunity for a seller to explain why their home is worth that much, or “there are tools on Zillow to set the record straight”, let’s turn that around a bit.

Why don’t I tell the world that your home is worth 65% of what it is REALLY worth?

Then why don’t I not just publish it on my website, but hire a TEAM of SEO folks to make sure that the Zillow version of what the home is worth ranks ahead of the local REALTOR. (Yes, the one who has actually been in the home, met the owners, SEEN the home first hand…THAT person).

Google, you claim to want the BEST user experience. Is Zillow REALLY the best user experience for the consumer, or would it be maybe, possibly, to be the website of the REALTOR or BROKERAGE who LISTED the home?

My bet is that there are a LOT of cases of Renovation Mis-Zestimation out there. And this is only ONE type of the many Zillow errors with Zestimates. Google, I realize that you cannot correct the Zestimates for Zillow, but why rank misinformation on page 1, forcing folks to keep explaining it over and over?

Help a REALTOR out, guys. icon wink 525 Thalia Road Virginia Beach : Renovation Zestimation & Google

525 Thalia Road Virginia Beach : Renovation Zestimation & Google is a post from: Eric On Search


Can a Blog Post Rank with Less than 300 words?

can a blog post rank with less than 300 words Can a Blog Post Rank with Less than 300 words?

Can a Blog Post Rank with Less than 300 words?

Can a Blog Post Rank with Less than 300 words? is a post from: Eric On Search


We know currently that Penguin 2.0 is pl...

We know currently that Penguin 2.0 is planned to roll out in a few weeks.

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is “Which sites will be affected?” and “How much will it affect our industry?”.  My typical response to clients is that they need to build authority naturally and responsibly and that they should have nothing to worry about. The problem lies in the fact that the first iterations of Penguin, while largely successful in rooting out spam, also had some HUGE negative impacts on the real estate industry.

1) Some sites that were well maintained and good got hit with Penguin.

2) Large syndicator sites who have large budgets and purchase large ad buys from media sites gained a huge advantage over the little guy, whilst their data (homes for sale listed on their sites) is CLEARLY an INFERIOR user experience.

and 3) A number of sites were able to get through Penguin unscathed while having a large number of spammy links in their profile DESPITE  a reasonably good effort on the part of Google.

So what will Penguin 2.0 bring to the real estate industry? No one knows, but here is what we are going to do to find out.

I have selected 10 Real Estate websites to monitor PUBLICLY. They are NOT selected because they have spammy link profiles. They are selected because they have varying amounts of different kinds of links in their profile, any or all of which could lead them to be caught up in the revision. What I am going to do is to simply list the sites in an addition to this post, giving a quick summary of their backlinks and let’s watch together to see what happens.

I think that REALTORS as a whole WANT to do things RIGHT. They do not want to intentionally violate the rules (for the most part), but they want to understand what the rules are, so this is a good chance to discuss it.

OK. I will start posting updates on this post with the sites that we can monitor together. Grab some popcorn and let’s watch, k?

is a post from: Eric On Search


Why “Life Raft” domains are now a MUST.

I am going to post a LOT between now and the end of 2013, but nothing I am going to say compares with how important today’s post is. Period. Do I have your attention? GOOD. Read on.

liferaft Why Life Raft domains are now a MUST.

Life Raft (deployed)

Take a GOOD LONG look at this photo.

This life raft could be the only thing that saves your traffic in the event that you have crossed paths with a rogue wave from Google (such as Penguin). Your main site sinks. It was the flagship of your fleet and you got up every morning and look at it with loving eyes.

You built your business around it. Now your business could go down with it.

And aside from the obvious lessons about NOT doing some aggressive linkbuilding which you KNOW you should not have done long before you call me with the S.O.S, you have some practical concerns now. Your traffic is GONE. And you cannot (or you should not) simply redirect to another domain. (bad idea)

In the past, the choppy waters of internet marketing, Search Engine marketing and particularly SEO could be a little dangerous…but never more so than now. We always knew that over time as Google would evaluate SEO techniques, they would tighten the rules…and that folks would abuse rules. 30 and 60 day penalties became something that people were prepared to risk. Seriously.

2012 was the year that (according to my work on sites for people who put out the distress call to me when their sites went down) that Google started algorithmically SINKING ships. All the way to the bottom of Davy Jones’ locker.

So how to survive? You MUST have a domain that is free from potential penalties and yet has enough age and a few links to where it has some authority. Period. You can either buy it or build it, but the time is NOW (read: before you start taking on water). I cannot tell you when or where that rogue wave will strike, or even if it will.

What I CAN tell you with certainty is that having people pull down links, using the disavow tool and other means of scrambling to bail water out of the boat have not worked. Want a more certain rescue. Inflate your life raft domain and prepare to re-build it into your next search battleship.

Have a question about what is required? Call me. I will be happy to offer you assistance.

Why “Life Raft” domains are now a MUST. is a post from: Eric On Search


The Pay it Forward Mentality

We talked yesterday about a person who was totally focussed on taking on their competitors by imitating them. We told you that the RIGHT thing to do was to focus on finding innovative ways of connecting with people rather than simply doing what others do.

So how to connect with other innovators.

Step 1: Find them.

Hang out where they hang out. Learn to separate the ones that are doing all of the “talking” online from the ones that PRODUCE. This can be difficult to tell sometimes because some blowhards talk a good game, but really work at discerning it.

Step 2: Do something nice for them

Like what? Well, sending them a compliment can be something nice. A REAL compliment not buttering them up for a favor. Another thing to do is to find something that they need and provide it to them. If they are a small business, oftentimes that is as simple as giving them some positive publicity. That kind of nice this is TABLE STAKES. Not for you being able to ask them for something, but simply to start a relationship.

Step 3: Do something else nice for them

Most people these days are fairly cynical. They will tend to ASSUME that the first effort you make is just to butter them up, even when it is not. So with the second attempt, you will get a much higher response rate. Guys, if you are trying to get a girl to notice you and she does not smile and start a conversation right off the bat, do you stop there? Seriously, do you?

Step 4: Start a conversation

You can then proceed to the second part of the relationship building. Start a conversation. Often times this is as simple as letting them know that you gave them some positive publicity and then asking them how you can better assist them. This along will usually get the ball rolling and get you in the game.

Ok so now you are building relationships with other online small businesses where they can help you and you can help them. It is a good starting point.


The Pay it Forward Mentality is a post from: Eric On Search


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