Trulia vs Zillow (A spirited Real Estate "SEO" discussion)

800px-steel_cage_match_-_angle_vs_cenaMy guess is that when Teresa Boardman posted this message to Twitter:

“O.K. if an agent could only use one, which should they use? Zillow or Trulia?”

She had very little idea (or did she?) what an inspired discussion would commence.

As it is with Twitter, both David Gibbons, Community Director of Zillow and Rudy Bachraty, Social Media Guru of Trulia were listening, and what transpired over the next hour or so was a spirited discussion on SOME of the merits of Zillow and Twitter.

Now, this discussion fell quite short of discussing the ENTIRE difference and benefits of the two (although consider this a formal offer for VR to host that discussion…  TokBox, maybe?) between the two sites and concentrated mostly on the Search benefits of both.

Having a passion for SEO, this is what caught my attention and this is what THIS post will concentrate on.  He

re is the transcript, best as I can assemble it…without any additional interjection..below I have included a video of the discussion as well…

davidgibbons: @TBoard LOL, do you really wanna see @trulia & me get into it or what? Ur listings should be on BOTH but Zillow offers more traffic, leads & SEO

davidgibbons: @trulia LOL, only if you let me lead … [you see @TBoard !!!]

And for those of you who are “Twitter Challenged, ” Jeff Turner put together this VERY cool video of the exchange…”

Zillow Vs. Trulia – David Vs. Rudy (The Movie)

Now, that you have read the tweetalogue, (just made that up) you probably understand why this is of interest to me…  SEO.

Within this spirited discussion, there where QUITE a few statements concerning the SEO of both sites.  I would like to first create a series of questions from these statements and hopefully provoke a discussion on the benefits of both.

1) Do temporary inbound links, help your website… (and why don’t BOTH companies just mark the property “SOLD” and let the link live, and grow old and VALUABLE.”

2) Do links from profile pages help your website and how can you best MAXIMIZE this feature. (Proper Anchor Text, Multiple links, Deep Links, etc)

3) Do links that do NOT have favorable anchor text matter.  In other words, If the anchor text is an address, and not a keyword you are trying to rank for.

4) Is the address search, a valuable search.  I believe David when he states that he has a few million searches a month by address. But WHO AND WHY is someone searching by address and this really a home buyer?

5) How valuable is the long tail in Real Estate.  I see analytics all the time showing the QUANTITY of long tail page views, but is a searcher searching “Restaurants in Laguna Beach” or “Laguna Beach Architecture” really a valuable page view? (Bloggers get involved here…)

6) And a little “pet peeve” non-SEO question.  I have always taught that Realtors should create listing pages for their websites, because the MLS descriptions should be written to help OTHER REALTORS sell the house.  Realtors should be able to edit ANY outward facing listing page to appeal to the consumer.  I am under the impression, that neither Trulia or ZIllow allow this.  Am I correct, and how come?

I absolutely have my opinions on ALL these questions…  and will back them up with analytics.  Lets here your answers and opinions…  Please forward this post to anyone you think is interested in the SEO value of these two popular websites, and be sure to subscribe below to keep up to date on the conversation…

It took almost two years and hundreds of hours of research…

before I finally figured out EXACTLY what it takes to be a Social Media Rockstar.

rockstarNow, I am NOT speaking of the “I followed 5000 people that I know have auto-follow to get a bigger follow base” type of Rockstar..  That would be too easy.  I want to be the “I have 5000 followers that love me, engage me and hang on my every word” type of Social Media Rockstar…” You get it, the “other social media rockstars will fly thousands of miles to attend a conference I am attending…  NOT because I am speaking…but because I am THERE”  Rockstar…  Are you getting my point?  I want to be the “people are SO engaged in my life, they take the time to learn that my wife is awesome too!” Rockstar…  Yes,  I was possessed to become the “I am sooo loved that any charity I touch becomes blessed, just cause I am involved and so incredibly passionate and sincere…”rockstar.

Yeah, thats the type of SM Rockstar I want to be…  So how did I figure it out?  I am tricky…

Step One:  Find someone who IS this type of Rockstar…

Well, I looked, and looked, and looked…  and I found him…  Well, to be honest, he wasn’t actually hiding…  he was freakin’ everywhere…  filling up my facebook, my Twitter, My LinkedIn, Speaking at every RE engagement known to man, etc…(he is a SM Rockstar , after all) but I found him…  My unassuming, social media uber-rockstar patsy to be?

Jeff Turner…alias @ResPres (look at that face?  This is gonna be easy!!)

Step Two: Befriend him (Sh-h-h)

This, surprisingly enough, was not that difficult either.  I emailed Jeff… then Facebook friended him, tweeted a tad…  invited him to lunch under the pretense of “some crazy business idea” and just oozed my self-serving, sucrose-enriched charm…  The funny thing was, it was almost TOO EASY…  It was like Jeff….  ACTUALLY CARED about what I had to say…  no, no… it was much stranger than that…it was as if Jeff actually cared WHO I WAS…  He listened, and engaged me, and respected my opinions, and shared important ideas freely.  He almost made it too easy…

WOW, this guy is goooood…  but I found the chink in his armour…

He was the same way to EVERYBODY…  Nobody can be that interested in everybody… can they?

Step Three:  Learn all his tricks

This is where my plan derailed a bit…  I paid attention, I really did…  but I just couldnt figure him out, what was he hiding?…  how did he do it?…  puzzling.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…  This super great guy… This caring, engaging, thoughtful, social, guy…  This killer communicator, charitable, funny, guy…  Yeah, this pensive, warm and downright AFFABLE guy that everyone SHOULD want to communicate and be social with…  HAS A VERY UNIQUE AVATAR!!

jeffturner-avatarHow could I have missed this!!  Could this really be it?  What else could it be?  Let me take inventory one more time…

Is he smarter than me?  Well, probably, but that cant be it..

Is he more successful than me? Well, I think so, but that cant be it either…

Is he better looking than me?  HELL NO!

Nicer, more engaging, thoughtful, caring, INTERESTED…  of course, but who cares.  IT HAS TO BE THE AVATAR!  I ‘VE GOT IT!!

Step Four: Use this new found knowledge to conquer the SM world!!  So, here it is, my fool proof Social Media Strategy.

@jimmarks…  be gone.



Wait…  where are you going…  arent you gonna follow me?   Hello!!  Did you see my AVATAR??  (happy april fools day!)