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Search Engine Basics For Real Estate Websites

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Real estate professionals know how to buy, sell and rent all kinds of properties. They spend a lot of money on creating websites and then complain when their sites are not found by search engines. Well, all realtors must understand how search engines work. And so, here is a search engine primer that should help:

Types of search engines

There are four major types of search engines. And, these are:

Crawler-based search engines: Google, Bing, MSN and Yahoo are crawler-based engines. A crawler, which is also called spider or bot, is software that regularly crawls the web and visits websites and updates their latest status (new content, links, and categories are indexed and stored). These bots scan sites and pages based on the rules specified in their algorithm. Websites’ statuses are then updated and new content is indexed by the search engines.

Directories: Directories are textual catalogs that are edited by human volunteers. DMOZ.com is the premier global directory. Strictly speaking, directories are not search engines, but a listing on all important directories can help move your website up the search engine rankings. Directories can be paid or free – and if you are on a budget, you should start by listing your site with the free directories.
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Hybrid search engines: Hybrid search engines fetch results from websites and directories. Many search engines like Yahoo and Google are making a shift towards this search model.

META search engines: Meta search engines typically fetch results from other search engines and then present a rather large listing to their users. Metacrawler.com and Dogpile.com are Meta search engines.

Okay, there’s one more search type, and that is paid-inclusion search. This is also known as PPC (Pay Per Click) and you are likely aware that the sponsored results that you see on the top or in the right hand corner of most search engines are paid inclusions. In this search model, you have to bid on keywords to be found and your account gets debited by the bid every time your ad is clicked.

All website owners, including realtors, must also know that search engines cannot view a website the way they view it. Search engine bots read through the HTML source code and then return the results back to their server. Search engines are not bothered about how beautiful your page looks – all they look for is well-structured code that can easily inform them of what’s up at your website. This is why all website owners must ensure that their website is solidly programmed.

These are some search engine basics that every website owner must be aware of.

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Carla Donnaly is a blogger and real estate writer with Great Minnesota Real Estate.

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