The Tortoise and The Hare

Most of you probably know the story of the tortoise and the hare. The story consisted of a race, between a very fast rabbit and a very slow turtle, and the slow and steady turtle ultimately won the race.

This blog is going to be like the tortoise. I will continue to slowly observe and analyze the contest, and see what I can learn. Maybe I won’t win the race, but I’ll certainly enjoy the sights along the way.

More Content Less Links

This site was spotted on page six for the search term “Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World” this evening, and it got me thinking… what if I were to write a post about the contest and the SEO strategies that are going on, everyday for the next two months. People say that Google loves content, but what if there is lots of content without a lot of links? Can it work…

I honestly don’t know if I will be able to update this blog that often, but I do know that I can’t compete with the “lots of links” strategy, because the currently leading site has team members who can provide things like signature links from 23,000 posts on the Digitalpoint forums. That’s just crazy!

Does Google Love New Pages?

I’m becoming to wonder if the temporary ranking successes I achieved in this contest, were due to the phenomena of new content being temporarily favored in the SERPs, but then quickly being demoted after a day or two? Although I only made it to the middle of page 2, it seems like in both cases it happened 1-2 days after I posted the content, and then lasted for only a day or so.

It seems like there is a big ranking boost given to new pages, which is then quickly taken away in favor of old pages with the most links. This would make some sense in that it allows new content to be filtered into the results, but it will only stay at the top of the results of many people like the content enough to link to it.

Why Does Google Like REW Better Than This Site?

Well, I can think of a few reasons, so let’s do a comparison:

Real Estate Webmasters

62,100 Pages Indexed of Unique Content
459,217 Inbound Links
Created 04-09-2004

GreatestRealEstateAgentInTheWorld.Wordpress.Com

27 Pages Indexed of Unique Content
134 Inbound Links
Created 02-18-2008

I’m not sure, but I think that REW wins… and this also provides evidence that my theory may have some merit. The theory being that it may be easier to compete in the contest using a page on my REW blog versus this cool new site that I created. Because today, my contest entry on REW for the Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World is in the rankings at #15 was in the rankings for all of 1 minute… sigh.

Yahoo SEO Versus Google SEO

One of the fascinating things about following a contest such as this, is the opportunity to take a careful look at the search engine results on a day by day basis and see them update. Today this blog is #3 on Yahoo, yet it is nowhere to be found on Google. Of course the question then becomes, what observations can I make from this about how Yahoo interprets search engine rankings?

  1. I’ve heard that Yahoo favors longer content on an individual page, and the homepage of this blog is probably one of the longest diatribes about this contest on the Internet
  2. Many of the links to this blog are nofollow comments made on other peoples blogs, and so maybe yahoo gives less of a discount to nofollow comments
  3. This blog is a sub-domain of an authority site, so maybe Yahoo gives more credit to subdomains than Google does

If anyone else has any other observations about the differences on the rankings for this contest on Yahoo versus Google, I’d love to hear your comments.

A Post A Day To Keep The Doctor Away

What a great contest… it has been quite a humbling experience to realize that with all that I have learned about SEO and webmastering… there is still so much to know. The biggest take away so far is the power of teamwork and relationships. This kind of reminds me of a quote I once read, which went something like this:

“One person is an island, but a group of like-minded people have the power to change the world.”

Or Google’s SERPs in this case. I never appreciated how important it is to network online and build relationships with individuals in the same way that we network off line. I’ve been in the real estate business long enough to appreciate that networking is a critical part of being in business, but now I see that this is equally true in the virtual world as well.

I’d say that so far, my one complaint, besides not being at the top of the results, is that Morgan gave two competitors a headstart by linking to them from the official contest entry page. However, the results show the power of a good idea and effective SEO, which is that one of those entries is at the top of the results, and the other is languishing on page 4 right now. Of course I’m down there on page six, so obviously I have a lot to learn 🙂

What does it mean to be the greatest real estate agent in the world?

Well, since real estate is an intensely local business, I think that precludes there being one greatest agent in the world. That aside, I have certainly pondered the question as part of the process of choosing this profession. A number of the contestants in this contest, which is presumably about SEO, have provided some great answers about what it really means to be a great real estate agent. Some of the essays that I enjoyed were Ryan Ward, Jennifer Mackay, Wayne‘s, and Dan Connolly‘s, and I pretty much agreed with everything that they said.

As for my own 2 cents… I think that a big part of greatness is love, meaning that you love what you do and you do it for it’s own sake. So being the greatest real estate agent is about loving what you do, and sharing that love with the people around you. Ok, I’m getting pretty sappy here, but if you don’t enjoy what you do, then I don’t think you will ever truly achieve greatness.

Now of course that still begs the question, what really is greatness? So I decided to ask Google, what is greatness? And the Google gods said:

the property possessed by something or someone of outstanding importance or eminence”

Well, there you have it.