The greatest real estate agent in the world contest, aka “The dumbest idea in the world”
Posted by markharrison on February 19, 2008
One of the things that still amazes me about Internet Marketing is that some people still fall for the idea that you can build a long-term business through coding hacks to make your website appear high on Google.
I’ve met some people who’ve coded their websites like this… and some who have had their websites banned by Google for using tricks designed solely to manipulate their search rankings.
Google are motivated to delivery high-quality search results – they employ thousands of really smart programmers to constantly refine what they’re doing and weed out the Search Engine Hackers crowd.
Which is why I find things like the “Greatest real estate agent in the world” contest stupid. This is a contest run by a US website to see WHO can score top in Google for that phrase.
Of course, if you go and ask Google, they make it very clear what counts:
- Having good quality, regularly updated content
- Having a clear structure that makes it easy for people to navigate
- Having lots of other sites linking to you (and links from high-quality sites themselves count for a lot more than spam sites – indeed, sites with little content bar a “links” page often are flagged up as spam sites and actually REDUCE the score of the sites they are linking to!)
Note the complete absence of things like code hacks 🙂
The problem with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is that, for a while at least, it works. You do notice your traffic climb. In the meantime, everyone suffers – because customers get a much worse set of results… which is why Google can, and do, just stop listing sites that are working to get a high listing rather than working to help customers. (Ever wonder why all those “Squeeze page” sites spend so much money on advertising – because they aren’t getting listed in the normal search results!)
Anyway, the person who is currently top, before the competition started, and therefore possibly does have a claim to the title the greatest real estate agent in the world, is a lady called ardell dellaloggia.
She’s obviously a little surprised at the competition and has written some amusing things about the “prize” (a one-year subscription to a high priced service, with the obvious lock-in after that.) The reassuring thing is that she’s never tried to game the system – just concentrated on writing useful content and building relationships.
Thanks to Lani of RERevealed for letting me know about this foolishness.