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link building, sundance realty oregon, sundance realty, best realty firm oregon

Link-Building for Realtors:

How to Make It to the First Page

November 20, 2018

Colin Marcum

Ever wonder why the pages of some brokerage firms, property listings, and agent web pages appears before others in search engines like Google and Bing? The first element deals with keywords, as we discuss in Keywords for Realtors. Naturally, if you type in “pizza delivery” you are more likely to get a local Pizza Hut webpage than a landing page to the Oregon Real Estate Agency. However, within a keyword like Oregon Real Estate, how does a webpage like the Oregon Real Estate Agency rank in comparison to other related web pages; like realty firms, mortgage brokers, and title companies? That is where the second element comes in: LINKS.

Before we continue...

The World Wide Web: Crash Course Computer Science #30

Crash Course offers a great familiarization course on the nature of the web.  For those that are unfamiliar on what the web is and would prefer a more detailed and holistic overview enjoy the adjoining video.

"Today we’re going to discuss the World Wide Web - not to be confused with the Internet, which is the underlying plumbing for the web as well as other networks. The World Wide Web is built on the foundation of simply linking pages to other pages with hyperlinks, but it is this massive interconnectedness that makes it so powerful..."

Carrying on...

This doesn't include the first few adverts that are paid for through Google Adwords and Bing Ads, a major source of income for these companies, but the unpaid adverts that immediately following them are ranks based on what is called domain authority which is based on links. You see, these search engines don’t look at every webpage to assess which one the best subject matter expert on keywords that user type in, but instead use algorithms to determine what other sites deem to be the authority on the matter. So for example, if you Google “Oregon Real Estate” you will not only get pages for the Oregon Real Estate Agency, but also Zillow and This is because, not only are they related in keywords, but other webpages; brokerages, banks, and miscellaneous sites, link their pages to them. For example,midway through the first paragraph of this article, I have linked to the Oregon Real Estate Agency’s home page which tells search engines that this article; in some fashion, finds the OREA home page to be an authority.

Links are what make the world wide web, a web. There is no set layout in which every website occupies a space in relation to each other. All websites sit within various hosted or personally owned servers that our web browsers contact in order to pull the information. For example, this article and website is hosted by VistaPrint which either personally owns or rents servers that in turn maintain the data that makes up this specific article. Your computer requests the data associated with this specific URL, and the server sends the data back to be displayed by your browser.

Using real estate analogies, the web has no zoning for what content goes where. Data for web pages are simply stored on servers and have associated URLs that your computer requests. As a result, there is technically no order to the existence of the web, since it is merely numerous servers/computers pulling and sending data using a common language. Functionally, however, there is an order to it all, and that is thanks to links. Inbound and outbound links create a relationships between different web pages that, in turn, browsers use to rank which ones have greater authority over particular keywords.

Inbound and Outbound Links

While all links are about one site referencing another, from the perspective of a single site, there are two; the ones going out and the ones coming in.

Inbound links are the most prized of references on the internet. When you have inbound links that means that other sites have actively linked their content to yours. The greater the amount of inbound links the greater domain authority a site has. The pursuit for inbound links is one of the most valuable endeavors you can do to build your website.

Note: While technically asking for links, much like reviews, is against the terms and conditions for Google, Bing and other search engines, most businesses do solicit customers and partners for links. Word to the wise, solicit in moderation.

Outbound links are the links that you create to other web pages; such as this article’s links to the OREA home page and the Crash Course Youtube video. By doing so you are creating the inbound links that increase the domain authority of those websites. While the generation of outbound links doesn’t increase your domain authority, Google algorithms do reward websites that create outbound links. This is because the act helps further develop the interconnectedness of information on the web; thus making Google’s web crawler programs; those that map out the web, more effective in satisfying their users web searching experience. As a result, outbound links basically score you free relevancy points right at the birth of the new webpage. All things being equal, the website that has more relevant outbound links will rank better.

Note: Linking to your own landing pages and relevant sub-domains further helps in informing web crawlers of layout of your own site. The programs already understand the technical layout of the domain, but not necessarily how they are all relative to one another. For example, this article on targeted marketing has more in common with this topic on link building than other pages on this site, because I have (just now) informed them as such with an internal link.

Link Formats

Links come in various formats that web browser can read and display, and that allow you to click and load a new webpage.

Optimized Links are those that are hyperlinked around a particular keyword. One of the most prevalent displays of optimized links can be seen on Wikipedia in which reading through one article you will see numerous hyperlinks highlighted on various words or statements that will take you to their respective Wikipedia entries. An example in this article was the hyperlinking of “target marketing” just previously. In the real estate industry, the hyperlinking of an physical address that would take you to public-facing page of that property on the MLS would be such an example.

Branded Links are just like optimized links expect they are based around a business name or a piece of intellectual property. For example, taking to the Oregon Real Estate Agency’s home page, or the home page of Sundance Realty marketing and recruiting site. Branded links provide you the ability to drive traffic to specific domains, especially yours, in order to increase that site’s domain authority.

Naked Links are those that display the entirety of their URL in its HTTP format. Such as this naked link, which will take you to PhD Jason McDonald’s quick reference on naked links. While this is less compact then simply using an optimized/branded link, there are times in which it is the only options available; such as in certain press releases where hyperlinking is not possible.

Jason McDonald, in his expert perspective suggests that achieving a ratio of 1:1:1 between all three types is best in order to prevent potential Google algorithms from negatively impacting your domain authority or relevancy.

Tips to Effective Link Building

  1. Develop outbound links to all relevant web pages, both external and internal to your site
  2. Weave these outbound links naturally into your pages, maintaining a equal ratio between optimized, branded, and naked links when possible.
  3. Nonchalantly request inbound links to your site from other agents, partners, friends, satisfied customers, etc. while doing so in moderation to avoid appearing to Google and Bing as cheating the system.
  4. Reciprocate outbound links to those that inbound link to you when practical to do so.
  5. Ensure everything looks natural to a human being, and that you aren’t just writing for the sake of Google and Bing.

Additional References:

Jason McDonald, PhD, "Naked Links and SEO Link Building Post-Penguin"

Jason McDonald, PhD, "More on Links and Link-Building"

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