What makes MLS Enhancer™ different than MLS/IDX applications that
are in general use today?
The "primary” function of all MLS/IDX systems is to make available
the viewing of MLS listings on your website. IDX companies focus
their efforts on providing functionality that increases the chance
that the realtor may be able to capture a higher percentage of
visitors once a customer is able to find your website and view your
listings. Some IDX applications also provide the realtor feedback
about how visitors are using the site and tools for tracking visitor
interest. These are all very useful functions but it is important to
understand that these functions do not make your website more
visible on the search engines which is the source of bringing
visitors to your website in the first place. Their functionality
simply does not address website optimization which is essential for
getting your website’s keyword phrases favorably indexed in the
search engines and placed high in the search engine return pages (SERPs).
Unlike all other IDX systems, MLS Enhancer goes far beyond just
displaying listings on your website for visitor viewing. It uses a
more advanced technology that enables it to restructure the listings
and even the data inside the listings (city name, property features,
etc.) and use this rich source of content to highly optimize your
website for search engine visibility. The content contained inside
the listings is parsed out and utilized to optimize all of the page
content and link structures of your entire website.
MLS Enhancer uses smart algorithms to identify which fields need to
be given prominence, structures the listing content into a search
engine friendly page document, groups all listings into themed
content categories, integrates listings with hand crafted landing
pages, then creates a page and site structure that will be rated
highly by the ranking algorithm of a search engine. Hand written
content that addresses the user's interest in real estate
communities is joined with the relevant listings that are associated
with the content.
In summary, MLS Enhancer uses smart algorithms to build a highly
optimized website for search engine visibility by using MLS listings
while IDX only displays listings. IDX providers recognize the
limitations of their product so emphasize, “branding” in their
promotional ads instead of “marketing.” Branding is the selling of
your professionalism once you have access to the customer, while
marketing is directed at creating a pipeline of motivated customers
asking for your services. Both are important but IDX providers put
the cart before the horse because the technology is vastly less
complex to develop.
2. Are MLS real estate listings actually
placed on the web by real estate websites and can the search engines
The answer may surprise you. Go to Google and search for a
three-bedroom home for sale in your hometown. Did the search results
give you a list of three-bedroom homes for sale or only a list of
realtor websites that you can use to find a three-bedroom house for
sale? Now you can be the source for MLS listings actually being
placed on the web that can be found by the search engines. And when
a potential customer searches and finds a house, the listing comes
up with your personal branding and contact information on the
listing. Let the MLS database of listings bring people to your
website instead of people having to find your website before being
able to search for a house. Think of the advantage it gives you to
be the only realtor in your service area that provides the public
with the content that they are actually searching for! (Back)
3. If I am not a "techy" type person, is
getting a sophisticated database driven web application like MLS
Enhancer more than I can handle?
MLS Enhancer is easy to use and takes little to no user education.
Admittedly, the knowledge base required for successful optimization
is both time demanding to acquire and it takes a disciplined
commitment to stay current with search engine algorithm changes. If
you want to hire an optimization expert, it can also be expensive
both to implement and for ongoing support. That’s why many realtors
have decided to train themselves to become e-pro proficient and use
websites that have flexible content management systems. However, no
“e-pro” expert with any amount of training can compete with what you
can accomplish with the power of MLS Enhancer for onsite
optimization. The “smartness” of what to do to address the on-site
optimization issues of your website is built into MLS Enhancer with
“smart” algorithms that make the right decisions for you. You
provide the rich content for your customers about your community and
real estate services, and let our technology handle the work load
required to integrate and present both your content and the content
of the MLS database in a customer friendly way that is also highly
optimized for search engine placement.
4. How does MLS Enhancer handle the increasing
complexity of the search engine algorithms?
Search engines need to retrieve relevant information for user
queries or they will quickly lose market share. This fact absolutely
guarantees that the growing complexity of algorithms is a certainty.
And that is good news to real estate agents that want to provide
high quality content. And it is also great news for sophisticated
database driven web applications like MLS Enhancer that have the
power to present real estate content that is user friendly and
highly relevant as measured by both the customer and the complex
standards of ranking algorithms. Much like CSS external style sheets
can control style adjustments on all of the website’s pages
simultaneously with just one code change, MLS Enhancer can
simultaneously control the code adjustments not only on an
individual website, but on all of its hosted websites with a single
code adjustment. Because of the degree to which MLS Enhancer has
control of how the web pages interrelate to each other, complexity
of changes is easily accommodated.
5. Do you need ongoing optimization to adjust
to the changing algorithms?
Yes, but not nearly to the extent that most SEO companies promote.
Charging for maintaining placement is a big profit center for many
optimization companies. However, if your optimization strategy is in
compliance with search engine guidelines, then usually your
positions in the SERPs are not in danger of losing placement with
ongoing algorithm changes.
A second important issue is that webmasters often narrowly focus on
too few aspects of the ranking algorithm (such as reciprocal
linking, buying links, etc.). When search engines observe a practice
that is becoming a popular way to influence the search results, it
will be treated as spam and those links will be devalued in an
algorithm adjustment. This places the website owner in the position
of having to start over in order to regain high placement again.
Often Webmasters just tell their clients that the algorithms have
changed again and that’s why it takes a monthly fee to stay current.
While search engines do make regular adjustments, the adjustments
are usually a needed change to eliminate spam. The more that you
avoid spam techniques in building your site in the first place, the
less you need to be concerned about tweaking for periodic algorithm
changes. MLS Enhancer does not have a monthly charge for “tweaking”
code to maintain high search engine placement. We build your sites
right in the first place. Your monthly budget should be directed at
growing your sites meaningful content and not on adjusting code to
One area of adjustment that can be important is in making
adjustments to the use of keyword phrases as it becomes evident in
the website’s web log that such adjustments would result in more
long tail (niche) traffic. This kind of keyword phrase adjustment is
not the result of search engine algorithm adjustments.
With MLS Enhancer the aggressiveness of optimization can be a
realtor's personal decision but techniques that knowingly will get
your site banned are not allowed or programmed into our system. In
some areas of optimization, the standards are not clearly defined so
acceptable boundaries for optimization is ambiguous. In exploring
the boundaries of the search engine's acceptable standards, you
might want to fine-tune the aggressiveness of your optimization
implementation. It is always a risk verses reward decision. Since
visibility on the web is a ling term process, it seem foolish to
risk hard earned gains with aggressive optimization.
Finally, because MLS Enhancer’s internal algorithms easily control
many changes across a wide spectrum of optimization issues, all
broad-based optimization adjustments that management believes to be
prudent for our clients as a group in order to achieve top search
engine placements are done at no cost.
6. If everybody uses MLS Enhancer™, wouldn't
that negate any advantage of using this technology?
Yes it would, and that is why we are going to limit the availability
of this technology in each community so that our customers have an
advantage over their competitors. However, even among those that use
this technology, there will still be variation in their ranking
results because of different levels of effort extended in
“unfolding” the power of optimization that this technology is
capable of generating. Variance in results would result from the
following kinds of factors: 1. Each agent could optimize for
different keyword phrases. 2. Some agents would write content for a
greater number of categories (cities, neighborhoods, etc.) therefore
unlocking more optimization power of the site. 3. There would be
different degrees of commitment to off-site optimization from link
exchanging. 4. Agents may choose to optimize differently to gain
prominence on different search engines. What is important to
understand is that the capability of winning high placement is
within any users reach with little or no understanding or search
engine algorithms or optimization. The ground rules for winning high
placement are easily understood and achievable with effort. Real
estate agents using our technology have a distinct advantage when
competing with web sites that have to optimize by hand.
7. Will MLS Enhancer™ win top search engine
placement without additional effort on the part of the realtor?
MLS Enhancer is a powerful web program to grow website visibility
over time and not a one-shot silver bullet. It allows the realtor to
focus on just adding meaningful content and not having to be
concerned with knowing how to optimize for search engine visibility.
MLS Enhancer provides extensive on-site optimization that usually
wins quick placement for several niche market keyword phrases. More
generic competitive keywords will take time and additional effort in
off-site optimization to shorten the time in gaining high placement
in the search engines. It is important to emphasize that MLS
Enhancer grows exponentially in its’ power to optimize your site as
original content is added. It is designed to grow your site’s
visibility by unlocking powerfully optimized landing-pages upon the
addition of handcrafted content. Studies show that most traffic
(over 50%) comes from the long-tail niche phrases, and that is what
MLS Enhancer is particularly adept in structuring your website to
capture. With MLS Enhancer, effort is still required for high search
engine placement, but the effort is to build meaningful original
content and not in learning search engine optimization.
8. Does using MLS Enhancer ™ violate any MLS
rules or regulations?
MLS Enhancer is easily configured to comply with your local MLS
rules that are applicable to IDX feeds. To use MLS Enhancer, an
agent must be a member in good standing with their MLS Board. In
some more restrictive MLS jurisdictions, agents can only use IDX
and/or MLS Enhancer under the license and direction of their
9. Does MLS Enhancer™ create spam because it
uses automation to accomplish many tasks required for optimization?
We believe not because it is the function that automation
accomplishes that determines if it produces useful and relevant
information or spam. Pre-query parsing of MLS listings with focused
grouping into themed categories makes database information more
useful to the user. Our technology is not designed to create
automatic machine-crafted content. It is designed to place database
information and original hand created content into a more meaningful
and useful format for the readers use. The search engine ranking
algorithms are closely guarded trade secrets but empirical
observation can identify numerous factors that a Webmaster needs to
address to gain top visibility. And while it is true that web
visibility requires original, hand crafted content, copywriters,
webmasters, and even professional optimizers have not developed a
technology or acquired the programming skills to separate the
optimization tasks that can be automated from the content that needs
to be original and highly relevant for the query user.
10. Can my present website be modified to use
Yes, but there are several important reasons that this may not be a
good choice. First, your website would need to run on the same
server as the MLS database so that there can be a seamless
integration between your site and the MLS listings. If you need to
link to another server location in order to get the MLS data, there
would be no optimization advantages. Secondly, most websites have
considerable site and navigation architecture issues that make it
difficult or even impossible for search engine spiders to fully
index their pages. Thirdly, MLS Enhancer has a content management
system that not only places MLS listings in the site’s content
pages, it makes the optimized listings interactive with your
website. Your content pages not only link to your listings, every
listing can link to your website. Fourthly, most websites do not
take advantage of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) but are constructed
using tables. Tables require countless lines of programming code
because they can’t separate style from content. This not only slows
up the loading of your web pages, it also requires that search
engine spiders (bots) sort through code useless for optimization in
order to find and index your relevant content. Most importantly, CSS
can use layers (<DIV> tags) and absolute positioning to order the
source code in a manor that is advantageous for optimization. Since
we have made our technology so affordable, and because there are
such overwhelming advantages associated with having a content
management system that controls the site architecture to maximize
optimization, it is almost always best to make a new site.
11. What do I do with my old website?
Many (make that most) realtors have no search engine visibility but
have been driving traffic to their site through advertising, cards
and sign riders. In that case, keep your old site for a short time
until the new site overwhelms it in business from your search engine
visibility. After the new site is firmly established, the Webmaster
can place a “301 redirect” on the old site to transfer any remaining
business to the new site. We will help you with that decision when
we learn the particular circumstances of your situation. Again, the
new sites are often less expensive than the old site so cost is
rarely a determining factor to the best solution.
12. If I add content pages over time, how
will that affect the site’s navigation and link structure?
All website design books will advise you to carefully structure the
site's architecture before creating individual web pages. And that
is good advice, especially with static page architecture that needs
to be inter-related in a fixed manor. However, with MLS Enhancer,
the internal structure is already pre-programmed to unfold in a
coordinated manor as you populate your site with hand-authored
content. All data fields used by your regional MLS database to
characterize listings are parsed and grouped into themed categories
for insertion into topically relevant landing pages. You don't need
to be concerned if the future addition of content pages will be
correctly coordinated with spider friendly navigation links or
anchor text support. Just like you body’s physical development is
structurally determined by your genes, MLS Enhancer has algorithms
that are coordinating all new page generation by an internal master
plan that keeps your site structure perfectly interrelated. Create
what ever content that is currently the focus of your service
specialty, and if you change your focus, MLS Enhancer knows how to
successfully integrate all of your content pages with each other. It
automatically “unfolds” a site’s architecture that best presents MLS
fields in a user-friendly structure for your visitors and in an
optimized structure for search engine visibility. We give you the
freedom to be smart about real estate and stay stupid about things
like coordinating topically related anchor text to impute relevancy
to targeted landing pages.
13. If I'm not a writer, so how do I get
content for my website?
Writing a short 300-word half page description of a master-planned
community or city is not such a very challenging project that even a
high school student couldn’t accomplish. With search engine
algorithms increasingly relying on Latent Symantec Indexing (meta
words or meanings and concepts underling the actual words used) it
is more important that your writing contains meaningful and relevant
information than relying on the careful placement of keyword phrases
in your text. Our website support center gives examples of both
optimized and non-optimized writing. The training center also gives
you access to free ongoing information and support. However, if you
want the content descriptions written for you, we contract with
college students that have good writing skills to write your landing
page content. They charge about twenty-five dollars ($25) per page.
We also have staff writers that are proficient in optimization are
about double that price. Remember, the MLS Enhancer does the hard
part of structuring the entire landing page content from the MLS
listings for you.
14. What is the difference between on-site
and off-site optimization?
On-site optimization address issues like meta tags, site
architecture, keyword placement, content originality, alt tags,
anchor texts, on-site linking, and all other issues that are
contained within the website's boundaries. Off-site optimization
addresses things like link-backs, reciprocal links, network
placement within a community of websites, and the neighborhood
reputation of external websites. Both on-site and off-site
optimization are very important. MLS Enhancer addresses numerous
on-site issues that affect search engine placement, however, it is
still very important that you also address off-site issues.
15. How important is off-site optimization?
It is very important as a website’s ability to grow in link-backs
over time is evaluated as a measure of importance that the web
community places on the content of the website. Search engine
algorithms are becoming increasingly sophisticated in being able to
differentiate between artificial link manipulation through
reciprocal link exchanging and the accumulation of link-backs as a
result of authority sites linking to a site because of the value of
its’ content. It is important that link-backs and reciprocal linking
are seen as the result of the natural organic growth of a site’s
content value. Most search engine algorithms now heavily weight
these off-site factors in determining relevance and in the ordering
of their SERPs. The right kind of links to your site will increase
its’ visibility and the wrong kind will be greatly devalued or even
hurt your site.
16. How do I optimize for off-site issues?
Your MLS Enhancer website includes a link processing page and
structured library to accommodate reciprocal links that allows you
to trade links without any further setup. Alpha Placement encourages
you to participate in our free ongoing support program if you want
to do the off-site optimization yourself. Also, we have set up an
offshore link development company in Indonesia that employs highly
trained workers to do the skilled human intensive labor involved in
link exchanging. The cost of labor in Indonesia for college level
employees is less than two dollars per hour. Alpha Placement does
not charge an overage for our website customers that opt to take
advantage of this very inexpensive service.
17. How important is it to keep adding
original content to my site?
First, content can broaden the range of keyword phrases used to
capture real estate customers. Several studies have shown that most
customers that are ready to purchase, query with very specific niche
keyword phrases instead of broad generic keywords. Since it is
difficult to optimize for more than two or three keywords per page,
it is to your advantage to have many pages with a wide range of
niche keyword phrases.
Secondly, the more
content pages that are written, the more MLS listing pages are
unlocked for the search engine spiders to index so that MLS Enhancer
can use them for optimization of the landing pages. That’s extremely
important for optimization because the more indexed listings
available, the greater number of anchor texts there are to impute
keyword relevance to a targeted landing page. Remember the example
of the search engines ranking the presidential site in number one
position for miserable failure? The relevance of this keyword phrase
was imputed to the presidential site through anchor texts pointing
to the site. In the same manor, MLS Enhancer reads the keywords of
the landing page, and then structures the topically related MLS
listings and their anchor text in such a way as to broaden and
reinforce the keyword phrases on the landing page. Content unlocks
power to optimize.
Thirdly, MLS Enhancer provides extensive on-site optimization that
may earn quick placement for many niche market keyword phrases. More
generic competitive keywords will take additional effort in off-site
optimization to shorten the time in gaining high placement in the
search engines. It is important to emphasize that MLS Enhancer grows
exponentially in its’ power to optimize your site as original
content is added. It is designed to grow your site’s visibility by
unlocking powerfully optimized landing-pages upon the addition of
handcrafted content. MLS Enhancer is a powerful web program to grow
website visibility, not a one-shot silver bullet. It allows the
realtor to focus on just adding meaningful content and not having to
be concerned with knowing how to optimize for search engine
18. How long does it take to win top search engine
The answer depends if one is asking about highly competitive generic
keywords or long-tail niche keyword phrases.
Long-tail keyword phrases are often non-competitive, specific, niche
terms that customers search for infrequently and there is far less
competition by other realtors to win placement with these terms. An
example would be a specific community inside a larger well-known
city. For example, Dobson Ranch is a modest sized master-planned
community in Mesa AZ, which is a city in the greater Phoenix metro
area. Many more people will search for “Phoenix real estate” then
“Mesa AZ real estate. And fewer people yet will search for Dobson
Ranch homes for sale listed on MLS. To win with a competitive
keyword like Phoenix real estate, it would be very difficult and
would take considerable effort over an extended period of time.
Winning on a niche keyword would be much easier and faster but would
win far less traffic.
So what should your optimization strategy be, niche market or
competitive generic terms? It is important to note that several
studies have shown that optimization for numerous niche market terms
(long-tail) keyword phrases can outperform even top ranked sites
that have won high placement with a highly competitive generic
keyword phrase. A small amount of traffic from many niche long-tail
keywords can add up to a sizeable and steady stream of motivated
traffic. Further, people using niche keywords are more often ready
to take action, as they know what they want as opposed to just being
lookers that use the generic keyword phrases.
MLS Enhancer is designed to easily optimize both competitive generic
keyword phrases and at the same time develop a sizeable long-tail
niche keyword strategy. Hundreds of niche market landing pages are
easily structured and need only your original content to describe
the community of themed MLS listings to be activated. Winning top
placement is just a matter of writing what the program directs you
to write about. Winning on many long-tail keywords should take a few
weeks or less once the landing pages are populated with your written
content. Winning on generic competitive keywords may take several
months, or even a year or more, but the effort involved on the part
of the realtor is clearly doable without learning optimization.
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2006, Alpha Placement Technologies, LLC., Patent Pending, All Rights