Realtors Beware of Duplicate Content: Finding is Harder, but You Can Do This

Armen Hareyan's picture
Google Duplicate Content Find

Pretend a real estate agent goes to a search engine consultant and says "I have a great Google Plus local listing and good onsite SEO, but my property listings still are not ranking." How can one be helped in this situation?

Real estate agents have to be careful not have duplicate content in their websites. Pages with duplicate content hurt your listings' rankings in local search engine results. There may not even be much competition, but your listings' rankings will hurt because of duplicate pages.

If you publish the same story on your website and in another website, then it's a duplicate content. If you have a template where you do your property's description section and lots of sentences are same or similar, then it's duplicate too. You have to either improve or remove these pages (Google generally recommends to improve instead of remove) from your real estate websites or blogs. This refers to mortgage or home improvement websites as well.

Now what has changed?

Recently Google changed the Google Maps layout, and I wrote about its effect on your listings here. Now that made finding duplicate content much harder.

If you went to a search engine consultant and asked to find duplicate content in your website, he or she would go to Google Maps and do a "Map Maker Phone Search." That would help him to find duplicate content in your listings or website. Now the phone search in map maker is gone, making it much harder to find duplicate content on your website.

Google has made this change for several reasons, and this is well discussed by Linda Buguest at Local Search Forums.

What Do We Learn?

Make every effort to avoid duplicate content when you are writing a house description, when you are writing a title for your property listings or when you are writing new blog posts on your website.


Submitted by Liz Bobeck (not verified) on
Great article, something people do not realize, they are constantly being harangued to get their word/brand out there but they do not realize that posting the same article to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest can have serious repercussions. That is why they should setup a calendar with which to post. Most Realtors have GREAT ideas and stories, they just need to spend some time during the day working on content and then posting on a regular calendar basis to different formats and different locations. Pulse/LinkedIn or Medium are also good places to post besides their blogs and the other SM locations mentioned above.

Liz & Armen - sorry but this is flat out wrong "but they do not realize that posting the same article to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest can have serious repercussions." Posting your articles in these place is something you SHOULD BE DOING. This article has nothing to do with what you wrote. The article is about duplicate onsite NOT about sharing content into social media channels.

Thank you for your comment Bill and sharing your expertise here, which I respect very much. I think Liz and you are saying the same thing somehow and also difference. Let me explain. Liz wrote "posting the same article...." Now there are two ways of posting on social media. I think Liz meant posting the entire article and you mean posting in social media in terms of sharing (title, teaser, pic and link). In my opinion posting the text of the entire article will create a duplicate content (but if has a link to the original article, that may be OK as Google will know which one is the original), but I fully agree with you that we should be sharing in social media in terms of posting (title, teaser, picture and a link). Social signals are so strong and important in today's rankings. You know I share our stories in social media daily.

Submitted by Liz Bobeck (not verified) on
Armen, Thank you, yes, I was suggesting that many Realtors do not have time to write "new content" and instead take other items and share this as their own, changing a bit here or there, or in many cases nothing at all, then spread this to all their media sites, including their own website. They should, if nothing else, write a small paragraph in their own words and then link to that original article. "If you publish the same story on your website and in another website, then it's a duplicate content," is also an issue when you have Realtors posting the SAME stories on FB, TW, Pinterest, LinkedIn, their websites. Its a turnoff to see the same content written or published in multiple locations by the same people. It makes the writer/Realtor look....lazy.

Yes posting duplicate content is not good. Copyright violations are also obviously something you should never do. The comment however did not seem to be saying that. What I got is you should not share YOUR own content in these places. I see now that is not what you were saying:)

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