I'm a Linux engineer, and I know quite a bit of programming languages, and can create a website pretty easily, but what I suck at, is SEO. That's an art all by itself, and that's what I need some help in.

My parents are realtors, and they're going through a bit of a dry spell for a while, and I would really like to help them so they can get some bills paid. They have a couple special houses they want to sell, and I thought that maybe me, as a technical junkie, can help a bit.

I spotted this article which explains how some realtors are registering the street address of a house they're marketing, as the domain itself, and that's what I want to do.

For example, if the domain is 12345 W McGyver Rd (Fake), then I would have registered the following domains:

  • 12345WMcGyverRd.com
  • 12345WestMcGyverRoad.com

The domain just points to a vhost on a server I own, which returns a 301 redirect to redirect to my parents real-estate website, specifically to the page that contains the data of the specific house.

The goal is to have the website show up as a search result when someone types the address into a Google search. I figure having the domain as close to the actual address should help.

I went here and submitted the two domains, hoping they would get indexed, but it doesn't look like it's worked..

Are there any SEO tricks I can do? I would be willing to add some PHP to the page that does the redirecting, maybe check to see if its a Google crawl bot and return some useful data? I'm just not sure the best way to do that.

If anyone has any SEO tricks they can suggest that would help, that would be amazing. Im not trying to play the sympathy card, but I just really want to help my parents :)

  • BTW- I like this question. It hits on aspects of search that people often do not think of. Cheers!! – closetnoc Mar 27 '16 at 18:41

Adding a domain that simply redirects to another will do nothing for you but waste your money. Adding domain names generally do nothing for you. Especially if you are just redirecting it. You are not adding any value whatsoever at that point. It is far better to tune your parents site pages.

Now if you were to deploy a simple site just for that house with unique and detailed content, then that would be different.

I am a landlord (retired IT professional) and did some research on just the question you ask for a site I created and have not registered yet. As it turns out, advertising on the Internet does not work for me. Being up in the mountains, I get city mice looking to move to the country without realizing what that entails. I got lousy results, and as a result I prefer locals, even though many of them can be a pain and sorting through the local lousy renters seems redundant, they at least know what they are getting into whereas city mice bring a new level of insanity to my doorstep. True story. It was not a good situation. It is far easier to deal with local hillbilly insanity than city insanity. [insert cheese-eating grin]

While it would not hurt to put the house number in the domain name, it may not help either. It appears that Google will use the address within the domain name, it may ignore the house number. I recognized this by doing searches for apartments in town or on street and town and the results seemed to not hit on the house number. Still it is safe to put the house number in the domain name, of course, so I would recommend considering it in your case. For me, it would not have helped since renters do not put house numbers in their search. However, searching for houses for sale will be different because addresses can be and are matched between sites in search results.

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301 redirecting domain names does absolutely nothing for SEO.

To get rankings on a particular site, you need to have relevant content there that matches what users are searching for. To rank for "12345 W McGyver Rd" you would need information about that property. Photos, maps, and description. More and better information than is on other websites. Just pulling the MLS data which is duplicated on tons of sites already is not going to help.

You had suggested serving different content to Googlebot and redirecting users. That is against the Google webmaster guidelines. They call it "cloaking." If Google finds your site doing that they will penalize it. It will no longer rank for anything, and neither will the site you are redirecting to.

It is also hard to get new domain names to rank for anything. Having a site for each property could be good to put on a yard sign, but it is unlikely to get much traction in search engines. Google uses many trust signals such as inbound links to decide which sites it ranks highly. New sites don't get these signals quickly. It can take months or even years to get good rankings. Google tends to trust a few sites that it knows have high quality data about properties and it ranks them highly for those searches. That is why Zillow and Trulia are doing so well in that space right now. By the time your exact match domain for the property is ranking, the property will hopefully have already sold. It is better just to create good pages on one domain name that you use for all the properties.

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This does nothing for SEO.

Though reading between the lines it seems like you are really asking if the cost of the domain makes the strategy worthless.

I would say to that, that it's a perfectly good low cost way of ensuring yours will be the link that appears at the top of the results, and the one that gets clicked on.

With real estate you're never bothered with how long you will be able to find a property at the top of the results as you sold the property and have moved on. So why waste resources getting to the top of a list thats forever changing.

A domain name will cost you around 10bucks for the year. Adwords to get to the top can cost ay least 10c a click. Won't take long before you're past 10bucks cost.

Do it :-)

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