Trulia vs Zillow (A spirited Real Estate “SEO” discussion)

By Jim Marks on April 15, 2009

800px-steel_cage_match_-_angle_vs_cenaMy guess is that when Teresa Boardman posted this message to Twitter:

“O.K. if an agent could only use one, which should they use? Zillow or Trulia?”

She had very little idea (or did she?) what an inspired discussion would commence.

As it is with Twitter, both David Gibbons, Community Director of Zillow and Rudy Bachraty, Social Media Guru of Trulia were listening, and what transpired over the next hour or so was a spirited discussion on SOME of the merits of Zillow and Twitter.

Now, this discussion fell quite short of discussing the ENTIRE difference and benefits of the two (although consider this a formal offer for VR to host that discussion…  TokBox, maybe?) between the two sites and concentrated mostly on the Search benefits of both.

Having a passion for SEO, this is what caught my attention and this is what THIS post will concentrate on.  He

re is the transcript, best as I can assemble it…without any additional interjection..below I have included a video of the discussion as well…

davidgibbons: @TBoard LOL, do you really wanna see @trulia & me get into it or what? Ur listings should be on BOTH but Zillow offers more traffic, leads & SEO

davidgibbons: @trulia LOL, only if you let me lead … [you see @TBoard !!!]

And for those of you who are “Twitter Challenged, ” Jeff Turner put together this VERY cool video of the exchange…”

Zillow Vs. Trulia – David Vs. Rudy (The Movie)

Now, that you have read the tweetalogue, (just made that up) you probably understand why this is of interest to me…  SEO.

Within this spirited discussion, there where QUITE a few statements concerning the SEO of both sites.  I would like to first create a series of questions from these statements and hopefully provoke a discussion on the benefits of both.

1) Do temporary inbound links, help your website… (and why don’t BOTH companies just mark the property “SOLD” and let the link live, and grow old and VALUABLE.”

2) Do links from profile pages help your website and how can you best MAXIMIZE this feature. (Proper Anchor Text, Multiple links, Deep Links, etc)

3) Do links that do NOT have favorable anchor text matter.  In other words, If the anchor text is an address, and not a keyword you are trying to rank for.

4) Is the address search, a valuable search.  I believe David when he states that he has a few million searches a month by address. But WHO AND WHY is someone searching by address and this really a home buyer?

5) How valuable is the long tail in Real Estate.  I see analytics all the time showing the QUANTITY of long tail page views, but is a searcher searching “Restaurants in Laguna Beach” or “Laguna Beach Architecture” really a valuable page view? (Bloggers get involved here…)

6) And a little “pet peeve” non-SEO question.  I have always taught that Realtors should create listing pages for their websites, because the MLS descriptions should be written to help OTHER REALTORS sell the house.  Realtors should be able to edit ANY outward facing listing page to appeal to the consumer.  I am under the impression, that neither Trulia or ZIllow allow this.  Am I correct, and how come?

I absolutely have my opinions on ALL these questions…  and will back them up with analytics.  Lets here your answers and opinions…  Please forward this post to anyone you think is interested in the SEO value of these two popular websites, and be sure to subscribe below to keep up to date on the conversation…