Matt Carter writes on Inman Blog “Practice What You Preach” about some real estate companies purchasing keywords of competitors on Google.
sellsiusÂ° has a post about the 2007 NAR amending its Code of Ethics that prohibits “deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive or divert Internet traffic or otherwise mislead consumers.” Most of the comments seem to poo-poo the misleading use of metatags, but I think the NAR’s amendment also applies to purchasing the keywords of competitors.
For instance, in Seattle, both Redfin and MLSonline is purchasing “Coldwell Banker Seattle” and “Windermere Seattle” search terms on Google, when neither are in any way associated with Coldwell Banker or Windermere Real Estate. House Values and Home Gain are purchasing the term “Redfin“. JustListed.com, RealEstate.com and Zip Realty are purchasing the phrase “Seattle Dream Homes” on Google. ( Note: I own the website www.SeattleDreamHomes.com). And there are almost 100 companies purchasing the term “Seattle Realtor“. The interesting thing is, many of the companies purchasing those words are not Realtors at all, but referral services and portal sites, in no way affiliated with the National Association of Realtors. So, of course, since they’re not Realtors, they can’t be censored for doing misleading promotion.