The demand for new and original (real estate) content is insatiable.
Duplicate content is making its way around the real estate blog world, and I am trying to determine if this is a necessarily “bad thing.” There are myriad discussions and opinions about duplicate content’s impact on search engine results. Google had a recent blog post specifically addressing duplicate content due to scrapers.
One of the key concepts of the real estate blogging space has been the original content and unique voices found at each different site; this originality seems to be waning a bit this year as the medium grows and the same content is published at different sites. It’s not spamming, but does it dilute the message and/or the content? Or does this dispersion broaden the reach? I don’t know yet.
Producing quality content consistently for different audiences is immensely challenging, but often times the same story will appeal to different audiences, and it’s important to reach those audiences. For example, and I’m not alone in my writing responsibilities, I write at a couple of places –
– RealCentralVA – a blog focused on the Charlottesville/Central Virginia real estate market and trends affecting same. Readers here tend to be (thankfully) more local – local buyers, sellers, consumers, media, Realtors, etc.
– Agent Genius, a national real estate magazine that discusses industry trends, news and opinion. I perceive this audience to be national real estate professionals, affiliated/related people and real estate industry voyeurs.
– VARBuzz, the blog of the Virginia Association of Realtors that focuses mostly on state-level real estate issues and general trends. The audience is primarily Virginia Realtors and Virginia real estate professionals.
Why write in so many places? Simple – and for the same reason I read each site – each forum speaks to a different audience, and the overlap of readership is perhaps (unless you’re a real estate dork like me) low.
One of the leading visionaries/thinkers in this space is Pat Kitano of TransparentRE. He has discussed Content Distribution, Blogging and Journalism, real estate blogs’ inherent “niche” qualities, and The Real Online Real Estate Magazines. Everything he writes is worth reading.
Change/education happens nationally and locally, and I want to be part of it, and part of that effort is to reach the maximum targeted audience possible.
One day soon we may see exclusivity demanded by readers and publishers – and we may see syndication networks. Would that be a desirable evolution? I don’t know that yet either.
Naturally, I am posting this in two of the places I write – because each reaches different audiences. Going forward, I am going to strive to publish unique content once – at one location.
July 1, 2008 at 2:46 am
Jim; This is a topic that I struggle with as well. You know that I am a recent participant, and sometimes a post I write in one place seems appropriate for more then one audience, and I have a desire to post it in more then one place. For a while I would just write a blurb on one blog that there was an interesting item that I wrote on “topic” and link to that other blog,
When I have duplicated an article, I do try to rework it, but it has to be places where I percieve different aduiences. I guess my thought is that in a small circulation venue, republishing in another small circulation venue is not an issue, especially if there is no congruence of readers.
July 1, 2008 at 4:30 am
It’s a tough line, and I absolutely agree that multiple audiences benefit from many posts. I am wondering whether it’s really an issue or merely a perceived one. What is the value of unique content? Is the content that is produced in this segment of the internet so valuable that it shouldn’t be duplicated? I don’t know. I’d like to think that the reader’s benefit is the ultimate goal, and therefore duplicate content isn’t so much of an issue.
July 1, 2008 at 5:18 am
Jim- This issue is only going to get bigger for those of us who write on the web about RE… I think we will end up exactly where the newspapers are…with syndicated columnists / bloggers melding into one. I don’t think it is really good or bad…just is what it is.
I currently write my own search blog ericonsearch, Bloodhound, RE/MAX Times Online as a columnist, Real Estate Industry Watch, etc…and soon to be one more (will be the last for now) and all of the content is completely unique.
While syndication helps, it comes with it’s own perils…like I said. Is what it is…IMO
July 1, 2008 at 5:36 am
Aggregation of my own content is a constant struggle for me. Should I post it to one audience or many? What if there is some overlap? Should I link back, provide a feed or what? I think LifeStream feeds near your posts should help your audiences learn more about you and your other work (only if they are interested – they can always choose not to click). I guess time will tell.
July 1, 2008 at 7:56 am
@ Eric – Agreed to a certain degree, but I’d like to think that what we do is more targeted (and in some cases trusted) than newspapers, and it would be a shame to lose that.
@ Brad – I agree also, but think that lifestream stuff is beyond the scope of many (most?) readers – I’m still trying to educate folks on RSS!
July 1, 2008 at 3:11 pm
Cannot disagree with that. I think it is somewhat regrettable, but inevitable. I LIKE the uniqueness and flavor that authentic blogging content is. i think some of the best authors out there are doing it. I hope journalism comes more our way than us to it in this regard.
July 1, 2008 at 6:55 pm
I was going to comment, but realized I’ve this elsewhere 🙂
July 1, 2008 at 8:45 pm
I was going to comment, but realized I’ve this elsewhere 🙂
(Comment reprinted with due respect to but no permission obtained from Magnificent Matthew Rathbun)
July 3, 2008 at 1:48 am
Thx Jim…I think we should look at ourselves not only as content sources, but as players in a content distribution game. Post in one spot, like you advise, and let the network virally carry your message (a form of content duplication). Your work (which I follow religiously on Google Reader) not only includes what you write, what you recommend is just as valuable and makes you authoritative.