Maybe I will Return to Active Rain (Google Juice Re-visited)

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Commercial Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)

Maybe I will Return to Active Rain (Google Juice Re-visited)

Ontario Real Estate Source

By Brian Madigan LL.B.

As many of you are aware I stopped posting, commenting and largely participating in Active Rain about a month ago.

What did I like about AR? The friends and the articles!

I couldn’t really care less about the points. They don’t get me business. But, I was under the impression that AR produced a lot of Google Juice. So, I pumped out my share of articles, usually 10 per week. I would book on and comment on at least 10 posts per day, usually every day. Just doing that on a regular basis generates about 5,000 points per week. However, the points don’t matter. No one cares about points.

I posted a number of articles first here, and then later on some of my other blogs. The AR blogs didn’t show up anywhere, and the first one I found was the seventh item on page two. Yet I dominated the first three pages of Google with my Wordpress and Blogger blogs.

Which, of course, brings me to the ultimate question: what’s the point of being here?

So, I left. No Google Juice, so I’m gone. That was one month ago. Now, I still haven’t made up my own mind yet about participating further or not, but I need to bring you an update.

In Canada, if you go to Google, you automatically get booted over to Google.ca. You can do a search on Google.com. I did that and found that my AR profile is the first thing that comes up for me on Google.com. I have Profiles elsewhere, but it is my AR Profile which appears first on Google.com.

As far as Google.ca, AR is still “persona non grata”. It generates dismal results at best.

Now, here’s my problem, my clients etc. and basically paying customers are all in Canada and using Google.ca. No results, so I left.

But, that recent test of Google.com has placed the issue in the forefront once again.

By the way, I’m not looking for a whole lot of comments like “please stay”… etc.

I wanted others in my position to know that there’s a little more to it when it comes to Google Juice for AR. If I want or need a US presence, then AR will work wonders. If I just want to appeal to Canadians then AR is not of much help.

So, I have decided to get a new blog, have it hosted, own the name myself and post regularly on it. I learned that all here, I just never actually did it.

But, I will.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker is an author and commentator on real estate matters, if you are interested in residential or commercial properties in Mississauga, Toronto or the GTA, you may contact him through RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage 416-745-2300.
www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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Rainmaker
206,405
Patty Mortara REALTOR, ABR, CRS | Hunterdon County (NJ)
Hunterdon Realty Group - Flemington, NJ

Just for grins and giggles I just googled my name - now I don't have to worry about the Canadian thing - the 1st 2 results are my Wordpress site, the 3rd is LinkedIn and the 4th is Active Rain. Then I googled one of my premier listings property address - Trulia took the top spot, followed by my WordPress site, 2 spots in for Zillow, Homes.com and in the #6 postion is ActiveRain.  I don't spend a lot of time here in ActiveRain, I comment a little, post a listings here and there and re-blog posts that I think prospective clients could benefit from. I think in today's world you don't put all your eggs in one basket. 

May 22, 2012 06:40 PM #4
Rainmaker
528,148
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" - Merrick, NY
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent

Well, it was nice to see your face at the top of my blogroll, however, there's not much I can say about Internet presence in Canada. It sounds like you thought this through pretty well. Comment #4 scares me. I'll have to check myself when I'm logged off the computer. I haven't done it in a while.

May 22, 2012 07:02 PM #5
Rainmaker
550,545
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens
ColumbiaGorgeFSBO.com - Hood River, OR

I'm having trouble making AR work for me Google juice-wise as much as I had hoped it would. I still blog, though, because it always surprises me where and how my blogs turn up and the attention I get from them. For me it's about making connections in my community and that's still worth it, along with what I learn on AR and the relationships here. I'm wondering if that part is worth it for you and if so, maybe an abbreviated involvment would work. Maybe cut down on your blogs and commenting, but still have a presence?

Gretchen

May 22, 2012 07:47 PM #6
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Tammy,

I have learned a lot here. So, I actually have no intention of leaving the educational aspect behind.

No matter what, I would continue to read posts about marketing, the internet and new tools for real estate agents.

The big concern is that by not posting and commenting, I lose relationships with current friends and don`t make new friends. That is a problem.

As for the Leaderboard, I`m in freefall now, but because of my contribution over the last several years I will still rank as the number 1 commercial agent in Canada for the next two years before anyone can catch up.

Cyndi and Patty,

Thanks, I will still be blogging, it`s just that I`m likely to post on other sites. That now seems to be due to the difference in the AR presence on Canadian Google.

Thankfully, for those of you on Google.com that is not an issue for you.

Jill,

Thanks for your note. See how AR is working for you. I hope it turns out well, since we all have a lot of time invested.

Hopefully, everyone can appreciate my concern about Google Canada. That`s what I really need to have working for my business.

Gretchen,

I think I will be following your advice. I have far too much invested here to simply walk away. However, my presence will be substantially limited until Google Canada starts ranking AR highly.

Brian

May 23, 2012 07:44 AM #7
Rainmaker
317,631
Larry Estabrooks
a Fully Independent Real Estate Agent - - Moncton, NB
REALTOR®, Moncton, NB

Brian - I may have suggested this to you before - AR is nice however you should  place all your eggs in one basket. You must also maintain your own domain for your own blog. Cheers and successful blogging!

May 23, 2012 05:35 PM #8
Rainmaker
572,323
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Brian, I do most Real Estate activities for expected returns, perhps I use AR differently than you, we should get together again and talk about this.  I use AR to enhance my personal website.  I would like to learn more about how you use Wordpress and Blogger also.

regards..Chris

May 24, 2012 04:50 AM #9
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Larry,

I do recall that advice, and it's as good now as when it was given, perhaps even more so.

In fact, earlt June I'm taking a 2 day course on all this. It will be helpful. I know what I want and what I need, I just don't know how.

Chris,

Yes, let's get together soon. We are overdue.

Brian

May 24, 2012 04:35 PM #10
Rainmaker
958,333
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Brian - there are other reasons to remain somewhat active but like you I realized some time ago it's not for the juice to our AR profile or blogs some time ago Google changed their algorithm and since then our AR presence has virtually disappeared in a Google search in Canada.

#9 in the series I did on Active Rain loosing it's punch showed some interesting results. Doing the same thing today showed a decrease in nearly all of the results from 4 months ago. ..... details are in my new post ..... #10 In A Series - Has Active Rain Lost It's Punch??? - A Response to Brian Madigan's Post

There are some locally who have just started blogging (using wordpress) this year who rank better than any of my AR stuff.

Active rain is making changes

Active rain is making changes that hopefully will help but they are unlikely (at this time) to make the one change that will help the most and that is to get a Canadian domain going. Google has domains in a variety of countries for a reason and any one wishing to have a true international representation should be doing the same

May 27, 2012 08:38 AM #11
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

I will watch for your post.

I know that Barrie did a lot orf research about this.

There's not point being here, if we can't be found in Canada. And, I know that at one time we could.

May 27, 2012 05:54 PM #12
Rainmaker
958,333
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Brian - I just googled Brian Madigan LL.B and below are the top ten on page 1

1/ www.preigcanada.com/brian-madigan.html

2/ activerain.com/brianmadigan - United States

3/ www.zimbio.com/.../Brian+Madigan+LL+B+RECO+Board+Directors

4/ www.zimbio.com/.../Brian+Madigan+LL+B+Broker+Candidate+REC

5/ ca.linkedin.com/pub/brian-madigan-ll-b/b/793/389

6/ ontariorealestatesource.wordpress.com/tag/brian-madigan-ll-b/

7/ ontariorealestatesource.wordpress.com/about/

8/ontariorealestatesource.wordpress.com/.../brian-madigan-ll-b-for-rec

9/ twitter.com/#!/BrianMadiganLLB

10/ www.ontariorealestatesource.com/.../Madigan%2004%202006.pdf

Without the LL.B only seven of the top ten are yours with www.ontariorealestatesource.com in the number 1 position

 

 

May 29, 2012 11:09 PM #13
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Kathy,

Thanks very much.

It's good to see that AR did so well. #2 is not bad.

Brian

May 30, 2012 06:03 PM #14
Rainmaker
447,865
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Brian, this is a huge concern, and posting and commenting on AR has become a less pressing concern for myself as well. The 2 big question marks are Google and AR itself though. As we all know Google does change the way things work very regularly, and perhaps our blogs and posts will fare well on the .ca side of things at some point in the future. Also as AR expands, perhaps they will address the concerns of Canadian agents as well and somehow we might get an AR.ca site going on.

It would be a shame to let this huge body of work that you have built up and consistently worked on over the last few years slide into oblivion.

May 31, 2012 06:39 AM #15
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Malcolm,

I agree, and that's why I"m still here. But, the Google Juice in Canada just isn't working.

When we combine that with the numbers of hours required to maintain your AR position;, that is, about 7 hours per week, the value of AR comes into question.

I'm glad to see that it still works for our American friends, but for Canadians we really need a big change.

I have noticed that you have dropped off somewhat over the last little while. Hope you enjoyed your vacation, and by that I mean your trip,

I have noticed that many Canadian participants slowed down or left. I won't name them, but you know who they are. They were big contributors 12,18, 24 months ago and now they're not here.

Brian

 

 

May 31, 2012 06:49 PM #16
Rainmaker
447,865
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Brian, I have noticed the decline in Canadian participation in the last little while, you can see it quite readily when you look at the contributions to the Canada Eh group. Another aspect to consider is that I'm in a less populated area with less competition so I'm not feeling the drop in google juice as directly as you are, but it's still very noticable.

You are right, it is about an hour a day which is a huge time squeeze, especially in the spring and summer seasons, so it does become harder to justify as each month goes by.

Perhaps we can appeal to AR directly and see what they have to say about this.

Jun 01, 2012 05:16 AM #17
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Malcolm,

I am in agreement, and I'm sure the others would agree as well. We all have a substantial investment in this site, but it needs to work for us. I know that it once did.

Kathy had some suggestions, and I would be more than happy to endorse her as out spokesperson to approach AR.

Let me know what you think?

Brian

 

Jun 01, 2012 01:30 PM #18
Rainmaker
575,417
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer
Brian. I have missed you and hope that you do AR and your own site as parallels.
Jun 01, 2012 03:13 PM #19
Rainmaker
895,504
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Valerie,

Far too much time on other people's sites.

Property Wire is gone. That turned out to be a waste of time. I have two other commercial real estate sites that went under.

In addition, I had my own (FREE) Blogger site that went down since it aws owned by Google.

So, I need my own site, own the name, own the site and have it independently hosted. That gives me control and not someone else.

I'm taking a two day course next week on how to do it. It's "hands on" which is what I need. I really can't follow a lot of the techie articles here. I just don't know what they are talking about.

The new site will cover a few extra topics, like recruiting, training, and properly indexed so that it's serachable etc.

Brian

Jun 01, 2012 05:17 PM #20
Rainmaker
958,333
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Brian - Nothing happens overnight ..... Barrie had a short email exchange with AR management last year and below is the last response he had to the question about a .ca version of Active Rain. (mid September last year)

"I have read your blog and got some good feedback. I need to dig in a bit more to decide if and how to develop a Canadian version of ActiveRain. Right now, someone in Vancouver owns activerain.ca and I would need to go buy it. I will put it on the list of things to do"

 

Jun 01, 2012 09:23 PM #21
Rainmaker
317,631
Larry Estabrooks
a Fully Independent Real Estate Agent - - Moncton, NB
REALTOR®, Moncton, NB

Brian, here's my tip for you to investigate - I use godaddy to host my Moncton Real Estate Blog.

Jun 02, 2012 08:32 PM #22
Ambassador
405,781
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Brian,

Sad to read this post....I have found that AR generates a lot of new clients from other countries for me. This is especially good in the GTA which is a centre of immigration for Canada.

The other thing I would suggest is to ask AR to give you a .ca domain name for your outside blog. This has worked for me.

Jo

Jun 06, 2012 08:57 PM #23
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