I want to talk about domain authority and how it applies to SEO for real estate websites.

This is an SEO topic that I think most Realtors® team leaders, brokers, and even real estate SEO experts don’t have a good grasp of, yet it’s one of the most important factors in ranking a website.

Let us first distinguish between “at page” and “off page” SEO,

On-page SEO for real estate:

SEO on the page is what you can physically do or have your team of programmers, designers, writers and SEO people do on your website. This is the stuff Real Estate Webmaster SEO Experts for you when you hire us.

Some of the things we do are:

  • keyword research

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Title Optimization

  • Meta descriptions for click-through rate

  • Image optimization and tagging

  • Price optimization

  • Unique tailor-made copywriting

  • Internal link optimization

For larger/more complex SEO jobs, we also offer things like:

  • Dynamic Page Link

  • Related properties Algorithms

  • IDX meta-optimization with wildcards

  • Sculpting data and sitemap

  • Schema Format

  • Advanced Advice

Those are just a few things (among many) that professional search engine optimization companies like Real Estate Webmasters offer.

But the point is, those are things that “we” (or you) can do “to” your website. That means you’re sitting in the driver’s seat. You can literally compete with anyone on the planet for on-page SEO, including Zillow.

Off-page SEO or link building in real estate

This concept is very simple at first glance, but it’s how deep it goes that makes it complex.

The idea of ​​”off-page” SEO or link building is that it refers to other websites that are NOT under your control link back to your website.

Think of it this way, any other website that links back to your website is a “vote” back to your website.

Pretty simple right? Just go get some other websites to link to your website and you will have a lot of votes.

But not all voices are created equal: Some voices come with more “authority”.

Let’s take our real estate industry as an example.

Imagine you want to gain insight into where our industry is headed in the next 5-10 years.

You “could” ask a newly established broker®, let’s say they’ve only been in the business for a month. It is very unlikely that they will give you useful information as they are new to the industry themselves


You could ask someone if Bob Goldberg, the CEO of the National Association of Realtors, Adam Tales, CEO of RE/MAX, or Glenn Sanford, founder of EXP.

Which answer do you think is more believable? Which do you think has more value when it comes to the best answer to your question?

The answer is obvious: Bob, Adam and Glenn are “authorities” on real estate. You will most likely listen to what they have to say about real estate. A brand new broker with no deals? Probably not so much.

And so it is with backlinks & authority!

Google spends a lot of time identifying and ranking which websites are the “authorities” on the internet. These authorities get more “PageRank” (Google’s own score) and so when they link to you, they give you a bigger boost than a website with a low PageRank.

Use the same example as above.

A brand new broker puts a $20 domain on a free WordPress website and links to you.


The National Association of Real Estate Agents links to you claiming that your website is a valuable source of real estate information.

Obviously that link from NAR will be MUCH more valuable. And so if they do link to you, that link would be much more beneficial to your rankings.

What is the impact of authority versus no authority?

While Google’s exact algorithms are a closely guarded secret, for the purposes of this article, we’re using a logarithmic scale of 10. This means that each authority is 10x (ten times) stronger than the previous one.

How to see this is that “your” ranking is the “product” of: your score on the page multiplied by the sum of the authority of the domains ranking for you.

Confused? That’s okay, it’s actually pretty simple when you see the numbers. To look at.

Let’s take 2 websites owned by brokerage A and brokerage B (and let’s say both brokers hired REW and have a perfect 100 out of 100 for their on-page SEO).

So if all things on the page are equal in score, the brokerage that will win the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) will be the brokerage with the higher “authority” of the “off-page” score.

So brokerage A has links from:

  • 1 broker website (a friend with a low Pagerank of 2) = max 100 points (log 10×10)

  • 1 Local Charity website (known and respected has a Pagerank of 4) = max 10,000 points (10 x 10 x 10 x 10)

  • 1 REALLY great link to be featured on the franchise website homepage (major franchises have a pagerank of 6-8) = max 1,000,000 to 100,000,000 points.

Brokerage A would do quite well as two of these are really strong ties.

If you add up the maximum PageRank, it is (100 + 10,000 + 100,000,000) or 100,010,1000

Now multiply their perfect score on the page by 100 and you get

Makelaardij B has only one link.

  • 1 Link From NAR Homepage (that’s a PageRank 9) = max 1,000,000,000 points. (yes that’s ONE BILLION)

Multiply that by their perfect score on the page of 100, and brokerage B has 100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion) points in total.

Brokerage A has 3 links, Brokerage B has only one link, but broker B still wins (he has the higher authority score).

Does this make sense? You can rank with far fewer links than your competitor if they are of higher quality.

Use keywords that match your authority level if you want to win

This is the useful part of this article, which I hope helps you in your SEO efforts.

You don’t have much authority in the beginning, so you won’t be able to compete in the SERPS for the most competitive keywords. Your authority may look something like this:

Fortunately, there are many keywords that “long tail keywordswhich are actually much less competitive, meaning most top players don’t try to rank for them. You need to go for these keywords first to drive traffic and generate leads.

At the same time, you need to build your authority by building backlinks to your website from reputable, high authority websites.

As you build more authority, you can start using more competitive keywords.

I hope this helped you understand what we real estate SEO experts mean when we talk about “off-page” link building or “authority”

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the SEO Forums, and of course, if you need help, go to the SEO service page and fill out a form. We’d love to help you start ranking for more keywords and generate more organic leads

And PS, if you liked this article, please share it on your social network AND (if you really want to encourage me to write more of it), link to REW using the following code (it will help our SEO, just like the article says) here’s the code: (copy-paste where you want to link or comment on this article)

SEO real estate

Thanks for the link (for the “vote”), it means a lot and will help my business 🙂