Using an iFrame or subdomain for their property listings and home search
Lesson 17 Module 3
One of the plagues that infected the real estate industry years ago was the use of iFrames and subdomains on real estate websites. Not only does Google dislike these but they frequently confuse consumers and can provide a poor experience on mobile.
What is an iFrame?
An iFrame is where content from another source or website embeds on your website. Think about adding a YouTube video to your websites. Whether you use the embed code from YouTube itself or use an “add video” widget from a visual builder in your theme, this content displays on your website kind of like a window. Imagine if you could put a magic window on an interior wall of a house that would show what was happening in another country.
Why to never use iFrames?
Google and other search engines know that this content is not on your site and therefore does not reward your site for that content. Too many iFrames on your site may even hurt your rankings.
What is a Subdomain?
A subdomain is a string of characters that precedes the root domain and uses a period to separate them. In the case of www.YourSite.com, the “www” is the subdomain. If you have a home search on your site with a subdomain such as search.YourSite.com, then “search” is the subdomain.
Why use subdomains?
Many 3rd party technologies are limited in their capabilities and this is the easiest (or only way) they can add their content to your website. While there are reasons for larger websites to organize content with subdomains, this is almost never the case for real estate.
Why to never use subdomains?
Google considers a subdomain as a different website according to every major SEO expert. Google’s own Search Console requires you to set up separate profiles for subdomains. That’s another good indicator that they value subdomains differently.
Therefore, if you have MLS property listings displayed through a search on search.YourSite.com, Google WILL consider this a completely different website than your main site at YourSite.com or www.YourSite.com. Unless you have the marketing budget of a major media organization like Disney or NBC, it will be very difficult if not impossible to rank your site well.
If you’re building a new site, never use a marketing technology or anything else that uses a subdomain or iFrame. Adding a youtube video to a post or page, or even a landing page tool such as Infusionsoft or Hubspot, can be okay as you are not trying to rank those pages. However, if it’s content and a part of your website experience that is core to your clients’ experience, such as an IDX or MLS Property Search, only choose an offering that will work with your site as part of its core content.
If you have an existing website that relies on iFrames or subdomains, begin creating a plan to migrate to a modern solution. Some new marketing solutions will even help you make the switch effortless. As an example, if you need help easily migrating another IDX solutions, the Showcase IDX can help you retain your community pages and even redirect your old pages that have ranked in Google to your newly updated website.
If you need a new web developer, check out our list of Approved Real Estate Web Developers.