The real-estate market is boiling and as property portals grow larger, sellers and agents get more creative in making their ads stand out among thousands of listings on a particular site.
The most simple tactic to bump up listings on top of the flow is to simply spam the marketplace. Every time you post the ad it will appear on top of the page, making it more likely to get seen by potential buyers or renters. Unfortunately, it will also create a pretty large number of duplicates.
From a site-owner’s point of view it can be tempting to turn a blind eye to this practice. The more ads on your site, the better. Right?
In fact, it’s not that easy. There are several problems that come with allowing duplicate listings which can, in the long run, affect the bottom line of your business. This blog post is focusing on the property market, but this is just as true in other verticals such as vehicles or jobs.
Reasons to remove duplicates from your real-estate marketplace
1. Search Engine Ranking
SEO on marketplaces and classifieds sites is complex for a number of reasons, like the design and optimization of url-structures, creating backlinks and inclusion of keywords in user generated content, to mention a few. Duplicate listings only add to the challenge. If there are two or more pieces of content with the same title, photo and description, search engines won’t know which of the two is more relevant and should rank higher. This is often due to duplicate meta tags, which Google despises. Meta tags usually consist of elements in the title and description, which means that two listings with the same content will get the same, or very similar meta data. This will directly affect your ranking.
2. The Risk of Becoming a Scammer Hotbed
A site with a lot of duplicate listings signals bad control over what type of content is being published. This is a dream situation for any scammer and your marketplace can easily become a hot target for fraudsters who want to abuse you and your users. This reputation can spread pretty fast in scammer-communities and before you know it you might be out of control for real. A well-moderated site is the best way to keep scammers away.
3. User Experience and Behavior
The attention span of your consumers is getting shorter all the time and users browsing through your listings, only to discover repeatedly duplicated ads, will without a doubt get annoyed. They are less likely to take desired actions and return to your site, and more likely to tell their friends about the negative experience. Your listings are your assets and you should treat them with great care if you want to build a reputable marketplace with a growing base of returning customers. This was very clear in a user-survey conducted earlier this year, which showed that irrelevant content was the number one issue turning customers away from classifieds sites. Read the full report here.
One of the largest challenges for marketplaces and classifieds sites is to build trust, and a well-groomed, moderated portal is the best way to make your users feel safe. Unfortunately, duplicates are a very common phenomena and something every marketplace with ambitions should take seriously. Protect your users and grow your business – remove the dupes from your site.