In May of last year, Eric Bramlett shined the light on an apparent link building scheme that Trulia and Number1Expert had **apparently** **allegedly** been doing, having 3 links to Trulia via a little map widget installed on thousands of unsuspecting REALTORS’ sites created by N1E… Here’s the post that started the fun.
I got the honor of creating the graphic for that post. (read: enjoyed it and would do it again) Despite our efforts to educate REALTORS, many / most of the links remained. Most REALTORS were too busy with their own lives to realize that N1E was using them to help the competition after charging the REALTOR to build their web presence.
Fast forward to this morning. Now it’s my buddy Jon Karlen’s (insert hat tip) turn with the flashlight. He sends me an email, noting that a Florida REALTOR’s site now has a Homes.com map widget instead of Trulia. I do a little digging using the same technique that Eric Bramlett used… and VIOLA!, it appears to me that they have done this to many of the same Number1Expertsites…again. Yes it (Homes.com) is a sister company of N1E. (Dominion…appropriate parent company name, methinks) Yes, they only have 1 link. The rest is the same,no?. Am I missing something here? If you are a N1E customer, you are **likely** **apparently** feeding your competitors…yet again.
(Inlookers: Yes, this is the same Trulia who insisted that they made no changes after dropping in the search engines…and they magically reappeared) TO BE CLEAR: I am NOT saying that this is cause and effect, but the timing? Interesting coincidence. My target here is Number1Expert, but no matter. I could have sworn that Trulia widgets were on those sites up until recently…(I will check).
Note to Number1Expert customers: Yet again, link love from your site is apparently being used to feed your competitors. The first time “could” have been an accident….now? Ummm…OK…maybe it is an accident too.Your call. I am just here to point out where the links are going…not to draw conclusions as to WHY.
Owning your own web presence also means defending your self against those who power your competition, at least in my view.