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September 2011

Your Featured Properties Shown as "Sticky" Icons On Your Map-based Search

We added a simple but powerful new feature to the RealBird Map-based Property Search tool yesterday.

Your own featured listings - published through the RealBird Listing Publisher service - are now shown as "sticky" icons on your RealBird map search. By "sticky" we mean that it is search criteria independent, so no matter what your client is searching for, your own listings within the specific map boundary are always presented to them using a special icon.

Featured Properties Sticky Icons

Click here or the image above to see a live example of this feature, courtesy of Katerina Gasset 

By default, we use a distinct red icon to distinguish between regular properties that match a particular search criteria and your own "sticky" featured listings. We also label the content of the popup with the text "Featured Property" when users hover over these icons.

There is also a configuration tool in the member area: You can turn this feature off, or change the color of the featured listing icons from the default red to green or to blue to blend in with regular matches. The screenshot below shows the simple settings page for this. You can access your own configuration tool in the RealBird member area, under the "Configure Service" tab of the Property Search section.

Sticky Icons Configuration Tool

There are also Url parameters to overwrite your global settings, per map deployment: As you probably know, you can create unlimited pre-set RealBird map-search widgets for different niches. Let's say you have a global configuration for this feature to show your "sticky" listings with red icons on all of your search widgets, but for a few special pre-set widgets, you'd like to turn this new feature off. Adding the Url parameters described below, you can have global settings and overwrite it per deployment. Just add one of the following parameters to the end of the generated widget Url to achieve this:

  • &mapfl=0 (turn this feature off for the particular widget)
  • &mapfl=1 (use red icons for featured listings)
  • &mapfl=2 (use green icons for featured listings)
  • &mapfl=3 (use blue icons for featured listings - blends in with regular search results)

We hope you like this new feature as much as we do :) Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

-- Zoltan



RealBird property websites indexed by Google with video thumbnail

Reposted from our ActiveRain blog


Without further ado, check this out:

The RealBird listings are indexed in Google's video search 

We don't know how and why it happened, but we certanly love it and so should you :) I'll explain below the screenshot

Google Video Search Results with RealBird

Google somehow considers the photo slideshows of the RealBird single property websites to be videos.

And it gets better. Most users search on the main Google search and not on the video search interface - I assume - but Google now shows a thumbnail of the RealBird videos on the regular search results as well. As you may be very well aware, you have to rank good on Google, but you also have to somehow pop-out from the rest of the results. Even if you are on Page 1, there are still 10 other sites (plus the ads) you have to compete with for the click-through. We ran into many results where ONLY RealBird had the video thumbnail attached to it, making the RealBird property sites pop out like there is no tomorrow and screaming "pick me". This can easily mean a few magnitude of improvement in terms of click-throughs. I can't emphasize it, this is amazing.

Here is an example: The search for 129 Elmhaven Way Morrisville, NC 27560 on Google returns the RealBird listing website of Lee & Pamela St. Peter at the 2nd position, which is in itself cool, BUT it also shows the video thumbnail (at least from my location). Guess which result will be picked. No other result has the thumbnail, not even those from the large national portals.

Search Results with Video Thumbnail RealBird

As you can tell, I am overly excited about this, but this is absolutely cool.

Google please don't touch anything, we love it this way and we love you too !


-- Zoltan