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Google Authorship Markup and the Beginning of Visual Search Cues

Recently Google announced they were piloting a program to start presenting author information in organic search results. As this feature is beginning to gradually roll out, I’m struck by what a huge opportunity this could be for real estate practitioners. Imagine having your quality content displaying to locals via search, with your avatar included directly to the right.

Here is an example of what we’re talking about:

Authorship Markup is essentially a way for Google to connect authors with the content they create and then show what I’m calling Visual Search Cues in the organic results.  This is all done by using HTML5 microformats such as the rel=”me” and rel=”author” tags to identify your content. [Read more...]

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12 Days of iPhone Apps – Day 10: Dragon Search

On the 10th Day of iPhone Apps
MyTechOpinion blogged to you…
Dragon Search powers voice,
Displays results on the fly!

About the Dragon Search app:
Historically if you wanted to search a keyword or phrase on your iPhone you’ve typed directly into a search engine. Ok, maybe you’ve tried the Google voice app, but for me I was left wanting more. Not any longer, Dragon Search is the new one-stop search application controlled by your voice. At its heart you’ll gain the ability to speak any given search into like Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Twitter, iTunes, and Wikipedia. Once the results have populated your screen, use the intuitive search carousel to switch between the other sources on the fly. Dragon also archives recent searches, allowing you to quickly recall past activity.

[Read more...]

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Google Maps: New “What’s Here” Feature

Not too long ago maps were used simply to find locations and get from one point to another. But over recent years digital mapping has pushed the boundaries; adding new and innovative features with Google leading the way. Yesterday was no different; Google announced a new feature called “What’s here?” A very intuitive implementation that works by simply selecting a point on their map and choosing “What’s here?” Google then presents what they feel is “the most relevant result representing that location”

[Read more...]

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Kickstart Your Blog Community with Facebook Connect

My household lives and breathes tech, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we take advantage of every opportunity to geek out. In fact, I take the kids to the “Gym Park” (as we call it) so I can burn off my diet of ice cream and peanut butter via kickboxing, the kids get to run wild in Fitzone, and most importantly…Reggie can stay home and DIG! He’s the best Webdigger I know. And if left completely alone on a Saturday morning can turn up some valuable Webgems! This Saturday morning was no different. And when I got home Reggie was working away on integrating Facebook Connect with both MTO and the Cyberhomes Industry Blog.

[Read more...]

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Does Your Real Estate Blog Need a Side of Widget?

Are you looking for a value add for your real estate blog or Website? Many widgets promise the world (MORE READERS), but sadly many fall short of maximizing their intended goal. When it comes to adding valuable content and tools to your blog, try a widget that compliments your niche. Just don’t try them all.

Many agents rightly focus on a niche or specific target market when it comes to blogging. So, why not add a widget that provides local content, events, and even property listings. Hyperlocal aside, even adding a news widget with a larger content scope (say, nationwide) adds value to readers who check both local and national market info.

When thinking about adding a widget to your blog, you may want to ask yourself:  (1) Does this widget provide helpful information? and (2) Does this widget foster interaction and build your network?

Some options for you:

Property Search
Give consumers a home search tool they will come back for [Read more...]

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5 Secrets to Better Search with Google

“Google it”…that’s what we do when we need more information? Whether we’re looking for directions or real estate property; Google is often the first place we start.  But are you searching effectively? I love having the power to find exactly what I need-when I need it! So I thought I would pass along a few of my favorite search tips.

1. Site Search
Having a tough time finding what you are looking for on a particular site? If they don’t have a search you can use Google. Try searching for a keyword only on that domain. See example:

Use this format: Phrase or Keyword site:domain

Here is an example search:

Paperless site:MyTechOpinion.com

[Hint: If you are still having trouble finding the phase you searched on a particular site? Try using Google Cached version. It will highlight your search phrase or keyword.]

2. File Types

Outside of standard web documents, Google searches many other popular file formats. To restrict your next Google search to a specific file type, try this format. Start by searching your brand or name. You may find other people talking about your business in PDF, PS, PPT, etc..?

Use this format: “Search Phrase” filetype:extension

Here is an example search:

“Marketing Tips” filetype:pdf

Here are the file formats Google provides. Try running your search against:

  • Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)
  • Adobe PostScript (ps)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
  • Lotus WordPro (lwp)
  • MacWrite (mw)
  • Microsoft Excel (xls)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
  • Microsoft Word (doc)
  • Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
  • Microsoft Write (wri)
  • Rich Text Format (rtf)
  • Shockwave Flash (swf)
  • Text (ans, txt)

3. Search by Number
Waiting for your new sign rider to be delivered? Do you have a tracking number? Let’s head to Google. Yes, Google will let us [Read more...]

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Save Money On Your Technology Purchases

I am what you might call a “bargain hopper”. It gives me great pleasure in knowing that I purchased something at the lowest possible price.

The slowing of the real estate market and the economy as a whole has made everyone a bit more frugal and willing to go to a bit more effort to find a great deal.

Allow me to show you a few tricks to saving money while still keeping on top of the latest real estate technology.

Discounts on Computers

First of all, never pay full price on a computer. In fact, don’t even settle for a sale price. A simple Google search and a bit of good timing can save you so much more money.

When making an online purchase, have you seen [Read more...]

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RealBird Integrates with Street View API

Zoltan of RealBird clued me in to Google’s release of their new Street View API Thursday.  Meaning developers can now integrate street view maps with ease. You can bet this API’s popularity will surely explode in real estate websites as buyers will appreciate the convenience of previewing neighborhoods from remote locations.

Realbird has already begun taking advantage. You may remember we talked about manually embedding these maps. Well not anymore, Zoltan has integrated the new API in with RealBird’s Listing Websites.