August 10, 2010

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NAR Web Indexing Vote Postponed


The US National Association of Realtors (NAR) has postponed a decision on whether members who allow search engines to index other agent’s listings are in violation of their policy. As reports, the matter was sent back to a work group at a recent board meeting, and it seems likely the issue will not be formally voted on until November this year.

As a result, the existing NAR policy remains in place, which allows member boards to force their agents to block search engines from indexing listings that are shared between agent websites through Internet Data Exchange (IDX) agreements.

Under IDX agreements, agents participate in data sharing and display each other’s listings on their own websites. However, the IDX agreement’s rules also state that agents are obliged to protect these listings from unauthorised reproduction on other websites. The NAR has recently supported a decision that includes search engines, such as Google, in this category.

A report on explains that the NAR recently supported the Indianapolis Metropolitan Board of Realtors in forcing a number of its members to stop allowing Google and other search engines to crawl and index shared listings on their websites.

Unsurprisingly, the issue has sparked a good deal of online discussion. Jason Cook, marketing director at, commented on the story:

“The internet has empowered us to search out the information we desire and having various competing options has been paramount to that success. In this case, not only are potential buyers adversely affected, but sellers are perhaps the biggest losers in all of this. If I’m selling my house through an agent, I want to know that everything is being done to expose my home to potential suitors. Blocking search engines from picking up this data limits that reach and forces buyers down a much smaller funnel.”

Related posts:

  1. NAR Approves Search Engine Indexing

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