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Condo For Sale Houston - Houston Condos for Sale

A JRANK Consumer Investigation

webmaster jrank websites contact

When would-be condo owners search for Houston condos for sale, they are directed to a series of conspicuously incomplete websites—

Houston TX Condos. http://houstoncondosandtownhomes.info/
Houston Highrise Condos for Sale. http://www.houstonhighrisecondosforsale.info/

Past the briefest glance, Houston Condos and Town Homes and Houston Highrise Condos For Sale appear wholly illegitimate. Most telling are the “About Us” pages, which include such useful biographic information as “this is an example of a WordPress page” and “click to edit this text”—that is, no one has even gone through to delete the template placeholders. Such lack of contact information—and indeed, lack of anything—throws up all manner of consumer red flags. Who are these people? What are they trying to hide? And most importantly, why do they want financial information?

Though these websites lacked contact information, JRANK still found a way to briefly contact the sites’ anonymous webmaster—

Webmaster: Hello.

JRANK: Hello. Is this Houston Condos for Sale?

Webmaster: Er, yeah.

JRANK: No, I was just looking at some of my options, different web pages and such. Then I came to your website, and it’s pretty sparse. There’s nothing in the “About You” or “Contact Us” section.

Webmaster: Um, yeah. Who is this?

JRANK: I’m a writer conducting research for an online financial encyclopedia. Your number wasn’t even listed on your web page—I got it off Google Maps.

Webmaster: Oh. So you don’t need to know anything about buying or selling some real estate?

JRANK: No, but I represent an online resource that wants to help connect others to your service.

Webmaster: I think we’ve got it covered, thanks. (hangs up)

The man’s informal tone, confusion, and abrupt good-bye were as spurious as his websites. The conversation was so quick that he did not even offer his name.

Feeding a false address into the website, JRANK soon discovered that both sites led to Fine Homes Houston, a virtual real estate office for the Zoller Real Estate Group after its founding couple, Meg and Jim Zoller. Meg was contacted effortlessly, and she explained that she pays a freelance web designer in San Diego to gather hits for her website and leads for her agents.

The anonymous webmaster may be a slapdash programmer, but he has demonstrated an understanding of Search Engine Optimization—the use of keywords to steer internet users toward certain sites. This “SEO” is so effective that it can succeed even if it appears on a blog that looks like it was made by a grade schooler. These simple websites generate plenty of hits for the Zollers, even if some consumers look for a more professional outlet to find Houston condos for sale.

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