Zillow is spending between $13.67 to $21.44 a day on its PPC advertising and seems to be marketing itself to the functionally illiterate.

Some of the terms it’s buying:

  • zindex
  • third street
  • 7th ave
  • first street
  • horlando
  • orlanda
  • orlande

Redfin, on the other hand, is spending between $23.06 to $170.34 a day and getting a little creative with its search terms – breaking out of the real estate box:

  • seattle traffic
  • seattle traffice
  • seattle real estate

Trulia seems to be the heavyweight champ of online ad spending, running up a tab of $524.38 – $13,130 a day on its geographically based search terms.

  • bay point ca
  • gaviota ca
  • geneseo ny
  • jackson heights ny
  • lake view terrace
  • lamoore ca
  • north castle ny
  • oak view ca
  • sun valley ca
  • valhalla ny

How did I find this out?


By using Spyfu, the successor to the popular research tool GoogSpy, which has recently rebranded and relaunched itself as it has now evolved to track more than just the Google Adwords. From their press release:

The site is powered by Velocityscape Web Scraper Plus+, which constantly extracts data from search engines, Alexa, Dmoz, Wikipedia, and other sources.

The goal of Spyfu, like Googspy before it, is to help you discover the PPC keywords your competitors are buying. The search results give you a general overview of their daily ad buy, their cost-per-click, number of clicks and several other metrics – you can also see how they ranks on organic search results.

While fun to play around with, I’d take any of Spyfu’s results with a grain of salt; I manually entered some of the search terms into Google and rarely found any live campaigns actually running. But, the site is currently in Beta and promises that its database will grow (and theoretically get more accurate over time).

At the very least though, it’s an interesting exercise to conduct periodically. Spyfu shows there are 8266 real estate-related companies using 11309 popular search terms, so at the very least it should provide you with some inspiration in your own PPC advertising campaigns.

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