IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is the exchange of data between an MLS and a real estate website. In many instances, “IDX” is used to refer to a specific technology or solution for achieving that data exchange. IDX solution crawls an MLS database, gathers listing data, and then puts that listing data in a searchable format.

With an IDX-powered website, visitors can search an MLS on your turf, which means they won’t need to go to a national listings site like Trulia, Zillow, or Realtor.com to learn more about a property: you’ll have everything they’re looking for!

Framed-In IDX

An iframe, or inline frame, is an HTML element that lets you embed HTML documents. The iframe HTML element is often used to insert content from another source, such as an advertisement, into a Web page. Framed-in IDX is typically the cheapest method, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Technically speaking, an iframed MLS search window doesn’t qualify as IDX technology. This is because when you use an iframe, listing data is never actually transferred from the MLS to your site.

Considering there is no actual transfer of data, your listings don’t show up in search results, making it harder for people to find you online. Since you have little control over the look and feel of the iframe, there’s no guarantee that it will mesh with your site’s design or match with its color scheme.

Integrated IDX

An integrated IDX solution creates “crawlable” pages for each listing on your site, which could include all of the listings in your MLS. Now, these crawlable pages mean that your site has thousands of indexed pages that can be seen by major search engines. The more pages you have, the more opportunity you have for your site to rank well in Google and Bing. If done properly (note: not all integrated IDX platforms are created equal), then these crawlable landing pages should contain keywords that are relevant to the market area that your buyers are searching for. Keywords like: neighborhood name, schools, attractions, etc. You’ll also be able to tell, based on the URL and the title tags on your site. 

So, say you click on a listing:

123 Front Street, Newport Beach, CA 92657

You should see a clean URL, something like:

agentsellshomes.com/123-front-street/newport-beach-ca-92657 and maybe an MLS number. The thing with integrated IDX, is it keeps everything short and simple. As an added bonus, your title tag on your website should and will change to reflect what listing is being viewed.

There are several IDX vendors that offer Integrated IDX, so if your working with a website developer, they are able to integrate a 3rd party IDX. 

Will the data be fully integrated? Not always, it depends on the developer. You can have integrated IDX, but that doesn’t mean it is optimized. Most website providers in the industry are going to charge you more to optimize your site. Doing your research is very important in this matter. Check to see if this is something they provide you with free, or if it’s an additional charge. 

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Why it Matters

The more content you have on your site, the more potential customers you can catch. An integrated IDX website allows you website to have thousands of pages indexed by Google. If you were to go fishing, would you have a better opportunity catching fish with 10 fishing poles in the water or 3000 fishing poles in the water?

Every Realtor pays dues to their local MLS. Why NOT add the benefit of SEO optimization?

Eery website company and every IDX vendor all have the same access to the same data. It’s just each vendor styling their IDX differently. What tools, look, and feel do you like best? Is your website company coding it in properly? Is it being framed in? These are the questions you need to be asking.

Agent Elite would love to give you a free marketing consultation to see where you’re at. Even if you don’t decide to go with us in the end, we’re here to help.


If you have absolutely any questions at all, or are interested in joining our network of countless realtors and brokers, then do not hesitate to contact us at (866) 808-7711 or send us an email at [email protected].

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