RonnieG - 6:55 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0) [edited by: RonnieG at 7:06 pm (utc) on Dec. 19, 2006]
Avoid publishing stubs:
Users don't like seeing "empty" pages, so avoid placeholders where possible. This means not publishing (or at least blocking) pages with zero reviews, no real estate listings, etc., so users (and bots) aren't subjected to a zillion instances of "Below you'll find a superb list of all the great rental opportunities in [insert cityname]..." with no actual listings.
Since he mentions real estate specifically, this discussion reveals that Adam, and Google, probably do not really understand that the vast majority of real estate sites will have basic city/community descriptions and a minimal amount of community specific text on a page, and then use an IFramed IDX database home search to provide the EXACT content the user is seeking. If this looks like a "stub" to Google, because it doesn't see the IFramed database engine and its data entry forms, then it is crazy. The user doesn't see an empty page. They see a rich, flexible database lookup tool that allows them to search for specific types of properties, using their own price range and other home search criteria. The way many top SERP real estate sites get around this is to publish listing details for every single property in their local MLS database. When hundreds or thousands of agents in a market do that, it is duplicate content to the max, since they all publish the same listings, and it absolutely is NOT user friendly. It is simply gaming Googlebot into thinking that site has more content than a site that uses a user input driven database engine to serve the same content. IMO: Every page on a real estate site that contains or publishes IDX listings, and G will know it because there is always a required disclosure to that effect on the page and/or listing, should immediately be tagged as duplicate content and sent to supplementals. If they did that, literally hundreds of millions of pages of real estate IDX listings would go to supplementals, leaving lots more room in G's primary index for real content.
[edited by: RonnieG at 7:06 pm (utc) on Dec. 19, 2006]