When home owners search our database for house sitters they do so by choosing a country name and entering place names in up to two additional fields (city/town, region/state) in a search form. They may also narrow their search still further by typing one or more keywords into the form. If you want to be found by the largest number of home owners keep in mind the following tips when listing area names in your sitter available listing. Skip to the bottom of this FAQ for the shorter version of this advice.
- All or nothing MindMyHouse.com's search engine works in certain ways to produce predictable search results. When a home owner searches the database of sitter available listings the search engine attempts to match ALL the areas listed in the search form with the areas listed in your sitter available listing. To be found by a home owner every word they enter into one or more of the area fields must match a corresponding word (with an exact spelling match) in your listing. For example, if a home owner enters 'Sydney', 'New South Wales' and 'Australia' in their search then only those sitter available listings featuring ALL THREE of those terms will be found. While many home owners will only search for house sitters by country (thus easily finding your matching listing) it's a good idea to cover your bases and anticipate how a thorough home owner might use our search engine. To get the most value out of your membership, ensure that you specify exactly what cities and regions you are available to house sit in. However, you don't need to be exhaustive when listing your preferred areas. If you don't actually want to travel to outback Australia for a house sitting assignment then don't include Alice Springs (or Northern Territory) in your sitter available listing.
- Keywords These are the wildcards of the searching process. By adding one or more keywords to their search form home owners are considerably reducing the number of sitter available listings that they see. Again, it's an all or nothing deal, the search engine will only find and display those listings that contain EVERY term in the home owner's search form. Thus, using the previous example, if our home owner from Sydney types 'dog lover' into the keyword field then your listing needs to contain all the place names and both the words 'dog' and 'lover' in order to be found. You can make searching by keyword your friend by trying to anticipate what terms home owners will be looking for and adding them to your listing where relevant. Popular keywords may include: non smoking, drivers lisence, dog lover, cat lover, gardener, companion, retired couple, veterinarian, security deposit, police check etc.
- Exact spellings Yes, this is a very pesky fact of life when it comes to building search engines. We're sorry but we just don't have the space to include pull-down menus for every city/town and region/state on this big planet of ours. When typing in cities/towns and regions/states into your sitter available listing be aware that only those home owners using corresponding exact spellings or partial words will find your listing.
- English versions To help our home owner and house sitter members find each other it's a good idea that everyone uses both the local and the English version of their desired place names. As using the English term 'Cologne' will result in a much more successful search return than using the German version 'Koln'. To get around this issue you could copy the spellings of a reputable atlas that uses the English version of place names. Of course, you've plenty of room in your sitter available listing to include as many versions of your desired place names as you can find (such as Aotearoa AND New Zealand). Please note that there is a 255 character limit in these fields including spaces.
- Whole names Using acronyms, abbreviations and local lingo in your sitter available listing will work just fine if everyone else is on your wavelength (using exact matches of your terms in their searches). However, many home owners won't be familiar with your particular version of place names and your listing won't be found in their search returns. Where abbreviations are in common usage (such as LA for Los Angeles or WA for Western Australia) include both the short and long forms in your listing. It's perfectly acceptable to load your sitter available listing with as many versions of your desired place names as you can find to maximize your chances of being found in home owners' searches.
- Punctuation When you are listing multiple locations in the same area field in your sitter available listing, please put a comma between each place name. This will help our search engine make sense of what you've written and give you the best possible chance of being found in home owners' searches.
- Short(er) version MindMyHouse.com's search engine works in certain ways to produce predictable search results. To maximize the number of home owners that find your sitter available listing, note that the search engine will try and match EVERY place name and keyword in the home owner's search form with area names and other words listed in your listing. It's an all or nothing deal (if the search engine can't match ALL the home owner's terms with those in your listing you won't be found) so be generous when listing all the different versions of the names of cities/towns and regions/states that you'd be interested in house sitting in. Don't forget to include any local spellings, abbreviations and common spelling errors as well as the English-language versions of your preferred areas to maximize your chances of being found and contacted. Be creative! Home owners can restrict their search further by typing a keyword into their search form. Try and anticipate what home owners may be looking for when they're searching by keyword and add these words to your listing where relevant.