Top Ten Retirement States? Well, eleven actually… plus my personal favorite, Oregon!

Retire USA keeps on growing, mostly thanks to some great posts by our many retirement bloggers and guests at the website.  Our goal is to become one of the top online sources of retirement information for the USA.

We now have excellent city profiles on about 225 US cities with a focus on the information you’ll need to plan a retirement in those states/cities.  There are over a dozen great bloggers writing articles for the Retire USA Retirement Blog, and over four thousand  individual retirement records, sorted by cities and into four key retirement categories:  Health Care, Financial Services, Retirement Communities, and Real Estate.

Thanks to the magic of Google’s custom search we have a Retire USA  “retirement search” (see top of page) that will allow you to search our site and the greater online universe for more retirement related information.   |

At the very least you should be following RetireUSA on Twitter for Retirement information so you’ll be alerted to the new blog posts as they appear online:   Twitter Retirement Information

So, what are the TOP TEN RETIREMENT STATES?     This is a *personal view* by yours truly Joe Duck based on limited research, but I think this is probably close in terms of the states to which most people retire among those who are *changing their home state*.   Obviously most people stay put for retirement, so simply asking “where do most people retire” is the same as asking “where do most people live”?      If you are searching for a new home our site is a great place to start, and here are the states I think you are most likely to be searching for.

If you think this is  NOT a good list, please let me know in the comments why!    Some day when I’m not as lazy as right now I’ll research this topic, though it’s often hard to find good data since most states are all trying to promote their virtues – I’m guessing there will be many “self serving” studies by economic development or travel groups to “show” that their state is THE place to retire.    I think the best test is probably to find the states that get the most people to *change their residence*, as this is a very good sign that you are doing something right … retirement wise.

California Retirement | Colorado Retirement  | Florida Retirement | New York Retirement | Nevada Retirement | North Carolina Retirement | Oregon Retirement | South Carolina Retirement | Texas Retirement | Utah Retirement |  Virginia Retirement  | Arkansas Retirement

Retirement Information at Retire USA

Wow, I’d forgotten how hard it is to build and troubleshoot a huge website, but things are finally coming together at Retire USA, a project I’ve got going with three other partners.  The plan is to showcase retirement options across all the states in the USA.

Although comments about this are welcome, you’ll find things still a bit rough and there’s lots of data (thousands of individual records) yet to be linked up to state and city pages, though some of this can be found via the Google custom search engine which will seek out Retirement information at our site, combine it with ads, and post the results.

By tonight all the state pages will be active, most with links out to city pages.   Much more to come … soon!

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida GeorgiaHawaii Idaho Indiana Illinois Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan MississippiMissouri Minnesota Montana Nebraska New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York Nevada North CarolinaNorth Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee TexasUtah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Las Cruces

So, the Las Cruces question today relates to whether Google’s “SERPs”, or Search Engine Results Pages, give good quality results for the Query “Las Cruces”.    This post is also part of the nmohwy SEO experiment.    To determine this we’ll take the top page of results and look at each one of them.   In SEO terms this is called “scraping” a page and is usually considered bad form and even illegal in some circumstances if you do it over a large number of pages to create a new website, but in this case the scraping action has good legitimate use, especially because it’ll help me determine the most appropriate content for the Las Cruces web page at   “Most appropriate content” has become a very interesting concept as Google’s search dominance continues.   Without a high Google ranking it is very hard to get much traffic to a website so “pleasing Google” has become almost a necessary condition for the online success of a website.    Yet as Peter Norvig, head of Google search recently noted at a conference there is a huge give and take going on between Google and SEOs that is reshaping the Google results and therefore reshaping the web.   This was an inevitability of Google dominance but I think it’s a very undesirable outcome that is devaluing many of the things the web once valued highly (especially some type of very functional linking relationships that are now seen as “spamming”).

That said, it appears  Google has done a very good job for the query “Las Cruces” with one glaring exception among the top 10 sites.   I’ll discuss each below:

City of Las Cruces – Home

Home page for the beautiful city of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Rated as the best place to retire. – 35k – CachedSimilar pages 
This, Las Cruces’ official city page, makes sense as the top choice for the query “Las Cruces”.   With a simple query of the form  “city”, it’s not clear if somebody wants Las Cruces Travel Info, City info, news, real estate, etc.   However with most city queries I have reviewed Google tends to go with the official city page first, then the official visitor page second or third.   This is intuitively consistent with what I’d think a user would want from that simple query.

Las Cruces, New Mexico Convention & Visitors Bureau

Official Web Site of the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau. – 68k – CachedSimilar pages
As noted before this is a logical second page – Visitor Bureaus are usually key point of visitor contact  (smaller cities generally don’t have this function or have it wrapped up as part of the Chamber of Commerce)

Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Home Page

The chamber of commerce is a not-for-profit organization and is owned and operated by local business leaders who work to promote business growth in the – 25k – CachedSimilar pages
Again, a logical third choice for Las Cruces NM.     Chambers offer businesses in the region and also will have much visitor and relocation information.

Las Cruces, New Mexico – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Las Cruces is a city in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 74267.,_New_Mexico – 89k – CachedSimilar pages
Google *loves* Wikipedia.   This is partly for good reason as Wikipedia often has excellent features for many cites as well as millions of other topics.   Recently a university study of Britannica and Wikipedia concluded that the errors in each of these online resources were roughly equivalent, suggesting that Wikipedia, with it’s much greateer number of articles, is actually a more authoritative resource than Britannica.

Las Cruces Sun-News – HOME

Daily news, opinion, sports, arts, entertainment, lifestyle and classifieds. – 105k – CachedSimilar pages

Local Las Cruces news also appears to be an excellent site to rank highly.

Las Cruces NM New Mexico

Las Cruces New Mexico Travel, Restaurants, History, and Relocation. – 24k – CachedSimilar pages

Las Cruces, New Mexico (NM) Detailed Profile – relocation, real

Recent posts about Las Cruces, New Mexico on our local forum with over 100000 registered users. Las Cruces is mentioned 1128 times on our forum: – 120k – CachedSimilar pages

City Data is a good site that has created a huge mashup of many public domain data source, images they collect from users, and has a fairly large user forum.  This is their key Las Cruces page and probably a good choice though there are many resources that offer similar information, though I think City Data does a good job of pulling them all together in an unattractive but very usable form. 

New Mexico State University

Located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. – 18k – CachedSimilar pages

This result should probably appear higher because Universities are a key part of the community and also a key search destination for many.  However NM State Las Cruces appears to have failed to do (any?) SEO work with the site to let Google know wazzup, thus Google winds up placing them lower than otherwise.

WEBLIFEPRO.COM – 1k – CachedSimilar pages

This is the only clearly bogus result.   The page is down so this must have been some sort of marketing effort gone bad, perhaps due to manipulative SEO practices.

Las Cruces Public School District

Las Cruces, New Mexico’s Public School District. Calendars of events, board policies. Information on schools, employment, district news, assessment, – 45k – CachedSimilar pages

This at first appears to be a questionable result for the first page though it could be a result of huge incoming links from kid related sites.  People looking for an elementary school would tend to use “school” in the query.  I suppose this criticism could also apply to the University listing.   Perhaps the demographic for “Las Cruces” searchers has a good variety of ages including young kids,, making this a reasonable result.

So, it appears that for the query “Las Cruces” Google has done a good job of rounding up relevant sources of information.    Google’s strength is working with highly targeted queries so we’ll try that next for Las Cruces New Mexico related stuff.

Las Cruces New Mexico

No, I’m not in Las Cruces NM right now, but I’m blogging about Las Cruces NM as part of the online NMOHWY experiment in white hat SEO for our travel related websites.

As part of that experiment, which I’ll explain later, I want to tell you more about Las Cruces and provide some links for better information than I can provide here but will eventually have at our New Mexico Travel website which is under major rennovation.

The area now occupied by the city of Las Cruces was part of Mexico until Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which included a conversion of the Mexican city of Doña Ana to the US city now called “Las Cruces”. The origin of the name is not clear but may refer to crosses in the area placed by Spanish priests.

Las Cruces has a population of about 78,000. Most air travel to and from the region is from the El Paso International Airport about an hour south of Las Cruces in Texas. Las Cruces is in the far south part of New Mexico.

And in what is almost certainly not a coincidence I have a strong personal connection to Las Cruces even though I’ve never been there.    My aunt, uncle, and cousin lived there on a ranch for many years.

The city of Las Cruces website is here
The Visitor Tourism website for Las Cruces is here

Some day the world’s best web page for Las Cruces New Mexico searches will be at the website here.