Google Releases Some Changes – How Does This Affect the Real Estate Agent?

Google recently released a list of improvements to their ever popular search engine.  I am going to highlight some of the improvements that might affect your real estate website.  Google roughly releases 500 improvements per year and I will attempt as they are released to post some of the more relevant ones that might affect your real estate business.

  • Related query results refinements: Sometimes Google fetches results for queries that are similar to the actual search term you typed. This change makes it less likely that these results will rank highly if the original query had a rare word that was dropped in the alternate query. For example, if you are searching for [Blue Mountain Condos], you might not be as interested in a page that only mentions “condos.”
  • More comprehensive indexing: This change makes more long-tail documents available in the Google index, so they are more likely to rank for relevant queries. Great news for you Agents that are creating long tail keyword pages.  I wrote an post titled “Long Tail Keywords Power Hyper Local Content” which explains the importance of long tail keywords and how you can use them in your real estate business.
  • Fresher and more complete blog search results: Google made a change to its blog search index to get coverage that is both fresher and more comprehensive.  As I mentioned in previous posts blogs are great for the real estate agents and now you will be getting even more attention. Megan at our office wrote a great post “I’ve Set Up My Real Estate Blog…Now What?” which she explains how to use a blog in your real estate business and another good post; “Tips for Writing a Market Leading Blog.”
  • Original content: Google added new signals to help them make better predictions about which of two similar web pages is the original one.  Remember I always said, original content is very important and that it is important to always write good fresh content that is enticing and interesting. “Some Common Mistakes Writing Good Content” explains how to avoid some of the common mistakes when writing quality content.
  • Top result selection code rewrite: This code handles extra processing on the top set of results. For example, it ensures that Google doesn’t show too many results from one site (“host crowding”). They rewrote the code to make it easier to understand, simpler to maintain and more flexible for future extensions.  This I think it great news for the smaller sites (i.e., agent sites vs. the bigger franchise sites) because the larger sites may loose some SERP’s in light of this update.
  • New “parked domain” classifier: This is a new algorithm for automatically detecting parked domains. Parked domains are placeholder sites that are seldom useful and often filled with ads. They typically don’t have valuable content for users, so in most cases Google will prefer not to show them.

Google is always tweaking its search engine algorithms to make for a better user experience.  If you follow my updates regularly and try to leverage some of these improvements by either making changes to your pages or changing your marketing plans to make better use of the changes you can not only gain better visibility but also keep exiting pages from falling off of Google’s SERP’s.

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