First of all why am I even talking about Google’s Algorithms updates to you? That’s easy, while you don’t need to know the specific details, you should be aware how this update might effect your Real Estate Business.
Launched in late July, the update is a new algorithm to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. Google stated that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.
You probably noticed by now your the local map results (some call it the 7 pack) are not on every location search anymore. You know what I am taking about, you type “Teaneck NJ Realtor” and you would see a map with the top 7 results. To me this seemed to resulted in more exposure for the bigger companies. Smaller offices and agents that were on the 7 pack are now on the SERP but forced to the bottom most of the time. However in realty I think Google is refining location results based on geo-location and population density. You tend to see the map results in larger areas.
So in essence since Real Estate is very local, this update is one you should be concerned about.
Some things that you should consider on this update;
- Strong Domains Matter
- It has been observed local businesses need to attach their brands to strong domains. While Google has not explicitly confirmed that there is a bias toward brands in their ranking algorithm, many of us have suspected as such. So if you have a strong franchise or local brand make sure you are well optimized on your location pages.
- Location, Location, Location
- Location really matters now as Google attempts to deliver the most relavant location based SERP. This comes in the terms on how close to the center of a city you are. If you are searching for News Real Estate Agents, the closer you are the better.
- Please don’t over optimize
- I have been preaching this for a while but don’t market yourself on too wide of a territory. If you do, Google will notice in most cases and will drop your location based results. Limit your markets and make sure you have solid unique content and a well optimized page for each of these areas. If you can, utilize your home page for the top geo location you serve.
While like you I am not thrilled in what has transpired but let’s sit back and see how this plays out. Google does invest a huge amount of money and time trying to bring the best possible results. Many of the changes over the years have been a huge benefit and refining the local search is important.