Changes in Real Estate SEO

Written by Posted On Friday, 23 October 2015 19:26

Changes in Real Estate SEO

There are some big changes coming quickly for Real Estate Search Engine Optimization.  Real Estate SEO is somewhat unique in that many real estate professionals attempt to SEO their sites themselves as opposed to most industries where an SEO Expert is hired.

Some agents are successful at getting a decent ranking for relevant keywords but most fail miserably.  The truth is SEO can be a challenging process if you are attempting to rank for competitive keywords.  One of the biggest challenges is staying on top of the ever-changing Google Algorithms and how they can affect your website's rankings.

New Changes In Google

Many of you may have heard of the update to the Google algorithm called Penguin.  Penguin was initially launched in 2012 and was designed to demote websites that attempted to "game the system" or use "black hat seo" tactics. 

Here is a brief description of the Penguin update: because backlinks to your website is such an important factor in your search engine rankings, many SEO Gurus had created link schemes which included creating bogus websites for the sole purpose of linking back to their "money site" or the site they were attempting to rank.

Many SEO consultants built their business on using Private Blog Networks or PBNs which are simply websites that they would own and link back to their client's websites.  When Penguin initially rolled out, you saw the rankings of sites that ranked well using these techniques get flushed down the toilet. 

Challenges From Penguin

One of the things about Penguin is it would make a sweep.  Meaning that your site would be putting right along and when Google decided to sweep Penguin, if you were deemed to be punished, your site was penalized that day and your rankings would tank. 

The best Real Estate SEO Consultant wouldn't get caught in this mess, but many self-proclaimed SEO gurus did.  If you were a real estate agent doing your own SEO and thought you were clever, you may have created backlinks to your site from non-quality websites and if you did...overnight, your site's rankings would plummet. 

One of the biggest challenges with Penguin is that in some instances, unscrupulous websites would link to your website without you even knowing---this could cause your site to be put in the Google penalty box without any wrongdoing of your own.  If you are a real estate agent that does your own SEO, you need to stay on top of the websites that link to you. 

The biggest challenge was if you did get penalized by a Penguin sweep----regardless of what you did to your site to remedy the situation, you would stay penalized until the next Penguin sweep.  They may only make 2 or 3 sweeps per year----so your site could stay a ghost until the next sweep regardless of correcting the issue. Needless to say, that could be disastrous for many agents and brokers.ou

The Newest Penguin Update

Some people simply try to stay ahead of Google and may see some temporary success, but the piper is always around the corner.The newest Penguin update will take into consideration some of the newest "black hat" link building techniques and slap them around a little.  

The biggest deal with the new update is that is will be running in real time.  This is truly a big deal as you will be able to almost immediately see the improvements in your SERPS (search engine results page) or see a drop in your rankings and attribute those changes to new backlinks to your site. 

Not only will this give SEO agencies and real estate professionals alike the ability to monitor their site with an action/reaction type of monitoring, but if you do get scolded by Google, you can now fix the issue and you should be able to get your rankings back.  You don't want to go down that road, because rebuilding rankings is extra challenging---but at least you dont need to wait for another Penguin sweep!

So What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Penalized by Penguin?

The first thing you should do is analyze the domains that link to your real estate website.  There are many ways to do that, but the most common (and its FREE) is to use Google Search Console -- formally called Google Webmaster Tools.  Google Webmaster Tools lets you see all of the sites that link to you. 

The analyzing part is a little more work.  For some of the domains that link to you, it will be obvious that they are garbage.  They may be nothing but garble all over the page and may not make sense.  Those are the easy ones to put on the list.  For any site that links to you that you are not already familiar with, you will want to check the domain metrics. 

This can be done with a variety of paid SEO tools.  If you do a quick Google Search for "Free SEO Tools" or "Free Domain Metrics" you will find a ton of websites----I personally have yet to find one that can compete with the paid services, but I'm sure if you dig deep enough you can find one.  The next step is to Disavow any bad links.  Google provides a Disavow Tool  as part of Google Search Console, but be sure to use it wisely, as you could accidentally kill your good links!

At the end of the day, if you choose to do your own SEO on your real estate website, you need to stay on top of the changes in real estate SEO -- and this is a BIG one!

Here is a video by Matt Cutts of Google explaining the Disavow feature within Google Search Console.






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Dean Cacioppo

Dean Cacioppo Credentials

Dean has worked as a real estate agent, real estate instructor and has years of experience working on the technology side for major Real Estate Brokers, Agents and MLS’s.  Dean has sat on the Board of Directors for multiple MLS’s including being elected to President.  Years of serving on a number of MLS Committees for multiple boards, served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Louisiana REALTORS and participated in many task forces and committees for the benefit of all Real Estate Agents in Louisiana.

Work in Real Estate Technology

Dean has provided live training on technology, direct IT and Technological Support to thousands of Real Estate Agents for over 16 years.  With years of being the go-to guy on technology strategy, training and support for Brokers and MLS’s across the country, you can now have direct access to Dean for your personal technology needs. 

Real Estate is extremely competitive on the web and we specialize in Real Estate Websites and Digitial Marketing for Realtors, Search Engine Optimization for Real Estate and Social Media Marketing for Real Estate.  Please don’t be confused, we are happy to work in all business verticals and have quite a bit of experience in a variety of markets.

For 2019, we have seen an expoetional increase in the ability to generate leads from local SEO for the real estate industry.  This has Google My Business taking a larger share of buyers and sellers looking for real estate online.  We understand that there is a real estate sales cycle that determines how "ready to act" the lead is.  Leads that are aquired for search phrases such as "Realtor around me" or "top realtor in my city" have a much better chance of converting than the indevidual searching for a generic real estate term.

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